Features

Stories that examine key rural issues.

Strategies for Superbugs: Antibiotic Stewardship for Rural Hospitals

Clostridium difficile bacterium


Resistant bacteria, or “superbugs,” are a cause of major medical illness and death. Government and accreditation agencies, as well as infectious disease experts, believe hospital antibiotic stewardship programs are the answer to blunting the impact and development of these germs. Despite limited resources, rural and Critical Access Hospitals are activating their stewardship programs.

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March 22, 2017

New CDC Series Looks at Rural Health Topics

CDC MMWR Rural Health Series webpage


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will focus on rural health issues in a special series of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that will run throughout 2017. Learn about the impetus for the series, topics that will be featured, and upcoming webinars to share findings from the series.

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February 22, 2017

Animals Help People Heal in Rural Areas

Patrick Hamlow and Umi


Rural programs across the country rely on service or therapy animals to help people with mobility, motor skills, and mood. Come meet the service dogs of Hawaii, the therapeutic riding horses of Wyoming, and the therapy pig and tortoise who call a skilled nursing facility home in Florida.

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December 14, 2016

Freestanding Emergency Departments: An Alternative Model for Rural Communities

OSF Center for Health - Streator campus


First conceptualized in the 1970s, but not widely adopted in rural communities, freestanding emergency departments (FSEDs) have been getting another look as a sustainable rural option. This article discusses hospital-based vs. independent FSEDs, the model’s financial viability, and highlights two FSEDs meeting their communities’ healthcare needs in Arizona and Illinois.

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November 30, 2016

Bringing Law and Medicine Together to Help Rural Patients

Attorney Catherine Schultz and Dr. Jeff Martin


Much of a person’s health is determined by social and environmental factors such as housing or access to healthcare. When these factors negatively affect a person’s health, legal intervention combined with medical care may be the best treatment.

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October 19, 2016

EMS Leaders Speak

Rural EMS leaders group


With the recent changes in healthcare delivery, many rural clinics and hospitals are concerned about the future of their communities’ healthcare, especially their emergency medical services. Will EMS in rural areas survive these changes, and is there an opportunity to thrive in a volume-to-value system? We asked five rural EMS leaders to explore the possible challenges and opportunities in the transformation of rural healthcare delivery.

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September 7, 2016

Building Rural Environments for Active Living

Complete Street example with pedestrian path


Built environments significantly influence community health and individual behaviors of physical activity. Rural communities may face infrastructure barriers to active living, but a little innovation can get an entire town moving.

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July 27, 2016