Carrie Henning-Smith, PhD, MPH, MSW

Deputy Director, University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center

Phone: 612.626.4512
Email: henn0329@umn.edu
Twitter: @Carrie_H_S

Division of Health Policy and Management
University of Minnesota
2221 University Ave. SE, Suite 350
Minneapolis, MN 55414


Current Projects - (1)

  • Living Alone: Rural-Urban Differences in Prevalence, Socio-Demographic Correlates, and Health Needs Across the Lifespan
    This project's purpose is to document rural-urban differences in the prevalence of living alone across different age groups, describe rural-urban differences in the socio-demographic correlates and health needs of individuals living alone, and identify rural-relevant policies and programs to support rural residents living alone across the lifespan.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Social determinants of health

Completed Projects - (7)

  • Access to Care for Rural Medicare Beneficiaries
    This project examined multiple dimensions of access to care, with a focus on rural Medicare beneficiaries, including rural-urban differences in access to care, and within-rural differences in access to care by region, coverage type (traditional fee-for-service vs. supplemental Medigap coverage), and socio-demographic characteristics.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Healthcare access, Medicare, Medicare Advantage (MA)
  • Addressing Rural Social Isolation as a Health and Mortality Risk Factor
    This project aimed to describe rural/urban differences in the prevalence of social isolation, as well as to identify challenges and strategies related to addressing rural social isolation in order to inform policy-making.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Health promotion and disease prevention
  • Caring for Caregivers: Available Support for Unpaid Caregivers in Rural Areas
    This project describes rural-urban differences in the prevalence and intensity of informal caregiving for older adults and associated socio-demographic correlates and as well as identifies potential policy interventions to improve the quality of life and health outcomes of rural caregivers.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Home health, Long-term care
  • Community Context and Rural Strategies to Support the Oldest Old
    This project developed a chartbook profiling older adults (65 and older) in rural areas and assessed where rural residents ages 85 and older were most likely to live, what rural counties had experienced the fastest growth of those 85 and older, and what strategies were in place or were possible for supporting this population in aging in place.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Hospice and palliative care, Long-term care, Rural statistics and demographics
  • Disparities in Preventive Care by Race and Ethnicity Among Rural Adults
    The purpose of this project is to identify differences in access to and use of preventive care by race and ethnicity among rural residents. Results from this project will identify racial/ethnic disparities that exist within rural communities and may guide targeted interventions to improve equity and increase access to high-quality healthcare for all rural residents.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Hispanics, Minority health, Rural statistics and demographics
  • Paving the Way: Addressing Transportation as a Social Determinant of Health for Rural Residents
    This project will use a mixed-methods design to examine ways in which transportation operates as a social determinant of health for vulnerable rural residents, and to identify exemplar transportation programs that are successfully improving health and well-being of those residents.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Health services, Networking and collaboration, Transportation
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Care for Rural Residents with Complex Care Needs
    This project will examine barriers to skilled nursing facility placement for rural residents with complex care needs, including obesity, dementia, and behavioral health problems, and explore potential implications for access to and quality of care.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health services, Hospitals and clinics, Long-term care

Publications - (56)

2020

  • Racial and Ethnic Differences in Self-Rated Health Among Rural Residents
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 09/2020
    This study looks at racial and ethnic differences in self-rated health among rural residents as well as whether these differences can be explained by socio-demographic characteristics. Researchers used data from the 2011–2017 National Health Interview Survey to study differences in rural residents' self-rated health by race and ethnicity.
  • Characteristics of US Rural Hospitals by Obstetric Service Availability, 2017
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2020
    This study described characteristics of rural U.S. hospitals by whether they provide labor and delivery care for pregnant patients. Researchers used the 2017 American Hospital Association Annual Survey to identify rural hospitals and detail their characteristics based on whether they provide obstetric services.
  • Providing Maternity Care in a Rural Northern Iowa Community
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2020
    This case study highlights how one rural hospital in northern Iowa has successfully sustained a maternity care practice and identifies opportunities for other rural hospitals and communities seeking to ensure local access to care for pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Rural-Urban Differences Among Older Adults
    Chartbook
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2020
    This chartbook presents the characteristics of older adults in rural counties, as well as rural-urban differences among older adults, across four domains: demographics, socioeconomic characteristics, healthcare access and use, and health characteristics.
  • Changes in Hospital-Based Obstetric Services in Rural US Counties, 2014-2018
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2020
    In 2014, 54% of rural U.S. counties had no hospital-based obstetric services, following a steady decrease during the previous decade. Loss of rural maternity care is tied to adverse maternal and infant health outcomes. This study shares hospital-based obstetric service losses in rural U.S. counties from 2014 to 2018.
  • Supporting the Health and Wellbeing of Middle-Aged Adults Living Alone in Rural Counties
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2020
    This report shares insights from healthcare providers in 14 rural counties with the highest rates of middle-aged adults living alone in order to inform policy and practice in how best to support the health and well-being of this demographic.
  • The Unique Impact of COVID-19 on Older Adults in Rural Areas
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2020
    Older adults in rural areas of the U.S. face unique risks related to COVID-19, which puts them at risk of not only the virus, but of not being able to meet their healthcare, social, and basic needs. Rural/urban inequities, combined with within-rural inequities in health, healthcare, and financial resources cause particular challenges.
  • Characteristics of Counties with the Highest Proportion of the Oldest Old
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2020
    The "oldest old," or individuals age 85 and older, are one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population, yet little is known about where those individuals tend to live and what their communities are like. This information is important for planning how to best respond to and support this growing population.
  • Differences by Rurality in Satisfaction with Care Among Medicare Beneficiaries
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2020
    There are stark differences between rural and urban areas in demographic characteristics, health status, and healthcare. Yet less is known about rural‐urban differences in Medicare beneficiaries' satisfaction with care. We seek to understand rural‐urban differences in satisfaction with care for Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Rates of Living Alone by Rurality and Age
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2020
    In this infographic, we identify rates of living alone for all adults and within specific age groups using two classifications of rurality.

2019

  • Access and Capacity to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries in Rural Health Clinics
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2019
    Access to timely, high-quality healthcare is essential for health, but rural areas face particular barriers to access, including for primary care. We present findings from an online survey of RHCs describing clinic characteristics related to healthcare access for rural Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Access to Specialty Care for Medicare Beneficiaries in Rural Communities
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2019
    Access to care is a challenge in many rural communities for both primary care services and specialty care services. We present findings from an online survey of Rural Health Clinics describing access issues for rural Medicare beneficiaries in seeking care from specialty care providers.
  • Rural Counties with Majority Black or Indigenous Populations Suffer the Highest Rates of Premature Death in the U.S.
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2019
    Despite well-documented health disparities by rurality and race/ethnicity, research investigating racial/ethnic health differences among U.S. rural residents is limited. We used county-level data to measure and compare premature death rates in rural counties by each county's majority racial/ethnic group.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Access to and Attitudes Toward Care for Medicare Beneficiaries
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2019
    Access to healthcare is important to health outcomes and well-being. Even among Medicare beneficiaries, access to care may differ by rural-urban location due to differences in the healthcare and socio-demographic landscape. We describe rural-urban differences in access to care for Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Rural-Urban Differences In Severe Maternal Morbidity and Mortality In the U.S., 2007-15
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2019
    In the U.S., severe maternal morbidity and mortality (SMMM) is climbing—a reality that is especially challenging for rural communities, which face declining access to obstetric services. Using data for 2007-15 from the National Inpatient Sample, we analyzed SMMM during childbirth hospitalizations among rural and urban residents.
  • Differences in Preventive Care Among Rural Residents by Race and Ethnicity
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2019
    Disparities in preventive care by rural and urban location and by race and ethnicity are well documented in the literature, but less is known about whether there are differences in healthcare use among rural residents by race and ethnicity. We address this gap by examining differences in preventive care among rural residents by race and ethnicity.
  • Severe Maternal Morbidity and Hospital Transfer Among Rural Residents
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2019
    In this brief, we compare hospital transfer rates for rural and urban residents who gave birth. We also provide descriptive information about the relationship between transfer status and severe maternal morbidity and mortality for rural residents nationally who gave birth 2008-2014.
  • Rural Focus and Representation in State Maternal Mortality Review Committees: Review of Policy and Legislation
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2019
    Between 1990 and 2013, maternal mortality nearly doubled in the U.S., and rural residents experienced decreasing access to obstetric care. To improve maternal health, many states have established maternal mortality and morbidity review committees (MMRCs). We assessed the extent of rural representation in state policy efforts related to MMRCs.
  • Measuring Access to Care in National Surveys: Implications for Rural Health
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2019
    This brief presents data about how access to healthcare is measured, focusing on how this applies to rural populations.
  • Unmet Need for Personal Care Assistance Among Rural and Urban Older Adults
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2019
    This brief presents data on rural-urban differences in unmet need for personal care among older adults with functional limitations.
  • Dying Too Soon: County-level Disparities in Premature Death by Rurality, Race, and Ethnicity
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 03/2019
    In this brief, we examined county-level differences in premature death (years of potential life lost before age 75 per 100,000 people) by county-level racial and ethnic composition, across rural and urban counties. We also calculated whether there were rural-urban disparities in mortality within counties with similar racial and ethnic compositions.

2018

2017

2016

  • Relationship Between Hospital Policies for Labor Induction and Cesarean Delivery and Perinatal Care Quality Among Rural U.S. Hospitals
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2016
    This study focused on maternity care quality by taking a look at hospitals' policies regarding induced labor and Cesarean deliveries.
  • The Practice of Midwifery in Rural US Hospitals
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2016
    Analyzes the role of certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) in providing maternity care in rural US hospitals and to examine state-level variations on rural CNM practice. CNMs play an important role in the maternity care workforce in rural US hospitals.
  • Ensuring Access to High-Quality Maternity Care in Rural America
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2016
    Examines the access to high-quality for rural women care during pregnancy and childbirth. Policy interventions at the local, state, and federal levels could help to address maternity care workforce shortages and improve quality of care available to the one-half million rural U.S. women who give birth each year.
  • Quality Measures and Sociodemographic Risk Factors: The Rural Context
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2016
    This policy brief aims to inform discussions concerning whether or not to adjust provider quality measures for differences in patient characteristics by examining how rurality and key sociodemographic variables might affect quality-of-care outcomes.
  • State Variations in the Rural Obstetric Workforce
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2016
    Many types of staff are necessary to successfully run an obstetrics unit. Rural hospitals face unique staffing challenges. This policy brief describes the obstetric workforce in rural hospitals by state for nine states: Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
  • Rural Implications of Expanded Birth Volume Threshold for Reporting Perinatal Care Measures
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2016
    In 2016 the minimum annual birth volume threshold for required reporting of the Joint Commission Perinatal Care measures by accredited hospitals decreased from 1,100 to 300 births. This study used the publicly available Join Commission Quality Check data from April 2014 to March 2015.
  • Medicare Costs and Utilization Among Beneficiaries in Rural Areas
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 03/2016
    This study assesses the relationship between service utilization patterns and costs for rural Medicare beneficiaries across the rural continuum. It also examines the relationships between rural beneficiaries' service utilization and healthcare delivery market structure and evaluates strategies and policies to address high costs in rural areas.
  • Does the Medicare Part D Decision-Making Experience Differ by Rural/Urban Location?
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 02/2016
    Evaluates the personal experiences with choosing a Part D plan among rural residents. This study examines the geographic differences in Part D enrollees' opinion of the plans decision-making process.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Satisfaction with Medicare Part D: Implications for Policy
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2016
    Examines the difference in rural and urban satisfaction with Medicare Part D coverage by using data from the 2012 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. The research found that rural residents have lower satisfaction with their coverage.

2015