College of Public Health

Michael Meit Featured on Rural Health Issues Segment


Mike Meit

On March 8, 2021, Michael Meit, Director of Research and Programs for the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health’s Center for Rural Health Research, was featured on InvestigateTV’s first segment of “Bridging the Great Health Divide.”  The segment explores inadequate access to healthcare for millions of Americans.  

InvestigateTV analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and numerous other federal, state and private sources and found that there are serious health disparities between Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta and the rest of the United States.

Throughout 2021, Gray Television’s InvestigateTV and its local TV stations in the region will explore doctor shortages, lack of emergency care, food insecurity, environmental issues that contribute to poor health and governmental funding to these regions through public health and grants.

The project also will highlight the regions’ champions and show the emotional costs of these inequities: families who lost loved ones and people traveling great distances for care. Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.

Michael Meit was invited for comment to expand on these disparities and why the rest of the United States should care about the region.  

“If you want food on your table, if you want power when you turn on that light switch, if you want a military that’s protecting you, you need to be concerned about your rural brothers and sisters,” Meit said. “They are out there doing all these things.”