Dr. Phil Polakoff joins the Lane Center to discuss the recent initiatives led by his organization, Healthier Rural America. Healthier Rural America believes that progress is possible when rural communitites come together to rewrite prevailing narratives to reflect new ones of resilience and renewal; the rural American renaissance is coming. Before this, however, community leaders and citizens must first address, the places where people live, personal health, population health, public health, and the state of political will.
- Currently 60 million people live in rural America.
- More than 172 rural hospitals have closed since 2005 with hundreds more at risk.
- There is a real shortage of rural health care workers.
- Broadband and Internet connectivity are often limited and need upgrading.
- COVID-19 is having a huge negative health impact but is also causing some positive innovation.
- The growing rural-urban gap in life expectancy
Dr. Polakoff discusses the realities of life in rural communities, outline the seven foundational actions to be considered to instigate change, and explain why a new focus on leadership is necessary to realize his organization's goals. Dr. Polakoff is joined by Stanford student, Allen Huang, with conversation led by moderator, Preeti Hehmeyer.