Rural health equity means that all people living in rural areas can live their healthiest lives. A healthy life includes living a life free from discrimination and unfair treatment. It also means having access to:
- Healthcare and social services
- Safe neighborhoods and places to live
- Reliable transportation
- Healthy foods
- Working wages that support basic needs
- Community policies that are fair to all people
To ensure that each person can be as healthy as possible, we need to create strong partnerships between our communities and healthcare systems. Dartmouth Health launched the Center for Advancing Rural Health Equity (CARHE) in 2022 to help build these relationships by focusing on:
- Acting and learning together as partners.
- Positively impacting the conditions that impact health.
- Improving access to healthcare services.
Our vision, mission and values
Our vision is that everyone living in rural communities has the chance to thrive, feel safe and be welcomed.
Our mission is to make sure that people in rural areas have the chance to live healthy lives by learning and acting together in our rural communities.
To achieve our mission and realize our vision, these values are a part of everything we do:
- Commitment: There are certain hurdles that make it harder for some people to get the care and support they need to be healthy. We commit to working with our rural neighbors to eliminate these unfair difficulties and harms.
- Action: We respond quickly when our communities are in need. We take action to make sure support systems work for everybody. We listen, learn and make decisions together to help everyone in our rural communities have a fair shot at living their healthiest life.
- Respect: We value every person’s experiences and strengths. We earn trust by listening and taking the time to understand one another. We reach out to people who are unsupported and try to prevent the discrimination that divides our communities. Every person deserves honesty, fairness and respect.
- Humility: We recognize the harms done to some members of our rural communities. We try to earn trust and restore hope where it is lacking. We respect every person’s unique life experiences and identities, including experiences of discrimination and oppression. We promote services that are welcoming, easy to use and offer the best health and care possible.
Based out of Population Health at Dartmouth Health, CARHE brings together 4 pillars of work, all with the goal of making sure everyone has a fair shot at a healthy life, no matter who they are or where they live:
- Healthcare redesign: Translating knowledge into practice to meet the needs of our populations
- Research: Community-engaged research, creating evidence to inform practice
- Community action: Community and health system partnerships responsive to local needs
- Education: Training, learning, and the sharing of knowledge