In this second in our four-part series, Rural Communities: Conquering Challenges, Optimizing Opportunities, in partnership with and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Michelle chats with Nancy Dickey and David Lipsetz. Dickey spent almost a dozen years as president of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health affairs for The Texas A&M University System and currently serves in several academic and administrative roles at the College of Medicine and as executive director of the Rural and Community Health Institute. She also is part of the leadership team at the Center for Optimizing Rural Health, which was created last year with funding provided through the Vulnerable Rural Hospitals Assistance Program. Lipsetz is Chief Executive Officer at the Housing Assistance Council, a national nonprofit that has been helping rural America address poverty and hardship since 1971. Less than 7 percent of the philanthropic work conducted in the United States is done in rural America, notes Lipsetz, and less than 6 percent of mortgage deductions were filed by residents in rural communities. Lipsetz invites listeners to get in touch with his organization to talk about how to link the potential capacity of high-quality housing in rural and small towns offered by his organization with recruitment of providers that needs to be done by hospitals. Dickey notes that, in certain communities, hospitals have become “landlords” for intermediate housing because they’re forced to, in order to attract providers. In addition, Dickey says, sometimes hospitals arrange for apartment sharing among providers and also to provide tertiary care through telehealth services. Lipsetz notes that poverty clearly is a social determinant for quality of care since it limits access for rural patients, leading to unacceptable infant mortality and increased morbidity rates. This episode was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, www.rwjf.org and Thomas USAF, which on December 4 is sponsoring the 20th Annual National Rural Lenders Roundtable in Washington, D.C, www.nrlrt.com.