Rural & Community Health
Mission & Vision
The F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health exists to work in close collaboration with the people of Texas for the advancement of health through innovative and scholarly research, the advanced use of technology, comprehensive education and outreach.
We focus our imagination, our talents and our energy to improve the health and well-being of the people and communities of Texas and beyond.
F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health
Why rural health matters
Why is it so crucial for the state to be concerned with the health care across this rural and remote half of the state?
The answer lies within the vast resources that West Texas contributes and the people who make it all possible.
West Texas plays a significant role in the daily lives of most Americans as a primary source of food, fuel, and fiber. West Texas is home to major beef and pork production, including some of the largest cattle feedlots and to the top producing oil and gas fields in the country; and the region serves as a prominent source for agriculture. The State of Texas provides to the country 30% of the beef, 20% of the oil, and 35% of the cotton, with a majority of the production coming from West Texas.
However, the fact remains that with a declining and aging workforce, a strained rural health care system, and far reaching health disparities in West Texas, the predominant economies of oil, agriculture and ranching will be affected. Without an adequate and healthy workforce for these industries, the entire nation can be affected particularly in light of concerns about the nation's food supply, as well as the production and availability of foreign oil and the status of various international trade agreements.
Another significant element of West Texas is the fact that the changing demography is actually a precursor of what is to come in many other rural regions of the country. The growing trends of a more elderly and minority population have already been predominant in West Texas for several years. The same trends noted here 10 to 15 years ago are beginning to emerge in much of rural America where the population is becoming more diverse.