On May 22, 2017, we helped to host a regional forum on rural health in equity--one of four regional forums held across the nation. USM's Rural Health Research Center was the lead on this event, and they worked closely with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis (out of the University of Chicago), who was the lead on the series of forums as they related to a larger project. The event was part of a study sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to look at opportunities to improve health and equity in rural places. Norway, Maine was chosen as a site largely because of the Collaborative's unique nature as a collective approach to improving health and wellness across a rural county.
The NORC Walsh Center just released a report summarizing the event and we're happy to finally be able to share a description of this forum.
Click here to access the report as a PDF.
It includes some key takeaways as well as recommendations from participants about what we could/should be doing differently to have a bigger impact on improving health and wellness.
A report that summarizes all four of the regional forums is still in the works and we'll share that once it's available.
Why haven't you heard about this before? The small nature of the event, and the desire of partners at USM and the NORC Walsh Center to make sure that participation would include people from many different backgrounds from places across the state (in addition to Oxford County) didn't allow for an open-invitation event. We wish that any interested OCWC member could have attended, but this just wasn't practical or possible given the outcomes desired by RWJF as a sponsor.