Rural Health Leadership Radio is having a conversation about rural broadband service and economic development. We’re having that conversation with Dr. Brian Whitacre, professor and extension economist in the Agricultural Economics Department at Oklahoma State University.
“I think it’s great to have that kind of a support system and I think there’s a lot of really good people working this area that are going to put a positive impact on rural in general.”
Dr. Whitacre helps rural areas identify what they can do to improve their economic situation, which often revolves around health. Dr. Whitacre works in the general area of rural economic development, while also teaching an undergraduate course on the topic and working with small communities across Oklahoma to help improve their quality of life.
“We want our rural facilities to have good broadband access available to them. So talk to local providers, talk to the local healthcare institutions about their connectivity needs and let’s find a way.”
The majority of Dr. Whitacre’s recent work and research has focused on broadband and healthcare connectivity gaps in hospital and private care practices in rural areas. He has also conducted studies on the relationship between housing values and broadband, and continues to explore the significance and uses for broadband in rural healthcare. A link to the article discussed in this episode can also be found here.