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Rural Matters

Aug 19, 2021

In the first of our four-part series, Viewing Rural Health, Education, and Business Through an Equity Lens, produced in collaboration with and supported by Grantmakers In Health, chats with an excellent group of practitioners and experts: William Buster, Senior Vice President for Impact at Dogwood Health Trust in Asheville, NC, oversees the foundation’s grantmaking and program-related investments and ensures that the foundation lives up to its goals for diversity, equity and inclusion; Nathan Ramsey, Executive Director of Land of Sky Regional Council and Director of the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board serving Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania Counties; and Tressie White, Program Director at the Montana Healthcare Foundation. Rural and urban families struggling with poverty face the same challenges, from educational opportunities to broadband access, notes Buster. Indeed, with our current labor shortage, it’s important that we ensure that all residents live up to their full potential, Ramsey notes, whether in urban or rural communities. There are clear-cut health disparities in Montana, White says, including that, on average, those in trial communities have a lifespan 20 years shorter than non-native Americans. Her organization helps tribal communities in a variety of areas, including securing grants, providing technical assistance, and developing school-based services. The guests discuss lessons learned from the pandemic and what communities can take advantage of post-pandemic, including access to housing and health care, increased broadband equity, and infrastructure and sustainable enhancements. This episode and the entire series, is sponsored by Grantmakers In Health.