For the last 10 years, the Rural Monitor
has looked at issues of importance to rural
America—cover story topics have included rural
workforce, rural elderly, health promotion programs,
rural EMS, rural AIDS, the meth crisis and rural
veterans. (For a complete list, see the issues archive
for The Rural
Monitor). The approach we've taken has been to look
at the myriad challenges facing people in rural areas,
and how those challenges have been met by particular
communities and organizations.
Of all the cover story topics covered in our past 39
issues, five have made recurring appearances: care
coordination, health promotion, housing, HIT and
workforce. In this ten-year anniversary issue, we are
focusing on the first three of these, re-examining and
providing updates on some of the organizations we have
covered in the past. (HIT and workforce will be examined
in a future issue on changes coming with implementation
of the Affordable Care Act.)
Care coordination has come into sharper
focus because it can help keep down the costs of medical
care for patients and providers, by preventing
duplication of services or unnecessary services.
Health promotion has gained wider
interest with the First Lady's fitness and nutrition
campaigns. But in rural areas, health promotion has taken
on even greater urgency because rural residents are more
likely to be obese than residents in other parts of the
country. Housing for special
populations, such as veterans, the elderly and the
homeless, has become an increasing concern in rural areas
as their numbers continue to grow.
In addition, in this issue we update some of the other
stories we have covered, and ask experts their opinions
about significant changes in the last ten years regarding
rural health and human services—and about how
things might change in the next ten.
We hope you will enjoy this look back—and
forward, as well.
Back to: Winter 2013 Issue