Michael Hendryx is an associate professor in the Department of Community Medicine at West Virginia University. He is also the director of the federally funded West Virginia Rural Health Research Center. The Center conducts research on environmental health for rural populations.

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The plan proposed by John Todd and colleagues is an ambitious one: to build a new economy for Appalachia based on principles of ecological and economic sustainability. These are great ideas, deserving our attention and efforts. But even under the best conditions, implementing these new economies for the region will take years, occurring in …

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