Place-Based Strategies to Improve Access to Health Care in Rural Iowa
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Sustaining the viability of rural communities depends largely upon citizens’ access to high-quality healthcare, and in tandem, citizens’ access to high-quality healthcare depends upon the success of the community as a whole. In order to overcome the challenges most acutely experienced in rural healthcare such as physician recruitment, reimbursement, and the providing of specialized services; community leaders and healthcare administrators should consider a comprehensive and integrated approach for health care delivery. Current methods are targeted at improvements within the healthcare system itself, but this siloed approach is not effectively capitalizing on opportunities for improvement and long-term sustainability. Strategies to achieve a more holistic approach to providing include collaboration of public and private entities, proactive development in rural communities, cultivating and fostering the next generation, increasing coordination of care, and increasing engagement of current local providers in discussions about community development. Through collaboration between the community and healthcare facilities, communities along the urban-rural continuum should work towards emphasizes their unique strengths to help draw physicians and other health professionals to the area, thereby creating improved health delivery and outcomes for residents.
Capstone paper from 2015 spring MPA program. Instructed by Allen Zagoren.