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Rural Health
News by Topic: Health disparities

A Larger Role for Midwives Could Improve Deficient U.S. Care for Mothers and Babies
Feb 22, 2018 - Highlights a new study which found a correlation between the integration and acceptance of midwives into obstetrical care and improved maternal and infant outcomes and cost-effectiveness of care. Details the history of the United States' move away from midwifery as well as the growing acceptance of nurse-midwives and the impact they could potentially have in addressing racial health disparities and care shortages in rural and low-income communities.
Source: ProPublica
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Deaths from Alcohol, Drugs and Suicide for People of Color Rise Dramatically, Although Still Below the Rates of White Americans
Feb 22, 2018 - Details the results of an analysis by Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Well Being Trust (WBT) which found that although deaths from alcohol, drugs, and suicide amongst people of color are still below the rates of their white counterparts, there were disproportionately large increases in these deaths from 2015 to 2016 among racial and ethnic minority groups.
Source: Trust for America's Health
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AHRQ: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request Federal Register
Feb 16, 2018 - The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is seeking comments through March 8, 2018, regarding quality improvement initiatives that may help AHRQ improve clinical practice, improve patient safety or reduce harm, address healthcare disparities, improve prevention practices, and/or collaborate with community groups to improve healthcare. AHRQ is also seeking comments on ways to tailor and improve the use of AHRQ quality improvement measures. Specifically, AHRQ is requesting comments from hospitals and other healthcare organizations, clinicians, quality improvement experts, researchers, quality measure developers, and the public. Includes a series of questions to help guide responses.
Source: Federal Register
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California’s Mental Health Physician Shortage Is Bad, And Getting Worse, Study Finds
Feb 16, 2018 - Highlights the high demand for mental health providers in California, including information from a recent report that found that rural areas of the state have especially high need for mental health professionals and that this problem is likely to worsen over time.
Source: capital public radio
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Infant Death Rates Are Higher in Rural America - but Not for All Causes
Feb 16, 2018 - Details the results of a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics on the five leading causes of infant death and how these mortality rates vary in rural and urban areas. Although rural infant deaths have been higher for some time, this is the first breakdown by causes, and reveals that for the most recent data, rural rates were only higher for three of these five causes.
Source: Chicago Tribune
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The Lack of a College Degree Is a Public-Health Crisis. Here’s What Higher Ed Can Do About It.
Feb 14, 2018 - Discusses the connection between health and higher education as it relates to rural areas, where there are often fewer people who pursue a degree beyond high school. Includes thoughts from experts in health, education, and economics as well as some college leaders.
Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Here Are the Places That Struggle to Meet the Rules on Safe Drinking Water
Feb 12, 2018 - Details some of the concerns about safe drinking water in the U.S. A new study found that many of the country's water systems have been in violation of federal Safe Drinking Water health standards, and that these violations are more common in small, rural, and low-income communities which may not have the resources to keep up with these federal standards. Also includes some possible solutions.
Source: The New York Times
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Summit Will Highlight Oral Health Issues Facing Rural Areas
Jan 24, 2018 - Highlights Campbell University's Public Health Department's Rural Oral Health Summit, which is intended to help raise awareness about dental health disparities in rural areas. This summit, to be held on February 10, 2018, is part of a larger university commitment to rural communities.
Source: Campbell University
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Opioid Crisis Affects All Americans, Rural and Urban
Jan 11, 2018 - Blog post from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) discussing the opioid epidemic and its impact in rural areas, including rapidly increasing death rates, infants born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), and the economic costs. Also highlights efforts to address the epidemic.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture Blog
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Small Hospital Closures Mean Loss of Access to Care
Jan 6, 2018 - Details the complex challenges faced by rural hospitals compared to their urban counterparts and how they contribute to rural hospital closures. These challenges include specific trends in who is typically served by rural and urban hospitals, changes in the way that healthcare is delivered, inherent disadvantages for rural hospitals in the way that data is collected, and economic considerations like rural hospitals having proportionally more fixed costs and greater difficulty with recruitment and retention, among other things.
Source: Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons
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