Kauai joins nation in celebrating rural healthcare

LIHUE – Imagine my palm as the Island of Oahu, said Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Thursday, holding up his hand sideways.

That was a classic and simple way of understanding rural during National Rural health Day, which coincided with the governor’s visit to the Lihue Business Association meeting.

Imagine that half of the state’s population lives where my thumb is, Abercrombie said. The other half of the population, including those living on the Neighbor Islands, are spread out over the rest of my hand.

“That is rural,” the governor said. “Not ‘remote,’ rural.”

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. later in the day presented a proclamation celebrating National Rural Health Day to representatives of organizations who address healthcare issues in rural communities, and more specifically, here on Kauai.

Spearheaded by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, National Rural Health Day celebrates rural communities, the proclamation noting that rural hospitals, clinics, centers and healthcare practices are the economic foundation of their communities and are typically the largest employers in their respective communities which ensure a healthy workforce.

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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