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Place­-based Policies and Public Health:  The Road to Healthy Rural People and Places

The Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) Rural Health Panel provides policy analysis of rural health service delivery. This policy brief describes the potential of rural place-based polices  as a strategy to improve community health and guide policy development analysis and program implementation. The brief provides policy recommendation for a conceptual framework for rural health.   

Addressing Rural Health Disparities in a Pandemic

On this episode, speakers will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on rural health infrastructure and workforce, and how to improve these conditions in rural communities. We hear from three leaders who work in states with high rural healthcare needs and vast provider shortages to learn how to increase access to quality healthcare in rural areas, barriers that exist, and innovative strategies for rural health workforce recruitment and retention.

The Power of Rural: Kim Malsam-Rysdon Discusses South Dakota Efforts to Improve Rural Health

 On the third Thursday of November each year, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health celebrates National Rural Health Day to highlight public health and healthcare successes in rural communities across the country and provide an opportunity to discuss the challenges these communities face.

With this in mind, ASTHO spoke with Kim Malsam-Rysdon, secretary of health for the South Dakota State Department of Health, to discuss South Dakota’s efforts to improve rural health statewide.

Building Resilient Rural Places

Building Resilient Rural Places Building Resilient Rural Spaces: Strategies from Local Leaders to Strengthen Rural Assets, Diversity, and Dynamism. Published by the Brookings Institute, this research series argues that our attention should not be focused on an outdated, inaccurate image of rural America, but rathe

States Work to Support Rural Hospitals Despite Pandemic Challenges

When rural hospitals close, it increases the distance people must travel for essential healthcare services. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and magnified the factors leading to rural hospital closures across the country. Many healthcare facilities suspended elective procedures to conserve critically needed personal protective equipment and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by patients and hospital staff. For many rural hospitals, however, the suspension of elective procedures with the reduced the use of non-urgent services by apprehensive patients meant a loss of revenue and the furloughed healthcare staff. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately half of all rural hospitals are experiencing negative operating margins due to reduced outpatient revenue. The rate increases in states that have not expanded Medicaid. Unfortunately, these kinds of challenges are not new to rural hospitals.

The Impact of Rural Hospital Closures and State Responses

Since 2010, 113 rural hospitals have closed. An additional 21 percent of rural hospitals—a total of 430 facilities—are at high risk of closure. Further complicating matters, 64 percent of those hospitals are considered essential to their communities—a designation made based on a hospital’s trauma center status, its service to vulnerable populations, its distance from other hospitals, and the economic impact it has on a region. Research indicates that access to healthcare and economic vitality are severely reduced following a rural hospital closure.

National Rural Health Day: States Investing in Rural Communities

November 18 is National Rural Health Day, a commemoration started by State Offices of Rural Health to recognize the power and resilience of rural communities. Twenty percent of the U.S. population lives in rural communities. Recognizing the needs of rural areas, states are introducing and enacting legislation that leads to focused investment in rural communities and expanded access to care.

Ask the Experts: Improving Health Disparities in Rural Communities

ASTHO and CDC hosted a virtual session on improving health disparities in rural communities, with experts from the New Mexico Department of Health, CDC, University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center and South Carolina University Prevention Research Center addressing policy, systems and environmental change strategies for promoting public health in rural settings. Panelists engaged in a discussion about innovative public health programs and partnerships for improving health disparities in rural communities.

Rural Behavioral Health: Telehealth Challenges and Opportunities

SAMHSA published this issue brief that discusses telehealth challenges and opportunities for rural behavioral health.

SBIRT in Texas

Texas’ SBIRT focus on rural West Texas information, including outcomes


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