We work with community partners to design and implement innovative approaches to the opportunities and challenges facing rural Indiana.
Creating opportunities and meeting challenges in Indiana
The IU Center for Rural Engagement seeks to improve the health and well-being of children, women, and families with increased maternal and infant care by lowering smoking and other behaviors that are dangerous to mothers and infants. Learn more about health initiatives.
Substance use disorder
The IU Center for Rural Engagement is working to reduce the cumulative impact of substance use disorder in rural communities with the development of an opioid response program and community education modules, and implementing best practices in rural addictions treatment and prevention. Learn more about health initiatives.
The IU Center for Rural Engagement is addressing major chronic conditions—the leading causes of death in Indiana—including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. The center does this through Community Health Improvement Plans and assessments, a rural nursing home-health program, and health professional training and continuing education. Learn more about health initiatives.
The IU Center for Rural Engagement is developing a replicable, collaborative rural regional housing planning process to create 3,500 new housing units for varied income levels and establish a model for additional housing initiatives across rural Indiana to meet workforce needs. Learn more about housing initiatives.
The IU Center for Rural Engagement seeks to increase the consumption and production of local food in Indiana’s strong agricultural economy with a local food value chain advancement plan, harnessing the buying power of institutions and organizations and connecting them to Indiana’s food producers. Learn more about environment and resilience initiatives.
Parks, recreation, and public lands
The IU Center for Rural Engagement is working to heighten awareness of Indiana’s excellent parks and recreation resources to promote tourism and health for both Hoosiers and visitors with an inventory and opportunity mapping project. Learn more about environment and resilience initiatives.
A 2014 study by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce notes that Indiana ranked first in the nation in the percentage of its economy that depends on water. The IU Center for Rural Engagement is dedicated to examining water resources, including karst aquifers that require greater understanding of their role on Indiana’s water supply resilience. Learn more about environment and resilience initiatives.
Quality of place
The IU Center for Rural Engagement is increasing the quality of place of rural communities with arts and cultural resources for residents from school-age children to senior citizens, including comprehensive community planning, arts and humanities events and activities, creative aging toolkits, an IU Rural Arts Certificate program, and a model for cultural festivals. Learn more about arts and cultural initiatives.