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New Jersey Health Department joins nationwide observance supporting rural health providers

NEW JERSEY –  With Governor Phil Murphy declaring November 15-19 as Rural Health Week in New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Health’s (NJDOH) is also marking National Rural Health Day on November 18 to recognize the innovation, quality of care and dedication of health professionals and volunteers throughout communities.

National Rural Health Day annually falls on the third Thursday in November and recognizes the efforts of those serving the health needs of an estimated 57 million people across the nation, including about 700,000 rural residents in New Jersey.

As noted in the Governor’s proclamation, New Jersey rural communities make up nine percent of the state’s population that face health disparities, aging populations, high rates of chronic diseases, substance use and transportation issues.

As part of the observances to mark the “Power of Rural,” which brings to light the unique healthcare challenges facing rural New Jerseyans, the Atlantic County Division of Public Health will host the “Health/Wellness, Emergency Preparedness, Get Vaccinated” event series; Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers will host “Beating COVID-19 in Rural Communities” and Southern NJ Perinatal Cooperative will host “Rural Mom’s Meetup-Nutrition & Healthy Eating.” NJDOH’s Office of Primary Care and Rural Health will host a statewide social media campaign and encourage community stakeholders to post messages and pictures celebrating rural health providers using the #powerofrural hashtag.

The week culminates with the 3rd Annual Rural Oral Health Virtual Conference on November 19. The conference will be hosted by Zufall Health Center in partnership with NJDOH and other partners to address the oral health needs of marginalized populations in New Jersey rural communities. Register at

In addition, the website,, has been established for rural health stakeholders to explore, showcase individuals and organizations selected as 2021 Community Stars. The site also provides visitors with various tools, including social media posts, The website also shares how rural communities across the country will be celebrating National Rural Health Day.

For more information about National Rural Health Day, visit

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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