Place Matters: Understanding Appalachian Culture, Community and Health

The Appalachian region and its people have been misunderstood and misrepresented in media portrayals for over half a century. Appalachia is the 205,000 square mile region that ranges from southern New York to northern Mississippi, as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).

This module is designed to educate healthcare professionals who use telehealth technologies about the important history and its impact on the Appalachian region and its people, the characteristics of the Appalachian region and its people, as well as provide an understanding of the influences and considerations for effective communication between doctor and patient when caring for those in the Appalachian Region.

Course Highlights:
  • An Overview of Appalachia and Its People
  • Key Points in Appalachia’s History
  • Appalachian Dialects and Common Expressions
  • Family and Community
  • Appalachia’s Cultural Traditions
  • Important Considerations to Remember
  • Resources and Further Reading/Viewing
Learning Objectives:

After completing this activity, participants should be better able to:

  • To recognize northern, central, and southern areas of the Appalachian Region as outlined on the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) map, and to discuss the demographics of those areas
  • To understand important points of history in the region, particularly regarding its boom-and- bust extractive industries (coal and iron mining, logging) which have resulted in struggling economies, job loss, population decline, and health problems
  • To recognize that the vernacular dialects of the region are numerous; that they have rich linguistic histories; that their grammars, phonologies, and vocabularies are governed by rules and codes as are standard dialects; and that they serve important socio-political functions for the people who speak them
  • To examine the collectivist nature of Appalachian families, and how cultural traditions and religious beliefs may influence interactions within their communities as well as but also with those perceived as “outsiders”
  • To identify cultural traditions that are common to many people in areas of Appalachia, and to discuss how those traditions may influence choice and behavior
Authored by:
  • Amy D. Clark, Ph.D.
  • Brian D. McKnight, Ph.D.
Edited by:
  • Kathleen Bunch Meneses, MS

*Purchase grants one learner one year’s access to lessons and quizzes (access expires 365 days from date of course activation.)

Course Price
Additional Details
Credit(s) Offered
1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
1.5 MOC Part II Self-Assessment Credit
1.5 Contact Hour
1.5 Hour of Participation