National Rural Health Day:
What is It and How Far Have We Come?
Rural communities are wonderful places to live and work, which is why an estimated 57 million people – nearly one in five Americans – call them home. These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are places where neighbors know each other, listen to each other, respect each other, and work together to benefit the greater good. They are also some of the best places to start a business and test your “entrepreneurial spirit.” These communities provide the rest of the country with a wealth of services and commodities, and they are the economic engine that has helped the United States become the world economic power it is today.

These rural communities also have unique healthcare needs. Today more than ever, rural communities must address accessibility issues, a lack of healthcare providers, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un- and underinsured citizens. And rural hospitals – which are often the economic foundation of their communities in addition to being the primary providers of care – struggle daily as declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels make it challenging to serve their residents.

That is why the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health sets aside the third Thursday of every November – November 19, 2020 – to celebrate National Rural Health Day. First and foremost, National Rural Health Day is an opportunity to “Celebrate the Power of Rural” by honoring the selfless, community-minded, “can do” spirit that prevails in rural America. But it also gives us a chance to bring to light the unique healthcare challenges that rural people and communities face – and showcase the efforts of rural healthcare providers, State Offices of Rural Health and other rural stakeholders to address those challenges.

We know there is work to be done, but we also believe there is plenty to celebrate – and we invite you to join the celebration!

The 2019 Impact Statement details all the ways National Rural Health Day is making an impact at the national, state and local levels!
2021 ACA Open Enrollment Runs November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Although policy discussions are underway, ACA open enrollment on Missouri's Health Insurance Marketplace takes place from Sunday, November 1, 2020 through Tuesday, December 15, 2020. The Health Care Collaborative (HCC) of Rural Missouri is available to assist individuals and families with enrollment. Coverage begins January 2021 for those who enroll by the December 15, 2020 deadline.

If experiencing unemployment due to the pandemic, it is important for enrollees to update their information online or contact the Marketplace to report changes.

Information Needed to Enroll:
·        Enrollee information (name, age, birth date, address, Social Security number). 
·        Household size.
·        Insurance policy numbers if currently insured.
·        Paystub or W-2 if working.
·        Estimated income amount for 2019.
Contact HCC for enrollment assistance
Lexington, Mo.-based HCC (825 South Business Highway 13) has trained certified application counselors who help individuals and families enroll in Missouri's Health Insurance Marketplace. They will answer enrollment questions, help determine eligibility for Medicaid or other insurance options. In addition, HCC helps with enrollment during the Marketplace's special enrollment period.

HCC also has a variety of programs and resources to help individuals and families in need. For enrollment support, or for more information, contact Shelly Harden at 660.259.2440.
Other ways to enroll
To enroll online, visit, or call 1.800.318.2596, which is available 24/7. (TTY: 1.855.889.4325)

For more information, contact Shelly Harden at 660.259.2790, visit, or
Early Detection Saves Lives All Year
Breast Cancer Awareness doesn't end in October.
Make sure yourself and your loved ones have a
plan to stay proactive all year long.

Regularly perform self-exams. Learn how to perform a breast health self-exam here and notify your doctor of any concerns.

Know the warning signs. Be cautious of any changes in the breast such as lumps, bleeding, or a difference in color or texture. Download an eBook here for more information on breast cancer detection and breast health.

Schedule routine mammograms. Early detection is key to saving lives and regularly monitoring your breast health can help identify changes or other concerns.

Get involved. Volunteer with the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Helping Women Now, a group whose mission is to provide help and inspire hope to those affected by breast cancer.
In addition to wearing a mask, the CDC recommends:

1. Washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
2. Using a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.
3. Coughing or sneezing into a tissue and throwing it in the trash (followed by immediately cleaning your hands).
4. Avoiding touching your eyes, ears, and mouth.
5. Staying home if you feel sick or are showing cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms.
Know the Difference Between the Flu and COVID-19

COVID-19 Symptoms:
What Warrants an Emergency?
According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 
2-14 days after exposure to the virus. 

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
What will you give this GivingTuesday?
Give TIME: volunteer with a nonprofit to help make a tangible difference in your community and stay involved year-round.

Give VOICE: advocate for causes and issues you care about in your local community.

Give DOLLARS: donate to a nonprofit, community mutual aid funds, or start a giving circle with family and friends.
Give GOODS: organize a donation drive collecting food, clothing, toiletries, books, and more for local nonprofits or shelters.

Give KINDNESS: show a stranger a small act of kindness and ask them to pay it forward.

Give TALENT: put your skills to use helping a nonprofit - many are understaffed and could use the extra hands.
Narcotics Anonymous Meetings Held Weekly in Lexington
WhenEvery Monday and Wednesday

Where825 S. Business Hwy 13, Lexington, MO., 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

WhoAnyone struggling with any kind of addiction is welcome. For more information, contact Peer Recovery Specialist Will Jordan at 660.251.3793.

(HCC of Rural Missouri will host these meetings but is not a sponsor.)