Population Health in Rural America: Contemporary Trends, Causes, and Complexities
George M. Beal Distinguished Lectureship in Rural Sociology
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The U.S. rural mortality penalty is wide and growing. This talk will present an overview of trends in rural and urban mortality rates since 1990, identify where rates have increased the most, discuss the major causes of death that have contributed to the increasing rural mortality penalty, and discuss some potential explanations for these trends. With this longer-term context in mind, the presentation will move into a discussion of two contemporary population health crises – the drug overdose crisis and COVID-19 – and discuss their differential impacts across the U.S. rural-urban continuum.
Shannon Monnat is the Lerner Chair in Public Health Promotion and Population Health, Director of the Center for Policy Research, and Professor of Sociology in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Monnat is a demographer and population health scholar whose research examines trends and geographic differences in health and mortality, with a special interest in rural health and health disparities. She is a leading national expert on structural and spatial determinants of drug overdose. Her most recent research has focused on geographic differences in COVID-19 experiences and outcomes. She has authored over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and numerous book chapters and policy briefs. Her research has been featured in several media outlets, including CNN, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Atlantic. Monnat has been the PI or Co-Investigator on projects totaling over $10 million in external research funding, including from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Justice, United States Department of Agriculture, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Institute for New Economic Thinking. She currently leads an NIH-funded project to examine the effects of state’s COVID-19 mitigation policies on working-age adult psychological wellbeing, drug overdose, and suicide.
This lecture was recorded and can be viewwed on the Available Recordings page.