Philanthropies find in rural communities, not just an opportunity to impact health, but also an opportunity to discover what works, to find solutions that could impact any type of community.
It’s critically important that philanthropy funds in rural communities.
I became interested in rural because when I looked at the map that was done by the CDC for COPD, the greatest prevalence existed in rural America, and particularly in Appalachia and in the South. So, if philanthropists don’t become engaged in this important work, this incredible health disparity will continue to exist.
People that live in rural communities want to stay in rural communities. People that work there want to stay there. How do we preserve that so that people can stay in their communities?
Philanthropy can play that role to make rural places as vibrant as any urban place in the nation.
We provide them those additional resources so that that they can even keep up and compete with other areas.
Historically, rural communities have been under-resourced and they’re so innovative and creative, it gives philanthropies an opportunity to step up and help to move our science and our practice along and to address the challenges that rural communities face.
Things happen at much more in real time in rural communities. It’s incredibly instructive for funders. The smaller places being used as kind of learning laboratories or innovation centers for what could work in a larger sense.
It’s really good for philanthropy to focus, to do pilot projects, to see the passion that the rural communities have and the need is just so great and the stories are so powerful there.