Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

David Hartley

Research Professor; Director, Maine Rural Health Research Center
David Hartley


418 Wishcamper Center

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 780-4513

Education: University of Minnesota, BA 1967; BS, 1972; MHA, 1986; PhD, 1993.

Research Interests: rural mental health services and substance abuse, rural obesity, rural health clinics.

Professor Hartley teaches Health Information Management in the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program. His research currently includes continuing work with the Rural Active Living Assessment (RALA) tools. Dr. Hartley directed the development of these tools with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and continues to monitor and advise on their use as they are implemented in numerous rural states and provinces in North America.

As Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center, Dr. Hartley has several funded projects in rural mental health services and rural substance abuse. He has presented papers on these subjects at the Association for Health Services Research, regional meetings of the National Association of State Offices of Rural Health, the National Conference of State Mental Health Program Directors, the National Rural Health Association, the American Public Health Association, and the International Rural Network. 

Dr. Hartley is a past President of the Maine Rural Health Association, and he served on the National Rural Health Association's Rural Health Policy Board for 6 years. In 2003, he received the Distinguished Researcher award from that organization. In 2004, he served on the National Academy of Science, Institute of Medicine Committee on the Future of Rural Health, which published "Quality through Collaboration: The Future of Rural Health" in 2005. Other recent publications include "Rural Health Disparities, Population Health and Rural Culture" in the American Journal of Public Health, a paper on the treatment of mental health symptoms in rural emergency rooms published in the Journal of Rural Health, a discourse on the state of rural health research, published in the Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, a series of working papers on the mental health workforce, and a series of papers on rural childhood obesity.

He is currently an appointed member of the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services, which advises U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius.


Datesort ascending Title Type
2014 Implications of Rurality and Psychiatric Status for Diabetic Preventive Care Use among Adults with Diabetes Research and Policy Brief
2014 Substance Use and Abuse in Rural Areas Book Chapter
2013 Telemental Health in Today's Rural Health System Research and Policy Brief
2013 Rural Children Experience Different Rates of Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment Research and Policy Brief
2011 How Does The Rural Food Environment Affect Rural Childhood Obesity? Journal Article
2011 Understanding the Rural Food Environment--Perspectives of Low-Income Parents Journal Article
2010 Mental Health Services in Rural Jails Working Paper
2010 Characteristics of Inpatient Psychiatric Units in Small Rural Hospitals Journal Article
2010 Provision of Mental Health Services by Rural Health Clinics Working Paper
2010 Encouraging Rural Health Clinics to Provide Mental Health Services Research and Policy Brief
2010 Development of the Rural Activing Living Assessment Tools: Measuring Rural Environments Journal Article
2010 Rural Active Living Assessment (RALA) Toolkit: Codebook and Assessment Tools Web Page
2009 Mental Health Services in Rural Jails Research and Policy Brief
2009 Active Living for Rural Youth: Addressing Physical Inactivity in Rural Communities Journal Article
2008 Substance Abuse by Youth and Young Adults in Rural America Journal Article
2008 Active Living for Rural Youth Research and Policy Brief
2008 Rural-Urban Differences in Work Patterns Among Adults with Depressive Symptoms Working Paper
2008 Employment of Advanced-Practice Psychiatric Nurses to Stem Rural Mental Health Workforce Shortages Journal Article
2007 Rural Inpatient Psychiatric Units Improve Access to Community-Based Mental Health Services, but Medicare Payment Policy a Barrier Report
2007 Substance Abuse Among Rural Youth: A Little Meth and a Lot of Booze [Research & Policy Brief] Research and Policy Brief
2007 Use of Critical Access Hospital Emergency Rooms by Patients with Mental Health Symptoms Journal Article
2007 Maine's Rural Health Challenges Report
2006 Scope of Services Offered by Critical Access Hospitals: Results of the 2004 National CAH Survey Report
2006 Smallest Rural Hospitals Treat Mental Health Emergencies (Research & Policy Brief) Research and Policy Brief
2005 Use of Critical Access Hospital Emergency Rooms by Patients with Mental Health Symptoms Journal Article
2004 Are Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses a Solution to Rural Mental Health Workforce Shortages? Report
2002 State Licensure Laws and the Mental Health Professions: Implications for the Rural Mental Health Workforce. Executive Summary Report
2001 Medicaid Managed Behavioral Health in Rural Areas Report

Cutler Institute awarded $600,000 to help youth raised in foster system

Marty Zanghi

USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help young people raised in Maine's foster system to prepare for college and the workforce.

The money comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of a $5.4 million national effort aimed at youth who are homeless or in either the foster care or juvenile justice systems.

"Many of these young people have suffered abuse or trauma and were raised in poverty and neglect," said Marty Zanghi, the Cutler Center's youth development director.

The money -- including an expected $400,000 more in matching funds -- will pay for contracted work with agencies in the target areas, starting with the greater Portland area and Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Nationally and in Maine, only about 3 percent of people who grow up in the foster care system achieve a college degree, he said.

"It's dramatically lower than the rate for the general population," Zanghi said. "It's a horrible outcome."

It doesn't have to be that way, though.

"There are young people that overcome these circumstances," he said. "I know people who have master's degrees and Ph.Ds."

The Casey Foundation's national effort is being called the "Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential" (LEAP) initiative.

The initiative is working on partnerships in Maine and nine other areas: Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. In each case, people will adapt two evidence-based models to meet the needs of these youth, including support to address the trauma they may have experienced in their lives.

In Maine, the work will include a pair of successful programs, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) and Jobs for the Future. Results will be carefully tracked, Zanghi said.

After the first year, the program is expected to grow.

"Eventually, the additional help will be available to all children, 14 and over, in the foster care system in the state of Maine," Zanghi said.

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