Rural communities in the U.S. are diverse, full of innovation, and each face their own unique health challenges. In this episode, we discuss some less commonly discussed rural health topics with Amy Elizondo, the Chief Strategy Officer for the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). In our conversation we discuss topics such as oral health, the scarcity of dentists in rural areas, behavioral health, substance abuse, and the health concerns of the rural indigenous population Amy highlights some of the amazing work being coordinated through the NRHA to address these health issues in rural communities, both through initiatives and health policy advocacy. Check out the NRHA’s Faces of Rural video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXpJ4fXRakU
“Rural communities are far more diverse than anyone could ever imagine, truly that is where innovation can happen.”
Amy Elizondo serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), a non-profit membership organization with the mission to provide leadership on rural health issues to improve access to care. Ms. Elizondo received a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education from Texas A&M University in 2000 and a Master of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Health from the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, School of Rural Public Health in 2002. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Public Health at the University of Illinois Chicago.
Before joining the NRHA, Ms. Elizondo served as the primary analyst for rural health care and post-acute care issues at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services within the United States Department of Health and Human Services. This position afforded her the opportunity to work as a liaison with Congress during the landmark passing of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, also known as the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit. She also completed a fellowship at the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy where she took part in implementing a rural leadership program.