Recommendations to Advance Rural Health Equity
- Make long-term economic and community development the centerpiece of any strategy to advance rural health equity, targeting rural areas with persistent poverty.
- Focus on dismantling systemic racism in rural areas through strategies that increase economic opportunity for and end the disenfranchisement of rural people of color.
- Invest in educational opportunities for rural residents, particularly those living in poverty and people of color.
- Ensure that all rural residents have reliable internet access, which is crucial for education, employment, telemedicine, and full participation in contemporary society.
- End the suppression of Indigenous, African American, and Latino/Hispanic voters by increasing opportunities for voter registration and enacting universal mail-in voting in every state.
- Invest in transportation innovations, such as rural car-sharing.
- Break down other rural barriers to healthcare by constructing and maintaining rural clinics that address social as well as healthcare needs; training and supporting rural community health workers; implementing telehealth; and more.
- Support innovation, testing, and adaptation of interventions that have been effective at advancing equity in health and its determinants in urban settings and appear promising for rural environments.