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.


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

How to reach students without internet access during coronavirus? Schools get creative

April 9, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

For more rural places or districts without widespread broadband access during the coronovirus pandemic, schools are shifting to more low-tech solutions, including daily television programming tied to local curriculums via local PBS affiliates in Arkansas and California, at-home reading challenges in Rhode Island, and delivery of print materials via school bus in Nevada and Minnesota, These deliveries are sometimes paired with school meal drop-offs, as in New Hampshire. #covid-19 #education #rural

Brookings: Transformative placemaking amid COVID-19: Early stories from the field

April 7, 2020 – General

Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking looks at how placemaking practitioners—from those managing public spaces in large cities to those supporting small businesses in rural communities—have adapted their work amid the coronavirus pandemic to meet residents’ immediate needs, while staying aligned with their mission of place-based inclusion and long-term well-being. #COVID-19

COVID-19 Research Spotlight: Rural Places

April 7, 2020 – General

Given the multitude of rural spaces in Maine, the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire has highlighted some of the most recent research on diagnoses, experiences, and implications of #COVID-19 in rural places, including Maine.

Rural COVID-19 Innovations

April 2, 2020 – General

Learn about how rural communities are innovating the face of COVID-19. The Rural Health Information Hub is assembling a collection of best practices, lessons learned, and other examples addressing healthcare and health-related concerns, such as food and shelter. #covid-19

Infographic: Rate of Living Alone by Rurality and Age

April 1, 2020 – Seniors

A new infographic from the University of Minnesota’s Rural Health Research Center found that the likelihood of living alone increases with age in both urban and rural areas. An estimated 28.2% of people ages 65 and older in nonmetropolitan (rural) counties live alone, compared to only 6.6% of people ages 18-34 in these same areas. This highlights the importance of place-based approaches to supporting seniors who live alone. #covid-19

Some Pregnant Women Who Can Afford to Are Fleeing New York City

April 1, 2020 – Families

With fear of exposure to the coronavirus in hospitals, many pregnant women are considering giving birth at home or traveling great distances. The Stateline initiative of Pew Charitable Trusts reports that rural, black women, who were already marginalized before the pandemic, are now unable to find available midwives and feel they have no option but to have risky unassisted home births. Lifting existing state restrictions on midwifery and supporting black midwives and doulas could be part of the solution. Experts at the Urban Institute also propose that ensuring Medicaid coverage for out-of-hospital births would help further support safe options for mothers. #covid-19