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It's Time to Connect Rural Health Equity with Community and Economic Development
Research and resources show the critical connection between health, rural community and economic development.
Across America, many rural and tribal communities are finding inspiring solutions to improve health and well-being for all.
In rural and tribal communities, people are resilient and work hard to overcome obstacles to health with the resources they have. But it shouldn't have to be so difficult.
According to the County Health Rankings, rural counties have higher premature death rates and rank lowest nationally in overall health outcomes. The factors driving rural health disparities vary widely, from shifting demographics, to changing economies and disinvestment, to the opioid epidemic and insufficient access to needed care.
Amid these complex issues, with a range of partners, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is supporting the efforts of rural communities across the nation to develop local and regional solutions to advance health equity. These efforts draw on community strengths: neighbors who look out for each other; teachers who know their students; and leaders of all ages and walks of life who are determined to build a stronger and more resilient future for all.
This collection shares key resources, research and emerging insights into the many factors that shape rural health in America.
FeatureD InitIatives and Research
Project ECHO uses ongoing telementoring to equip primary care practitioners in rural areas with the knowledge they need to provide high-quality specialty care.
Well Connected Communities is equipping volunteer leaders to help their neighbors be healthier, and cultivate wellness, at every stage of life.
The Center for Optimizing Rural Health is partnering with communities and facilities to identify opportunities to improve health outcomes, reduce costs, and increase access to care.
Partners for Rural Transformation is a national coalition dedicated to advancing economic mobility in persistent poverty areas.
Strategies to Improve Rural Health
A County Health Rankings' tool is helping communities identify what policy and system changes may be the best fit to address local health needs.
- A New Portrait of Rural America—A report by the American Communities project uses data and on-the-ground reporting to blow up the mythology that too often has come to define rural America.
- Strategies for Rural Health And Equity—The NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis researches rural assets and strengths to improve health and equity.
- Taking a Deep Look at Rural Philanthropy—The Rural Philanthropy Analysis Project is helping rural communities around the country move forward for the health and well-being of all residents.
- Health Value and Belief Differences Among Rural Americans—An American Values Survey helps explain the diverse attitudes rural respondents have toward health.
- A Focus on Health in Appalachia—The Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia research initiative is mapping health and well-being across the region.
- Rural Small Businesses—A report by Small Business Majority examines the unique opportunities and challenges facing rural small businesses.
- Unpacking Poverty and Disadvantage—Data shed light on regional clusters of disadvantage by income, health, and social mobility, in the Index of Deep Disadvantage.