Strengthening Health and Health Care in Rural America


Decades ago, while Mary Wakefield was in high school and working as a nurse’s aide in a small hospital in rural North Dakota, she was deeply struck by the personal, compassionate care that every patient received.

In a new To the Point post celebrating the Commonwealth Fund’s centennial, Wakefield, a former top official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and current professor at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies, notes that the Commonwealth Fund recognized early on how hospitals serve as anchors in their communities. It was the 1920s when the young foundation launched a major effort to build hospitals across rural America.

Wakefield discusses the many challenges facing rural communities today, from hospital closings to high rates of uninsured patients. She also points to some of the ways health care can be improved for rural Americans, including models for integrating social care with medical care and tailoring education and recruitment efforts to the rural health care workforce.

rural united states_1x1 Read the post Strengthening Health and Health Care in Rural America