Rural communities are integral to the nation’s economy, culture, history, and future. One in five Americans lives in rural America. And though many rural places are dynamic and thriving, others are struggling, with economies in stress, declining livelihoods, and poor health outcomes—especially in low-income areas and communities of color. The Institute’s Community Strategies Group, with partners at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, launched “Thrive Rural: Connecting Rural Development, Health and Opportunity” to focus on creating sustainable rural communities where people can realize their full potential and live healthy lives. With an emphasis on race, class, and place, Thrive Rural will bridge health with economic development by connecting leaders across disciplines and regions to create a network that advances rural health and prosperity. Thrive Rural will also help craft a truer, more balanced account of rural America, including its diversity and contributions to the nation.