Megan Lahr, MPH

University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center

Phone: 612.624.3921
Email: lahrx074@umn.edu

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


Current Projects - (1)

  • Addressing Elder Abuse in Rural Areas
    Elder abuse, including financial, physical, and emotional abuse, as well as self-neglect, is widespread and impacts individual and population health outcomes. However, despite the fact that rural residents are older, in poorer health, and more financially vulnerable, little is known about rural/urban differences in the prevalence of and resources to address elder abuse; this project will address those gaps.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Disabilities, Health disparities and health equity, Social determinants of health, Violence and abuse

Completed Projects - (3)

  • Aging in Place in Rural America: What Does It Look Like and How Can It Be Supported?
    In general, people want to age in place. This project looked at the structures in place to help them do so and how those structures vary by rurality. Federal, state, and local policy implications for improving health outcomes and quality of life for rural older adults aging in place were also be identified.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Disabilities, Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Home health, Long-term care, Social determinants of health
  • Housing as a Social Determinant of Rural Health
    The purpose of this project was to identify rural/urban and within-rural differences in housing quality and its relationship to health and disability status, especially for individuals living in poverty. We also identified rural-specific housing issues and innovative policy solutions to address housing challenges in order to improve rural health.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Disabilities, Environmental and agricultural health, Health disparities and health equity, Poverty, Public health, Rural statistics and demographics, Social determinants of health
  • Rural/Urban Differences in Health and Health Care Access for LGBT Adults
    The purpose of this project was to identify rural/urban differences in health and health care access for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adults. We also identified within-rural differences among LGBT adults by race, ethnicity, age, disability status, and socio-economic status. Finally, we identified examples of best practices supporting LGBT health and wellness in rural areas.
    Research center: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Aging, Cancer, Disabilities, Health disparities and health equity, Healthcare access, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+), Mental and behavioral health, Minority health, Poverty, Rural statistics and demographics, Social determinants of health

Publications - (33)

2024

  • Housing for Rural Residents Recovering from Substance Use Disorders
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2024
    The purpose of this case series is to highlight organizations providing housing for individuals in recovery from substance use disorders in rural communities. These may serve as examples to others considering this work.

2023

  • Key Informant Perspectives on Rural Housing and Health
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 10/2023
    In this policy brief, using content analysis of interview data, researchers share rural-specific housing barriers, including those that are related to health, as well as policy recommendations for addressing housing challenges to improve rural health.
  • Rural/Urban Differences in Receipt of Governmental Rental Assistance: Relationship to Health and Disability
    Journal Article
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 10/2023
    Housing is a vital component of health, and governmental rental assistance is one avenue of increasing access to affordability. In this paper, researchers examined rural/urban and within-rural differences in receipt of governmental rental assistance, with a focus on differences by health and disability.
  • Unmet Needs for Help With Mobility Limitations Among Older Adults Aging in Place: The Role of Rurality
    Journal Article
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 10/2023
    This study identifies differences in unmet mobility needs among older adults by rurality. It uses data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study, limiting analyses to respondents who had not moved since baseline (average housing tenure of 27 years; n = 3343).
  • Differences in Residential Stability by Rural/Urban Location and Socio-Demographic Characteristics
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2023
    This policy brief identifies rural/urban differences in residential stability and examines rural/urban differences in regional, socio-demographic, and health characteristics associated with living in the same home for more than 20 years.
  • Multi-Sector Collaboration to Support Rural Aging
    Journal Article
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2023
    In this paper, researchers examine the lessons rural areas present for supporting aging, including the role that aging and social services, public health systems, and health care have to play.
  • Housing Quality by Disability, Race, Ethnicity, and Rural-Urban Location: Findings From the American Community Survey
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2023
    In this policy brief, researchers examine rates of two key housing quality indicators (having incomplete plumbing and incomplete kitchen facilities) by rural-urban location, as well as at the intersections of racial/ethnic identity and disability status.
  • Advancing the Age-Friendly Movement in Rural Communities
    Journal Article
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 02/2023
    The research team looked at the role of Aging Life Care Managers® to help support the age-friendly movement in rural areas. The team explored ways in which Aging Life Care Managers® could advocate for the needs and interests of their clients, help them access care and support, and involve rural communities in the age-friendly movement.

2022

2021

2020

  • Making It Work: Models of Success in Rural Maternity Care
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2020
    The goal of this case series is to describe key factors that underlie three successful models of rural maternity care and to inform communities, clinicians, and hospitals that wish to keep obstetric services available locally.
  • 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.
  • 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
    Journal Article
    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.

2019

2018