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Top news stories from the past 60 days. For more, see news by topic or news by state.

Jul 11, 2024 - Profiles Thrive Allen County, a Kansas nonprofit rural revitalization organization that recently presented a webinar focusing on how community-driven work in poor rural areas can improve local infrastructure, which in turn can promote better public health.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jul 10, 2024 - The Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory Surgical Center proposed rule would increase access to care and advance health equity. The proposal introduces new requirements for maternal quality improvement efforts, increases access to services in tribal, rural, and other underserved communities, addresses barriers to Medicare coverage for those recently incarcerated, and supports the agency's goals of reducing opioid overdoses.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Jul 8, 2024 - A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that 46.3% of U.S. counties, many of which are rural, lack a cardiologist. Features a county-level map with shadings showing counties with at least one cardiologist.
Source: NBC News
Jul 5, 2024 - Describes process by which Randolph County, Illinois used grant funding to transform part of an underused county-owned nursing home into a behavioral health center. The county held stakeholder meetings to address initial opposition among community members and created a consensus around development of a center.
Source: National Association of Counties
Jul 3, 2024 - Discusses how a remote patient monitoring program in northern Minnesota is increasing access to care and resources for rural pregnant women. Details the program's structure and highlights the use of in-home telehealth appointments, physical monitoring equipment, and arranging transportation for in-person care.
Source: HealthLeaders Media
Jul 3, 2024 - Highlights a program providing recovery housing for people with opioid use disorder (OUD) in rural North Carolina. Details the program's structure, background, and funding. Discusses models referenced in the program's design.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jul 2, 2024 - A policy brief from the National Rural Health Association notes that cyberattacks at healthcare facilities have increased more than 125% since 2023. Rural hospitals typically have an older IT infrastructure and inadequate IT staffing, which makes them particularly vulnerable. Microsoft and Google are offering free or discounted services to rural hospitals to help them prevent cyberattacks.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jul 1, 2024 - Announces funding to support 42 programs aimed at improving care for older Americans, including people experiencing Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. The initiative integrates geriatric training into primary care and also provides families and caregivers of older adults with the knowledge and skills to help them support their loved ones.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jun 28, 2024 - The American Public Health Association is seeking submissions of articles focused on partnerships and collaborations between public health and primary care to be featured in a special issue of the American Journal of Public Health. Includes details on themes of interest, including a request for submissions focused on approaches that increase access to primary care in rural and hard-to-reach settings. Submissions are due November 1, 2024.
Source: American Public Health Association
Jun 27, 2024 - Provides overview of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative. Includes video interviews with the principal investigators of three research trials aimed at the development of chronic pain management strategies for rural and remote populations.
Source: NIH Pragmatic Trials Collaboratory
Jun 26, 2024 - Outlines the challenges faced by an elderly couple in Danville, VA as they explore options for long-term care. Notes a shortage of options for older adults in many rural communities beyond nursing homes, living with a family member, or aging in place. Highlights the role of Area Agencies on Aging in helping older adults navigate local resources.
Source: Cardinal News
Jun 26, 2024 - Highlights efforts by the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta to expand access to doula services for Black women in rural Georgia. Describes doula services including education, health system navigation, emotional support, and resource referrals. Discusses funding challenges and efforts to make doula services reimbursable by Medicaid in Georgia.
Source: WABE
Jun 24, 2024 - Outlines the launch of the federal Food Access and Retail Expansion Fund (FARE Fund), which will provide $60 million in loans, grants, and technical assistance to support access to healthy foods in rural and underserved communities. Describes projects eligible for funding including land acquisition, equipment purchases, and construction by food retailers and suppliers.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Jun 21, 2024 - Announces the 2024 Rural Health Hackathon, a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services event of collaborative sessions aiming to identify innovative solutions for rural health challenges, particularly access to care, care delivery, and workforce. 3 in-person events are scheduled for August in Montana, Texas, and North Carolina in addition to a virtual idea submission process. Those interested in attending in-person should apply by July 12th. Healthcare providers are encouraged to apply. Those unable to attend in person are encouraged to submit concepts during the virtual submission process. Details for that process will be shared at a later date.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Jun 21, 2024 - Highlights the efforts of a volunteer expert in mapping broadband needs in a rural Texas community. Notes the impact of prioritizing broadband in high-need areas for community engagement, economics, healthcare access, and more.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jun 20, 2024 - Features the perspectives of rural and tribal healthcare providers on rural health challenges and disparities. Explores possible solutions including increased funding, expanded telehealth services, and mobile clinics. Highlights the role of partnerships and community collaboration in providing care for South Dakotans living in rural and tribal areas.
Source: South Dakota News Watch
Jun 19, 2024 - Analyzes Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data to evaluate nonmetropolitan employment in 2023. Offers comparisons with 2019 to evaluate the impact of the pandemic. Includes rural and urban comparisons, rural industry comparisons, and rural regional comparisons.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jun 17, 2024 - Presents overview of health disparities and barriers to healthcare access in rural and tribal communities in South Dakota. Describes a variety of efforts to improve access and lessen disparities, including mobile clinics, programs that offer financial incentives to rural providers, and efforts to address the social determinants of health.
Source: South Dakota News Watch
Jun 17, 2024 - Announces the conclusion of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Accelerated and Advance Payment (AAP) Program, which launched in March to address payment disruptions resulting from the Change Healthcare cyberattack. Notes that over $2.55 billion has been distributed to Part A providers as a result of the program, which will conclude on July 12.
Source: Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Jun 17, 2024 - Discusses the impact of Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas on primary care in Texas. Discusses a collaborative care model of healthcare that includes behavioral health screenings in primary care appointments. Highlights a successful statewide network for improving youth psychiatric care. Notes the challenges specific to rural residents.
Source: The Texas Tribune
Jun 14, 2024 - Call for nominations for a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Technical Expert Panel (TEP) for the expansion of both the Maternal Morbidity Structural Measure (MMSM) and the Birthing-Friendly Hospital Designation. Ideal TEP nominees include clinical experts, obstetrical/gynecologic department chairs, hospital administrators, perinatal quality improvement experts, health equity and birth justice experts, statistical and performance measurement experts, and consumer/patient/family caregiver experts. Nominations can be submitted until July 12th.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Jun 13, 2024 - Announces the awarding of over $11 million to 15 organizations to establish new rural residency programs. The programs will increase rural training opportunities for obstetrics and gynecology. Also discusses previous funding for rural healthcare.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jun 13, 2024 - Describes the Montana Interfacility Blood Network, a network allowing ambulances to transfuse patients with blood available at hospitals on the way to more advanced care facilities. The Network expects to benefit rural patients who have higher rates of injuries and less access to advanced care.
Source: Daily Montanan
Jun 13, 2024 - Discusses the lack of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) in rural Minnesota. Highlights solutions to increase access through training and statewide protocols.
Source: MinnPost
Jun 11, 2024 - Announces a new consortium of 7 academic institutions that will work to address healthcare workforce shortages, economic development, and regional prosperity for 235 counties in 6 states making up central Appalachia. The consortium will create formal relationships between the universities, conduct needs assessments for healthcare workforce, conduct research, and develop an implementation plan.
Jun 10, 2024 - Highlights federal efforts to improve cybersecurity in healthcare. Discusses unique impacts on rural hospitals and notes private sector partnerships to support cybersecurity resiliency in those facilities.
Source: The White House
Jun 10, 2024 - Announces a new initiative to create the Center for Tribal Digital Sovereignty that will work toward helping tribes manage their digital footprint. Notes the impact it could have on tribal economies, healthcare, and infrastructure. The center will support research and capacity building, manage data, offer technical assistance, and educate on internet networks.
Source: High Plains Public Radio
Jun 10, 2024 - Offers analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs data to show rural employment trends over time. Discusses impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2008 recession. Includes rural and urban comparisons and county-level data.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jun 6, 2024 - Features the perspective of the leadership of Mississippi hospitals who participate in the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) Program, which launched in January 2023. Notes that REH conversion has led to pushback from some communities due to the loss of maternal care and other inpatient services. Explores additional considerations for hospital leadership, including loss of eligibility for the 340B Drug Pricing Program.
Source: Stateline
Jun 6, 2024 - Provides overview of a new federal initiative, Communities Advancing Research Equity for Health, which aims to fund primary care research and support research access in rural and underserved communities. Notes that the first round of funding will be awarded to rural-serving organizations in fall 2024.
Source: National Institutes of Health
Jun 5, 2024 - Describes efforts to secure additional funding for Colorado's Healthy School Meals for All program, which offers free breakfast and lunch to all K-12 students. Notes disproportionately high rates of food insecurity in rural areas, where residents may face transportation barriers to food access. Outlines an additional program which funds the purchasing of local foods for school meals.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jun 5, 2024 - Features a Fort Hall Reservation resident impacted by the end of the Affordable Connectivity Program, which offered monthly subsidies to support internet access for millions of low-income and rural Americans. Notes the importance of internet access for accessing medical records, scheduling appointments, and communicating with providers.
Source: KFF Health News
Jun 4, 2024 - Profiles patients and staff at a Rural Health Clinic in Elberton, Georgia. Describes ongoing challenges in accessing care such as lack of transportation, and highlights the growing need for mental health services.
Source: NPR
Jun 3, 2024 - Announcement from the Health Resources and Services Administration of $15 million awarded through the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (Rural MOMS) Program, with a goal of improving maternal health in rural communities. Also notes an additional $7 million to be awarded over the next four years to the Delta Region Maternal Care Coordination Program, which is designed to improve access and coordination of maternal healthcare services in the Delta Region before, during, and after pregnancy.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jun 1, 2024 - Highlights a report calling for increased involvement by primary care doctors in addressing high rates of social isolation and loneliness. Notes the significant health impacts of social disconnection and features perspectives from doctors on screening and referrals. Discusses the need for rural partnerships including healthcare, churches, and community-based organizations.
Source: ABC News
May 31, 2024 - Features a harm reduction program serving residents of Alaska's rural Kenai Peninsula. Explores strategies for making services, including syringe exchange and opioid-overdose treatment distribution, accessible to remote populations.
Source: Alaska Public Media, PBS, NPR
May 31, 2024 - Details federal efforts to respond to the H5N1 outbreak in dairy cattle and mitigate risks to farmworkers. Highlights initiatives related to PPE distribution, safety guidance, treatment, education, and testing.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 31, 2024 - Announces the end of the Affordable Connectivity Program on June 1, 2024 due to a lack of Congressional funding. Outlines how the program helped millions of low-income American access high-speed internet. Notes that 15 percent of participating households were located in rural areas.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
May 30, 2024 - Describes the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Primary Care (PC) Flex Model and offers the Request for Applications. Applications begin by applying to the Shared Savings Program due June 17th as well as submitting the ACO PC Flex Model application due August 1st. Outlines the full application process in Section III.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation
May 29, 2024 - Highlights new research which found lower mammography rates among women in rural Texas. Notes particularly low rates among Hispanic and Black women. Explores possible contributing factors including rural hospital closures and lack of health insurance.
Source: Medical Xpress
May 29, 2024 - Features the perspective of a psychologist on the factors contributing to mental health issues among farmers. Discusses barriers to care, best practices for providers, and essential resources for support.
Source: Sanford Health
May 28, 2024 - PCORI invites organizations and individuals to submit comments on draft reports regarding the evidence base for audio-based care by July 11, 2024. The three draft reports cover audio-based care for diabetes, mental health, and other chronic conditions, with implications for rural populations.
Source: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
May 28, 2024 - Summarizes the findings of a recent study examining differences in physician associate (PA) practice by rurality. Notes that PAs practicing in isolated settings were the most likely to work in multiple clinical positions and offer services via telehealth.
Source: Clinical Advisor
May 28, 2024 - Highlights the role of volunteer drivers in assisting rural veterans with transportation to medical appointments. Outlines process for individuals to become volunteer drivers and notes current need for more volunteers in rural Montana.
Source: Public News Service
May 24, 2024 - Describes the launch of an HPV testing program and anticipated impacts on rural Alaskans. Highlights the relationship between HPV and cervical cancer, and high rates of cervical cancer among Alaska Native and American Indian women. Discusses how self-collecting for HPV tests can decrease barriers for rural populations.
Source: Alaska Public Media, PBS, NPR
May 24, 2024 - Call for papers related to rural health disparities and public health for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's journal Preventing Chronic Disease. Manuscripts may cover topics such as social determinants of health, environment, policy, community initiatives, and more. An inquiry including an abstract is due July 19, 2024. Inquiries accepted must submit a final manuscript by January 24, 2025.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
May 24, 2024 - Discusses the needs of incarcerated people as they re-enter their North Carolina communities. Highlights initiatives to support reentry such as signing up for Medicaid, securing housing, employment, and more. New funding will establish Local Reentry Councils with a focus on rural areas. Discusses the lack of resources in rural communities as a challenge in offering support.
Source: North Carolina Health News
May 23, 2024 - A proposed federal bill would add veterinary services to the duties of the Indian Health Service. Discusses the public health risks of rabies and other zoonotic diseases in rural Alaska where veterinary care is often limited.
Source: Alaska Beacon
May 23, 2024 - Highlights the inaugural graduating class of the first medical school on a reservation. The school aims to reduce the shortage of both Indigenous physicians and rural physicians across the country. Discusses the incorporation of Cherokee culture and traditional medicine in the curriculum as well as Native American health disparities.
Source: PBS NewsHour
May 21, 2024 - Announces a new program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture improving access to nutritious foods for kids during the summer. The program offers a grocery benefit as well as meals served at various community access points. Pick up and delivery meals are available in some rural areas.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
May 21, 2024 - Profiles a new public health clinic on a reservation in Oregon. Discusses the importance of the clinic for increasing tribal sovereignty, offering culturally relevant healthcare, and access to care. Highlights the clinic's funding through a philanthropic organization.
Source: The Daily Yonder
May 17, 2024 - An analysis by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families showed that Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Utah had fewer children enrolled in Medicaid at the end 2023 than before the pandemic. States with the largest drops in coverage have large rural areas, where clinician shortages, long drives to care, and poorer health outcomes are common.
Source: Stateline
May 15, 2024 - The Maternal Mental Health Task Force, formed in September by the Office on Women's Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, has recommended creating maternity care centers providing integrated care and birthing facilities. The maternal mental health crisis is particularly pronounced in rural communities that are maternity care deserts.
Source: NBC News
May 14, 2024 - The Biden-Harris Administration announces a new Rural Innovators Initiative to highlight stories of extraordinary rural leaders who are ensuring their communities thrive for generations to come. Nominations close on Friday, June 14 at midnight EDT. The administration also announces over $671 million in new investments to strengthen rural infrastructure, by improving access to reliable electricity and clean drinking water, and creating good-paying jobs in rural communities.
Source: The White House
May 14, 2024 - A study conducted by the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center found that rural victims of intimate-partner violence face barriers and resource limitations that could affect their health and well-being. Results were based on interviews with representatives of 15 state and national advocacy organizations.
Source: Daily Yonder

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