Rural Health Research Gateway Webinars

Upcoming Webinars

There are no webinars scheduled at this time. If you would like to suggest a webinar, please email

Archived Webinars


  • Understanding Housing as a Social Driver of Health for Rural Residents
    Presented Wednesday, May 29, 2024

    During this webinar, our presenters shared recent research findings on rural/urban differences in housing cost burden and quality of housing stock. This webinar also included results from a series of key informant interviews on challenges and opportunities to support housing and improve health for rural residents. Viewers of this webinar will be able to describe differences between rural and urban residents in basic housing access and quality measures. Viewers will also be able to identify opportunities to improve housing as a social driver of health through policy and programming.

  • Examining the Burden of Public Stigma Associated With Mental Illness in the Rural U.S.
    Presented Tuesday, March 12, 2024

    The prevalence of any mental illness, excluding substance use disorder, increased from 17.7% in 2008 to 20.6% in 2019 among adults in the U.S. Stigma associated with any mental illness is an increasingly important social driver of health. Public stigma refers to a unique set of beliefs and attitudes around mental illness that can lead to fear, discrimination, and other adverse consequences towards those living with any mental illness. It can also impact seeking of treatment and can worsen symptoms of mental illness due to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

    This study examined public stigma associated with mental illness in rural versus non-rural communities using a nationally representative panel-based survey. Differences in stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs were analyzed by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and experience with mental illness (personal or knowing someone). Our speakers also introduced their latest study exploring rural suicide mortality rates. This study examines the variation in suicide rates by geography and explores factors contributing to differential rates in urban and rural areas in the U.S. from 2018 to 2021.

  • Rural Healthy People 2030: Charting a Course for Rural Health Over the Next Decade
    Presented Monday, January 22, 2024

    Rural Healthy People 2030 is a companion to the federal Healthy People 2030 program designed to set health promotion and disease prevention goals for the United States over the next decade. Relying on data from a national survey of rural stakeholders, Rural Healthy People 2030 works to identify the most important Healthy People priorities for rural America, as identified by rural stakeholders, for the current decade.

    This presentation reported on the findings from Rural Healthy People 2030. It identified the most important health topics for rural communities over the next decade and how rural health priorities have changed over the three decades of the Rural Healthy People initiative. The presentation reported on the Rural Healthy People 2030 edited volume and concluded by considering the best course for improving rural health over the next decade.


  • How Does the Definition of "Rural" Impact Research?
    Presented Wednesday, November 15, 2023

    During this webinar, Dr. Janice Probst and Dr. George Pink shared recent research from the FORHP-funded Rural Health Research Centers to highlight the importance of rural definitions and how those definitions impact research. Our presenters provided advice for "What should I take into account when determining rural definitions for my research study?" and "As a non-researcher, what should I look for in rural definitions when reading a study or brief?"

  • Ambulance Deserts: Geographic Disparities in the Provision of Ambulance Services
    Presented Monday, June 26, 2023

    Access to timely ambulance service is an essential part of the emergency medical system. Yet ambulance access varies widely with significant gaps across the country. During this webinar, Dr. Yvonne Jonk, from the Maine Rural Health Research Center, presented key findings from a new chartbook that analyzes 41 states in 2021-2022 and identifies places and people that are more than 25 minutes from an ambulance station, also called an ambulance desert.

  • Using the 2023 Rural Population Health Chartbook
    Presented Tuesday, March 28, 2023

    The 2023 Rural Population Health Chartbook, from the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program, includes 33 measures of population health organized into five domains: access to care, health outcomes and risks, mortality, social determinants of health, and socioeconomics.

    This webinar described the data and charts with the goal of giving state and local users ideas on how to best use the information. While other chartbooks exist, most do not stratify by rural and/or do not present the full range of data across states. Given the heterogeneous nature of rural communities, this chartbook provides a look at rural health across counties, states, and regions.

  • Supporting the Health and Well-Being of Rural LGBTQ Adults
    Presented Wednesday, January 18, 2023

    During this webinar, researchers from the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center described rural/urban differences in health and access to healthcare, including differences in self-rated health, chronic conditions, and mental health outcomes. This webinar also included results from a series of key informant interviews on challenges and opportunities to improve rural lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) health, as well as descriptions of case studies describing organizations working to support rural LGBTQ health. After attending, participants will be able to describe differences between rural and urban LGBTQ adults in health and access to care and to identify opportunities to improve rural LGBTQ health through policy and programming.


  • It's Not Easy Being a Rural Pharmacy: Services, Payments, Closures, and Deserts
    Presented Monday, November 14, 2022

    Pharmacies are subject to a range of financial pressures and many rural pharmacies have closed over the past 15 years. These closures can create critical gaps in health care services available in rural areas. In 2021, there were 138 counties with no retail pharmacy, including 101 noncore, 15 micropolitan, and 22 metropolitan counties. During this webinar, Fred Ullrich and Keith Mueller shared recent research from the Rural Policy Research Institute Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis and discussed key findings on the availability of pharmacy services, payment models, the impact of pharmacy closures, and the creation of new pharmacy deserts.

  • Northern Border Regional Commission State and Region Chartbooks: A Health-Focused Landscape Analysis
    Presented Tuesday, June 21, 2022

    During this webinar, Dr. Katherine Ahrens described a project compiling the most recent publicly available data related to health and healthcare access at the county-level and state-level for the Northern Border Region: ME, NH, NY, and VT. Dr. Ahrens discussed healthcare professional shortage areas and highlighted counties with worse health outcomes, as compared to the rest of the counties in the region.

  • Rural-Urban Differences in Adverse and Positive Childhood Experiences
    Presented Tuesday, March 15, 2022

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are events of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction that occur between birth and 17 years of age. Multiple studies have established the association between ACEs and risky behaviors and poor physical and mental health outcomes in childhood and beyond.

    During this webinar, Dr. Elizabeth L. Crouch discussed research findings that: 1) examine whether ACE and positive childhood experience (PCE) exposure differs between rural and urban children by type and by count; 2) quantify racial/ethnic disparities in ACE and PCE exposure across rural communities; and 3) document the proportion of children with ACEs who lack PCE exposure among rural children.

  • Aging in Place in Rural America: Challenges, Opportunities, and Policy Initiatives
    Presented Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    Aging in place refers to the phenomenon of people remaining in their homes and communities as they get older, even if their health status changes. Supporting older adults in remaining in their homes is particularly urgent in rural areas, where the population is older. This webinar, by Dr. Carrie Henning-Smith and Megan Lahr, presented results from a range of studies investigating challenges, opportunities, and policy implications for older adults aging in place living in rural areas. Results are drawn from nationally representative survey data, a content analysis of state-level policies and initiatives, and a survey of representatives of state offices of rural health.


  • Family Physicians in Rural America: Training, Distribution, and Scope of Practice
    Presented Tuesday, November 9, 2021

    Family physicians are trained to treat patients of all ages and genders, for any clinical condition in any care setting. Consequently, they are the most prevalent physician specialty in rural America. Drs. Peterson and Patterson presented work on the training of family physicians in rural areas, the family physician workforce distribution, and rural/urban differences in scope of practice.

  • Availability of Post-acute Care and Long-term Care Services in Rural Areas
    Presented Tuesday, September 14, 2021

    During this webinar, Hari Sharma, PhD, discussed the availability of post-acute care and long-term care services in rural areas, focusing on nursing homes. Dr. Sharma examined the trends in nursing home closures and identified areas without nursing home services. He then explored the extent to which hospitals with swing beds provide coverage for post-acute care and long-term care services in rural areas and assessed the availability of home health care services in areas without nursing homes.

  • Rural Healthy People: Where We've Been and Where We're Going
    Presented Wednesday, August 25, 2021

    The Southwest Rural Health Research Center has launched a once-per-decade study to identify and address the health priority concerns of rural Americans. This Rural Healthy People initiative relies on survey data from rural health stakeholders to understand the Healthy People priorities that matter the most for rural health each decade. This webinar began by looking back at key findings from Rural Healthy People 2010 and Rural Healthy People 2020, which studied the top 10 rural health priorities for the past two decades. Speakers then looked ahead to Rural Healthy People 2030 to discuss major changes to Healthy People and what they mean for rural America. The session concluded by presenting early findings from the Rural Healthy People 2030 survey and discussing what comes next. Speakers include Timothy Callaghan, PhD, Alva O. Ferdinand, DrPH, JD, and Morgan Kassabian, MBA.

  • Meet the Center for Economic Analysis of Rural Health
    Presented Thursday, June 10, 2021

    Join the Rural Health Research Gateway for a webinar to learn more about the Center for Economic Analysis of Rural Health (CEARH).

  • HIV and Hepatitis C in Rural Areas: Prevalence, Service Availability, and Challenges
    Presented Wednesday, April 21, 2021

    In this webinar, speakers highlighted findings from recent work on estimating HIV prevalence and maternal hepatitis C prevalence in rural areas across the U.S. Speakers also discussed findings from a qualitative study on the challenges and promising practices in addressing HIV and hepatitis C outbreaks in rural areas. Presenters for this webinar included Katherine Ahrens and Amanda Burgess from the Maine Rural Health Research Center.

  • Using Rural Health Research to Inform Health Policy
    Presented Tuesday, January 26, 2021

    The team at the Rural Health Research Gateway partnered with the National Rural Health Association to present a conversation on where to find, and how to use, rural health research when petitioning Members of Congress and the Executive Branch.


  • Social Determinants of Health: Challenges and Opportunities in Rural America
    Presented Tuesday, December 15, 2020

    This webinar hit the 500 person capacity in the first five minutes when presented on November 17! This is a repeat of the webinar hosted in November. Dr. Probst discussed racial and social health inequities as well as opportunities for rural America.

  • Social Determinants of Health: Challenges & Opportunities in Rural America
    Presented Tuesday, November 17, 2020

    Social determinants of health are defined by the World Health Organization as "the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age." For rural populations, many of these elements are less favorable than within urban areas. Building on work conducted by the Rural and Minority Health Research Center, this presentation reviewed some of the key elements associated with health across rural White and minority populations, such as education, income, and health facility availability. Dr. Jan Probst with the Rural and Minority Health Research Center provided this overview.

  • Cancer Surveillance and Access to Care in Rural America
    Presented Tuesday, February 4, 2020

    Rural populations face greater travel burdens to accessing cancer care and have higher rates of cancer incidence, delayed/late-stage cancer diagnosis, and mortality than their urban peers. In this webinar, speakers highlighted current research from the Rural and Minority Health Research Center (RMHRC) examining rural-urban differences in residential proximity to cancer care providers across the U.S. and discussed challenges and opportunities for investigating rural cancer disparities using population-based datasets. Presenters for this webinar included Drs. Jan Eberth, Peiyin Hung, and Whitney Zahnd from the RMHRC at the University of South Carolina.

  • Rural Disparities in Health and Healthcare by Race and Ethnicity
    Presented Thursday, January 23, 2020

    Dr. Henning-Smith and Ashley Hernandez, MPH, of the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center presented new research on racial and ethnic disparities in health and healthcare among rural residents. Results included differences in county-level premature death by county racial and ethnic composition; individual-level differences in health status by race and ethnicity; and differences in healthcare access and use by race and ethnicity. They also discussed implications for policy with the goal of working toward health equity for all rural residents.


  • Have Healthy People 2020 Benchmarks for Leading Causes of Death Been Met in Rural and Urban Areas?
    Presented Tuesday, August 20, 2019

    Analyzing progress toward targets set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Healthy People 2020 program for the leading causes of death is important. It is unclear whether progress is consistent when considering urban versus rural residence, race and ethnicity, gender, and census region. The purpose of this webinar was to report findings from our analysis of death rates for seven major causes of death (coronary heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, unintentional injury, and suicide) in light of Healthy People 2020 benchmarks. Presenters for this webinar included Alva O. Ferdinand, Tim Callaghan, Marvellous Akinlotan, and Kristin Primm all representing the Southwest Rural Health Research Center.

  • The Changing Burden of Diabetes in Rural and Urban America
    Presented Monday, April 29, 2019

    Diabetes is one of the leading causes of the death in the U.S. However, past scholarly work suggests that the burden of disease varies considerably between residents in rural and urban settings. The purpose of this webinar, presented by Dr. Timothy Callaghan and Dr. Alva Ferdinand, was to provide an up-to-date, in-depth look at how the burden of diabetes has changed over time. They discussed diabetes-related mortality in and out of the hospital, complications of the disease, and progress toward Healthy People 2020 goals.


  • Rural Hospital Mergers and Acquisitions: 2005-2016
    Presented Thursday, November 1, 2018

    Hospital mergers and acquisitions are changing the face of healthcare in both rural and urban communities across the country. Dunc Williams Jr. and Dr. George Pink from the North Carolina Rural Health Research Center discussed one of their recent studies describing the number and geographic distribution of 380 rural hospital mergers from 2005 through 2016.

  • Benefits of Gateway for State Offices of Rural Health & Rural Community Programs
    Presented Tuesday, October 23, 2018

    Dr. Shawnda Schroeder, principal investigator of the Rural Health Research Gateway, gave a brief overview of Gateway and how the website and its resources can benefit rural community programs and State Offices of Rural Health. In this short presentation, Schroeder highlighted the key benefits of Gateway, how to use the resources available, and why rural health research is important for rural community and healthcare facility planning.

  • The History and Future of Rural Health Research: Celebrating 30 Years
    Presented Monday, June 4, 2018

    During this webinar Tom Morris with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) and researchers from the oldest and newest Rural Health Research Centers spoke to the history and future of rural health research. The Rural Health Research Center Program, funded by the FORHP under the Health Resources and Services Administration, has played a critical role in providing the analysis and research that has helped inform the development of federal and state health policy. Dr. Eric Larson from the WWAMI Rural Health Research Center (also celebrating 30 years) spoke to how WWAMI's research agenda has changed over time and also addressed key topics for 2018 and beyond. Dr. Marcia Ward from the newest center, the Rural Telehealth Research Center, shared the RTRC's experiences and discussed some of their most recent work around telemedicine and emergency and trauma care.

  • Diminishing Access to Rural Maternity Care and Associated Changes in Birth Location and Outcomes
    Presented Thursday, April 26, 2018

    This webinar, presented by Carrie Henning-Smith, PhD, MPH, MSW, Deputy Director of the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, described recent work from the Center on loss of hospital-based obstetric care in rural areas, including the overall change in availability of care and the county-level socio-demographic correlates of losing services. It also included information from a study published in JAMA in March 2018, describing changes in birth location and outcomes following obstetric services loss in rural areas.

  • Strategies to Combat Opioid Use in Rural Communities
    Presented Thursday, January 18, 2018

    The opioid epidemic is an ongoing problem in rural areas. Rural youth, young adults, women experiencing domestic violence, and people living in states with large rural populations suffer from higher rates of opioid use than their urban counterparts. Opioid overdose deaths are growing faster in rural counties than urban counties. This presentation by John Gale, MS, of the University of Southern Maine focused on a wide range of strategies that communities can use to combat the opioid problem. In particular, it discussed cost-effective, evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery programs that have been successfully implemented in rural communities. It concluded by describing community organizing strategies to engage a wide range of local stakeholders to reduce the burden of opioid use.


  • Recent Trends in Children's Healthcare: Coverage and Oral Health Outcomes
    Presented Thursday, November 9, 2017

    Kevin Bennett, PhD, from the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center discussed the latest information on healthcare coverage for children and adolescents. He also discussed recent findings from the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center regarding access to care, Medicaid coverage, and utilization among children. There was also discussion on recent research regarding oral healthcare among children and adolescents, including dental insurance and benefits, oral health status, and utilization of dental services.

  • Financial Distress and Closures of Rural Hospitals
    Presented Thursday, September 21, 2017

    Since 2005, 122 rural hospitals have closed - 80 since 2010. George Pink, PhD, from the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center presented updated and new data about closed rural hospitals and their post-closure disposition. A model predicting financial distress and closure in rural hospitals was also described. Characteristics of hospitals at high risk of financial distress were identified and trends in risk of financial distress among rural hospitals analyzed.

  • Behavioral Health Workforce Supply
    Presented Tuesday, July 18, 2017

    Rural-urban disparities exist across the spectrum of behavioral health providers. Holly Andrilla, MS, and Eric Larson, PhD, both from the WWAMI Rural Health Research Center, presented findings from a recently completed study quantifying Census Division differences in the per capita supply and distribution of five types of behavioral health providers, (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and counselors) across metropolitan, micropolitan, and non-core counties.

  • Preparing a Strong Rural Health Message
    Presented Tuesday, January 24, 2017

    Dr. Schroeder, Principal Investigators of the Rural Health Research Gateway and Kristine Sande with the Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) spoke to the rural health resources, and research that are freely available through these sites. Listen to the webinar to learn how to use the information available on both websites to develop a strong rural health message for decision makers, the public, and others.

  • Obstetric Care Quality and Access for Rural U.S. Women
    Presented Wednesday, January 11, 2017

    Katy Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA, presented findings from recent studies on the quality of obstetric care in rural hospitals, the workforce providing obstetric care in rural areas, and the predictors of non-local childbirth for rural women. The focus was on understanding whether rural pregnant women have access to the care they need, and whether rural hospitals have the capacity to meet their needs.


  • Ups and Downs: Trends in Rural Children's Access to Care
    Presented Thursday, October 13, 2016

    Jan Probst, PhD, Professor, University of South Carolina, and Director of the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center will presented findings from a study based on the National Surveys of Children's Health. For many groups of rural children, access to care rose between 2003 and 2007, but dipped slightly in 2011-2012.

  • Geographic Variation in Health Insurance Marketplaces: Rural and Urban Trends in Enrollment, Firm Participation, Premiums, and Cost Sharing in 2016
    Presented Tuesday, August 9, 2016

    Timothy McBride, PhD, along with Abigail Barker, PhD at the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis provided an overview of HIM performance in rural areas along several dimensions. They provided context to the ongoing discussion on the importance of competition in driving positive outcomes for consumers and for the government, followed by policy recommendations and Q&A.

  • Exploring Rural and Urban Mortality Differences
    Presented Wednesday, June 8, 2016

    Alana Knudson, PhD, from the North Dakota and NORC Rural Health Reform Policy Research Center, provided an overview of findings from the recently released study, Exploring Rural and Urban Mortality Differences. This study examines the impact of rurality on mortality and explores regional differences in mortality rates.