Rural America represents a large geographic area, a place where more than 60 million people currently reside. How large? As much as 75%of the nation’s geography is considered to be “rural and frontier.” The public health challenges of this vast area and population are significant, and often under appreciated. Rural Americans face a unique combination of factors that create significant disparities in health care including economic factors, cultural and social differences, educational limitations, and the sheer isolation of living in remote areas. These challenges are compounded by the fact that many policymakers do not understand or recognize that rural communities have unique challenges...
Health disparities occur when there is a significant difference in the burden of illness, injury, disability or mortality between demographic groups. A combination of educational, economic and environmental factors – known as social determinants – impact the health outcomes of individuals, often to the detriment of minority groups in the U.S. Contaminated housing, shortage of food stores with healthy choices, and lack of public recreational areas for exercise all contribute to higher rates of – and mortality from – heart disease, cancer and diabetes among non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, according to the Centers for Disease...
The November 2017 Research Advocate is now online . Highlights from this month's issue: More state and federal support for medical and health research could help solve West Virginia’s opioid crisis and reposition the state as a research leader, according to panelists at Research!America’s program “West Virginia Research and Innovation: A Catalyst for Better Health and Economic Growth” on October 16 at Shepherd University . On Friday, October 13, Research!America hosted a webinar, “Innovative Research and the Opioid Epidemic: Are We Closer to Finding Solutions?” Speakers discussed how researchers, public health officials and pharmacists serve pivotal roles in combating this ongoing crisis...
Dear Research Advocate: With support from the Kavli Foundation, I’ve had the privilege of visiting research institutions across the country to speak to scientists about public and policymaker engagement. Earlier this week I visited Nebraska and Iowa. Among other topics, we explored the appetite -- a healthy one - for a course within the graduate science curriculum on the “public context” of science (including, but not limited to, the political/policy/funding environment as it bears on research and research bears on it). Hopefully demand will attract supply when it comes to a course like this! Another “frame of reference” issue we discussed relates to science skepticism. It can divide, but...

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Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.
Abraham Lincoln