Hundreds Camp Out Overnight At Rural Town’s First-Come, First Serve Clinic In Sign Of Just How Many People Have ‘Fallen In The Gap’
The federal government now estimates that a record 50 million rural Americans live in what it calls "health care shortage areas," where the number of hospitals, family doctors, surgeons and paramedics has declined to 20-year lows. A look at a pop-up clinic in Tennessee shows just how bad that reality is for the people living it.
The Washington Post:
‘Urgent Needs From Head To Toe’: This Clinic Had Two Days To Fix A Lifetime Of Needs
They were told to arrive early if they wanted to see a doctor, so Lisa and Stevie Crider left their apartment in rural Tennessee almost 24 hours before the temporary medical clinic was scheduled to open. They packed a plastic bag with what had become their daily essentials after 21 years of marriage: An ice pack for his recurring chest pain. Tylenol for her swollen feet. Peroxide for the abscess in his mouth. Gatorade for her low blood sugar and chronic dehydration. They took a bus into the center of Cleveland, Tenn., a manufacturing town of 42,000, and slept for a few hours at a budget motel. (Saslow, 6/22)
Ballad Health Merger Leaves Patients In Rural Appalachia With Few Options
Molly Worley is an angry grandma.For weeks she has stubbornly occupied a folding lawn chair on a grassy median outside Holston Valley Medical Center, sheltered from sweltering Appalachian summer sun by a thin tarp and flanked by a rotating crew staging a round-the-clock protest since May 1. Behind them is the state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care unit where Worley's newborn grandson spent his first weeks of life treated for opioid exposure. In the same building is a Level I trauma center to respond to the most critical emergencies. (Wadhwani, 6/23)