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Politico article features quote from Muskie School’s John Gale

USM's Muskie School's John Gale

John Gale, rural health expert and research associate at USM’s Muskie School of Public Service was quoted in a Politico article on the relationship between public health and social isolation in rural Maine.  

The article addressed the growing health risk of social isolation, which is increasing due to the lack of family networks that previously cared for older generations — something that has affected the rural regions of Maine particularly hard. The article states that nearly half of Mainers 65 and older — about 46 percent — live alone, slightly higher than the national rate, according to 2015 U.S. Census data; fewer than one-third lived alone in 1990.

In the article, Gale, who is a national expert on behavioral health in rural communities said, “The fact that someone is living out on a farm in the middle of nowhere, can’t get enough food … that seems to be a problem in and of itself.” Gale suggests, “finding new ways to rebuild the community fabric lost over the years” could help the issue of public health and social isolation.

To read the full Politico article on social isolation in Maine, click here.