The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) Community Stars program honors individuals and organizations working in and serving rural communities and supporting rural health collaboration, communication, education, or innovation. Community Stars are featured in an electronic publication that is released on National Rural Health Day each year. Past Community Stars have included rural health physicians, nurses, other healthcare providers, hospital administrators, board members, volunteers, health clinic personnel, first responders, and others promoting health and wellness through a civic or community organization. This year's goal is to feature one Community Star from each of the 50 states. Eligible recipients are individuals and organizations currently working and serving rural communities. Any person with a close connection to the nominee, who is familiar with his/her rural health work, is eligible to submit a nomination. Deadline to submit nominations is August 9, 2019.
The city of Burham-On-Sea, UK, has installed a new bench to address isolation among vulnerable people. Burnham-On-Sea police community support officer Tracey Grobbeler told Burnham-On-Sea.com, “Simply stopping to say ‘hello’ to someone at the Chat Bench could make a huge difference to the vulnerable people in our communities and help to make life a little better for them.” The initiative was launched to coincide with United Nations World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. According to a recent poll, more than a third of seniors reported feeling a lack of companionship at least some of the time, while 27% said they feel isolated some of the time or more often. While the project was conceived with the elderly population in mind, the Burnham-On-Sea police department encourages residents of all ages to use the chat benches.
Andy Lima of the Fairfax County, Virginia Department of Health uses rap to promote the county’s programs to address disease carrying insects. As a musician, his genre of choice is rapping about bugs that spread dangerous diseases in professionally-produced hip-hop videos. MC Bugg-Z’s first breakout hit was called Zika 101 (“Yo, don’t get sick with Zika from the bite of a mosquit-a”), and he followed up last year with Tick Check 1-2 (“We’re droppin’ rhymes to target Lyme disease”). Now he’s back — with West Nile Story. “2019 marks the 20-year anniversary of West Nile’s first detection in the United States,” says Lima. “A lot of the younger crowd aren’t even aware that it’s an issue out there.” West Nile was first detected in humans in Uganda in 1937. The virus, spread by the Culex mosquito, was first discovered in the U.S. in Queens, New York, in 1999. Virginia saw its largest number of West Nile cases ever in 2018. There were 47 cases, including seven deaths. In Fairfax County alone, there were nine cases and one death. “Having that active of a season is hopefully going to make people more aware that this is out there,” says Lima.
National Geographic recently announced winners of the 2019 National Geographic Travel Contest. The winning photos were selected from thousands of global entries in three categories: nature, cities, and people. The grand prize of $7,500 went to Chinese photographer Chu Weimin for his photograph “Greenlandic Winter.” The photo was taken at dusk time in Upernavik in Greenland, a small fishing hamlet with colorful houses scattered along with a thick carpet of snow. “Historically, Greenlandic buildings were painted different colors to indicate different functions, from red storefronts to blue fishermen’s homes — a useful distinction when the landscape is blanketed in snow,” Weimin wrote in his entry. “This photo was taken during my three-month, personal photo project to present life in Greenland.”