The Illinois General Assembly created the Rural Development Working Group (HJR 1) to investigate the conditions, needs, and issues of the agricultural industry and to evaluate any action or legislation that might be necessary to promote economic development in rural areas of the state. To gain a better understanding of why certain factors increase risk in some rural counties and what makes some communities more resilient, researchers plan to recruit and study 4,000 multi-ethnic participants from 10 of the rural counties with the most economic problems in the Southern Appalachians and the Mississippi Delta, or AMD. North Dakota SCR 4013 directs the Legislative Administration to consider studying the distribution and transportation of food in the state necessary for the lives of people in rural communities, as well as the functions of state entities in facilitating the movement of food to rural areas of the state. The South is one of the fastest-growing regions in America, which means that Southerners face urban growth problems more often than communities elsewhere.
Dr. Summers noted that RURAL has some similarities in scope and design with other population-level studies conducted by UMMC, such as the Study on the Risk of Atherosclerosis in Communities and the Jackson Heart Study. The SCM 1002 asks Congress to fully fund pay instead of tax (PILT) programs to help fund rural education programs. In an effort to understand why people born in rural communities in the south live shorter and less healthy lives than their counterparts elsewhere in the same counties and across the country, researchers from the University of Mississippi Medical Center and associated institutions announced on May 22nd the launch of a new longitudinal cohort study aimed at combating this problem.
The longitudinal study of underlying risk in rural areas, or RURAL, will allow researchers to learn about causes of high cardiac, pulmonary, blood and sleep loads, abbreviated HLBS, disorders in Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana and provide clues on how to alleviate them. In addition to a shortage of primary care providers and services in rural areas, people who live there also often lack access to mental health and other behavioral health services, long-term care options for elderly individuals, emergency medical services, and other essential services. Other rural hospitals in Mississippi, particularly those located in Amory and Batesville, are also at risk of closing if there is no new operator to take them over. In a report published by the Center for Southern Rural Development at Mississippi State University, Garkovich said that problems related to this growth can divide a community or prompt it to act.
The challenges facing rural communities in Southern Mississippi are numerous. These include a lack of access to primary care providers and services; inadequate mental health and behavioral health services; limited long-term care options for elderly individuals; a lack of emergency medical services; a shortage of food distribution and transportation; urban growth problems; high HLBS disorders; and potential hospital closures. To address these issues, researchers are launching a longitudinal cohort study called RURAL which will investigate underlying risk factors in these areas. Additionally, Congress has been asked to fully fund PILT programs to help fund rural education programs.
The RURAL study is an important step towards understanding why people born in rural communities in Southern Mississippi live shorter and less healthy lives than their counterparts elsewhere. By studying 4,000 multi-ethnic participants from 10 counties with economic problems in AMD, researchers hope to uncover underlying risk factors that can be addressed through policy changes or other interventions. Additionally, Congress has been asked to fully fund PILT programs which can help fund rural education programs. This could help alleviate some of the challenges facing these communities by providing access to essential services such as primary care providers, mental health services, long-term care options for elderly individuals, emergency medical services, food distribution and transportation.
It is clear that there are many challenges facing rural communities in Southern Mississippi which need to be addressed if these communities are going to thrive. The RURAL study is an important step towards understanding these challenges so that effective solutions can be implemented. Additionally, Congress should fully fund PILT programs which can help fund essential services for these communities.