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Rural West Conference

In 2009, the Bill Lane Center for the American West launched the Rural West Initative, which seeks to research and document contemporary life in the Rural West. Our work examines life in rural western areas through scholarship, public policy, and journalism.

Why We Study the Rural West

As the pace of urbanization accelerates in the western United States, the Rural West Initiative highlights the important role of rural communities in the region. Often overlooked in broader regional discussions, rural communities offer an important lens into the economics, environment, and health of the changing West. Through research and outreach, the Center is building a network of institutions and individuals to:

  • Identify common patterns across states, and develop best practices that can be shared across the Rural West;
  • Engage key actors at Stanford and other western universities to collaboratively problem-solve together through scholarship and research; and
  • Focus Stanford’s academic and clinical resources on policies and research that improve Rural Westerners’ health and health care access.


Rural West Initiative Conferences

Park City, Utah
April 5, 2019 to April 6, 2019
Seventh Annual Eccles Family Rural West Conference
2018 Yakima conference
March 22, 2018 to March 23, 2018
Sixth Eccles Family Rural West Conference, March 2018
Toward a Healthier Rural West
March 23, 2017 to March 25, 2017
Fifth Annual Eccles Family Rural West Conference
Maryhill Washington
March 4, 2015 to March 6, 2015
Eccles Family Rural West Conference
Urban Rural
April 4, 2014 to April 5, 2014
An Interdisciplinary Conference
Conference on the Rural West
October 13, 2012 to October 14, 2012
Closing Remarks to the Conference on the Rural West