Stories and Reports

Colorado River
In Crisis

Stories and Reports

The Western
Energy Boom

Stories and Reports

Health Care in
the Rural West

Historical Background

The Country Life Commission

Data Visualization

Featured Interactives

 

Data Visualization

Journalism's Voyage West

Global Players in the West's Extraction Economy

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Last modified Thu, 2 Apr, 2015 at 11:54

Data Visualization: Journalism's Voyage West

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Last modified Thu, 2 Apr, 2015 at 10:46

Health Care in the Rural West: Persistent Problems, Glimmers of Hope

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Giving a typhoid innoculation at a school in rural San Augustine County, Texas, 1943. (Photo: John Vachon via Library of Congress)

Giving a typhoid innoculation at a school in rural San Augustine County, Texas, 1943. (Photo: John Vachon via the Library of Congress)

 

By Michael De Alessi and Robin Pam

“In general, the rural population is less safe-guarded by boards of health than is the urban population. The physicians are farther apart and are called in later in case of sickness, and in some districts medical attendance is relatively more expensive. The necessity for disease prevention is therefore self-evident and a betterment of these conditions is a nation-wide obligation.”

– Report of the Country Life Commission [1]

Fearing a loss of agricultural productivity and rural community, Teddy Roosevelt formed the Country Life Commission in 1908 to investigate why the social and intellectual, as well as economic, aspects of country life were not keeping pace with city life.[2] Of the six “deficiencies of country life” highlighted by the commission, “health in the open country” featured prominently.[3]  The report emphasized issues such as differential access to doctors, numbers of physicians per capita, and costs of rural health care, and all remain contemporary concerns. The Commission’s call for “increasing the powers of the Federal Government in respect to the supervision and control of the public health”[4] could be pulled straight from today's health care debates.

Last modified Thu, 2 Apr, 2015 at 11:48

Data Visualization: Western U.S. Demographics

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Last modified Wed, 8 Apr, 2015 at 20:57