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A Healthy Society Series: Healthier Rural America—Toward a Better Future

Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 6:00pm

Register here for this event hosted by the Commonwealth Club, featuring Bill Lane Center Affiliated Scholar Phil Polakoff as moderator

Moving America forward will take more than a vaccine. As we are finding today, many parts of our nation have been left behind and are not able to share in the great American dream. Rural America is at the focus of attention now because it is our food production center, our water supply center, and our energy enter—and now becoming a COVID-19 center.

How can we move from the present to a new well-being in rural America? What do rural communities really look like today? What are the myths? What are the opportunities? Rural communities share much in common with urban and suburban communities, but there are differences too. What does a transformational model look like that has the power to revitalize rural communities by creating opportunities in alignment with 21st century needs. How can the decline of rural America be turned around to create a better future for all Americans.


  • Dennis Berens, Former President, The National Rural Health Association and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
  • Stephen Shortell, Ph.D., MPH, MBA, Professor of the Graduate School and Distinguished Professor Emeritus with Prime Appointment in the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley


  • Phillip Polakoff, M.D., MEnvSc, MPH, Founder/CEO, A Healthier WE; Consulting Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine; Organizer, the Healthier Rural West Summit
Event Sponsor: 
The Commonwealth Club
Healthier Rural America