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Rural West Initiative

The Rural West

White Paper on Telehealth in the Rural American West

The Bill Lane Center for the American West and Stanford Medicine are pleased to co-issue this white paper on telehealth in the rural American West. The paper builds upon the Lane Center’s earlier work from our Rural West Initiative, as well as ongoing research by our undergraduate teams who have been exploring connections between environment and health in the American West. 

A Healthier Rural America: Call to a Strategic Action Plan

This stategic action plan comes in advance of the Healthier Rural America Summit on September 15. This document proposes a framework to foster sustainable, resilient innovation and change with identified, supported and targeted initiatives leading to positive results. The document is being shared in a non-partisan manner to key stakeholders at the federal, state and local levels.

Rural Broadband in the West: Missed Connections

Two decades into the 21st century, in the midst of a pandemic that has forced people to work and go to school remotely, broadband connections fail to reach millions of Americans. Communities in many areas are struggling with this handicap, especially in the rural West.  Our panel will examine what we know and don’t know about the severity of the problem and what it will take to fix it.

A Healthier Rural America, Imagining a Better Future: Creating a Strategic Plan for Rural Health

Phillip Polakoff, MD, and Dennis Berens, MA, recently released "A Healthier Rural America, Imagining a Better Future: Creating a Strategic Plan for Rural Health," a policy position paper addressing current challenges in rural healthcare. This document proposes a framework to foster sustainable, resilient innovation and change with identified, supported and targeted actions leading to positive results.

Re-Imagining A Healthier Rural America: The Five F's Addressed by the Five P's

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This spring, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, we may feel as if we are living in a parallel universe, a universe focused sharply on finding a workable response.

The impact in our rural states is to add significant stress to their already compromised health care capacity. Workable responses must understand and include that reality. Rural America has an older, sicker, and poorer population than the rest of the nation and fewer resources to care for them.

Jumping Track in Esparto: Fates and Futures of a Rural Train Town

Esparto, an unincorporated municipality in California’s Central Valley, could be almost any small town of the rural American West. It developed around a train station established by subsidiaries of the Southern Pacific Railroad Co., under Leland Stanford’s direction, in 1888. For the better part of the ensuing century, Esparto’s prosperity was caught up in the vicissitudes of railroad profitability. After the railway withdrew operations in the late 1950s, local businesses, services and population began to decline.

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