Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Empowering communities to create shared solutions

Virginia Rural Health Plan

(2012 - 2013)

The 2013 Virginia Rural Health Plan was created to improve health opportunities and health outcomes in rural Virginia, and to reduce disparities between rural, urban, regional, racial, and other population groups. In 2012 and 2013, the IEN collaborated with the Virginia Rural Health Association, the Virginia Public Health Association, and the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity to conduct a series of surveys, interviews, public meetings, and conferences. The partners that gathered input from stakeholders identified these six health conditions that disproportionately affect rural populations:

  • Obesity and associated behaviors and diseases, including nutrition, physical activity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and early mortality;
  • Mental and behavioral health, including depression, substance abuse, and a range of acute and chronic mental health issues;
  • Oral health, including self-care, preventive, and restorative
  • treatments;
  • Cancer, including prevention, early detection, and treatment;
  • Perinatal issues, including low birth weight, infant mortality, and maternal health;
  • Lung disease, including COPD and other conditions related to smoking or occupational exposure.

By following a collaborative approach, project participants and stakeholders outlined objectives, visions, and strategic action plans that will enable Virginia’s rural communities to overcome these issues.