Health is a basic idea used to understand the human condition and to direct our action. Medical researchers and practitioners have made tremendous contributions in treating injuries and diseases. Still, even when providers patch together a system to deliver medical care to rural residents, we are not that much closer to understanding health. What is health? What are the challenges faced by rural residents in achieving and maintaining health? What is the relationship between health and disability in rural America? How does community influence health and disability? Vincent Francisco points out the parallels between the ecological model of community health and the new paradigm of disability. He introduces the concept of Syndemics and shows how it applies to achieving and maintaining health in rural communities. Two case studies from South Carolina– one addressing the health of rural children and one addressing the health of adults with disabilities – provide us a glimpse of the future of rural health.