Summit to address health disparities in rural Appalachia

HERSHEY, Pa. — For those who live along the Appalachian mountain range, limited availability of health care services, low level of health insurance coverage, and behavioral risks, such as opioid addiction, are challenges. Researchers at Penn State and other institutions are working to understand these challenges through the Appalachian Translational Research Network.

Appalachia is a predominantly rural region along the Appalachian mountain range, including 420 counties in 13 states from southern New York to Mississippi.  For Pennsylvania, 52 of its 67 counties are Appalachian.

On Oct. 30 and 31, the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute will host in Hershey more than 100 researchers and representatives from academic institutions, health care organizations, and community stakeholders for the Annual Summit of the Appalachian Translational Research Network. In addition to those from Pennsylvania, investigators and community members will be attending from Kentucky, Ohio, New York, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The summit agenda will be headlined by speakers from the National Cancer Institute, National Center for Advancing Translational Science, Appalachia Regional Commission, Vanderbilt University and the Geisinger Health System. Co-producers of Inside Appalachia from West Virginia Public Broadcasting will share their observations on the lives of Appalachian resident and communities.

This year’s summit will focus on developing collaborative relationships between academic investigators and Appalachian communities so as to address these health disparities. The intent is to pool expertise across the region for a reach that they couldn’t manage as individual entities.

Learn more about the summit in this Penn State Medicine article.

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Last Updated October 20, 2017