Jan. 17 2019 02:01 PM

Dr. Josie Rudolphi to focus on mental health care for farmers, families

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Josie Rudolphi, Ph.D., associate research scientist at the National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, has been recognized as an emerging health leader with her selection as a 2019 Rural Health Fellow by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA).

Rudolphi will spend this year advocating for increased availability and accessibility of mental health care in rural areas, specifically for agricultural populations.

“Barriers to adequate mental health care for farmers and their families are similar to those many in rural areas face,” Rudolphi said. “However, the barriers may be intensified for agricultural populations. The agrarian attitude resists acceptance of mental health disorders, and care and issues surrounding affordability and accessibility to care are amplified given the high proportion of farmers and ranchers who are self-employed and self-insured.”

Rudolphi grew up on a corn and soybean farm near Williamsburg, Iowa. She earned her Ph.D. in occupational and environmental health, with a focus in agricultural safety and health, from the University of Iowa.

“We are very pleased to announce this new class of fellows as the program enters its 13th year,” said NRHA CEO Alan Morgan.

The goal of the year-long, intensive Rural Health Fellow program is to educate, develop and inspire a networked community of rural health leaders who will serve in key positions in the National Rural Health Association, affiliated rural health advocacy groups and local and state legislative bodies. The fellows will meet in-person three times. The first meeting will be during NRHA’s Rural Health Policy Institute, Feb. 4, in Washington, D.C.

NRHA is a nonprofit organization working to improve the health and wellbeing of rural Americans and providing leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education, and research. NRHA’s membership is made up of more than 21,000 diverse individuals and organizations.