Author Archives: Jenn Lukens

“It’s on Us”: Healthcare’s Unique Position in the Response to Human Trafficking

a pair of hands raised with broken chains


Referred to as a form of “modern-day slavery,” human trafficking occurs in every state and is not limited by the size of a community. Health services are one of the most common points of access to a lifeline for those actively being trafficked, giving healthcare professionals an advantage to help victims escape. A rural hospital CEO, a SORH director, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, and a Safe Harbor Regional Navigator share how they combat human trafficking through training and raising awareness.

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July 29, 2020

CDFIs ‘Make Dreams Come True’ by Creating Opportunity in Rural Spaces

photo of a hand placing money by a small plant


Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) can offer flexible financing options, but many operate at full capacity and there is a general lack of awareness of these institutions in rural spaces. Foundation and CDFI leaders share their perspectives about the difference CDFIs can make on rural health outcomes.

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December 4, 2019

Rising from the Ashes: How Trauma-Informed Care Nurtures Healing in Rural America

Dr. Bird Gilmartin with a patient


Wildfires. Child abuse. Sexual assault. The negative and ongoing effects of these experiences are the reason communities and medical providers are using an approach called trauma-informed care. This article features ways trauma is understood and treated in a rural community, a Wyoming pediatrician’s clinic, and for nurses providing assault exams.

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April 17, 2019

Taking Flight: Charity Airplane Services Transport Patients to Medical Care

Veterans Airlift Command airplane


For many rural Americans, distance to a specialty healthcare center hundreds of miles away makes for a long, uncomfortable, and expensive trip. In the past several decades, dozens of charitable flight services have cropped up to transport rural veterans, cancer patients, the chronically ill, and even abused children to treatment.

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December 12, 2018

Responding to the HIV Crisis in Scott County, Indiana: Q&A with Dr. William Cooke

Dr. William Cooke


Scott County, Indiana, has been in the national spotlight since experiencing the largest HIV outbreak in rural America’s recent history. The town’s only physician at the time, Dr. William Cooke, took action to bring healing and hope to his community of Austin and the surrounding county. In this Q&A, he shares the motivation behind his compassionate approach to care.

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November 28, 2018