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Fifth Annual Eccles Family Rural West Conference

A Healthier Rural West: Critical Issues…Innovative Solutions

Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 23-25, 2017

Panel 2: Better Health (Care) for the Rural West

« A Healthier Rural West

A Healthier Rural Westerner »


The World Health Organization defines health as “a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease.” Using this definition, this panel focused on the well being of the population residing in the Rural West. This population is spread across vast distances, often has few options for care, and confronts greater obstacles to obtaining information. While health care spending in the US is nearly 1/5 of the gross national product, outcomes are not much better than in much of the developing world. Panelists discussed the major barriers and opportunities to provide and coordinate better health and better care in the Rural West at a fair cost.

Held March 24, 2017 at the School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, NM


Speakers Click name to cue video

Panel Recap

Lynn Gallagher, secretary of the State of New Mexico Department of Health, and University of New Mexico professor Sally Davis detailed the success of New Mexico’s use of community health workers, specialized health care professionals who educate residents and promote healthy lifestyles through personal visits. Panelists also detailed the advantages of using teleconferencing technology to bridge geographical hurdles and partnerships involving citizens, nonprofit groups, government agencies and universities to reduce the risk of chronic disease for the inhabitants of Cuba, New Mexico.

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Panel 3: Housing

« A Healthier Rural West

A Healthier Rural Westerner »



Rural West Conference Volume

Bridging the Distance

Common Issues of the Rural West

Edited by David B. Danbom
Foreword by David M. Kennedy

Published in cooperation with the Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University
The University of Utah Press has published Bridging the Distance, a book by the Rural West Initiative of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. Edited by the distinguished historian David B. Danbom and with a foreword by Center co-founding director David M. Kennedy, the book explores the Rural West across four dimensions: Community, Land, Economics – and defining the Rural West itself. The book is the result of work presented at the first Conference on the Rural West, which took place in Ogden, Utah, in October 2012.