Cooperstown, NY, May 17, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Central New York’s Bassett Healthcare Network has proposed innovative legislation to Albany lawmakers to provide additional funding to help overcome critical rural health disparities. The proposal is to offer a distinctive license tag option known as the Feeling Rural Good plate. Proponents pledge the unique license plate, if ultimately approved by the New York State Assembly and Senate, and if signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul, would also significantly raise public awareness about the growing crisis in rural healthcare.

“Eighteen percent of New York residents live in a rural community,” explains Basset President & CEO, Dr. Tommy Ibrahim.  “If New Yorkers are going to have any hope of better funding the health care priorities of our families, friends and neighbors, then we are all going to need to find more effective and innovative ways of providing that critical financial support without relying upon severely stretched local, state and federal government funds alone.”

Dr. Ibrahim notes that the Feeling Rural Good license plate would encourage more leveraged and impactful funding to reduce rural health disparities through the type of public-private-philanthropic partnerships the proposed New York tag would promote.

The two New York lawmakers have proposed that voluntary proceeds from the distinctive license plate go to fund key priorities under the jurisdiction of the New York Department of Health.  The legislation’s funding priorities would focus on 1) expansion of rural school-based health clinics in the state, 2) evidenced-based rural health-related research and education through New York based universities, 3) enhanced physician recruitment in rural areas, 4) improved access to broadband and internet services, and 5) supplemental funding to improve access to hospital, long-term care and home care services in rural communities.

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