Attendee Resources


Below is a table summarizing projects and resources related to rural health and health equity shared by Un-Meeting attendees (last updated: April 3).


StateSubmitted byProject/Resource/Links
ALPamela Payne Foster, MD, MPH
Professor and Deputy Director
University of Alabama School of Medicine, Tuscaloosa campus
Institute for Rural Health Research

Faith Based Anti-Stigma Intervention to Heal HIV/AIDS (Project FAITHH)
ALRobert P. Kimberly
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Through our Partner Network we have a very active program of outreach addressing disparities in health in both rural and urban areas. We partner with our CDC-sponsored Prevention Research Center to address the needs of our community, and through our partners at UA Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Mississippi and LSU we reach across our region.
ARCarol E. Cornell, PhD
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Arkansas is a rural state with many residents who identify as African American, Hispanic/Latino or Marshallese. In line with the UAMS mission, we have significant infrastructure dedicated to rural health and health equity.

This includes the Translational Research Institute (TRI -- our CTSA), the Arkansas Center for Health Disparities (ARCHD), the Arkansas Prevention Research Center (ARPRC), the Offices of Community Based Public Health and Community Health and Research, and the Center for Pacific Islander Health.

Relevant information and resources are available from these entities at the following links:
UAMS Community Engagement Services
CA*Steven C. Cramer, MD, MMSc
Professor of Neurology
Associate Director, Institute for Clinical & Translational Science
University of California, Irvine

*Not attending un-meeting but wanted to share information with attendees
Telerehabilitation as a means to Improve Rural Health:

My lab has completed 3 studies of home-based telerehabilitation in patients with stroke. A pilot study found excellent behavioral gains and compliance on 97.9% of assigned days. An 11-site, 124-patient, NIH-funded study compared this home-based telerehabilitation with traditional in-clinic therapy across a 6-week course of therapy, using a non-inferiority design. Compliance was 98.3%. Both groups showed very large gains in arm function, and telerehabilitation was found to be not inferior to traditional in-clinic therapy. These results are under re-review. A third study recently finished and found that 12 weeks of home-based telerehabilitation was feasible and efficacious after stroke.

Patients in rural areas need post-stroke rehabilitation the same way as others in our country. Emerging telehealth methods offer the opportunity to provide this. Our system uses games to drive rehabilitation therapy, increasing patient satisfaction and maximizing compliance. I would like to suggest that our approach could be adapted to improve rural health for persons with a history of stroke, and likely with a history of other conditions requiring rehabilitation therapy.
COSusan S. Baker, EdD
Professor and Extension Specialist
Colorado State University
I led the development of a healthy eating and active living curriculum targeting low-income adults entitled "Eating Smart & Being Active." In addition to information about the curriculum, the website provides program leaders with everything they would need to implement the curriculum.
COLinda Zittleman, MSPH
Co-Director, High Plains Research Network
University of Colorado
High Plains Research Network

Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute
FLHeidi Liss Radunovich, PhD
Associate Professor, Extension Specialist and Program Director for UF Extension Engagement
University of Florida
Dr. Radunovich's biography
FLKarla P. Shelnutt, PhD, RD
Associate Professor and Extension Nutrition Specialist
University of Florida
For more information on FNP and EFNEP and a list of the counties we serve, please visit the following websites:

UF/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program

UF/IFAS Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
FLLinda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, FACE
Director, Community Engagement UF CTSI
University of Florida
HealthStreet is our community engagement program. Through this program we reach underrepresented populations, including rural populations. The Cottler lab has several projects related to reducing rural health disparities: A Florida Blue study in two rural counties in Florida among older adults that aims to assess health needs and concerns, assess cognitive impairment and offer transportation to those who are in need of these services; and a Florida Department of Health study to assess cognitive impairment, refer older adults in 10 rural counties to memory screening clinics and educate physicians about cognitive impairment. In addition, we are a member of the AAMC group to improve health equity regarding food insecurity in north central Florida through health systems.
FLJohn M. Diaz, PhD
Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist
University of Florida
I work as an evaluation specialist for the Rural Health program in Florida. We partner with faith-based communities to deliver health and nutrition classes.
FLJeffrey Harman, PhD
Florida State University
The Florida State University College of Medicine has established the Florida Blue Center for Rural Health Research and Policy. The center is dedicated to the advancement of quality health services and research in Florida's rural communities. The core mission of the center includes researching and addressing the unique challenges and opportunities facing Florida's rural health care system, providers, and consumers. Approximately 10% of Florida's population lives in rural communities and are adversely impacted by limited access to care and a maldistribution of physicians. The center's work helps the state better understand what Rural Florida is facing and how to address those needs. The Center is currently recruiting for a new Director of the Center.
FLJohn Mathias, PhD, MSW
Assistant Professor
Florida State University
I am currently exploring collaborations to study the material and social impacts of Hurricane Michael. The focus of the project is to understand how the hurricane and subsequent recovery process may either exacerbate or alleviate chronic social and health inequities in the region.
FLDavid Willis, MD
CommunityHealth IT
Community Health IT
FLScott C. Brown, PhD
Research Associate Professor
University of Miami
Dr. Brown's biography

Research project: Impact of Greening on Cardiovascular Disease in Low-Income Miami Neighborhoods

Q&A: A closer look into a JAHA study on greenness and heart disease
FLTracy Irani, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Family Youth and Community Sciences
University of Florida
Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
FLBetsy Shenkman, PhD
University of Florida
OneFlorida Clinical Research Consortium: Background and Partners

UF Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics
FLPhyllis Hendry, MD
Professor, Associate Chair EM Research
UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville
Pain Assessment and Management Initiative: includes free access online learning modules, non-pharmacologic and alternatives to opioids toolkit, discharge planning toolkits, pain dosing and management guide, distraction toolkit, virtual reality for pain, etc.

Florida PEDReady: pediatric resources for FL EDs and EMS agencies, communication cards for children, non-English speaking or non-verbal patients, etc.
FLCamesha Tate, MPA
Dental Clinic Administrator
ACORN Clinic
ACORN Clinic
FLNick T. Place, PhD
Dean and Director
University of Florida / IFAS
Our IFAS Extension website has blogs and success stories of all programs, including those related to rural health and health equity.
FLJeff A. Feller, MSISE
CEO, WellFlorida Council;
Adjunct Faculty, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida
Mr. Feller’s investigative and study interests include the effectiveness of public health program interventions; evaluation of public health program performance; linkage of community health assessment and community health improvement planning; and emerging issues in public health program accreditation. His research is generally unpublished, as it is provided to clients via special studies and reports as part of WellFlorida Council’s consultative services division. Examples of this work can be seen at Mr. Feller received his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Florida in 1989 and his MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Florida in 1991. In 2005, Mr. Feller graduated from the Johnson and Johnson/ UCLA Health Care Executive program, which is a competitive opportunity awarded to select Health Resources Services Administration grantees.
FLSamantha R. Paige, PhD, MPH
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
STEM Translational Communication Center, University of Florida
I am leading a project entitled, “Precision Message Approaches to Combating Late Stage COPD Diagnosis among Rural Adults.” The project aims to explore the social values and experiences of rural Floridians at-risk or living with COPD, in order to develop a strategic health message intervention that simultaneously promotes timely screening and promotes intentions to quit smoking tobacco. This project is supported by a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32), through the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH/NHLBI). Grant #F32HL143938.
FLKatie Blackburn, MSPH
Research Coordinator
University of Florida
Citizen Scientist Curriculum, University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Institute
GAHenry N. Young, PhD
Associate Professor
University of Georgia
Rural Hospital Project
Opioid Issues
GALinda Kirk Fox, PhD
Dean, College of Family and Consumer Sciences
University of Georgia
University of Georgia hosted the Rural Stress Conference in December 2018 focused on the many challenges faced by rural America: struggling economies, rising suicide rates and the growing opioid epidemic. Land-grant institutions are uniquely positioned to impact community wellness in rural America at the local level. Post-conference resources are available on the web site where presentation slides and videos are posted.
ILYamile Molina, PhD, MS, MPH
Assistant Professor
University of Illinois at Chicago
Scheel, J. R., Molina, Y., Patrick, D. L., Anderson, B. O., Nakigudde, G., Lehman, C. D., & Thompson, B. (2016). Breast cancer downstaging practices and breast health messaging preferences among a community sample of urban and rural Ugandan women. Journal of global oncology, 3(2), 105-113.

Jenkins, W.D., Matthews, A.K., Bailey, A., Zahnd, W.E., Watson, K.S., Mueller-Luckey, G., Molina, Y., Crumly, D. and Patera, J., 2018. Rural areas are disproportionately impacted by smoking and lung cancer. Preventive medicine reports, 10, pp.200-203.

Molina, Y., Zimmermann, K., Carnahan, L.R., Paulsey, E., Bigman, C.A., Khare, M.M., Zahnd, W. and Jenkins, W.D., 2017. Rural Women's Perceptions About Cancer Disparities and Contributing Factors: a Call to Communication. Journal of Cancer Education, pp.1-8.

Zimmermann, K., Carnahan, L. R., Paulsey, E., & Molina, Y. (2016). Health care eligibility and availability and health care reform: Are we addressing rural women's barriers to accessing care?. Journal of health care for the poor and underserved, 27(4A), 204-219.
ILChelsey Byers Gerstenecker, MA
Extension Educator
University of Illinois Extension
I serve as the Illinois representative on the North Central Region Aging Network (NCRAN)

Illinois Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
ILAlana Knudson, PhD
NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis (NORC)
INGina Claxton, MPH, RD
Program Manager
Indiana CTSI
Trailblazer Award (Indiana-based project proposals due May 28, 2019, for awards of up to $25,000).

Indiana CTSI and Indiana State Department of Health coalitions (Healthy Weight, Cardiovascular and Diabetes, Asthma, Cancer), in partnership with Purdue Extension.
INAngie Abbott, EdD, RDN, CD
Assistant Dean and Associate Director
Purdue University
Purdue Extension programs:
Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Communities

Nutrition Education Program

Health and Human Sciences Extension

"Rural Health and Safety Education: Combating Opioids" Webinar Series

Rural Indiana Stats (RIS)

Indiana CTSI Community Health Partnerships (CHeP)
KYGia Mudd-Martin, PhD, MPH, RN
Associate Professor
University of Kentucky
The Appalachian Translational Research Network is a network of 8 CTSA-funded and affiliate Universities, and collaborating community organizations. Our Mission is to improve health outcomes across Appalachia by fostering collaborative inter-institutional and academic-community research partnerships.
MDPriscah Mujuru, DrPH, RN
Program Official
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Dr. Mujuru's biography and selected publications.
MDPaul Moore, DPh
Senior Health Policy Adviser
Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
Social Determinants of Health, National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services Policy Brief November 2017

Mortality and Life Expectancy in Rural America: Connecting the Health and Human Service Safety Nets to Improve Health Outcomes over the Life Course, National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services Policy Brief October 2015
MDVirginie Zoumenou, PhD, CNS
Professor, Extension Nutrition and Health Programs Director
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
We have three communities participating in the Well Connected Communities-Culture of Health Initiative: Fruitland, Princess Anne-Eden and Pocomoke. Our website shows communities working together to implement a project called "Healthy Street-Healthy Me." Fruitland Community information is entered on the website. Princess Anne-Eden and Pocomoke will be entered later. The website is being updated daily.
MNChung Wi, MD
Assistant Professor
Mayo Clinic Rochester
Our group developed and validated an individual-level SES measure (HOUSES) based on patients' address and its linked real property data. This can be applied to a large sample sized data through geocoding process without patient contact. This is a better measure than aggregate level SES (eg, Census, ACS data) which is subject to misclassification bias.
MNJennifer Weis, MAN, RN
Research Administrator
Mayo Clinic
Rochester Healthy Community Partnership
MNCathy McCarty
Associate Dean and Professor
University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth
University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth Department of Family Medicine and Biobehavioral Health

University of Montana National Rural Bioethics Project
MOSarah Chavez, PhD
Senior Scientist
Washington University in Saint Louis
Rural Cancer Disparities
MONora Leahy
Public Health Research Coordinator
Washington University
Rural Cancer Disparities

Community Research Fellows Training Program
MSMary Nelson Robertson, MA, CHES
Extension Associate III
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State University Extension Service's PReventing Opioid Misuse In the SouthEast: PROMISE Initiative aims to prevent prescription opioid misuse among rural families, specifically ag producers in Mississippi. The PROMISE Initiative utilizes an integrated multi-phased approach to promote opioid misuse prevention that includes: a needs assessment, Extension agent-led and peer-to-peer led education, placement of drug take-back boxes, and partnering with the State Opioid Response team to implement a social marketing campaign.

This project is supported by the FY17 USDA NIFA Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant # 2017-46100-27225 and the FY18 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Rural Opioids Technical Assistance Grants (ROTA) # TI-18-022. To learn more about the PROMISE Initiative, please visit this link,
MSCarol Connell, PhD, RD
Professor, Kinesiology & Nutrition
Mississippi Center for Clinical and Translational Research
Community Engaged Research Core for MCCTR

Impact of a Preschool Obesity Prevention Program Enhanced with Positive Behavioral Supports, funded by USDHHS Office of Minority Health: The goal of this project is to evaluate the effects of a preschool obesity prevention curriculum that is enhanced with parent and teacher training in positive behavioral supports.
NCSarah Kirby, PhD
Assistant Director, FCS Program Leader, Professor
NC State University
NC State Extension Healthy Homes

Med instead of Meds

Eat Smart Move More Prevent Diabetes

Eat Smart Move More NC

NC State Extension Safe Plates for Food Manager Certification Program

Faithful Families Thriving Communities
NJJanet Golden, MBA
Director, Professional Development
National 4-H Council
Well Connected Communities Initiative
NMSonja Koukel, PhD
Extension Health Specialist
New Mexico State University
Currently, I am the PI on a health literacy project funded through the National Library of Medicine. The statewide project is "Training and Coaching for Creating Easy-to-Read Health Materials for New Mexico Populations."
NMNancy Pandhi, MD, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center showcases health experiences of illness modules, including people from rural areas.
NYLaura Sugarwala, MBA, RDN
Senior Engagement Manager
University of Rochester
Feeding America is the national membership organization for food banks. Each county in the US is served by a food bank. Feeding America also provides an interface for finding a local food bank by ZIP code.
NYGilberto Lopez, ScD, MPH, MA
Research Assistant Professor
University of Rochester Medical Center
Currently, I am using HINTS data to understand cancer-related behaviors across the rural/urban continuum and by race/ethnicity. I am also developing a pilot grant to explore the cancer needs and experiences of rural cancer patients across the Wilmot Cancer Institute's catchment area in Western New York.
NYTimothy Hunt, PhD, MSW
Associate Research Scientist, Associate Director, SIG/CSSW
Columbia University
I am co-investigator for an upcoming study to test a County-system Hub and Spoke Empowerment model (“CHASE”) to reduce incidence of fatal overdoses in 15 geographically and racially diverse rural and urban counties in NYS that averaged 28.2 deaths per 100,000 in 2017. CHASE is a modified Hub and Spoke model that is adaptable to the unique needs of any particular county with the aim of developing a blueprint that could be applied to counties across the US. CHASE is a coordinated multi-system, multi-sector public health response to the opioid epidemic, directed by County Health or Mental Health Commissioners, and driven by robust community engagement and real-time learning based on data science and systems science.
OHAmy R. Sheon, PhD, MPH
Exec Director, Urban Health Initiative
Case Western Reserve University
Digital medicine and clinical research increasingly assume that all patients have smartphones, 24/7 connectivity, and can use apps, remote monitors & patient portals. Disparities in internet adoption risk accentuating health & clinical research participation disparities among rural and other population groups. Our pioneering use of community health workers to screen patients for their digital skills and connectivity, refer patients to community resources to address gaps, and then to train patients to use these tools is described in a new book, "Voices of Innovation: Fulfilling the Promise of Information Technology in Healthcare."

Cleveland & Cuyahoga Health Data Matters has datasets and interactive tools to visualize and map disparities in health and SDOH.

See also work on addressing digital medicine evidence gaps for special populations.
OHShoshanah Inwood, PhD
Assistant Professor
Ohio State University
Dr. Inwood leads the USDA-funded research and Extension project Health Insurance and Rural Economic Development in Agriculture (HIREDnAg), which examines how health insurance influences economic development and quality of life in the agriculture sector. One outcome of the research is the recognition that the health and agriculture sector are disconnected. With funding from the Northeast Rural Development Center, our team is bridging these silos by organizing state forums on Agriculture, Health and Rural Economic Development across the country. In light of the current farm crisis, farmer mental health and rising farmer suicide rates, I am collaborating with the University of Minneapolis and South Dakota State to identify innovative models of mental health delivery for farm families.
OKJorge H. Atiles, PhD
Associate Dean, Extension & Engagement
Oklahoma State University College of Human Sciences FCS Extension
See our extension health programs here.

Our courses across counties and other impact data can be found at our main site.
ORLaura Campbell, MBA, MPH
Community Research Liaison
Oregon Health & Science University
Oregon Community Research Hub
ORRoberta Riportella, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Outreach and Engagement
Oregon State University
Much of our Extension work is fairly upstream, targeting rural children in communities and in schools through the Nutrition Ed Programs; half of our workforce is bilingual. Related link:
Physical activity lacking for food-insecure Oregon rural children

A team at Oregon State University has created HEAL MAPPS , a tool being using nationally that helps community stakeholders document people’s experience of place with respect to supports and barriers for habitual healthy eating and physical activity.
PAJen Kraschnewski, MD, MPH
Associate Professor
Penn State University
Better Together Lebanon County
PAAndrea Murray, MPH
Community Engagement Coordinator
Penn State CTSI
In recent years, "deaths of despair" have been identified as increases in mortality among white non-Hispanic Americans linked to suicide, accidental poisoning (e.g. opiate abuse, fentanyl, etc.), liver disease, diabetes, and heart disease with prevalence in small towns and rural America.

Addressing conditions within the health system alone ignores the nearly 70% of contributions from socioeconomic factors and behavioral and metabolic risk factors resulting in large and increasing geographic disparities in life expectancy across the US. 

Successful population health initiatives rely on effective community-based solutions to address diseases of despair. However, as our knowledge of "deaths of despair" is largely confined to broad epidemiological findings, there is a dearth of information regarding how local communities and health systems are currently responding to this public health challenge, and a clear need to gather more local data to understand the populations most severely affected.
SCKatherine Sterba, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor
Medical University of South Carolina
MUSC Health Technology Solutions

MUSC Special Populations

MUSC Health Center for Telehealth
TNVelma McBride Murry, PhD
Vanderbilt University
Dr. Murry's biography and publications.

The Closing Digital Divide: Delivery Modality and Family Attendance in the Pathways for African American Success (PAAS) Program

Excavating New Constructs for Family Stress Theories in the Context of Everyday Life Experiences of Black American Families

Pathways for African American Success: Results of Three-Arm Randomized Trial to Test the Effects of Technology-Based Delivery for Rural African American Families

TXWari Allison, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
UT Health San Antonio
UT Health San Antonio ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) model

Targeted Access to Community Knowledge, Linkage to treatment and Education for HIV/HCV in people of color (TACKLE HIV/HCV in people of color) program
TXJacquelyn White, EdD
Program Leader – Family & Community Health
Prairie View A&M University
Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension System
UTDavid Wetter, PhD
University of Utah
Huntsman Cancer Institute Center for Health Outcomes & Population Equity (HOPE)
VAKaren Vines, PhD
Assistant Professor, Continuing Professional Education Specialist
Virginia Tech
The Rural Health & Safety Education grant (USDA-NIFA 2017-05664) used two approaches:

1. The PROSPER evidence based intervention in two rural communities, and
2. A patient education program in two health districts.

We are replicating the PROSPER model in additional counties through two grants, CYFAR and SAMSHA. State funding allowed the patient education program to be developed as an app for use by patients in a clinic setting that was extended statewide. Another community-based approach is currently being explored in another Virginia community. In addition, Virginia Tech hosted a Higher Education summit, inviting universities across the state to share projects and build collaborations May 1, 2018. As a result of this summit a memorandum of agreement is being developed as a basis for collaboration on future projects.
VAKathy Hosig, PhD, MPH, RD
Associate Professor, Extension Specialist
Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech Center for Public Health Practice and Research
WICasper "Cap" Bendixsen, PhD
Director of the National Farm Medicine Center and Research Scientist
Marshfield Clinic Research Institute
The following websites have both information and resources related to our team's work in rural and agricultural health and safety:
National Farm Medicine Center and National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety
Cultivate Safety
Wisconsin Infant Study Cohort
WVTony Michael, J.D.
Director & Professor
West Virginia University
We have strong SNAP-Ed and EFNEP program partnerships and our Extension Service has recently engaged in broad-based efforts to address substance misuse.