U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., urged Mississippians Tuesday to participate in a U.S. Health and Human Services initiative to find ways to improve health care in rural America.

The federal Rural Health Task Force, through the Health Resources and Services Administration, has issued a request for information from the public on how to make rural health care more accessible, affordable, and sustainable, according to a news release from Hyde-Smith. The deadline to receive comments is 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9. 

“Health care in Mississippi has its challenges, including rural hospital closures," Hyde-Smith said in a statement. "I believe Mississippians can provide many good ideas and information on what is and what isn’t working in rural areas. This material can help the Department of Health and Human Services begin to improve how its rules and regulations can support rural health care.”   

Background and instructions to submit material is available at www.hrsa.gov/rural-health/rfi-rural-health-care-access.

Information is sought from health care providers, researchers, community members, patients, consumers, families, caregivers, advocates and other parties, according to the news release.

Hospital closures and telemedicine advances in Mississippi were among the issues discussed at that hearing of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee earlier this year.

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