Features

Stories that examine key rural issues.

Organizations Help Veterans Transition into Healthcare Careers

Army phsician in front of American flag


Rural veterans may face significant challenges when pursuing careers in healthcare. Organizations like the Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit and the Consortium of Michigan Veterans Educators are working to reduce these barriers so that veterans can better serve their communities.

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October 18, 2017

Confronting Adverse Childhood Experiences to Improve Rural Kids’ Lifelong Health

Buncombe County classroom "Calm Spot"


Studies show that the more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) one has, the higher the risk of chronic health conditions, anxiety disorders, low life potential, and even early death. A sense of urgency for early intervention spurred one western North Carolina school district and a Native American tribe in Wisconsin to act. Read more about how their programs confront ACEs and build resiliency to overcome them.

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September 20, 2017

Bringing Change for Rural COPD Patients: Possibilities with the COPD National Action Plan

3D imagery of COPD lungs


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is number 3 on the cause of death list. In rural America, it’s the sole major chronic disease with increasing death rates. In May 2017, the COPD National Action Plan, a “blueprint for a multi-faceted, unified fight against the disease” was released. Rural stakeholders share perspectives of just how rural Americans with COPD might benefit from the plan’s rural touchpoints.

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August 9, 2017

Achieving Telehealth’s Promise for Rural Health: Insights from Telehealth Leaders

photos of rural telehealth panel contributors


Telehealth can be a virtual solution to reaching rural residents with healthcare, but its integration into mainstream medicine is taking longer than expected. Five leaders working to advance telehealth for rural areas articulate their thoughts on this delayed integration and the changes needed to make telehealth common practice.

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July 26, 2017

“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

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