Resource Library

Do you have a minute to help us improve our Resources page? Please take this quick survey. Thank you!

The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.

 

COVID-era remote patient monitoring supports at-home care for rural residents

July 14, 2021 – SeniorsCOVID-19, Health, Mental Health, Rural

In response to the pandemic, a Midwestern health system created a remote patient monitoring program that allows health care providers to monitor and advise patients without requiring an emergency room visit. The program includes vital-sign-monitoring equipment and a tablet equipped with video communication software, which only requires a cell signal and not internet access. Although the program was created to reduce hospital crowding and in-person exposures in the pandemic, providers find that not only do patients appreciate home-based care, providers are also able to more quickly identify changes in patient status given the ongoing monitoring. The additional benefit of easy check-ins also eases anxiety and loneliness among older adults living alone. #covid-19 #rural #mentalhealth #health

Early evidence suggests four-day school weeks don’t meet all their aims

July 12, 2021 – Young Children, Older YouthCOVID-19, Education, Rural

Four-day school weeks have become increasingly common in rural places, with 662 districts in 24 states using this model pre-pandemic. To ease remote learning implementation and reduce costs, the COVID-19 pandemic increased adoption of this model both in and out of rural areas, with the aim of reducing budgetary issues, attracting teachers, and improving student attendance. While there is some evidence that teachers view the model as a benefit, there are minimal budgetary savings or attendance improvements. Little evidence exists on the implications for student achievement, but early data from Oklahoma and Oregon suggests outcomes depends on how learning time is structured. One major downside to a four-day school week is in reduced access to school-based services, like childcare, physical activity, and school-meal programs that students and families rely on during the typical work-week. #covid-19 #education #rural

Evidence-based program strengthens multiple dimensions of senior wellbeing

July 8, 2021 – SeniorsHealth, Rural

The Rural Health Information Hub presents a summary of the StrongPeople™ programs, which have been under evaluation since 1994. The affiliated programs equip community-based health educators to lead classes on exercise, dietary skills, and civic activity to expand options for healthy living activities among older adults, particularly in rural places. Each element of the program has a substantial evidence base, with measurable improvements in physical activity, weight, strength, physical function, pain, depression, and other indicators among older adult participants. Companionship among group members is cited as a particularly favored element among participants. Interested community leaders can purchase training materials, then offer the programming to community members at typically low costs. #health #rural

COVID further strains rural health safety net amid growing rural health and resource risks

July 7, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Health, Racial Equity, Rural

A healthcare analytics firm, the Chartis Group, has released a paper reporting on its ongoing data collection on rural health conditions and health care resources in light of the pandemic. The work identifies a pre-existing fragility in rural health care resources, with 138 rural hospital closures in the past decade, and 453 more vulnerable to closure. The authors note that rural places at risk of prolonged pandemic effects and those at risk of high hospital closures share key characteristics, including high rates of uninsurance and greater shares of residents with chronic illness. #covid-19 #rural #racialequity #health

“Remote work won’t save the heartland”

June 24, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Rural, Workforce

Enabled by more available remote work options, the COVID-19 pandemic spurred both employees and employers to flee cities in favor of more rural locations. Yet a new post from Brookings finds that rather than redistributing economic opportunity evenly nationwide, most companies are simply relocating to secondary tech hub cities like Austin, Denver, and Nashville, rather than to rural communities of the heartland. The post suggests that for rural places to meaningfully benefit from the “new” work landscape, the focus should be on building skilled and diverse workforces and work opportunities in authentic and expanding sectors, supported by robust policy and infrastructure investments that can support workers and their families. #covid-19 #workforce #rural

Covid infections and deaths drop to lowest rates in a year

June 8, 2021 – SeniorsCOVID-19, Rural, Vaccination

New COVID-19 cases and deaths are declining in rural counties, and in all Maine counties except Somerset, cases are under 100 per 100,000 residents – the lowest they have been since the pandemic started. These numbers continue to decline with vaccination uptake and more people spending time outside, where the virus is less likely to infect others. While rural COVID-19-related death rates are declining, they still remain disproportionately higher than in urban counties. This is in part due to rural places’ greater shares of older adults and people with chronic illnesses, along with lower vaccination rates in rural counties. #covid-19 #vaccinations #rural

N.H. announces plan to combat pandemic-era learning losses, prioritizes broadband access in rural areas

June 8, 2021 – Young ChildrenCOVID-19, Education, Rural

The New Hampshire Department of Education received $350 million from the American Rescue Plan to be allocated towards local schools and education needs. The NH DOE distributed 90 percent of these funds to school districts based on population size and poverty levels. The state has discretionary power over the remaining 10 percent ($35 million). The NH DOE’s plan for these discretionary funds is to help students get back on track after any learning losses from this past year. #covid-19 #education #rural

Rural Health Information Hub collects ideas for bringing telehealth to rural areas

April 28, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Rural

The Rural Monitor reports on various strategies to enhance telehealth access in rural places with limited broadband.#covid-19 #rural #health

Rural COVID-19 cases and deaths are declining, although rural vaccination rates lag urban rates

April 27, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Rural

For the week of April 18-24, rural new COVID-19 infection rates declined by almost 15 percent in rural (nonmetropolitan) counties. Similarly, the number of weekly rural deaths also fell by over 10 percent, reaching the lowest point since mid-July 2020. The weekly rate of new infections in rural areas was 97 per 100,000 residents, lower than the urban new infection rate of 127 per 100,000 residents. States with clusters of “red-zone” counties with high numbers of new infections include Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, southern New York, and New Hampshire. #covid-19 #rural

92 percent of children living in rural Maine will benefit from Child Tax Credit expansion in American Rescue Plan

April 22, 2021 – Older Youth, FamiliesCOVID-19, Maine, Rural

Included in the American Rescue Plan Act is a temporary expansion of both the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). For the tax year 2021, these expansions raise the minimum EITC for childless workers from about $540 to about $1,500 and expanded the eligible age range to include both young adults ages 19-24 and adults 65 and over. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that EITC expansion will benefit 21 percent of workers without children living in rural Maine (a total of 38,000 workers). Some key changes to the CTC include expanding it to reach families with low or no earnings, to count 17-year-olds as dependents, and to increase maximum credits to $3,600 for children under six (and $3,000 for those over 6). In rural Maine, an estimated 92 percent of children under 18 years old will benefit from CTC expansion. #covid-19 #rural #Maine

Rural health leaders call for partnership and collaboration to address rural health gaps

April 21, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Rural

A new article in The Journal of Rural Health synthesizes the proceedings from a 2018 national workshop and convening of rural health leaders to draw out lessons on rural research and health practice that can be applied to the COVID- 19 context. Using qualitative methodologies, the authors drew on notes, recordings, transcripts, and presentations of included discussions, concluding that rural health has been long overlooked. On the research side, the analysis revealed that investments are needed in dedicated rural health research mechanisms that allow researchers to build relationships with communities and understand appropriate research design. On the applied health side, the importance of recognizing the unique challenges of rural areas, the extent of rural diversity, and the role of culturally/linguistically appropriate approaches arose as especially important and actionable. Authors conclude that the COVID context has only deepened the need for the work called for in 2018. #covid-19 #rural

Rural seniors trail urban counterparts in vaccinations

April 20, 2021 – SeniorsCOVID-19, Rural, Vaccination

National Public Radio has analyzed county-level vaccine data from the CDC to examine rural-urban disparities. Analysis shows that the share of adults vaccinated in rural and urban counties is generally similar; however, among people age 65 or older, most states have higher vaccination rates in urban counties than in rural. In Maine, the vaccination rate for urban seniors is 4.5 percentage points higher than rural seniors. In only seven states are rural seniors more likely to be vaccinated: New Hampshire leads this trend with rural senior vaccination rates 5.8 percentage points higher than among urban seniors. This pattern of rural lags is especially troubling given the age structure of rural places: with older populations, and therefore greater shares of the population eligible for vaccination earlier on, rural counties should have higher vaccination rates overall. The article highlights the successes of certain rural places in the Southwest that have focused on collaborative, community-based networks to dispense vaccines, and encourages other rural places to utilize those models for outreach. #covid-19 #vaccination #rural