Rural Health: Reaching Patients Where They Are

Wells River, Vermont - Woodsville, New Hampshire. Photo by Caleb Kenna Photography

Across America, rural residents struggle to access the same quality of health care available in many urban and suburban areas. Workforce shortages, socioeconomic factors, an aging population, and geographic isolation all contribute to this growing disparity. Since 2010, 89 rural hospitals in the U.S. have closed. In Northern New England, nearly 200,000 people live more than 15 miles from the nearest hospital.

Anchored in rural New Hampshire, Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) and the Geisel School of Medicine are leading the way in improving rural health care. D-H specialists use telemedicine to provide their expertise to patients across Vermont and New Hampshire. Norris Cotton Cancer Center caregivers and researchers bring treatment, education, and access to clinical trials to people throughout Northern New England. Geisel faculty and students probe the causes of rural health care disparities and present sustainable solutions.