fruit-924937_1280 update

Rural Communities


Healthy Communities Toolkit
This toolkit, created by the Eastern Highlands Health District (EHHD), is designed to support the EHHD region towns, as well as any other small, rural towns, in their efforts to enhance the quality of life in their communities through the prevention of illness, promotion of wellness, and protection of our human environment.

Rural Health Information Hub
The Rural Health Information Hub, formerly the Rural Assistance Center, is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to be a national clearinghouse on rural health issues. We are committed to supporting healthcare and population health in rural communities. The RHIhub is your guide to improving health for rural residents—we provide access to current and reliable resources and tools to help you learn about rural health needs and work to address them.

Rural Community Profiles: Stories About Improving Nutrition, Increasing Physical Activity, and Making Schools Healthier
ChangeLab Solutions has compiled stories and created three easy-to-use handouts that focus on nutrition, physical activity, and schools. Each handout highlights three stories from rural communities that have used local assets to promote health, and contains a list of strategies that other communities can use. Rural residents can share these handouts with community coalitions as inspiration or decision-makers to make the case for new projects.

Nutrition                                              Physical Activity                                 Schools

CL nutrition                       CL pa                        cl school


Rural Walking Tool-Kit
This report provides an introduction to different types of walking facilities that can be constructed in rural areas. It includes case studies of a number of communities building creative and cost-effective walking facilities. These communities have faced many challenges in the process of planning and constructing their walking facilities. Although each community is unique, these case study examples may help other communities identify opportunities to provide better walking infrastructure and the tools to implement such improvements.

Rural Communities: A Two Pronged Approach for Improving Walking and Bicycling
This toolkit discusses how rural communities can be the best of environments and the worst of environments for walking and bicycling, and how improvements can be made.

Road Diets
Many rural communities have a State-maintained highway running through the center of town and doubling as the town’s “Main Street.”  An extremely effective (and relatively inexpensive) transformation that improves walkability and increases walking is known as a “Road Diet” or “Rightsizing:”

Promoting Active Living in Rural Communities
This research brief summarizes current research on elements of the rural built environment that may be related to obesity or physical activity. It also provides policy implications and a list of important rural-specific built environment measures that have been developed and tested for assessing active living supports, barriers and perceptions.

Complete Streets Work in Rural Communities
By planning, designing, and constructing Complete Streets, communities of all sizes – whether rural hamlets, small towns, or booming metropolises – are able to provide the quality access to
jobs, health care, shops, and schools their residents deserve, while also achieving greater economic, environmental, and public health benefits. A Complete Streets approach can provide a more effective and balanced transportation system for the nearly 49 million Americans who live in
rural areas and small towns.

Implementing Complete Streets: Rural Communities & Small Towns
Rural communities and small towns benefit from Complete Streets policies that give them a voice in state transportation planning. Policies provide a systematic way for town leaders to exercise increased control in choosing the among transportation investment options that best
fit their locale’s character and provide residents and visitors options in accessing jobs, shops, health care, and schools.

Integrating Safety in the Rural Transportation Planning Process
This Technical Report provides methods for integrating safety into each step of the RPO planning and programming process, to assist in addressing rural roads multimodal safety needs.

Active Transportation Beyond Urban Centers Report
This report demonstrates that, in fact, active transportation is a part of life even far beyond urban centers. From tiny Burlington, Wyo. (pop. 250), to Elvis’ hometown in Tupelo, Miss. (pop. 39,000), kids, seniors and working people walk and bicycle at rates that are not so different from what you find in metropolitan areas.

Putting Smart Growth to Work in Rural Communities
This report focuses on smart growth strategies that can help guide growth in rural areas while protecting natural and working lands and preserving the rural character of existing communities.

The Rural Activity Living Assessment (RALA) Tools
The RALA Tools assess the physical environment features and amenities, town characteristics, community programs, and policies that can affect physical activity among residents in rural communities. This tool is suitable for both practitioners and researchers. The tools include a RALA Codebook that provides users with a practical and simple guide for implementing the tool in rural communities across the U.S.

On the Move: Safe Routes to School Policies in Rural School Districts
ChangeLab Solutions, in collaboration with CA4Health, developed this fact sheet to call out specific approaches and tools that may be of particular assistance to rural schools, exploring elements of the Safe Routes to School District Policy Workbook – a free online resource that can help districts develop effective policies for supporting healthy students.

Grant Writing for Rural Healthcare Projects
This newly updated topic guide provides tips on searching for rural-specific funding, grant proposal preparation, building successful funding relationships, and planning for program sustainability. The guide was created with input from Kassie Clark, National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health and Brad Gibbens, UND Center for Rural Health, and is maintained by RHIhub’s funding specialist, Jana Reese.


Video series from the Capital Region Healthy Communities coalition

The Benson family of Cross Plains, WI speaks about their experiences and challenges in walking and biking to school as well as potential solutions.


The Life Foundation of Cross Plains, WI speaks about the challenges and potential solutions for kids and families who would like to walk or bike to school.


A student, his family and teacher from Cross Plains, WI speak about the challenges in walking and biking to school in their community.


Eastern Highlands Health District: Plan4Health Introductory Video
Learn about the Eastern Highlands Health District Community Health Action Response Team and their response to the challenges of their community.