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Background and Significance:
- Approximately 50 million people in the U.S. live in rural areas
- Rural communities are served by about 2000 rural hospitals.
- Residents of rural areas are less healthy than urban residents on most measures of health status.
- Rural hospitals play a critical role in their communities by:
- Providing access to health care;
- Serving as a hub for public health, wellness, and social services;
- Providing jobs, recruiting health practitioners, making communities more attractive places to live and work.
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