Rural Health Conference to focus on early childhood development

The date has been set and the topic has been selected for the 15th annual Rural Health Conference, which is hosted by the College of Community Health Sciences’s Institute for Rural Health Research.  Postcard_122013_Page_1

This year’s conference, titled “Healthy Beginnings, Healthy Communities: The Early Childhood Experience,” will be held on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at the Bryant Conference Center on The University of Alabama campus.

The focus is on rural communities and early childhood development, which starts at birth and continues to 5 years old.

The conference will feature various speakers, presentations and breakout sessions surrounding the topic.

Lea Yerby, PhD, coordinator for the conference and an assistant professor in the Department of Community and Rural Medicine and the Institute for Rural Health Research, says the early childhood window has the most significant long-term impact on health status.

“Since our rural areas have high rates of children living in poverty and in medically underserved areas, young children in rural Alabama are not on equal footing with the rest of the nation and have less opportunity to grow into healthy adults,” Yerby says. “Furthermore, the health of a community’s children is a key indicator of the overall health of a community.”

Health care professionals, community leaders, researchers, government officials and policy makers interested in making an impact in rural communities typically attend the conference.

Additional information is available on the conference’s website: rhc.ua.edu.