Dr. Peterson studies access to health care in rural, low-density populations especially for those of advanced age and chronic illness. Access and resources in rural areas may be lacking because of distances to medical centers, a reduced tax base and lack of primary care providers. Previous studies have shown that proactive efforts to improve home care and function can have a positive impact on functioning and other health parameters. Dr. Peterson helped to establish a community care coordinator team to reach out to the elderly and others with chronic needs in a rural community in Vermont. He and colleagues, including a medical student, are evaluating the impact of the additional social worker and nurse on the lives of people in the region.