Features

In-depth stories examining key rural health issues.

Preventing Farmer Suicides through Helplines and Farm Visits

Meg Moynihan, Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Senior Advisor of Strategy & Innovation, on her organic dairy farm. Photograph by Cory Ryan, courtesy of UMN School of Public Health


Difficult economic conditions have caused many farmers to experience high levels of stress and a sense of hopelessness about saving their business and way of life. The Minnesota Farm & Rural Helpline and NY FarmNet are working to improve farmers’ mental health and prevent suicides.

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May 15, 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

Making Informed Decisions about Rural EMS

St. George ambulance


In rural America, many community members do not understand the skill level, training, and availability of the people who answer their 911 calls. The Informed Self-Determination Process helped the community of St. George, Maine learn about their EMS system and created consensus about what EMS would look like in their town.

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April 3, 2019

Peer Support Specialists Care for and Connect Rural Behavioral Health Clients

Gloriana Hunter poses with her dog Pepe Ricardo


Peer support specialists are trained laypeople in recovery with a mental health condition or substance use disorder who act as mentors and coordinators for clients with similar behavioral health issues. PSSs in rural Arizona, Michigan, and North Dakota share the challenges and successes they see in their communities.

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February 6, 2019

Eye Health Needs: Preserving the Eyesight of Rural and Underserved Populations

child getting eye exam, image source: National Eye Institute


Rural Americans of all ages often go without eye healthcare, a gap that has obvious consequences: blindness and low vision. National associations and an FQHC administrator talk about how rural vision care can be improved to increase quality of life and prevent disability in rural patients.

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January 9, 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