Features

In-depth stories examining key rural health issues.

Telehealth Brings Important Services to Rural Long-Term Care Facilities

Avel eCare’s trained geriatric clinician partnering with a local site through an encounter.


A skilled nursing facility in New Hampshire and national experts share the benefits telehealth services can bring to the residents and staff of rural long-term care facilities as well as the challenges some facilities face in providing these services.

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August 31, 2022

Training Rural to Serve Rural: Baccalaureate-MD Programs and Their Rural Results

Marshall University’s BS/MD program’s first medical school graduates, 2022.


Rural healthcare delivery experts continue to emphasize the critical need for rural workforce. Using uniquely designed combined baccalaureate/medical degree programs, two university-based medical education teams shared not only the successes in training and placing physicians in rural areas — but the unique impact their service-oriented students and programs have on their academic environment.

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August 3, 2022

Staving Off One’s Mortality: Rural Kidney Health and Its Disparities

patient at dialysis center


For the 240,000 rural Americans with complete kidney failure, it’s likely that very few knew they even had kidney disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kidney disease is usually silent; 90% of people with kidney disease don’t know they have it. With research pointing to the high costs of kidney disease for pediatric and adult patients alike — mostly covered by Medicare — experts and researchers discuss rural disparities around access to disease-stabilizing treatment and to renal replacement therapies.

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June 15, 2022

Bringing Mental Health Services to Rural Residents

graphic with the words mental health and related icons


A new library initiative in Texas and an established crisis line in Georgia are bringing mental health services directly to rural residents through teams of lay mental health workers and mental health professionals.

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May 4, 2022

The Codes of Care: How Words and Numbers Have Transformative Power for Rural Healthcare

graphic depicting aspects of healthcare related to ICD-10 medical codes


The greatest opportunity to tell the rural healthcare delivery story is an opportunity often missed — and that opportunity involves translating clinical documentation into medical codes. In addition to describing how the story and quality of clinical care gets translated from words into alphanumeric numbers, medical coding experts also pointed to aligned efforts to familiarize those in graduate medical education settings with the impact of their clinical documentation.

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April 13, 2022

A New Era of Health Literacy? Expanded Definitions, Digital Influences, and Rural Inequities

person using a phone to access information


The priority for rural population health is access, including access to health information needed to make personal health decisions. Two of the nation’s health literacy experts join a federal agency official to review current rural challenges of accessing health information that is clear and usable. Along with an exploration of digital health literacy, recently expanded definitions of health literacy are discussed.

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February 2, 2022

It Takes a Village: Rural Recruitment and Retention

physician greeting a family


Healthcare facilities in Kansas and North Dakota and national organizations discuss the challenges of recruiting and retaining healthcare professionals in rural areas and share solutions, including partnering with local schools and businesses as well as other healthcare facilities.

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November 3, 2021

Out of the Shadows: Reducing the Rural Impact of Epilepsy

Brain and encephalography in epilepsy patient during seizure attack


A common health condition, epilepsy impacts rural populations in many ways, including the ability to drive. Medical and public health experts join an advocacy organization to review the condition’s impact and outline rural management approaches — including seizure first aid.

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October 20, 2021

Doulas Provide Support for Maternal and Infant Health in Rural Communities

pregnant woman and doula


Three programs across rural America demonstrate how doulas improve birth outcomes by providing prenatal, labor, and postpartum support. A New Mexico program reaches American Indian, Hispanic, and other populations who lack nearby labor/delivery units; a Minnesota program works with moms experiencing incarceration; and a North Dakota program is training postpartum doulas who will care for families impacted by opioid use disorder and other substance use.

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October 6, 2021