Topics: Access

Bringing Mental Health Services to Rural Residents

graphic with the words mental health and related icons


A new library initiative in Texas and an established crisis line in Georgia are bringing mental health services directly to rural residents through teams of lay mental health workers and mental health professionals.

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May 4, 2022

A New Era of Health Literacy? Expanded Definitions, Digital Influences, and Rural Inequities

person using a phone to access information


The priority for rural population health is access, including access to health information needed to make personal health decisions. Two of the nation’s health literacy experts join a federal agency official to review current rural challenges of accessing health information that is clear and usable. Along with an exploration of digital health literacy, recently expanded definitions of health literacy are discussed.

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February 2, 2022

Understanding the “Tool-ish-ness” of Telehealth: Q&A with Dr. Jonathan Neufeld

Dr. Jonathan Neufeld


Clinical psychologist and program director for the Great Plains Telehealth Resource & Assistance Center, Dr. Jonathan Neufeld, clarifies telehealth as an “enabler” of healthcare delivery. Emphasizing that telehealth is only a set of telecommunication tools, he details how the unique use and flexibility of these tools by skilled providers can bring quality care and impact rural health equity.

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December 8, 2021

Technical Assistance Helps Community #SilencetheShameTN

collection of headshots for community members who shared personal stories about behavioral and mental health issues


When Henry County Medical Center (HCMC) and the community of Paris, Tennessee, wanted to combat behavioral and mental health challenges in their community, they used the technical assistance and resources provided by the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development (DRCHSD) program to address their needs.

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November 24, 2021

Out of the Shadows: Reducing the Rural Impact of Epilepsy

Brain and encephalography in epilepsy patient during seizure attack


A common health condition, epilepsy impacts rural populations in many ways, including the ability to drive. Medical and public health experts join an advocacy organization to review the condition’s impact and outline rural management approaches — including seizure first aid.

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October 20, 2021

Keeping the Doors Open: Vulnerable Rural Hospitals Benefit from Federally Funded Technical Assistance


It’s a crisis: rural hospital closures. Helping at-risk hospitals thrive in order to continue to serve their communities, Texas A&M’s Center for Optimizing Rural Health (CORH) offers technical assistance through a federally funded program for vulnerable hospitals. The CORH team and an Oklahoma program participant share specifics on just how the program’s assistance can help keep doors open.

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September 1, 2021

Understanding the Rural Swing Bed: More than Just a Reimbursement Policy

patient getting blood pressure checked


“Swing bed” is that oft-heard phrase describing not a physical hospital bed, but post-acute care for the rural patient who is well enough to leave the acute care hospital but not well enough to be safe at home. In this 2-part story, experts and hospital administrators review the swing bed program’s historical implementation and provide stories and examples of the value this over 40-year-old healthcare delivery and reimbursement model brings to patients, to the hospitals providing their care, and ultimately to rural communities.

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August 11, 2021

History of the Swing Bed: A Look Through the Rural Rearview Mirror


The healthcare delivery model known as the swing bed program has allowed rural and Critical Access Hospitals to serve patients by keeping them in their rural communities for post-acute care. Reviewing the history of this program, experts describe early implementation and key program elements that have sustained its success for over 40 years.

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August 11, 2021

Federal Agencies’ Investment in Rural Cancer Control Fosters Partnerships between Researchers and Rural Communities

hand holding a ribbon against a sunset


Researchers and rural communities are working together to address rural cancer prevention and control, with federal funding supporting a wide range of projects. From targeting health behaviors, to making cancer screening and vaccination more accessible, to increasing rural participation in clinical trials, efforts to reduce rural cancer burden are underway across the country.

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July 28, 2021