NCMS Celebrates Longstanding Partnership with NC Office of Rural Health

Last Thursday, November 21, 2013, there were many reasons to celebrate at the Office of Rural Health in Raleigh. It was National Rural Health Day, in which communities across America recognize the “power of rural.” North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory proclaimed that the state and other interested agencies and organizations should “recognize the unique health care needs and opportunities that exist in rural communities” and honor the day; and it was time to celebrate the Office’s 40th anniversary. The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Foundation Director of Programs Franklin Walker was on hand for the festivities, and spoke about the longstanding relationship that the NCMS has had with the Office of Rural Health.

“Our family tree has many of the same roots,” he said. “Our organization’s relationship has been a collaborative one from the very start. Members of the North Carolina Medical Society were instrumental in laying the groundwork for the Office of Rural Health back in the late 1960s, early ‘70s.”

Walker also pointed out that the NCMS Foundation’s Community Practitioner Program (CPP) while younger than the Office of Rural Health shares much of the same vision for serving underserved areas of the state. The CPP will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014.

“The CPP was born when the Office of Rural Health was already 15 years old. Individuals, like Jim Bernstein, who as you know, was the impetus behind creation of the Office, and Dr. Harvey Estes, who also was heavily involved in state public health issues as first chairman of Duke University’s Department of Community Health Sciences, also were instrumental in the birth of the CPP,” Walker said. Dr. Estes served on the NCMS Foundation Board of Trustees, which oversees the CPP, for many years. Additionally, Dr. Estes is a past president of the NCMS as well as the NCMS Foundation. He currently serves on the CPP Advisory Committee.

For more information about the CPP visit the NCMS Foundation website.


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