Picture of Executive Director, Dr. Tara Cortes
Dear Friends,

As we enter 2023, the start of the 4th year marked by COVID, we are reminded of the remarkable and rapid changes that have occurred since 2019. We were forced to expand our use of technology for work, education, and healthcare. We have become much more aware of how disparities impact the health and well-being of some of our most vulnerable populations. The inadequate structure of our long-term care system was exposed by COVID-related deaths across nursing homes and in congregate centers for older adults. The mental health crisis grew, partly driven by social isolation and depression. 

This month our newsletter focuses on healthcare in rural America, where the impact of COVID was different than in large urban areas. The lack of broadband to access the internet for work, education and healthcare impacted swaths of our rural areas. Access to healthcare became even more challenging as healthcare facilities, often far away, were stretched by patient volume and staff shortages. Social isolation and depression, already problems in rural America, became more profound. To help address some of these issues, HIGN is launching a new series available on its eLearning Center addressing health and healthcare for older adults in rural America. This work was done in partnership with University of Memphis and funded by one of their HRSA grants. 

Many challenges have become more pronounced over the past 3+ years, but at HIGN, we believe that challenges provide opportunities. Through our research, advocacy and education, we will continue to further our mission of serving the most vulnerable older adults. 

Warm Regards,