Rural Spotlight Interviews

Learn about key rural health and human services issues from national, state and local experts who share their knowledge and experience.

Exploring High Infant and Maternal Mortality Rates in the Rural U.S. with Dr. Ali Mokdad

Dr. Ali Mokdad


Dr. Ali Mokdad uncovers reasons behind the United States’ high infant and maternal mortality rates. A Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and Head Faculty Member on U.S. Studies at the University of Washington, Dr. Mokdad shares his perspective on this issue through a rural lens.

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October 5, 2016

An Interview with David Schmitz

David Schmitz


NRHA president-elect David Schmitz, MD, shares his thoughts on the recruitment of healthcare providers, training rural physicians, and the challenges and rewards of rural practice.

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July 13, 2016

An Interview with Scott Ekblad

Scott Ekblad


The Director of the Oregon Office of Rural Health shares his state’s strategies to address common rural health issues and also newer epidemics such as opiate abuse.

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January 6, 2016

An Interview with Ajit Pai

Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai


Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai discusses the critical need to expand broadband deployment in rural communities and the promise that broadband holds for rural healthcare.

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October 28, 2015

An Interview with Darrold Bertsch

Darrold Bertsch


The shared CEO of both a North Dakota Critical Access Hospital and a Federally Qualified Health Center discusses how these two essential safety net providers work together to meet the healthcare needs of their rural region.

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September 2, 2015

An Interview with Gina Capra

Gina Capra, Director of the Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Rural Health


The Director of the Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Rural Health (ORH) discusses the Veterans Choice Program and other VA activities underway to connect rural veterans to the healthcare services they need.

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April 28, 2015