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Rural Resources

This page is a collection of resources curated for organizations interested in creating cross-sector health partnerships and increasing community investment in rural areas and small towns to create the conditions that support improved community health.

Many rural communities across the country face challenges in meeting community needs around health, workforce development, financial stability, infrastructure, etc. However, there are calls to change the narrative around areas existing outside of urban centers to recognize the unique assets embedded in these enduring rural communities. Recently the Biden Administration embarked on a 30-stop tour of rural areas across the country to promote the White House's Rural Playbook, a guide for communities to access the $1.2 trillion in funding now available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. But what are the implications and opportunities for rural healthcare organizations?

A Playbook for New Rural Healthcare Partnership Models of Investments features four broad strategies the healthcare sector can use to collaborate with multi-sector partners for rural health and prosperity. Those partnerships are essential to meeting the current needs of the rural healthcare sector in terms of reducing costs but also leveraging rural assets, resources, leadership, and commitments to create healthy and resilient rural communities. Our team interviewed a broad range of experts from locations like Hawaii stretching all the way to Vermont, developing the dynamic case studies illustrated throughout the playbook.

In addition to the playbook, this page contains curated rural resources from Build Healthy Places Network such as our rural Crosswalk Essays, BHPN videos, and resources from our partners.

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SECTION 1

BHPN’s Rural Resources

A collection of resources curated for organizations interested in creating cross-sector health partnerships and increasing community investment in rural areas and small towns to create the conditions that support improved community health

Rural Playbook

A Playbook for New Rural Healthcare Partnership Models of Investments is an action-oriented guide designed for healthcare organizations who want to pursue partnerships with local community and economic development and other sectors in rural areas and small towns to create the community conditions that support improved community health. After interviewing dozens of experts we share case studies highlighting core strategies used by rural healthcare entities as examples for future multi-sector partnerships to follow.

Click here to download the playbook.

A Primer for Multi-Sector Health Partnerships in Rural Areas and Cities

This primer makes the case for multi-sector approaches that increase community-centered investments to support opportunities for all individuals to live long, healthy lives, regardless of their income, education, race or ethnic background. Acknowledging the unique opportunities and challenges to working in rural areas and small cities, we recognize the importance of incorporating resources that reflect these realities creating freedom for locally generated solutions to accelerate through innovative partnerships. The primer provides tools such as a jargon buster, partner finder, and more.

Click here to access this resource.

Crosswalk Essays

Our most recent crosswalks about the connection between health and place in rural communities

Rural Health Professionals Think Outside the Hospital

Across the country, rural hospitals are beginning to address key social determinants of health, improving the health and well-being of their communities.

Our Crosswalk essay, co-published with Shelterforce Magazine, shares examples from Kansas, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Virginia, where rural hospitals are pioneering creative partnerships with community development that pave the way for further investments in their communities.

Rebuilding Healthy Communities in Rural America

Like urban areas, poverty and disinvestment in rural communities lead to worse health outcomes.

Small towns, however, face unique hurdles in economic development that require a different blueprint for community development than in urban areas. This Crosswalk essay explores several efforts to unlock investments in rural communities in order to improve overall health and well-being in rural America.

Video Snapshots

A quick deep dive with rural experts from the community development, health, and finance sector.

Social Isolation and Loneliness in Rural Communities and the Role of Cross-sector Partnerships

This interview is part of Build Healthy Places Network’s Video Snapshot Series, a series of quick deep dives with experts from the community development, health, and finance sectors.

In this brief 20 minute Video Snapshot, Build Healthy Places Network’s Ruth Thomas Squance speaks with Carrie Henning-Smith, assistant professor at University of Minnesota School of Public Health and Deputy Director of the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, whose work centers on health equity, with a focus on rural residents, older adults, and historically marginalized populations.

Building Healthy Rural Communities Together

In this 14 minute Video Snapshot, Build Healthy Places Network’s Ashley Hernandez speaks with Allen Smart, a national spokesperson and advocate for improving rural philanthropic practice under his group –PhilanthropywoRx.

The two discuss the important contributions philanthropy brings to community development and health partnerships in rural areas. Allen Smart also provides examples of philanthropy’s key role in accelerating investments aimed at improving health and well-being in rural communities and lays out ways community developers can connect with the philanthropic sector.

SECTION 2

External Resources

This section features a collection of resources from external sites with a rural and small-town focus relevant to organizations creating cross-sector health partnerships and increasing community investment.

White House Rural Playbook

A guide providing communities with information on applying for a portion of the $1.2 trillion in funding now available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ Investing in Rural Prosperity

Outlines a framework for how to approach rural development successfully and showcasing stories of progress in different communities—as well as highlighting recommendations for action by policymakers, practitioners, funders and researchers—the editors and authors hope to advance this important goal.

Three Lessons for Measuring Rural Strengths

An outline of opportunities to reframe rural economic development through an asset-based lens from the Urban Institute

Thrive Rural Framework for Equitable Rural Prosperity

Focuses on opportunities to build on the unique strengths of rural places throughout the United States to uplift local solutions for economic prosperity and resilience. Developed by the Rural Development Innovation Group of the Aspen Institute.


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