HARRISBURG – In recognition of his exemplary contributions to rural health in Pennsylvania, Sen. Elder Vogel (R-47) has been named the 2022 Rural Health Legislator of the Year by the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Vogel, who serves as the majority chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. “Health care concerns and the need for greater access to care are issues that are important regardless of your zip code, but often rural areas aren’t given as high a priority in policymaking because of the sparseness in populations. I continue to be focused on ensuring the voices of our rural areas are heard and understood.”
The Rural Health Legislator of the Year Award recognizes a Pennsylvania legislator for outstanding work and support of rural health initiatives that address an identified need in their district or across the state.
Vogel was nominated for the award by Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, who recognized the senator’s work recognizing and addressing the mental health needs of the agricultural community, as well as his advocacy for telemedicine for agricultural and rural communities.
“Telemedicine is vital for patients who suffer from chronic illness and families who live in rural areas where they would have to travel very far to receive medical care,” noted Vogel, who has long been a proponent of telemedicine to help overcome barriers to quality patient care created by distance and reduce the cost of those services.
Vogel added: “As a fourth-generation farmer and chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, I can attest to the fact that farming, by its nature, can be extremely stressful, even during the best of times. Mental health, for farmers as well as all those who live in Pennsylvania’s rural areas, remains an issue in need of more attention from both policymakers and health care providers.”
The Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH) is one of the 50 state offices of rural health and is a partnership between the United States federal government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State University. PORH is charged with being a source of coordination, technical assistance and networking; partnership development; and assisting in the recruitment and retention of health care providers.
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