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Addressing Rural Health Disparities in a Pandemic

August 13, 2020

In the past decade, 120 rural hospitals have closed—leaving many vulnerable Americans without care. As communities age, medical care is becoming harder to find due to the shortage of physicians in rural areas. On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic is shining even more of a light on the growing health disparities faced by rural communities and the emerging needs of the rural health workforce.

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.


  • Lee Norman, MD, MHS, MBA, Secretary, Kansas Department of Health & Environment
  • Benjamin Anderson, MBA, MHCDS, Vice President, Rural Health and Hospitals of the Colorado Hospital Association
  • Margaret Brockman, RN, MSN, Director of Rural Health, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services