Thursday, November 21, 2019

On National Rural Health Day, a call to adopt a broader perspective on the diversity and complexity of rural America

Today is National Rural Health Day, and while many articles might cover familiar topics like the opioid crisis or maternal health, "We want to challenge conventional wisdom and prompt fresh thinking about rural America, the drivers of health, and the role of community and economic development in both. From what we are learning, this broader lens is central to realizing health equity and a better rural futures," Katharine Ferguson and Katrina Badger write for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Rural America is far more diverse and complex than the stereotypes suggest, as shown by two projects, they write. The first is the American Communities Project's "A New Portrait of Rural America", which focuses on the geographic, demographic and socioeconomic diversity of rural America. The second is the foundation's Life in Rural America polls, with data on the complex economic and health issues in rural America. The polls and accompanying report were produced in partnership with Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health and NPR.

Click here for more information about National Rural Health Day and activities observing it.

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