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The Rural Monitor
Features

In-depth stories examining key rural health issues.

Animals Help People Heal in Rural Areas

December 14, 2016
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.

Freestanding Emergency Departments: An Alternative Model for Rural Communities

November 30, 2016
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 versus independent FSEDs, the model's financial viability, and highlights two FSEDs meeting their communities' healthcare needs in Arizona and Illinois.

Bringing Law and Medicine Together to Help Rural Patients

October 19, 2016
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.

EMS Leaders Speak

September 7, 2016
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.

Building Rural Environments for Active Living

July 27, 2016
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.

The Opioid Epidemic: Rural Organizations Fight Back

June 13, 2016
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.

LGBTQ Healthcare: Building Inclusive Rural Practices

May 4, 2016
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.

Providing Patients with Access to Nutritious Food

March 30, 2016
Money, distance, and lack of education are just a few barriers between rural Americans and nutritious food. Find out how a Critical Access Hospital, a prescription program, and a research project are creating tangible examples of how to promote nutrition and increase patients' access to healthy food.