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Recent posts by Brian Depew

World-Class Vinegar in a town of 150

George Johnson makes world class vinegar in the small town of Cody, Neb. George’s story is a powerful example of how the values that our work stands on can lead to vibrant small towns.

I was lucky enough to visit George and his wife Karen on a recent trip through the Nebraska Sandhills. I stopped over for con­versation and lunch in the com­munity of 150 people they call home.

Premature Deaths on the Rise in Rural Areas

Where you live should not determine how long you live. New research shows it does.

Americans have enjoyed increasingly longer lives over time. Advances in medicine, a decline in fatal car accidents, and falling violent crime rates mean we are living longer.

But new research shows a reversal of this trend for some. If you are rich, geography doesn’t matter. Your expected lifespan is still increasing. But if you are poor, geography matters. In parts of the country we see an actual reversal of the trend.

Rural Hospitals Closing at Rate of 1 Per Month

Rural hospitals have been closing at a rate of nearly 1 per month since 2010. The Southeast has been especially hard hit (see map down below). A rural hospital closure can leave a permanent gap in availability of services in the community.

But closing rural hospitals is not inevitable. The recent increase in closures is the direct outcome of public policy decisions we have made, and we can make different decisions.

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