The health care difficulties that rural areas face are unique from their urban counterparts. On top of limited staff sizes and finances, rural areas face the additional burden of long distances between healthcare providers and their constituents.
Despite these special obstacles, however, rural areas fare far better than expected on a range of health measures.
In the summer of 2009, the Kansas Health Institute released the Kansas County Health Rankings, a document designed to assess and compare the health of residents in each of Kansas’ 105 counties. By using two domains of health – outcomes and determinants – Senior Fellow Gianfranco Pezzino, the report’s author, found that frontier counties and rural counties have much healthier populations than other more densely populated areas in the state.