Jennifer Lenardson, MHS

Maine Rural Health Research Center

Phone: 207.228.8399
Fax: 207.228.8138
Email: jennifer.lenardson@maine.edu

University of Southern Maine
PO Box 9300
34 Bedford Street
Portland, ME 04104-9300


Current Projects - (2)

  • Capacity of Rural Counties to Respond to an HIV or Hepatitis C Outbreak
    Rural counties may be potentially vulnerable to an HIV or Hepatitis C outbreak among persons who inject drugs. Using mixed methods, we will provide an understanding of the rural areas at risk of an outbreak based on their state and county characteristics and an assessment of their public health infrastructure.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Healthcare access, Public health, Substance use and treatment
  • Preventive Health Service Use Among Rural Residents
    Examining differences in rural-urban preventive health service use is critical to assessing the impact of health benefit design changes on access to preventive services and their use among rural and urban populations. We’ll use National Health Institute Survey data to compare receipt of preventive health services among rural and urban adults.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health promotion and disease prevention, Health services, Women

Completed Projects - (3)

  • Access to Mental Health Services and Family Burden of Rural Children with Significant Mental Health Problems
    The needs of rural children with SED and the burden these needs place on their families are intertwined and may place these rural children and their families at "double jeopardy" of having their mental health and other needs go unmet. Using the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN) and information on community characteristics from the Area Resource File (ARF) we will examine the factors associated with whether children and their families have their needs meet across the rural continuum.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Children and adolescents, Mental and behavioral health
  • Availability, Characteristics, and Role of Detoxification Services in Rural Areas
    This project will produce a comprehensive description of the distribution and characteristics of detoxification (detox) services across rural areas including a discussion of access issues, the role of detox services within local systems of care, barriers to the delivery of detox services by rural providers, and policy and regulatory incentives needed to encourage the development of rural detox services. Products will include a working paper and related journal articles addressing these topics.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topic: Substance use and treatment
  • Catastrophic Consequences: The Rise of Opioid Abuse in Rural Communities
    This project will analyze national data on the prevalence of opioids in rural and urban settings as well as describe state and local efforts to promote prevention and access to treatment.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topic: Substance use and treatment

Publications - (23)

  • Access to Mental Health Services and Family Impact of Rural Children with Mental Health Problems
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 10/2010
    Rural children are more likely to have mental health problems, to have behavioral difficulties, and to be usually or always affected by their conditions than urban children. Rural children also are more likely to go without access to all parent-reported needed mental health services, and their families spend more time coordinating their care.
  • Adolescent Alcohol Use: Do Risk and Protective Factors Explain Rural-Urban Differences? (Policy Brief)
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 03/2012
    This policy brief finds that after controlling for a broad range of key risk and protective factors, it is clear that an unexplained rural effect persists with rural adolescents still exhibiting higher alcohol use than their urban counterparts.
  • Adolescent Alcohol Use: Do Risk and Protective Factors Explain Rural-Urban Differences? (Working Paper)
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 03/2012
    This study examines alcohol use among rural and urban adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17.
  • Availability, Characteristics, and Role of Detoxification Services in Rural Areas
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2009
    Few detox providers (n=235) serve rural America; 82% of rural residents live in a county without a detox provider. More than half of all rural detox providers serve patients across a 100-mile radius, making travel distances a barrier to outpatient care. Referral options to substance abuse treatment are limited, especially in isolated rural areas.
  • Distribution of Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities Across the Rural - Urban Continuum
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 10/2007
    This study examines the distribution of substance abuse treatment services across the continuum of rural and urban counties, identifying the type and intensity of services provided.
  • Distribution of Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities Across the Rural - Urban Continuum (Research & Policy Brief)
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 02/2008
    This research and policy brief highlights findings from a recent study examining the distribution of substance abuse treatment facilities in rural and urban counties and identifying the type and intensity of services provided.
  • Few and Far Away: Detoxification Services in Rural Areas (Research & Policy Brief)
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2009
    This policy brief finds that few rural detox providers exist; 82% of rural residents live in a county without a detox provider. More than half of all rural detox providers serve a 100-mile radius. Travel distances are a barrier to outpatient detox models. Referral options to substance abuse treatment are limited, especially in isolated rural areas.
  • Health Care Access and Use Among the Rural Uninsured
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2012
    Examines whether uninsured rural residents have different patterns of healthcare use than their urban counterparts, and the factors associated with any differences.
  • Health Care Access and Use Among the Rural Uninsured (Research & Policy Brief)
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2011
    Using data from the 2002-2007 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, this study examined access to care and service use among non-elderly, uninsured rural and urban residents.
  • Health Insurance Profile Indicates Need to Expand Coverage in Rural Areas (Policy Brief)
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2009
    This brief provides information on the health insurance status of rural Americans, summarized from a more detailed chartbook. Analyses are based on the 2004-05 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.
  • High Deductible Health Insurance Plans in Rural Areas
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2014
    Using the 2007-2010 National Health Interview Survey, this study examines rural residents’ enrollment in high deductible health plans and the implications for evolving Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplaces.
  • Implications of Rurality and Psychiatric Status for Diabetic Preventive Care Use among Adults with Diabetes
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2014
    This brief examines patterns of diabetic preventive care use among adults with diabetes to determine whether these patterns vary according to respondents’ rural/urban residence or the presence/absence of a mental health diagnosis.
  • Knowledge of Health Insurance Concepts and the Affordable Care Act among Rural Residents
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2017
    Health insurance literacy is central to identifying eligibility for coverage and subsidies, choosing a plan, and using optimal healthcare services. This study examined rural-urban differences in knowledge and/or use of the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces; subsidies; the health insurance mandate; and health insurance terms and concepts.
  • Medicaid Income Eligibility Transitions among Rural Adults
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2018
    The Affordable Care Act allows Medicaid expansion to adults under 65 with income below 138% of poverty. Research suggests income shifts affecting Medicaid eligibility are common, but the rural impact is unclear. This national study examines rural and urban adults' annual income shifts above or below the Medicaid expansion eligibility threshold.
  • Mental Health Problems Have Considerable Impact on Rural Children and their Families
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 10/2010
    This policy brief provides information on the prevalence of children's mental health needs and associated access to care and family impact across rural and urban areas. Analyses are based on the 2005-06 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs.
  • Patterns of Care for Rural and Urban Children with Mental Health Problems
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2013
    This study reports that rural children are significantly less likely to be diagnosed and treated for non-ADHD mental health problems than urban children and are less likely to receive mental health counseling.
  • Profile of Rural Health Insurance Coverage: A Chartbook
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2009
    Analyses of persons under age 65 from the 2004-05 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey reveal a greater proportion of rural vs. urban residents who are uninsured or covered through public sources. Uninsured rates are highest among adults over age 50 in the most remote rural places.
  • Profile of Rural Residential Care Facilities: A Chartbook
    Chartbook
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2014
    This chartbook offers information on part of the rural long-term services and supports (LTSS) continuum—the residential care facility (RCF). Survey results identify national/regional differences between rural and urban RCFs, focusing on facilities, resident and service characteristics of RCFs, and the ability to meet the LTSS needs of residents.
  • The Role of Public versus Private Health Insurance in Ensuring Health Care Access & Affordability for Low-Income Rural Children
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2017
    Medicaid and CHIP have played a critical role in ensuring access to health coverage among children –particularly rural children. This study examines rural-urban differences in children’s access to care, and their families’ perceived affordability of that care among those enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP, and those with private insurance plans.
  • Rural Children Don't Receive the Mental Health Care They Need
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2009
    Controlling for other characteristics that affect access to care, rural children are 20% less likely to have a mental health visit than urban children. Having Medicaid or SCHIP increases the likelihood that a child will receive services, and this is pronounced in rural areas.
  • Rural Opioid Abuse: Prevalence and User Characteristics
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 02/2016
    Opioid abuse is the fastest growing substance abuse problem in the nation and the primary cause of unintentional drug overdose deaths. This study examined the rural-urban prevalence of non-medical use of pain relievers and heroin in the past year and the socio-economic characteristics associated with their use and other risky behavior.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Health Care Access Vary Across Measures
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2009
    Higher uninsured rates and workforce shortages in rural areas suggest that rural residents face greater barriers to accessing healthcare than their urban counterparts. Analysis of the 2006 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey found mixed results.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in the Decline of Adolescent Cigarette Smoking
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 03/2019
    Comparing survey data from 2008-2010 with 2014-2016, we examined change over time in cigarette smoking among rural and urban adolescents. We found that both rural and urban rates declined, but the decrease was smaller in rural counties, which widened the rural-urban gap in adolescent smoking rates.