May 2, 2019, 1:00 PM, Posted by Whitney Kimball Coe
What does it take to build fair opportunities for health in rural communities? A passionate advocate shares firsthand insights, as well as a new funding opportunity aimed to help build on existing lessons.
My family lives in Athens, Tenn., population 13,000, and we are familiar with the truths of an economy that has changed. We shake our fists at spotty broadband and crumbling roads. And we know what it’s like to watch main street awnings turn yellow and old factory stacks rust and crack in the sun, to lose family farms to corporate agribusiness, and see health care specialists move to medical centers 70 miles up the road.
But these challenges obscure a much deeper truth about my hometown and other places in the countryside: we keep showing up in many ways and in many roles as public servants, entrepreneurs, social change agents, and keepers of community memory.