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rural hospitals

KEN PIORKOWSKI | FLICKR (CC BY-SA 2.0)

On Nov. 20, Rodney Reed is scheduled to be executed by the state of Texas.

Reed was convicted of raping and killing 19-year-old Stacey Stites in 1996 in Bastrop County. Reed said they were in a consensual relationship and maintains his innocence.


In the central Idaho community of Arco, where Lost Rivers Medical Center is located, the elk and bear outnumber the human population of a thousand. The view from the hospital is flat grassland surrounded by mountain ranges that make for formidable driving in wintertime.

"We're actually considered a frontier area, which I didn't even know was a census designation until I moved there," says Brad Huerta, CEO of the hospital. "I didn't think there's anything more rural than rural."

Mike Rastiello: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0: http://bit.ly/2JWhBbs

Conversations about building strong and economically robust communities can often be focused on bigger cities. An upcoming conference seeks to cultivate, innovate, and collaborate on ideas to improve conditions in rural Texas.  

  

Bonnie Petrie / Texas Public Radio

Professors at the University of Texas at San Antonio are using 3D tech to show their undergraduates how interesting a medical career can be. But that's the easy part. The hard part is convincing them to spend some of that career in rural Texas.

Rural hospitals close when they don't have enough paying patients to care for, but they're also dinged when the same patients show up over and over again. That puts outlying medical facilities in the precarious position of needing to avoid repeat customers.

Charlotte Potts is the type of patient some hospitals try to avoid. She lives in Livingston, Tenn. — a town of 4,000, tucked between rolling hills of the Cumberland Plateau.

From Texas Standard:

The system of small hospitals that provides emergency and other health care to millions of rural Texans is in trouble. As many as 18 rural hospitals in Texas have closed since 2013, and many more may be on the verge. These closures can devastate local economies and leave some of the most vulnerable Texans with few health care options.

From Texas Standard: 

Texas has almost a dozen medical schools, but it also has a rural healthcare worker shortage. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is set to vote tomorrow on whether to approve another medical school.

Huntsville-based Sam Houston State University thinks it can address Texas’ critical shortage of doctors in rural parts of the state. It’s seeking accreditation this week for its proposed college of osteopathic medicine.
 
Dr. Stephan McKernan is the associate dean for clinical affairs at the proposed school. He says the goal is to teach students from underserved, rural areas.

Hospital pharmacist Mandy Langston remembers when Lulabelle Berry arrived at the emergency center of Stone County Medical Center in Mountain View, Ark., last year.

Berry couldn't talk. Her face was drooping on one side. Her eyes couldn't focus.

"She was basically unresponsive," Langston recalls.

The Source: Are Texas' Rural Hospitals At Risk?

Dec 12, 2016
Darko Stojanovic/Pixabay Public Domain

Texans living outside of city limits may have an even harder time getting access to emergency treatment.

If you get sick or injured in Texas – you’d best do it in the city. Texas rural health care is in crisis. In the last three years 15 rural hospitals have closed their doors and more are expected to follow suit. This leaves a highly vulnerable population without quick access to health care and emergency treatment.

David Pearson is trying to find a way to reverse the trend. Pearson is the president/CEO  of the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals.

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