Costs, Health Literacy, Insurance, Needs Navigation, Trust
October Volunteer Spotlight: Caroline Hoover
For our October 2022 Volunteer Spotlight, we are recognizing Caroline Hoover from Blowing Rock, NC!
Caroline Hoover joined NPAF in December 2021 and has since taken on a whole initiative to improve healthcare access in her rural town in Western North Carolina. A junior at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in the Honors College, read on to learn how she’s moving mountains to make sure her community does not get left behind.
Describe the advocacy work that you’re doing in your community and what motivated you to start.
Growing up in the Appalachian region of Western North Carolina, I have long been well-acquainted with the ways in which inaccessibility in rural health harms my community. Hospital closures, misdiagnoses, and financial limitations, plague the community I call home. After a misdiagnosis that led to serious brain surgery, I decided that I would devote myself to learning all I could about the ways rural communities are impacted by the inability to access healthcare. I reached out to the Office of Rural Health and am currently spearheading research into the relationship between fiscal stability and rural hospitals. As I learn more, communicating with government representatives, directing a team of other volunteers, and seeking health justice, I realize the breadth of work that needs to be done and am excited by the prospect of contributing to solving these problems. With these experiences in mind, I hope to emphasize the importance of accessible, responsible, and ethical health care in a future career in the field of public interest law.
What advice would you give to other volunteers who would like to do something similar?
The advice I would give to other volunteers seeking to have an impact is to not be afraid and try, especially in reference to facilitating interorganizational cooperation. Leaders in public positions of power are meant to serve the communities they represent and should be accessible to the people. Sometimes all it takes is reaching out and asking questions to start something meaningful.
Since you’ve been a volunteer with NPAF, what advocacy actions are you most proud of?
I am proud of sharing my story through my blog posts, bringing other volunteers into the work I am so passionate about, and facilitating interorganizational cooperation.