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NRHA donor profile: Meet Keith Mueller

In more than three decades as a rural health researcher, NRHA member Keith Mueller has become one of the nation’s foremost rural health policy experts. He has also been a steadfast supporter of NRHA, having generously donated to support the mission and rural leadership training programs of NRHA’s Rural Health Foundation. Mueller recently sat down with NRHA to tell us more about his career, why he is passionate about rural health research, and why he feels it’s vital to...

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NRHA survey seeks to understand rural COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

It has been nearly three years since COVID-19 first upended life and health care as we know it. Since then, many rural health care providers and stakeholders – including the National Rural Health Association – have strongly encouraged vaccination as the best way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death from the virus – but in rural communities, vaccine confidence and demand remain serious and deadly concerns. Data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

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Building sustainable rural substance use disorder partnerships

As rural communities work to address the opioid epidemic, they face limited service and workforce capacity, stigma, health disparities, and sparse populations. Through the Health Resources and Service Administration’s (HRSA) Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) multi-year initiative, more than $400 million has been invested across more than 1,500 counties within 47 states and two territories since 2018 to address these barriers and assist rural communities in reducing the...

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NRHA’s new rural obesity and chronic disease partnership

Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, contributing to the deaths of more than 300,000 Americans annually. Being obese or overweight puts individuals at risk for many chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer. In many cases, obesity can also impact and be exacerbated by a person’s mental health and well-being, contributing to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and sleep disorders.

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Ensuring health equity for our rural LGBTQ+ neighbors

Education is vital to achieving rural LGBTQ+ health equity, but many health care providers and staff do not receive training specific to these populations in school. Without access to high quality, timely, and affirming care, LGBTQ+ residents may go without necessary routine or preventive care and may have a harder time getting appropriate care during acute and emergency situations.

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Exploring radical rural health flexibility

Rural health care often conjures images of shuttered hospitals and the slow exodus of the young to urban areas. Yet each rural community has its own unique identity with its own challenges and opportunities. The independent spirit that fuels rural America presents opportunities to develop unique and innovative solutions to the obstacles faced by rural health care providers.

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Talking pandemic challenges and podcasts with NRHA President Beth O’Connor

NRHA recently sat down with NRHA President and longtime NRHA member Beth O’Connor to learn more about her rural health priorities, her goals as NRHA president, and why she is excited to attend NRHA’s Annual Rural Health Conference in Albuquerque. A passionate rural health advocate, O’Connor has attended her fair share of Zoom calls and virtual meetings during the pandemic and is ready to see everyone in person.

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Helping rural health care providers cope with pandemic stress

A big factor contributing to rural health care worker burnout is the all-encompassing job of responding to the pandemic with resources that are already stretched thin. Identifying and responding to burnout is so vital because the consequences of ignoring it can be devastating for providers and patients alike.

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NRHA’s Rural Health Fellows: Where are they now?

The next generation of rural health leaders has a growing influence on where rural health is heading. They have the dynamic skills and diverse perspectives needed to shape the health care systems of the future. To harness this potential, the National Rural Health Association’s Rural Health Fellows program provides a springboard for turning ideas into action through health policy. Alumni of the Fellows program have gone on not only to shine in their fields but to transform them.

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The COVID-19 pandemic: Where we stand now

Nearly two years after the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, science is still revealing new facts about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, who’s most vulnerable, and how well vaccines are working to stem its spread. But in rural America, several key understandings have emerged: Rural residents have been hit harder by infection rates and deaths than urban dwellers, while also facing regionspecific challenges related to vaccine uptake.

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