When it comes to health, rural America lags far behind the country’s urban and suburban areas. What’s worse: The gap is widening.
Rural residents are significantly more likely to suffer diabetes, heart disease, or depression, and to suffer multiple chronic conditions at once. They are less likely to have regular, quality health care, and more likely to die of preventable cancers or accidents. People in rural areas are nearly 50 percent more likely to die of a drug overdose. Patients in cities have easier access to treatment facilities.
This series on PBS NewsHour provides an overview of these enormous challenges. A team of correspondents reports from five different parts of the country, each facing distinct hurdles but linked by common threads, including a shrinking safety net, a lack of ready resources, and an epidemic of loneliness.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. The series also reveals a range of potential solutions, from new technologies to creative community-building to the power of people who find a way to bridge traditional fault lines.