John has an extremely informative discussion with Tom Morris, Associate Administrator for Rural Health in the Human Resources and Services Administration at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Rural Americans are dying at an earlier age and at a higher rate than urban Americans, notes Morris, and also are victims disproportionately of “excess deaths,” such as certain chronic diseases and opioid addiction, which could be prevented through timely intervention. Education and better access to health care, however, can improve outcomes, Morris explains. You just can’t take an urban model and apply it to rural areas, he stresses. Check out the Rural Community Health Gateway (ruralhealthinfo.org), and you’ll find models that work in rural health. And Morris’s office is combining funds for grass-roots efforts at improving health. Finally, the good news: the health care sector is a high-growth employment area, so rural areas need to work with high schools and colleges to take advantages of this development.