clipboard with stethoscope

A new series from the Rural Assembly to explore health disparities in rural communities

By Quintissa Peake, Policy Fellow

Access to quality healthcare is a fundamental right that every citizen deserves. However, the reality is that many individuals living in rural areas often face significant challenges in obtaining the healthcare they need. This is a persistent issue, and its impact on individuals living in remote areas with chronic health conditions is profound. This disparity in access not only jeopardizes the well-being of rural citizens but also impacts their overall health outcomes. And if you have a chronic health condition, or special healthcare needs, these challenges may be even greater.

Let me paint the picture for you. More than 46 million Americans, or 15 percent of the U.S. population, live in rural areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Rural areas are characterized by vast landscapes, sparse populations, and limited resources. Many rural citizens find themselves miles away from the nearest medical center —and  the scarcity of healthcare providers in rural regions further compounds the problem. These factors create unique challenges in establishing and maintaining access to timely and essential healthcare services.

The challenges that rural residents face in accessing healthcare services contribute to health disparities. The barriers to care that rural residents experience include workforce shortages, health insurance status, transportation issues, health literacy, and stigma in rural communities. 

The Rural Assembly is kicking off a series of blog posts which will explore the challenges faced by rural citizens with chronic health conditions, the consequences of limited healthcare access, and the urgent need for comprehensive solutions to bridge this healthcare gap. By addressing the unique challenges faced by these individuals, we can work towards building a healthcare system that is inclusive, efficient, and responsive to the diverse needs of all citizens. Bridging the healthcare gap is not just a matter of policy: it is a commitment to the well-being and dignity of every individual, regardless of where they call home.

Picture of Quintissa Peake, Policy Fellow, Rural Assembly

Quintissa Peake, Policy Fellow, Rural Assembly

Quintissa Peake is a 2023-2024 Fellow at the Rural Assembly. She serves on the Board of Directors of Appalshop and the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors. She enjoys traveling and staying active in her roles as a proud, fun-loving aunt and godmother.

Everywhere Workshops

Extend your Everywhere experience by registering for one or more of three workshops hosted with partners Aug. 6- 8th, the week following our mainstage programming on Aug. 1. 

Read More »

Rural Food Traditions: German breads

Welcome to Rural Food Traditions, a podcast series of Rural Remix. We’re starting where many meals across diverse food traditions begin: with bread. Food is a uniter; and across culinary traditions, bread is a common thread. In this episode, On this episode talk with Lois Keller about German breads.

Read More »

Rural Food Traditions: Biscuits

Welcome to Rural Food Traditions, a podcast series of Rural Remix. We’re starting where many meals across diverse food traditions begin: with bread. Food is a uniter; and across culinary traditions, bread is a common thread. In this episode, On this episode we are learning all about the art of making biscuits! Appalachian leader Margo Miller speaks about how a middle school competition led to a lifelong passion for biscuits and how she is returning to her roots through crafting and baking.

Read More »
Tina in blue shirt holding cornbread

Rural Food Traditions: Cornbread

Welcome to Rural Food Traditions, a podcast series of Rural Remix. We’re starting where many meals across diverse food traditions begin: with bread. Food is a uniter; and across culinary traditions, bread is a common thread. Tina Mozelle Braziel is a poet and author living in rural Alabama. In this episode she shares her secrets to cornbread, what life is like in the glass cabin she built with her husband, and some of her poetry.

Read More »
white bread load partially sliced on green cutting board

Rural Food Traditions: White Bread

Welcome to Rural Food Traditions, a podcast series of Rural Remix. We’re starting where many meals across diverse food traditions begin: with bread. Food is a uniter; and across culinary traditions, bread is a common thread. On this episode, host Teresa Collins talks about white bread with Minnesota home baker Cheryl Whitesitt.

Read More »

Rural Food Traditions: Sourdough

Welcome to Rural Food Traditions, a podcast series of Rural Remix. We’re starting where many meals across diverse food traditions begin: with bread. Food is a uniter; and across culinary traditions, bread is a common thread. On this episode, host Teresa Collins talks with Eliza Blue about sourdough bread.

Read More »