RALEIGH — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will host a live fireside chat and tele-town hall on Thursday, March 23, from 6 to 7 p.m. to discuss the importance of whole person health with a focus on realities in rural communities and available resources across the state.
Event participants include:
- Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, M.D., NC State Health Director and Chief Medical Officer, NCDHHS
- Angela Caraway, Executive Director of the Caraway Foundation
- Jennifer Greene, CEO and Health Director of AppHealthCare
More than 4.6 million North Carolinians — slightly less than half of the state’s population — live in rural areas. Rural communities often face challenges related to access to health care, housing, food, transportation, educational resources, internet and more. The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light these challenges and their impact on the prevention, detection and management of chronic conditions.
Fireside and tele-town hall panelists will discuss the following:
- Ways to support and improve whole person health
- Importance of routine health visits and preventative care
- Efforts to increase access to health care and reduce disparities in rural areas
Many people fell out of care during the pandemic as routines were disrupted and now face additional health challenges. This ripple effect underscores the importance of maintaining whole person health.
Whole person health goes beyond physical well-being and includes supporting mental, emotional, social, spiritual and environmental health. It also examines all factors that can improve well-being and that lead to health problems and chronic conditions.
The risks of COVID-19-related complications continue to be greater among people who have conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes, which are two of the more prevalent diagnoses in rural communities. Individuals who are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines are also at greater risk of severe illness or hospitalization from the virus.
Resources are available across North Carolina to connect rural communities with local health care providers, education and support to uplift whole person health and help loved ones do the same.
The fireside chat will stream live from the NCDHHS Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts, where viewers can submit questions. The event also includes a tele-town hall, which invites people by phone to listen in and submit questions. People can also dial into the event by calling (855) 756-7520 Ext. 92464#.
NCDHHS fireside chats and tele-town halls are part of the state’s ongoing public efforts to eliminate health disparities, reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensure equitable access to timely information, resources and COVID-19 vaccines.