The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2017
MMWR Rural Series has featured several reports
highlighting rural unintentional injuries as one of the
top 5 leading causes of death. What are these
“unintentional injuries”? How often
are rural residents killed by them? Here's a look at the
three leading causes of rural unintentional injuries.
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
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.
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.
The Southwest, with its large geographic area of deserts
and mountains, faces unique challenges when it comes to
telehealth. The Southwest Telehealth Resource Center
assists the region's healthcare providers through
training programs, technical assistance, webinars, and
Resistant bacteria, or “superbugs,”
are a cause of major medical illness and death.
Government and accreditation agencies, as well as
infectious disease experts, believe hospital antibiotic
stewardship programs are the answer to blunting the
impact and development of these germs. Despite limited
resources, rural and Critical Access Hospitals are
activating their stewardship programs.
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.
Oral health training programs are equipping Community
Health Workers on Navajo Nation, Texas colonias, and
Maryland's Appalachian communities to improve access to
dental care and teach people how to take care of their
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.