Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

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.


Medical schools and teaching hospitals step up to support rural communities

May 14, 2020 – Families

The Association of American Medical Colleges summarizes actions by medical schools and teaching hospitals to support rural communities in the pandemic. In mid-March as COVID-19 hit Tennessee, East Tennessee State University scrambled to set up the first testing site in the rural region. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences set up a mobile testing unit and has transferred sicker COVID-19 patients from smaller facilities to larger hospitals. Teaching hospitals also support local rural populations with expanded telemedicine and creative dissemination of health information, including through public television to circumvent lack of internet access. #covid-19 #rural

Now is the time to invest in rural broadband, but can federal aid be used?

May 14, 2020 – General

Pew Charitable Trusts reports that many rural residents view this time of social distancing as an opportunity to push for broadband investments. Vermont is one of one of several states that are considering using their federal CARES Act money to expand broadband, and unlike other states, Vermont has developed an Emergency Broadband Action Plan. However, efforts may be constrained by a federal requirement to use CARES Act money by the end of 2020. The Vermont Department of Public Service estimates that it would take around three years to complete their broadband expansion project. (Link to Vermont’s Emergency Broadband Action Plan: #covid-19 #rural

How philanthropy is responding to COVID-19 in Rural America

May 12, 2020 – Seniors

The national organization Grantmakers in Aging recently held a webinar to cover how philanthropy can respond to COVID-19 in rural places, especially to meet the needs of older adults. Some of the standard funder responses include relaxing reporting requirements, paying forward existing obligations, converting program grants to general operating support, and contributing to funder pools. However, presenters also highlighted some more innovative responses such as disseminating accurate information locally, supporting broadband efforts, checking in on isolated older adults, leveraging community connections, and helping source PPE for rural health providers. #covid-19 #rural

Rural, black, and Native youth disconnected from alternative education programming

May 1, 2020 – Older Youth

A new article from Pew Trusts Stateline highlights the challenges of the pandemic for disconnected youth, with focus on rural, black, and Native youth. For those who were tenuously connected to alternative education and skill-building program, socially distanced versions of programming may not be enough to keep them connected, especially considering infrastructure and financial barriers around virtual learning. #covid-19 #education #rural

Rural Counties Shed a Quarter Million Jobs in March

April 30, 2020 – General

A recent Daily Yonder analysis of economic data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that across the country from February to March 2020, rural counties lost a quarter of a million jobs. Job losses in metropolitan (urban) counties were far larger at 2.6 million jobs during this same time period. Authors say these statistics suggest that rural counties might be losing jobs slower than urban counties, at least as of March 2020. #covid-19 #rural

Mitigating COVID-19’s Rural Impact on Families At-Risk for Violence and Child Maltreatment and Neglect

April 29, 2020 – Young Children

Researchers at the Rural Health Information Hub share emerging strategies for mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 situation on rural child maltreatment and neglect. Though child maltreatment reports have fallen dramatically, researchers suggest this is due to reduced contact with potential reporters, rather than an actual reduction in child abuse and neglect. Nonprofit domestic violence clinics in Oregon have pivoted to new methods of connecting during the pandemic, including providing website chat boxes which are safer than a text chain on a personal phone that may be monitored by the abuser. #covid-19

Rural Counties That Are Active Online Have Higher Incomes

April 24, 2020 – General

The Daily Yonder reports on a new way to measure broadband use and adoption in rural places—the number of “ventures”, individual domain names with an active website, per 100 people. This measure is made possible by a new dataset from GoDaddy that contains county-level data about active websites. Researchers at Arizona State and the University of Iowa found that nonmetropolitan (rural) counties with more online ventures also had higher median household incomes, even when controlling for variables such as race, age, and local industry mix. #covid-19 #rural

Public transit provides critical lifeline, but faces serious strains

April 23, 2020 – Seniors

A new post from AARP describes steps that public transportation providers are taking to ensure that access to critical services continues during the pandemic. One transit company in rural Michigan service now delivers groceries, food pantry good, senior meals, and prescriptions to older adults and other vulnerable populations. Another, in rural Pennsylvania, is providing homeless individuals with rides to testing and quarantine locations. While these actions are providing support to key populations in the crisis, additional services and waived fees threaten the long-term sustainability of the public transit agencies. #covid-19

New Covid-19 Risk Assessment Could Help Rural Mitigation Strategies

April 20, 2020 – General

New research out of Iowa State University highlighted by the Daily Yonder uses a new method of assessing COVID-19 risks in rural counties. They find that, in general, non-metropolitan (rural) counties are at a higher risk for complications related to COVID-19 than metropolitan (urban) counties. In fact, an estimated 31% of rural counties were identified as high-risk. Iowa State researchers suggest that this kind of risk analysis can inform mitigation strategies to protect vulnerable populations. #covid-19 #ruralresponse

Bus brings behavioral health care to rural Georgia families

April 19, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth, Families

A new mobile health unit is now serving two rural counties in Georgia, run by a local behavioral health organization focused on youth aged 4-21 and their families and caregivers. The unit, called the THRIVE bus, was donated by a local fire department, and includes a registered nurse, a certified addiction counselor, and a social worker. Adhering to social distancing practices, the professionals provide basic medical screenings (including for COVID-19 symptoms) and mental health assessments, and instead of referring patients out, work to address immediate needs on the spot. Partnerships with local school systems and food pantries round out service offerings. #covid-19

Will Students without Home Internet Fall Behind During Coronavirus Shutdowns?

April 12, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Analysis from the Public Policy Institute of California found that that most vulnerable studentsduring the coronavirus pandemic – those who are low income, Latinx, African American, or rural – are less likely to have broadband access at home. Almost 50 percent of low-income households with school-aged children did not have broadband at home. Without anchor institutions like libraries, recreation centers, and restaurants to provide public Wi-Fi, students have fewer public solutions available, which has serious implications for educational equity. #covid-19 #education

COVID‐19: How Can Rural Community Pharmacies Respond to the Outbreak?

April 11, 2020 – Families

New research commentary from The Journal of Rural Health describes how pharmacists can play an important role in public health, especially in rural areas with limited primary care providers during coronavirus pandemic. With “about 90% of Americans living within 5 miles of a community pharmacy” (2), pharmacists have an opportunity to advise patients on symptoms and refer patients to higher levels of care when necessary. #covid-19 #rural