Embracing Technology to Support Healthy Kids in Rural America
Rural children living in poverty face a range of health and human service needs, yet often lack access to quality clinical and social, human, child development and family support services. The implications are stark. A newly released HHS chartbook shows that rural children face greater health risks and are less likely to get preventive care, compared to their suburban and urban counterparts.
HHS, in partnership with the White House Rural Council's new “Rural Impact” effort to combat rural child poverty, is exploring innovative new strategies to better serve rural kids and families. Today, HHS's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is announcing new funding to bridge the gap between rural families and critical health and social services. The program—totaling $2.8 million over three years—will support telehealth technology linking children in rural communities to medical specialists and social service resources that may not be available locally.
Imagine: a child living in a remote rural community can be seen and diagnosed for autism over the internet by a specialist based hundreds of miles away.
Or a child with diabetes can receive primary care at their rural health clinic and then connect remotely to an endocrinologist in another city. At the same time, his family can receive nutrition counseling and, if food security is a challenge, be directed to a food bank.