Independence County Library to celebrate National Rural Health Day

By Emily Van Zandt Originally Published November 11, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated November 9, 2012 at 9:05 a.m.
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— The Independence County Library will hold its second annual National Rural Health Day Celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday in Batesville.

“It’s a way to bring people into the library who might not otherwise come,” county librarian Vanessa Adams said. “It gets the word out that the library offers more than just books and entertainment.”

When Adams first moved to Batesville from southern Georgia last year, she joined the Hometown Wellness Coalition. The coalition suggested that an event at the library might help make citizens aware that there are local health care providers in the area, not just in larger cities, Adams said.

The all-ages event will include presentations on issues that are more common in rural health care, including diabetes, teen tobacco use, ATV safety and texting while driving.

Representatives from White River Health System, the Arkansas Department of Health and local fire and ambulance crews will be on hand for the presentations. The free event will also include door prizes.

The Arkansas Department of Health helped encourage communities such as Independence County to host events honoring rural health care workers for the day.

“We’d like people at the local level to promote the value and contribution to quality of life that rural health care providers offer,” said department spokeswoman Dianne Woodruff. “A lot of people in Arkansas live in these rural communities and work there and we encourage making improvements to strengthen that health care.”

The library’s event is part of a national celebration organized by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, which was established in 1995 to assist State Offices of Rural Health in efforts to provide and improve access to quality health care for rural Americans, according to the organization’s website. For more information on the organization, go to celebrate

In addition to the Independence County event, the UAMS Center for Rural Health is sponsoring a photo contest looking for “rural places and faces in Arkansas” on their Facebook page through Monday.

Adams plans to continue adding events to the library’s schedule. She recently began a Wednesday-morning children’s story time and weekly computer classes. For more information on the library and its programs, go to or call (870) 793-8814.

Staff writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at (501) 399-3688 or

Associate Features Editor Emily Van Zandt can be reached at .

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