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Rural Health Summit Releases Report on Rural Health in Illinois

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Rural Health Summit Releases Report on Rural Health in Illinois
Identifies great challenges and a path forward


Springfield, Ill. - Rural Illinois residents face significant challenges and health disparities compared to residents in the state’s metropolitan areas, according to a new report released by the organizers of the 2018 Illinois Rural Health Summit. The report, titled “THE STATE OF RURAL HEALTH IN ILLINOIS: Great Challenges and a Path Forward” compiles information shared by rural health stakeholders across government, healthcare, public health, philanthropy and academia. The report identifies rural issues such as physician shortages, opioid use, childhood disparities, an aging population, obesity, housing and the rural economy.

“Rural health disparities are not just a rural problem – they are an Illinois problem. The Rural Health Summit brought together experts to identify pressing issues faced by people in nonmetropolitan areas of Illinois,” explained Dr. Sameer Vohra, Chair, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Department of Population Science and Policy. “But the conversation and activities also produced examples of innovation occurring within our rural communities and recommendations on how to improve rural health.”

The report, which provides a snapshot of Illinois rural health, also offers a path forward to improve health in Illinois. As the Rural Health Summit continues to create partnerships with community members, legislators and others interested in rural health, it will also create a blueprint on how to significantly and sustainably improve health and wellness in rural Illinois.

“We are asking policymakers, corporate and community leaders and others to read this report and join us to close rural health disparities. We will evaluate existing and innovate new sustainable solutions to address disparities and promote health equity across rural Illinois,” continued Dr. Vohra.

The Rural Health Summit represents a partnership between Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s Department of Population Science and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, SIU’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, SIU SOM Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development and the Illinois Department of Public Health.



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