“Doing Something Exceptional”: Rural Communities and Colorectal Cancer Screening

graphic of colorectal cancer


Colorectal cancer stands out as a cancer with increased incidence and mortality rates in rural areas – rates that are likely influenced by lack of screening. Using different approaches, two rural healthcare organizations in Idaho and Kentucky show how they are saving lives by improving colorectal cancer screening rates in their communities.

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July 12, 2017

Online Screening Helps Michigan Men Gauge Mental Health

Jeff Elhart (left) and his brother, Wayne.


For the past few decades, suicide rates for working-aged men have been at a steep incline. Healthy Men Michigan is a unique campaign that evaluates the risk of depression and suicide in Michigan men through an anonymous online survey. Male-dominated industries and other organizations are drawn to the campaign’s creative methods that appeal to working-aged men.

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June 28, 2017

Rural Health Philanthropy Partnership: Leveraging Public-Private Funds to Improve Health

FORHP Grants in Motion, featuring Williamson, West Virginia


Public agencies and private non-profit groups have mutual interests in improving the health of rural Americans. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and philanthropy organizations worked together to create a unique funding opportunity, the Rural Health Care Coordination Network Partnership Program. Two health care organizations and their philanthropy partners share how coordinated efforts benefit patients with diabetes, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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May 31, 2017

Feasting on Rural America: The Spread of Tick-Borne Diseases

Blacklegged tick

Photo credit: James Gathany,
CDC Public Health Image Library


Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses have become the most prolific zoonotic diseases in our nation. Because of their proximity to tick environments, rural areas are more susceptible. In this article, we hear from a Lyme disease patient, a scientist, psychiatrist, nonprofit leader, and a medical doctor about the spread and what’s being done about it.

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May 17, 2017

Rural Health Literacy: Who’s Delivering Health Information?

health literacy image of provider and patient


From over-the-counter medication use, to decisions about personal or family disease treatments, health literacy impacts the most everyday of health decisions. But, distance and internet connectivity challenges make it difficult for rural residents to get health information. To navigate health information gaps, school nurses, newspapers, public libraries, churches, public health departments, and hub-and-spoke academic institutions are working in creative ways.

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May 3, 2017

Rural Health Literacy: Understanding Skills and Demands is Key to Improvement

displays definition of health literacy


Every rural provider has a horror story attached to low health literacy. Health literacy, or getting, understanding, and using health information, involves two sides. Researchers and experts explain that by understanding both the skills and demands side of health literacy, providers and organizations can help their patients move to improved health.

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April 19, 2017

The Sky’s the Limit: Potential of Drone Usage in Rural Healthcare

A drone delivers prescription medications in Wise County, VA.

© 2015 tim cox PhotoGraphics, Inc.


In July 17, 2015, a drone delivered medicine to the RAM – Wise Health Expedition, an outreach event in Wise County, VA. This historic flight may lead to other applications of drones in rural health, such as search and rescue, mosquito spraying, and more deliveries of needed supplies.

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April 5, 2017

Strategies for Superbugs: Antibiotic Stewardship for Rural Hospitals

Clostridium difficile bacterium


Resistant bacteria, or “superbugs,” are a cause of major medical illness and death. Government and accreditation agencies, as well as infectious disease experts, believe hospital antibiotic stewardship programs are the answer to blunting the impact and development of these germs. Despite limited resources, rural and Critical Access Hospitals are activating their stewardship programs.

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March 22, 2017