Katherine Ahrens, PhD, MPH

Maine Rural Health Research Center

Phone: 207.780.4847
Email: katherine.ahrens@maine.edu

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


Current Projects - (1)

  • How are Rural Health Clinics Serving Pediatric and Obstetrical Medicaid Populations?
    This project will examine the roles of independent and provider-based Rural Health Clinics in serving pediatric and obstetrical patients covered by state Medicaid programs.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Children and adolescents, Health services, Healthcare financing, Maternal health, Medicaid and CHIP, Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), Women

Completed Projects - (2)

  • A Current Examination of HIV and Hepatitis C in Rural Counties
    Using data from federal and state sources, we produced a chartbook on county-level data on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence and acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) incidence, examined the availability of Ryan White HIV/AIDS medical providers and other HIV and HCV treatment/testing services across the rural-urban continuum, and estimated county-level prevalence of maternal HCV infection.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Maternal health, Mental and behavioral health, Substance use and treatment
  • Northern Border Regional Commission State and Region Chartbooks: A Health-Focused Landscape Analysis
    The aim of this study was to compile the most recent publicly available data related to health and healthcare access at the county-level and state-level for the Norther Border Region and the individual states: ME, NH, VT, and NY. We highlighted counties with worse health outcomes, as compared to the rest of the counties in the region.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), Rural statistics and demographics, Social determinants of health, Substance use and treatment, Telehealth, Uninsured and underinsured, Workforce

Publications - (8)

2022

  • Maine: A Health-Focused Landscape Analysis
    Chartbook
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2022
    These chartbooks present a comprehensive set of state- and county-level population health and health care access measures for Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. These data are intended to inform initiatives to support health and health care, particularly in rural counties and counties served by the Northern Border Regional Commission.
  • New Hampshire: A Health-Focused Landscape Analysis
    Chartbook
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2022
    These chartbooks present a comprehensive set of state- and county-level population health and health care access measures for Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. These data are intended to inform initiatives to support health and health care, particularly in rural counties and counties served by the Northern Border Regional Commission.
  • New York: A Health-Focused Landscape Analysis
    Chartbook
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2022
    These chartbooks present a comprehensive set of state- and county-level population health and health care access measures for Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. These data are intended to inform initiatives to support health and health care, particularly in rural counties and counties served by the Northern Border Regional Commission.
  • The Northern Border Region: A Health-Focused Landscape Analysis
    Chartbook
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2022
    These chartbooks present a comprehensive set of state- and county-level population health and health care access measures for Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. These data are intended to inform initiatives to support health and health care, particularly in rural counties and counties served by the Northern Border Regional Commission.
  • Vermont: A Health-Focused Landscape Analysis
    Chartbook
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2022
    These chartbooks present a comprehensive set of state- and county-level population health and health care access measures for Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. These data are intended to inform initiatives to support health and health care, particularly in rural counties and counties served by the Northern Border Regional Commission.

2021

  • Rural HIV Prevalence and Service Availability in the United States: A Chartbook
    Chartbook
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 02/2021
    This chartbook examines 2016 HIV prevalence and the availability of HIV prevention, testing, and treatment services across the rural-urban continuum and by U.S. census region.
  • Rural-Urban Residence and Maternal Hepatitis C Infection, U.S.: 2010-2018
    Journal Article
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 02/2021
    This study uses data from the U.S. natality files to examine rural-urban differences in county-level rates of maternal infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) during 2010-2018. Findings can help inform implementation of community-level interventions to reduce maternal HCV infection and narrow rural-urban disparities.

2020

  • Rural-Urban Residence and Mortality Among Three Cohorts of U.S. Adults
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2020
    Rural residents have a shorter life expectancy than urban residents. We analyzed national linked survey and death certificate data and found risk of death was 10% higher for rural than urban residents and has increased over time. Findings suggest the overall mortality penalty in rural areas may be partly driven by social determinants of health.