We’ve all seen the meme – a beautifully rustic cabin and the question, “Would you live here if you had to give up [insert something here]?” Sometimes it’s the internet, sometimes it’s football, but the truth is, people living in rural areas face the real possibility of doing without more than WIFI and professional sports. Research shows that rural Americans often have lower access to health care providers and facilities, as well as fewer educational opportunities, fewer food options, and decreasing job availability.
To help health care providers, policy makers, researchers, and other stakeholders better understand the potential needs of rural communities, HealthLandscape created the Rural Health Explorer.
The HealthLandscape Rural Health Explorer includes the Rural Population Health Mapper, Appalachia Community Data Portal, and Rural Health Workforce Mapper (all described below). The Explorer also includes other mapping tools focused on health behaviors, health outcomes, and healthy living assets in non-urban counties across the U.S., as well as the entire Appalachian region.
Rural Population Health Mapper
In the example below, we’ve selected the State of Ohio, and focused on percent of adults reporting Excessive Drinking and the percent of Alcohol-Impaired Driving Deaths. The slider controls for Excessive Drinking are set to the national median (17.4%) and the national maximum (29.4%). The two vertical marks on the slider show you the range of Excessive Drinking for Ohio counties. The user can adjust the slider to meet their needs.
By turning on two or more indicators (two, in this example), you can see the overlap or areas where counties meet both conditions. For example, we highlight Harrison County in eastern Ohio, with an Excessive Drinking rate (18%) AND percent of Alcohol-Impaired Driving Deaths (29.6%) above the national medians.
Appalachia Community Data Portal
Rural Health Workforce Mapper
Interested in learning more? Attend one of our free, upcoming webinars. We’ll demonstrate the tools within the Rural Health Explorer and answer any questions you may have. Register for this and other HealthLandscape webinars on our website.