Rural Hospitals

Faculty and fellows participating in the HEAL Initiative in Hinche, Haiti. (UC-San Francisco)

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, an interesting discussion of global health -- that is, thinking about the health and well-being of the world's populations in a global context, and moreover, about how to serve those populations by improving care (and achieving equity of care) for all people. It's about seeing health care as a basic human right, and thus as something that people all over the world are fully entitled to. Our guest is Dr. Phuoc Le of the University of California at San Francisco, who also teaches in the public health program at UC-Berkeley. Dr.

Despite the growth in enrollment at existing medical schools and the emergence of new schools, there's still a physician shortage in many parts of the United States, particularly in rural areas. Even in some urban environments, there's a shortage of specialty care, necessitating long trips to see a doctor or specialist. So how can medical professionals spread existing care to underserved areas?

On this installment of ST Medical Monday, our guest is Dr. David Kendrick, CEO of the locally based nonprofit, MyHealth Access Network. This network, serving more than 2 million clients throughout Greater Tulsa, works to link health care providers and their patients in a digitally-driven data network aimed at improving the health of patients, reducing inefficiency and waste, and coordinating care more effectively. As Dr. Kendrick tells us today, MyHealth Access Network has recently received a $4.5 million federal grant to establish the Route 66 Accountable Health Community.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in March.) "The disappearing maternal care problem is common across rural America. Only about 6 percent of the nation's OB/GYNs work in rural areas, according to the latest survey numbers from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Yet 15 percent of the country's population, or 46 million people, live in rural America.

On this edition of our show, we speak with Dr. Rachel Pearson about her new book, "No Apparent Distress: A Doctor's Coming-of-Age on the Front Lines of American Medicine." As was noted of this reflective and well-written book by Kirkus Reviews: "[In this book] a sensitive doctor describes her beginnings navigating the unpredictable, woolly world of modern American health care. Pearson’s inspired collective of illuminating clinical episodes immediately sparks to life with anecdotes from her early work in a female-owned and -operated abortion clinic in her 20s.

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"The disappearing maternal care problem is common across rural America. Only about 6 percent of the nation's OB/GYNs work in rural areas, according to the latest survey numbers from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Yet 15 percent of the country's population, or 46 million people, live in rural America.

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On this edition of ST, we are joined by Craig Jones, who is President of the Oklahoma Hospital Association. Given the recent cuts in both Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, large cuts in federal reimbursement costs for uninsured patients, as well as ongoing transformations in standards of care, medical technology, and qualitative outcomes, times are tough these days for hospitals, especially rural hospitals. Nationwide, 673 rural hospitals are considered "on the edge" -- and here in Oklahoma, it's estimated that more than three dozen rural hospitals are facing a troubled future.