In today’s episode, I sit down with Beth O’Connor, Executive Director of the Virginia Rural Health Association. She has a degree in Health Education and has worked diligently for the last 13 years to focus on healthcare in rural America. When talking about rural health there are many different aspects to consider, from how hospitals and clinics run, to getting transportation to people who need it, to the opioid crisis, and obesity the list is seemingly endless.
Starting a podcast wasn’t on Beth’s radar. In fact, she’d never really listened to podcasts. Once she started researching the platform as a marketing tool, she realized that she could spark conversation about this very important topic. So she applied for a grant, received seed money, and started her podcast thanks to the National Rural Health Association.
She now has over 12 episodes under her belt and has interviewed the keynote speakers from the Annual Education Conference hosted by the Virginia Rural Health Association. She has also interviewed state Senator Creigh Deeds and chatted about his efforts to improve mental health in rural Virginia.
Beth is dedicated to bringing a spotlight to the healthcare needs of small rural communities across America. She always has two questions for her podcast guests at the end of the episode, (1) What action can listeners take to effect change in their communities? (2) What do you think we should do to improve health and healthcare in rural America? These are questions that have no easy answer but with enough exposure maybe we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
● Introducing Beth. [00:49]
● Reason for her focus on healthcare in rural America [01:16]
● Why she started the podcast despite not being a podcast listener [02:18]
● Process for funding the podcast through a grant [03:42]
● Barriers to starting a podcast [04:25]
● Finding a sponsoring platform at Podcast Movement [05:34]
● How Beth finds guests for her podcast [06:43]
● The many aspects of rural health [07:38]
● Beth shares guests she has interviewed [10:10]
● Having startup funds is very important for a successful podcast launch [11:43]
● Which episodes should rural Virginia citizens check out? [12:35]
● What do you think about when picking guests or topics to keep it interesting? [13:40]
● How you can help make a difference [15:53]
Link to Podcast:
Thanks for listening!