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The Rural West

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


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.

Improving Health and Health Care in the United States: Phillip Polakoff, MD

Phillip Polakoff, MD, talked with the Future Hindsight podcast about how an emphasis on prevention coupled with innovations in healthcare access and delivery can help us share greater health and equity for all Americans.

Dr. Polakoff is an affiliated scholar with the Bill Lane Center for the American West. He will be leading a summit on rural health care in Salt Lake City in March 2019.



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