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Assessment of Research Needs in Rural California

From the brief:

Good planning and policy decisions require accurate and accessible data. Local activists, nonprofits, county agencies and policy makers need good data for grassroots advocacy, planning, policy and action to improve community health. For a variety of reasons, rural areas are often lacking the necessary data for making informed policy and planning decisions. The California Center for Rural Policy (CCRP) at Humboldt State University was created to address the lack of meaningful rural data through conducting research that is responsive to community interest and need.

Over the past two years CCRP has been assessing existing health data and related data needs in rural California. CCRP staff has gathered input from approximately 100 individuals from health related organizations to ascertain community health issues and research needs in rural California.

This document contains the methods and outcomes of this process. It is clear that the research needs are vast and cover a wide range of topics ranging from health services research to environmental research. CCRP has already started conducting research to address some of the identified research needs and will continue to address these needs in our long-term research plan. It is our hope that this document will stimulate dialogue and encourage communities and researchers to collaborate on projects that will address identified needs.

By Jessica Van Arsdale, MD, MPH

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