Life And Health In Rural America Rural Americans are preoccupied with the problems of opioid and drug addiction, local jobs and the economy. But they're also optimistic about the future.
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Life And Health In Rural America

Coplan and Vierkandt catch up outside the Kids Plus office. Vierkandt calls Coplan her second mother. They have remained in touch over the years. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Bringing Together Young And Old To Ease The Isolation Of Rural Life

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After a difficult time in her life, Jill Hill knew she needed therapy. But it was hard to get the help she needed in the rural town she lives in, Grass Valley, Calif., until she found a local telehealth program. Salgu Wissmath for NPR hide caption

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Salgu Wissmath for NPR

With Rural Health Care Stretched Thin, More Patients Turn To Telehealth

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Homeless residents often live outdoors in tents in rural Kentucky. Rarely pitched out in the open, like this one in Lexington, most are hidden in thick bushes of wooded areas. Mary Meehan/WEKU hide caption

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Unsheltered And Uncounted: Rural America's Hidden Homeless

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Volunteers participate in a recent Healthy U leader training in Lander, Wyo. the program provides health skills training to people in rural areas. According to a recent poll, 26 percent of rural Americans said there has been a time in the past few years when they needed health care, but did not get it. Courtesy of Dominick Duhamel hide caption

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Courtesy of Dominick Duhamel

When There's No Doctor Nearby, Volunteers Help Rural Patients Manage Chronic Illness

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Rural Health: Financial Insecurity Plagues Many Who Live With Disability

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Neda Billie says she's so excited to turn the lights on in her home on the Navajo Nation. About 10% of Navajos on the reservation live without electricity, and as much as 40% have to haul their water and use outhouses. Laurel Morales/KJZZ hide caption

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Laurel Morales/KJZZ

For Many Navajos, Getting Hooked Up To The Power Grid Can Be Life-Changing

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The CEO at the Ogallala Community Hospital in Ogallala, Neb., began offering $100,000 signing bonuses to attract doctors to the town. Theo Stroomer for NPR hide caption

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Theo Stroomer for NPR

The Struggle To Hire And Keep Doctors In Rural Areas Means Patients Go Without Care

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Leitha Dollarhyde, a retired caregiver who lives in a rural town near Whitesburg, Ky., says she could not afford an unexpected $1,000 expense. Sydney Boles for NPR hide caption

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Sydney Boles for NPR

Poll: Many Rural Americans Struggle With Financial Insecurity, Access To Health Care

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Located in Northern Wisconsin along the shores of Lake Superior, Ashland, Wis. has had enough of substance abuse issue. NorthLakes Community Clinic brought in Dr. Mark Lim to start a team providing substance abuse and mental health services. Derek Montgomery for NPR hide caption

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Derek Montgomery for NPR

For One Rural Community, Fighting Addiction Started With Recruiting The Right Doctor

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Join us for a webcast on life and health in rural America. From The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Courtesy of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health hide caption

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Courtesy of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Social worker Lauren Rainbow (right) meets a man illegally camped in the woods in Snohomish County. A new program in the county helps people with addiction, instead of arresting them. Leah Nash for Finding Fixes podcast hide caption

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Leah Nash for Finding Fixes podcast

A Rural Community Decided To Treat Its Opioid Problem Like A Natural Disaster

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Among at least some rural Americans, pragmatism may now be superseding traditional disdain for government and the prizing of rugged individualism. Angela Hsieh/NPR hide caption

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Rural Americans Are OK With 'Outside' Help To Beat Opioid Crisis And Boost Economy

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Paramedic Larrecsa Cox (center) and her quick-response team, including police Officer Stephanie Coffey (left) and Pastor Virgil Johnson (right), check in at the home in Huntington, W.Va., of someone who was revived a few days before from an overdose. Sarah McCammon/NPR hide caption

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Knocking On Doors To Get Opioid Overdose Survivors Into Treatment

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Houses lie at the base of Colorado National Monument. The school district in Grand Junction knows it could take years to see whether their efforts towards suicide prevention have worked. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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How One Colorado Town Is Tackling Suicide Prevention — Starting With The Kids

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When the mines in the North Fork Valley started laying off employees, Eric and Teresa Neal hired and retrained former coal miners to learn how to work with fiber optic cable. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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A Rural Colorado Coal County Was Struggling. Then A Tech Company Brought New Jobs

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Derrick Slaughter attends a July 14, 2017, march through the streets of Norwalk, Ohio, against the epidemic of heroin, with his grandmother (not shown). Both of Derrick's parents are heroin addicts and he is now being raised by his grandparents. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drug addiction is a big concern to rural Americans, according to a new poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Alice Goldfarb/NPR hide caption

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Alice Goldfarb/NPR

NPR Poll: Rural Americans Are Worried About Addiction And Jobs, But Remain Optimistic

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