Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Rural-Urban Differences in Adverse and Positive Childhood Experiences: Results from the National Survey of Children’s Health

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are events of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction occurring between birth and 17 years of age. Studies have found a direct correlation between ACEs and risky behaviors, poor physical health, and poor mental health outcomes in childhood. Positive childhood experiences (PCEs) include a nurturing, safe, and supportive environment allowing for health development and overall wellness. In prior research, rural-urban differences in PCEs have not been examined using all 50 states. This brief examines the types and counts of ACEs and PCEs for rural and urban children. The study also reports on the differences between rural and urban ACEs and PCEs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Contact Information:

Elizabeth Crouch, PhD
Rural and Minority Health Research Center
Phone: 803.576.6055

Additional Resources of Interest:

What is the State of LGBTQ Health? Take the Survey!

What is the state of LGBTQ health?

The National Coalition for LGBTQ Health’s Inaugural State of LGBTQ Health National Survey™ assesses the healthcare landscape for LGBTQ patient populations. This survey covers intersectional topics in LGBTQ health including clinical/behavioral health, stigma, social justice, housing/homelessness, health disparities among communities of color, and COVID-19.

The insights you provide by completing this brief yet comprehensive survey will help inform ongoing advocacy, education, research, and training activities that support LGBTQ health care. Your input also will help determine the theme for the Coalition’s 20th Annual National LGBTQ Health Awareness Week to be held March 21-25, 2022.

Don’t miss this important opportunity to provide input on the state of the LGBTQ healthcare landscape. The deadline for participation is Friday, February 18, 2022.

The survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. All individual responses are kept confidential and data will only be reported in aggregate.

Thank you in advance for your participation as we all work together to advance LGBTQ health care!

Click here to take the survey.

Access to Mental Health Services in Rural Pennsylvania Research Findings Released

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania researchers Dr. Juliana Svistova, Dr. Ahyoung Lee, Dr. Christopher Harris, Dr. Juyoung Song, Jillian Horton, Barbe Fogarty, Julia Hansen, and Carlie Mills conducted the research, which assessed the demand for mental health services in rural Pennsylvania, with a focus on youth and the elderly.

The research also identified challenges rural populations face in accessing mental health care and identified options for improving and expanding mental health care services for underserved rural Pennsylvanians.

Read the executive summary here.

The full report can be accessed here: Access to Mental Health Services in Rural Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Law Requiring Insurers to Cover Breast MRIs, Ultrasounds Now in Full Effect

PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s Act 52 of 2020 / Senate Bill 595

Beginning January 1, 2022, all insurers are required to cover breast MRIs and ultrasounds for women insured under Pennsylvania law with high-risk conditions. The requirements are a result of the PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s Act 52 of 2020 (Senate Bill 595), sponsored by PA Sen. Bob Mensch. As your existing insurance policy expires, under law the new version will be required to cover breast MRIs and ultrasounds for women with:

  • A personal history of breast cancer
  • A family history of breast cancer
  • A genetic predisposition to breast cancer
  • Extremely dense breast tissue
  • Heterogeneously dense breast tissue with 1 additional high-risk factor

Co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance may still apply.

Applications Being Accepted for Community Health Workers in Pennsylvania

To address vaccine confidence and deploy community outreach, Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is implementing an initiative designed to target, engage, and connect individuals to COVID-19 vaccines and education.

PHMC is soliciting applications from organizations in Pennsylvania and Delaware who would like to subcontract for funding to hire or assign existing staff to become community health workers (CHWs). Using training and toolkits provided by PHMC, these CHWs will go out into their community, provide outreach and education, and report all outcomes for a one-year project period. Apply today!

A document with more information can be found here. If you have any questions, please reach out to Stephanie Shell at

$3.$9 Million Helmsley Charitable Trust Grant Helps KFF Establish Kaiser Health News Rural Health Reporting Desk

Reporters Will Produce Explanatory, Enterprise, and Investigative Reporting on Rural Health Care

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) is expanding its KHN (Kaiser Health News) operation by establishing a rural health reporting desk supported by a $3.9 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

KFF will expand KHN’s editorial staff and build a team of journalists and social media experts in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Full-time reporters and freelancers from those states and KHN’s national newsroom will produce and distribute explanatory, enterprise, and investigative stories on health care issues relevant to rural communities.

The team of journalists will provide unbiased, accurate, and trusted reporting on a wide range of complex issues, including the ongoing pandemic, access to health coverage and care, the burden of health care costs on consumers, housing and education, the opioid epidemic, mental health, hospital closures, the lack of critical lifesaving equipment, and burgeoning changes in telehealth and medicine. KHN will partner with local media throughout the region to produce deeply sourced stories that shed light on underreported issues.

As with all its journalism, KHN stories produced by the Rural Health Desk will be made freely available for publication by media outlets across the country, published on and distributed through KHN’s social media platforms.

“Rural America’s low population density provides significant challenges in the delivery of health care services, yet at the same time dedicated providers are delivering top-notch care through innovative practices, like state-of-the-art telemedicine,” said Walter Panzirer, a Trustee for the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “KHN’s new rural health reporting desk will dive deep into these challenges and highlight efforts that ensure a person’s ZIP code doesn’t determine their healthcare outcomes.”

“Rural health needs more attention, and with this grant we can deliver that,” said KFF President and CEO Drew Altman, who is also KHN’s founding publisher. “We are excited to expand our work in this essential area, and we are grateful for the support of the Helmsley Charitable Trust.”

The establishment of the Rural Health Desk follows news last summer that KHN is opening an Atlanta-based Southern Bureau to produce more journalism focused on health, race, equity, and poverty in the region. KHN also operates regional bureaus in California, the Midwest, and the Mountain States.

Media organizations interested in working with KHN should contact us at and those interested in joining our efforts to expand and improve health journalism in rural America and beyond should contact KFF at Employment opportunities for the Rural Health Desk will be posted soon here.

About KFF and KHN

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $3 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program funds innovative projects that use information technologies to connect rural patients to emergency medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas, and provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and EMS personnel. To date, this program has awarded more than $500 million to organizations and initiatives in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, Montana, and Nevada. For more information, visit here.

New Rural Advocacy Guide Released

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) has created a comprehensive guide for rural community leaders to amplify their voices when advocating for rural. How to advocate for rural health change gives constituents the opportunity to effectively champion rural health issues by providing necessary information and tools. This resource provides details on branches of government, congressional committees, NRHA tools, and practical tips for how to get involved in advocacy efforts. Additionally, our advocacy guide includes sample letters and media advisories to accommodate your communication efforts with Congressional leaders. We hope that this document serves as an asset to your knowledge when advocating for the improvement of issues facing rural communities.

If you have any questions or would like more information or assistance, please contact NRHA’s government affairs team.

Provider Relief Fund – Phase 4 Payments

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is making more than $2 billion in Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 General Distribution payments to more than 7,600 providers across the country this week. With this funding, more than $18 billion will have been distributed from the Provider Relief Fund and the American Rescue Plan Rural provider funding in the last three months.

These payments come on the heels of the nearly $9 billion in funding that was already released by HHS in December 2021. With today’s announcement, a total of nearly $11 billion in PRF Phase 4 payments has now been distributed to more than 74,000 providers in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and five territories and approximately 82 percent of all Phase 4 applications have now been processed.

Learn More:

Primary Care Migraine

The National Headache Foundation (NHF) launched Primary Care Migraine, a new educational training program available at no cost to health practitioners. The course also offers a diagnosis tool to assist in quickly diagnosing migraines while interviewing and examining patients.