It Takes a Village to Advocate for Rural Health


Original Presentation Date: 2/25/2021

Facilitator Lesson Plan

The Advocacy Teaching Kit contains all you need to host your own team-based active-learning event featuring work by Carrie Cochran-McClain, Vice President of Government Affairs and Policy at the National Rural Health Association, and Josh Jorgensen, Government Affairs and Policy Manager at the National Rural Health Association.

Effective advocacy for rural communities and rural health begins with making connections. Join a conversation and connect with other students and residents, and with a panel of individuals working for the National Rural Health Association as advocates for the health of rural communities. This Grand Rounds will highlight several current issues in rural health, explore the unique challenges in advocating for rural communities, and familiarize participants with available resources – sources of information, tools for making important connections, and opportunities for acquiring and practicing advocacy skills.

If you have questions about how to use or to adapt this teaching kit to your setting, contact us to schedule a phone call. We are happy to go over the details. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  1. Articulate 3 unique challenges in advocating for rural health
  2. Describe the variation in rural policy issues across the United States
  3. Name 3 important sources of current information regarding important issues of rural health policy
  4. Identify at least one tool and/or opportunity for acquiring and practicing skills in advocating for rural communities
  5. Join others in promoting rural community health by becoming a student or resident member of NRHA

Carrie Cochran-McClain
Vice President, Government Affairs and Policy, National Rural Health Association


Carrie joined NRHA staff in 2020 and as the head lobbyist for the association is responsible for the Government Affairs and Policy department.

She has more than 18 years of experience working in federal health policy development, including leadership roles at Health Management Associates, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. In her previous positions she has focused on improving health care outcomes, promoting health equity for vulnerable populations, and advising on health care policy issues.

Carrie earned a BA in sociology from Willamette University and an MPA with a concentration in health policy and management from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. She currently is completing a Doctor of Public Health at the UNC Gillings School. Her research focuses on access to obstetrical care in rural areas.

Josh Jorgensen
Government Affairs and Policy Manager, National Rural Health Association


Josh joined NRHA staff in 2020, after previously serving as legislative aide for U.S.
Sen. Mike Rounds. In this role, he worked extensively on rural health care policy. This
work included Indian Health Service reform, telehealth advancement and the creation
of a ready reserve within the United State Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
Previously, Josh worked at the American Enterprise Institute assisting the external
affairs department.
Josh earned a bachelor’s degree in both journalism and political science from the
University of South Dakota.


Before your session
  1. Recruit your teams. Ideally, 4 teams of 3-5 participants.
  2. Schedule a room that can accommodate all your participants and AV to play the presentation.
  3. Distribute the Pre-Session link
  4. Download the Presentation Slide Deck.
  5. Review the Slide Deck. Be sure to look at the presenter notes.
During your session
  1. Arrange your participants into teams within the room.
  2. Facilitate your session by following the prompts in the presenter notes of the Slide Deck.
  3. Facilitate general discussion with the full group. Go over any lingering thoughts.
  4. Evaluate the materials on your experience.
Click to download the presentation slide deck

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