Features

Stories that examine key rural issues.

Animals Help People Heal in Rural Areas

Patrick Hamlow and Umi


Rural programs across the country rely on service or therapy animals to help people with mobility, motor skills, and mood. Come meet the service dogs of Hawaii, the therapeutic riding horses of Wyoming, and the therapy pig and tortoise who call a skilled nursing facility home in Florida.

Read More

December 14, 2016

Freestanding Emergency Departments: An Alternative Model for Rural Communities

OSF Center for Health - Streator campus


First conceptualized in the 1970s, but not widely adopted in rural communities, freestanding emergency departments (FSEDs) have been getting another look as a sustainable rural option. This article discusses hospital-based vs. independent FSEDs, the model’s financial viability, and highlights two FSEDs meeting their communities’ healthcare needs in Arizona and Illinois.

Read More

November 30, 2016

Bringing Law and Medicine Together to Help Rural Patients

Attorney Catherine Schultz and Dr. Jeff Martin


Much of a person’s health is determined by social and environmental factors such as housing or access to healthcare. When these factors negatively affect a person’s health, legal intervention combined with medical care may be the best treatment.

Read More

October 19, 2016

EMS Leaders Speak

Rural EMS leaders group


With the recent changes in healthcare delivery, many rural clinics and hospitals are concerned about the future of their communities’ healthcare, especially their emergency medical services. Will EMS in rural areas survive these changes, and is there an opportunity to thrive in a volume-to-value system? We asked five rural EMS leaders to explore the possible challenges and opportunities in the transformation of rural healthcare delivery.

Read More

September 7, 2016

Building Rural Environments for Active Living

Complete Street example with pedestrian path


Built environments significantly influence community health and individual behaviors of physical activity. Rural communities may face infrastructure barriers to active living, but a little innovation can get an entire town moving.

Read More

July 27, 2016

The Opioid Epidemic: Rural Organizations Fight Back

Naloxone


The initial shock of the opioid epidemic is settling, and rural communities have identified several avenues to combat opioid addiction. Rural organizations are implementing innovative solutions to shrink the number of opioid overdoses, and many are finding that great success requires teamwork.

Read More

June 13, 2016

LGBTQ Healthcare: Building Inclusive Rural Practices

feature Image LGBTQ


Like all rural residents, LGBTQ individuals need access to quality healthcare from an engaged provider. But sometimes, providers lack the specific training and cultural know-how to address the healthcare needs of LGBTQ patients. This article discusses the barriers rural LGBTQ people face and what providers can do to ensure quality care.

Read More

May 4, 2016