Thursday, March 9, 2017

Student Emily Lenherr shares her experience at the National Rural Health Association Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

As the Salina co-president of the Rural Medicine Interest Group, I was fortunate enough to attend the National Policy Institute hosted by the National Rural Health Association. This was a very rewarding experience, as I got to learn about policy decisions and current issues facing rural health in America.

The first part of the conference focused on discussing the problems current rural health physicians and administrators face, including the opioid crisis, budget concerns and how Medicare and Medicaid affect rural medicine. I learned a lot about current issues in rural health care, and I was grateful to expand my knowledge and learn pertinent information for my future practice.

The second part of the conference focused on meeting with Kansas senators and representatives to share our concerns about the health care system. This was my favorite day, as it was fascinating to discuss issues related to rural medicine, and it was rewarding to spend the day advocating for the type of medicine I love. It was nice to know many of the senators and representatives were aware of our concerns and had Kansas health care on their agenda. Much of these meetings were also spent discussing the current concerns towards “Repeal and Replace,” and how it may affect the future of Kansas health care. In all, attending this conference was an incredibly worthwhile experience, and I walked away with copious amounts of newfound knowledge. It was a great way to spend a week advocating for the future of rural Kansas health care.

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