Rural residents in the U.S. face significant health challenges, including higher rates of risky health behaviors and worse health outcomes than many other groups. Rural communities are also typically served by local health departments (LHDs) that have fewer human and financial resources than their suburban and urban peers. As a result of history and need, rural LHDs are more likely than urban LHDs to provide direct health services, which may result in limited resources for population-based activities. This review examines the double disparity facing rural LHDs and their constituents: pervasively poorer health behaviors and outcomes and a historical lack of investment by local, state, and federal public health entities.
Beatty K, Harris JK, Leider JP, Anderson BL, Meit M. The double disparity facing rural local health departments: A short report. Front Public Health Serv Sys Res 2016; 5(5):1–8. DOI: https://doi.org/10.13023/FPHSSR.0505.01.