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rural health

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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Steve Wickham, at home in Grundy County, Tenn., has developed an educational seminar with his wife, and fellow nurse, Karen, that they are using to help people with Type II diabetes bring blood sugar under control with less reliance on drugs. Blake Farmer/WPLN hide caption

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Blake Farmer/WPLN

2 Nurses In Tennessee Preach 'Diabetes Reversal'

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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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Mary Meehan/WEKU

Unsheltered And Uncounted: Rural America's Hidden Homeless

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When the cancer clinic at Mercy Hospital Fort Scott closed in January, Karen Endicott-Coyan and other cancer patients had to continue their treatments out of town. Christopher Smith for Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Christopher Smith for Kaiser Health News

Have Cancer, Must Travel: Patients Left In Lurch After Town's Hospital Closes

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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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Kim Ryu for NPR

Rural Health: Financial Insecurity Plagues Many Who Live With Disability

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A proposed change in a formula for Medicare payments could help rural hospitals but would mean less money for hospitals in cities. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

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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Fort Scott, Kan., fills up on weekday afternoons as locals grab pizza, visit a coffeehouse or browse antique shops and a bookstore. Like other rural communities, the commercial areas also include empty storefronts. Christopher Smith for Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Christopher Smith for Kaiser Health News

No Mercy: How A Kansas Town Is Grappling With Its Hospital's Closure

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Before it closed March 1, the 25-bed Columbia River Hospital, in Celina, Tenn., served the town of 1,500 residents. The closest hospital now is 18 miles from Celina — a 30-minute or more drive on mountain roads. Blake Farmer/WPLN hide caption

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Blake Farmer/WPLN

Economic Ripples: Hospital Closure Hurts A Town's Ability To Attract Retirees

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Charlotte Potts, who has a history of heart problems, lives within sight of Livingston Regional Hospital. After a recent stint there, she was discharged into the care of a home health agency, and now gets treatment in her apartment for some ailments. Shalina Chatlania / WPLN hide caption

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Shalina Chatlania / WPLN

How Helping Patients Get Good Care At Home Helps Rural Hospitals Survive

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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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A drug specialist in the Mexican army shows crystal methamphetamine paste seized at a clandestine laboratory in Mexico's Baja California in August. Much of the meth sold in the U.S. today comes from Mexico, according to DEA officials. GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images

Methamphetamine Roils Rural Towns Again Across The U.S.

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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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Meredith Rizzo/NPR

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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Meredith Rizzo/NPR

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

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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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Proponents of hospital mergers say the change can help struggling nonprofit hospitals "thrive," with an infusion of cash to invest in updated technology and top clinical staff. But research shows the price of care, especially for low-income patients, usually rises when a hospital joins a for-profit corporation. Jens Magnusson/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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Jens Magnusson/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Struggling to stay afloat, a rural hospital in Missouri took a chance on new managers. Dan Margolies/KCUR hide caption

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Dan Margolies/KCUR

Vulnerable Rural Hospitals Face Tough Decisions On Questionable Billing Schemes

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Up to one half of rural residents are covered by Medicaid, says Michelle Mills, CEO of Colorado Rural Health Center. And they're typically older, poorer and sicker than city dwellers. John Daley/CPR hide caption

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John Daley/CPR