Editor’s Note: Welcome to Our Tenth Anniversary Issue!

Beth Blevins, Rural Monitor EditorFor 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.

—Beth Blevins, Editor, Rural Monitor

Back to: Winter 2013 Issue