Turning Science into Health, for All

November 21st marks the celebration of National Rural Health Day. With this in mind, we wanted to again emphasize our commitment to improving the health of our communities through translational science and research, including rural communities. Almost 1 in 5 Americans currently live in rural areas. In these areas, access to health care and medical technologies can be limited and when available, sub-optimal, leading to disparate health outcomes. Our goal is to ensure that everyone has access to the resources and infrastructure developed by NCATS through the CTSA Program, including fair representation in clinical research. Novel approaches, new methodologies, and innovative application of technology, are needed, including culturally/geographically sensitive strategies to improve enrollment and remote collection of trial information (blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, etc.).

This month, we would like to highlight some of the activities and efforts that we put forth as we continue to strive towards reaching our goal of improving rural health:

The Rural Monitor – The October 23rd issue, features NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences: Involving Rural America In Research. Several of our CTSA Program hubs and activities are highlighted, displaying a range of clinical and translational activities. Our approach is multi-pronged with a single goal in mind: Improve the health of our rural communities through efficient translation of novel therapies, approaches and strategies. As I mention in this issue of The Rural Monitor: “We are very focused on the later stages of a scientific discovery and our job is turning that science into health. Particularly for those of us at NCATS, that includes that last mile where we are meeting the patient.”

Inaugural NIH Rural Health Seminar (November 18, 2019) will bring together researchers, medical practitioners and others to explore topics in rural health and to share research ideas for how innovations in clinical and translational science could improve rural health outcomes. The event is co-sponsored by NCATS, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, with additional contributions from the National Cancer Institute, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute on Aging, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and the National Institute of Nursing Research. For registration information, please go to: Website/Agenda/Registration.

2019 Rural Health Day Photo Contest Submissions– We invite each CTSA hub to join us in observing the National Rural Health Day on November 21st! NCATS is hosting a photo competition to enable CTSA hubs to showcase their clinical and translational efforts for underserved populations in rural communities. Now is the perfect time to highlight the barriers, identify the gaps, emphasize the interventions to improve rural health and achieve health equity as well as show-off your photographic skills. The photo contest submission deadline has been extended to November 15th. For instructions on how to submit a picture click here.

Dr. K
Michael G. Kurilla, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of the Division of Clinical Innovation, NCATS

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