NIH director to join UNMC chancellor on ‘Rural Health Matters’

Monica Bertagnolli, MD, the 17th director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) joins UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. CST on a live broadcast of “Rural Health Matters” on RFD-TV.

Dr. Bertagnolli is the latest headliner to appear with Dr. Gold on the weekly television broadcast which delivers high-level yet accessible expertise on science, health, agriculture, the economy and more to RFD-TV’s national rural audience. “Rural Health Matters” is produced by RFD-TV in conjunction with UNMC and hosted by Dr. Gold and RFD-TV’s award-winning anchor and meteorologist Christina Loren.

Here is an archive of previous “Rural Health Matters” episodes

Guests have included a mix of regional and national figures – officials from the NIH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high-ranking military, members of Congress and more – and UNMC’s own Nebraska stakeholders, extended med center family and faculty with national-level expertise.

Monday night’s guest, Dr. Bertagnolli, is the first surgeon and second woman to serve as NIH director. She oversees the work of the largest funder of biomedical and behavioral research in the world and is former director of the National Cancer Institute. And she is a rural American herself, having grown up on a Wyoming cattle ranch.

Dr. Gold said UNMC is grateful to RFD-TV for having the generosity and foresight to create and air the show as a public service during the pandemic. But “Rural Health Matters” has since become so much more, addressing a myriad of issues that affect rural America.

A 2022 episode featuring since-retired director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, MD, earned a Silver honor in the 44th annual Telly Awards.

“It is incredibly gratifying for our academic health science center to have a hand in bringing these experts to RFD-TV’s national rural audience and vice-versa,” the chancellor said.

As a result, UNMC increasingly is becoming a household name throughout rural America.

RFD-TV’s corporate headquarters are in Omaha, and broadcast operations in Nashville. It is available in 52 million homes via cable or streaming and “is the nation’s first 24-hour television network featuring programming focused on the agribusiness, equine and the rural lifestyles, along with traditional country music and entertainment,” according to its website.

Viewers at home often take part in the show with live call-in questions. Call 877-731-6733 to ask Dr. Bertagnolli a question or take part in the show.

How to watch “Rural Health Matters”

“Rural Health Matters” is live Monday nights at 5 p.m. Central on RFD-TV or available for replay within a few days on UNMC’s YouTube channel.

Click here to find RFD-TV via your existing cable, satellite or streaming services. If unavailable, packages to watch live may be purchased at

About UNMC 
As Nebraska’s only public academic health science center, the University of Nebraska Medical Center enrolls more than 4,500 students across six colleges, two institutes and a graduate studies program. Its mission is to create a healthier future for Nebraskans through premier education, research and clinical care, but its impact — rooted in a culture of collaboration, big ideas and public-private partnerships – goes far beyond, in areas that include infectious diseases, rural health, cancer research and treatments, global health security, and simulation and experiential learning technologies.