Carrie Henning-Smith, PhD, MPH, MSW

Associate Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management

Carrie Henning-Smith

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-626-4512

Office Address:
UMN Rural Health Research Center
Room 350 UOffPl
2221 University Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Associate Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management

Deputy Director, Rural Health Research Center

Director of Graduate Studies, Health Equity Minor

Deputy Director, Rural Health Program

PhD, Health Services Research, Policy and Administration, University of Minnesota

MS, Health Services Research, Policy and Administration, University of Minnesota

MPH, Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan

MSW, Interpersonal Practice and Mental Health with a minor in Management of Human Services. Specialist in Aging Certificate.

BA, International Relations, Claremont McKenna College


The central goal of my research is to advance health equity, with a particular focus on illuminating structural and political barriers to health and well-being. Under this broad umbrella, my work falls into two distinct, but overlapping themes: 1.) illuminating disparities in health, social well-being, and access to care, especially for older adults and rural residents, and 2.) investigating the ways in which environment, from immediate living environment to broader geographical context, impacts health. 


Rural health, aging, long-term care, disability, health policy, health equity 

Awards & Recognition

University of Minnesota McKnight Presidential Fellow, 2022-2025
National Rural Health Association Volunteer of the Year, 2022
Fesler-Lampert Chair in Aging Studies, 2021-2022
National Rural Health Association Rural Health Fellow, 2017-2018



View Google Scholar

Henning-Smith, C. & Gonzales, G. (2020). The relationship between living alone and self-rated health over the lifespan: evidence from the National Health Interview Survey. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 39(9), 971-980.

Henning-Smith, C. (2020). The unique impact of COVID-19 on older adults in rural areas. Journal of Aging & Social Policy. 32(4-5), 396-402.

Henning-Smith, C., Hernandez, A., Hardeman, R., Ramirez, M., & Kozhimannil, K. (2019). Rural lives lost: rural counties with majority black or indigenous populations suffer highest rates of premature death. Health Affairs, 38(12), 2019-2026.

Henning-Smith, C., Moscovice, I., & Kozhimannil, K. (2019). Differences in social isolation and its relationship to health by rurality. Journal of Rural Health, 35(4), 540-549.

Henning-Smith, C., Lahr, M., & Casey, M. (2019). A national examination of caregiver use of and preferences for support services: does rurality matter? Journal of Aging and Health, 31(9), 1652-1670.

Henning-Smith, C., Kozhimannil, K.B., Prasad, S., Casey, M., & Moscovice, I. (2017). Rural-urban differences in Medicare quality scores persist after adjusting for sociodemographic and environmental characteristics. The Journal of Rural Health, Epub ahead of print, doi: 10.1111/jrh.12261.

Henning-Smith, C., Shippee, T., & Capistrant, B. (2017). Later life disability in environmental context: why living arrangements matter. The Gerontologist, Epub ahead of print, doi: 10.1093/geront/gnx019.

Henning-Smith, C., Kozhimannil, K.B., Casey, M., Prasad, S., & Moscovice, I. (2017). Rural-urban differences in the impact of risk-adjustment on quality measures for Medicare beneficiaries. Medical Care, 55(9), 823-829.

Henning-Smith, C. (2016). Quality of life and psychological distress among older adults: The role of living arrangements. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 35(1), 39-61.

Henning-Smith, C. & Shippee, T.P. (2015). Expectations about future use of long-term services and supports vary by current living arrangement. Health Affairs, 34(1), 39-47.



PubH 6735, Principles of Health Policy
PubH 6745, Rural Health
PubH 7569, Health Policy


In The News

SPH News:

  • Include People of Color, Indigenous Populations in Rural Health Discussions (Read More)
  • Rates of Social Isolation Vary by Rurality and Demographics (Read More)
  • Henning-Smith Named Journal Editorial Board Chair (Read More)
  • Rural residents lack workplace supports to juggle work and caregiving (Read More)
  • Rural Residents Lack Workplace Supports to Juggle Jobs and Family Caregiving (Read More)
  • Rural Residents Face Multiple Barriers in Finding Long-Term Care (Read More)
  • Transgender Americans Suffer Reduced Access to Health Care (Read More)
  • US Neighborhoods Feel Less Welcoming for LGB Adults (Read More)
  • Challenges and solutions to accessing long-term care in rural areas (Read More)
  • Disability in older adults linked to low wealth and living alone (Read More)
  • Obstetric nurses in rural hospitals often work across hospital units (Read More)
  • Examining health disparities – including high rates of depression – among sexual minorities (Read More)
  • Half of rural hospitals without maternity care (Read More)
  • Lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults more likely to anticipate future long-term care needs (Read More)
  • Middle-aged Americans underestimate their future health care needs (Read More)

In The Media:

  • Bringing Together Young and Old to Ease the Isolation of Rural Life (MPR News)
  • Remote and Ready to Fight Coronavirus's Next Wave (The New York Times)
  • As rural suicide rates increase in America, studies show risk is not randomly distributed (NBC News)
  • For Elderly in Rural Areas, Volunteers Step In (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Losing as much as $10K per baby born, another NH hospital no longer delivers (New Hampshire Union Leader)
  • The lack of workplace support for rural caregivers (Forbes)
  • The lack of workplace support for rural caregivers (Next Avenue)
  • Challenges of delivering babies in Greater Minnesota (TPT)
  • Study Shows Minnesota Caregivers Face Multiple Challenges (WNAX)
  • Caring for Children, Elders in Rural Areas Hits Working Caregivers Harder (Star Tribune)
  • Strengthening the workforce to improve pregnancy outcomes in rural areas (The Rural Monitor)
  • Closing of Obstetric Unit Means Hour Drive to Deliver for Some (The Northern Virginia Daily)
  • UMN Study Reveals Maternity Care Risks in Rural America (Minnesota Daily)
  • Rural hospitals closing at an alarming rate (Huffington Post)
  • Drop-in centers in rural Kansas aim to address dangers of isolation (Kansas City Public Radio)
  • Maternal health care is disappearing in rural America (Scientific American)
  • Big difference in life expectancy in different regions in the US (Healthline)
  • Rural hospitals in trouble (Radio Health Journal)
  • If you want to die young, move to rural America (Huffington Post)
  • Doctors are discouraging lesbians from getting pap smears (Shape Magazine)
  • LGBT community faces a variety of serious health problems (Healthline