Shortly after COVID-19 arrived in the United States, the National Rural Health Association’s Senior Vice President Brock Slabach stated, “The pandemic has shined a bright light on the widening fractures that exist in the rural health safety net.”1 Indeed, the unprecedented economic and public health trials facing rural communities and their health care delivery systems are daunting. Developing a meaningful plan to protect and improve the health of rural people and strengthen rural health care delivery systems during this time requires insight from those working on the front lines in these communities – hospital administrative and governance leaders, clinicians, public health leaders: your peers. Most importantly, it must also include the collective voice of rural patients, people who have personally experienced and have been impacted by initial response efforts.
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