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Rural Health
Top Stories

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

Oct 22, 2021 - Reports on rural COVID-19 infection and mortality rates for the week of October 10-16, noting that new infections declined by 11% and COVID-related deaths fell by 6.1%. Offers a county-level data map, charts depicting infection and mortality rates, and a state data chart.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 22, 2021 - Announces funding of up to $1.15 billion through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's ReConnect Program to expand broadband availability in rural areas through loans and grants. Addresses ReConnect Program eligibility and additional investments in rural distance learning and telemedicine projects.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Oct 21, 2021 - Reports on rural COVID-19 vaccination, noting that as of October 14, 43.2% of the rural population had completed vaccination. Offers county and state-level data maps and metro/nonmetro comparisons by week.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 21, 2021 - Discusses the traveling nurse workforce and the benefits and challenges for rural hospitals that hire temporary staff. Describes the financial impacts of nursing staff and recruitment efforts in rural areas.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 19, 2021 - Describes collaboration between the Ad Council, COVID Collaborative, and rural organizations including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Cooperative Extension System, the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, and the National Association of Community Health Centers to develop a series of public service announcements that highlight rural voices and stories involving COVID-19 in order to increase public confidence in vaccination. Discusses the importance of local perspectives to building community trust, as well as the impacts of the pandemic in rural areas.
Source: PR Newswire
Oct 19, 2021 - Describes a study of family physicians in rural maternity care that found that in 185 rural hospitals in 10 states, 67% had family physicians deliver babies and in 27% of the hospitals they were the only physicians who delivered babies. Discusses issues of access to maternal care if family physicians leave or are not employed at rural hospitals, highlighting the need for specialized training programs to support the rural workforce.
Source: Medical Xpress
Oct 18, 2021 - Describes challenges facing rural communities related to oral health, including dental care access and lack of fluoridation in public drinking water systems, and the oral health disparities that impact rural areas in Appalachia and the Delta region. Highlights the perspectives of rural dentists and researchers as well as efforts at the local level to address oral health issues.
Source: KNOE
Oct 14, 2021 - Reports on rural COVID-19 infections and mortality for the week of October 3-9, noting that the rural infection rate was still much higher than the metropolitan rate but that new infections fell around 12% during the week. Offers charts with weekly infection and mortality data, state rural/metro comparisons, and county and state-level data maps.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 13, 2021 - Video report on nursing shortages and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those shortages, focusing on the rural Hendry Regional Medical Center in Clewiston, Florida. Offers perspectives of nurses and emergency department leadership, and addresses burnout related to COVID-19 patient care and the role of traveling nurses in filling staffing needs.
Source: PBS News Hour
Oct 12, 2021 - Describes updated guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding interstate licensure compacts, which are an area of ongoing policy change in relation to expanding telehealth services for Medicare enrollees. Notes that CMS will recognize licenses obtained through compacts as valid.
Source: mHealth Intelligence

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