Efforts to address rural health care issues (e.g. lost opportunities for economies of action, increased barriers to access quality health care services) have grown dramatically over the past decade. Rural health networks have emerged as a popular policy construct for mobilizing the necessary resources and focusing efforts to address these and other issues. Rural hospitals, largely because of the central role they have played in rural health care since the time of Hill-Burton funding, have figured prominently in the emergence of these networks both as members and anchor institutions
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