Public Health

Rural Hospitals, Short of Staff, Brace for Omicron

https://www.marketplace.org/2021/12/28/rural-hospitals-short-of-staff-brace-for-omicron/ By Savannah Maher Dec 28, 2021 Heard on: Hospitals in the U.S. are struggling to stay staffed up. Many were short of workers even before the pandemic caused an exodus of doctors and nurses from the field. Now, the more transmissible omicron variant is sending some of the remaining workers home, and hospitals are running out of backup plans — particularly in rural areas. Vermont was already in dire need of health care workers, even before the pandemic drove many into early retirement and other careers, according to Jeff Tieman with the Vermont Association of Hospitals. “Our workforce is shrinking and stressed, you know, at a time when we need it to be growing and resilient,” he said. In New Mexico, more...

HOW NEW YORK STATE CAN PRESERVE RURAL ACCESS TO EMS

In order to preserve rural communities’ access to emergency medical services, New York State government must act now. Due to inadequate reimbursement from Medicaid causing strained budgets, minimal provided incentive for volunteers, and lack of utilization of EMS capabilities, rural ambulance agencies are at risk of closing down or consolidating with other agencies. Fewer ambulance agencies will only increase response and wait time for emergency medical situations, putting rural New Yorkers at an even higher risk of serious medical complications. To amend this crisis, New York State can increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate for EMS, increase incentive for volunteerism by providing SUNY scholarships for volunteers and/or their children, and initiate community paramedicine programs in rur...

Rural Networks Making a Difference in the Opioid Epidemic

We didn’t want to miss sharing this webinar, recorded on National Rural Health Day, which features Karen Madden of the New York State Office of Rural Health, Rebecca Evansky, AHI, and Charlotte Crawford, Lake Plains Community Care Network. The recording showcases how small rural networks are innovating and collaborating with their communities to address the opioid crisis. Hit play to watch it below or click here for direct access.