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Kiri Bagley and Brianna Borsheim

Twenty percent of Americans live in rural areas. Many face health disparities caused by geographic isolation, transportation limitations, and a lack of access to local specialty health care (1, 2). Americans living in rural areas also are more likely to be uninsured, to have lower rates of access to preventive health services, and to engage in unhealthy behaviors (such as tobacco use) (25). They also have greater incidence rates of potentially preventable diseases, including heart disease and stroke, and higher mortality rates than their urban counterparts (2, 4,