Critically ill rural patients are often sent to city hospitals for high-level treatment, and as their numbers grow, some urban hospitals are buckling under the added strain. Meanwhile, mask-wearing and other pandemic prevention measures remain spotty in rural counties.
As coronavirus cases surge, state officials can’t afford to wait for a new president to take office before taking action. But some governors’ initiatives seem to be little more than policy tweaks or symbolic gestures.
KHN and California Healthline staff made the rounds on national and local media this week to discuss their stories. Here’s a collection of their appearances.
Doctors and nurses say order puts lives in danger, amid a COVID surge and a statewide shortage of health care workers.
During the pandemic, shelters are having to change the way they do things to prevent the virus from spreading among the vulnerable homeless population. Now, as winter weather moves in, there’s less room at the shelters for those in need — threatening to leave many, literally, out in the cold.
How do we as Black people protect ourselves from racism? In our household, my decision to let my hair go natural forced my father and me to have a conversation about personal safety, the police and my desire to feel free. He viewed my permed hair and weave as a protective shield that increased my chances of making it home safely. But, in reality, my haircut — long or short — can’t protect me from racism.
The Trump administration hailed rapid tests as the way to halt COVID’s spread in nursing homes. A KHN analysis of federal data shows they’re not being used, as questions linger about accuracy and best practices.
Fear and uncertainty about the coronavirus have made online patient support groups fertile ground for the spread of misinformation. But some in these groups make fact-checking a part of the mission to support fellow COVID sufferers.
Crooked Media’s “America Dissected” explores the rural health crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Podcast guest KHN Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal said: “I expect we’ll see a lot more rural hospital failures.”
In Fort Scott, Kansas, the Community Health Center’s big green-and-white sign replaced Mercy Hospital’s name on the front of the town’s massive medical building. In the final chapter of Season One: “No Mercy,” we have an appointment to see what’s inside.
Having a child with a food allergy is terrifying for any parent, but for low-income families such allergies can be especially deadly. Food assistance programs and food pantries rarely take allergies into account. And access to specialists, support groups and lifesaving epinephrine can be hard to attain. This especially hurts low-income Black children, who have higher incidences of allergies to corn, wheat and soy than white kids.
Meet Josh. He’s a teenager in Fort Scott, Kansas, who dropped out of high school around the same time the town’s hospital closed. He says those two things are related.
Furious over Republicans’ handling of the pandemic, Wisconsin health care workers are speaking out against the president — and running for office.
More than eight months into the pandemic, stockpiling of masks and other protective equipment by wealthy hospital systems is straining nursing homes and smaller providers who also need precious protective gear to keep front-line workers safe from COVID-19.
The hunt for good cancer treatment often means miles on the road, time spent waiting and exhaustion from treatment and transit. “The further you have to travel to get care, the less likely that you are going to take that effort to do that,” said Boban Mathew, an oncologist in southeastern Kansas.
Teledentistry allows dentists to remotely review records and diagnose patients’ teeth over video. Some smile about its promise, while others see the potential for cutting corners. And it faces hurdles to widespread adoption.
As the pandemic continues to cast shadows on everyday life, some candidates for governor are talking about everything except the specifics of how they would manage COVID-19 into the future.
Mercy Hospital and the people of Fort Scott, Kansas, have a long, tangled history. To understand what the town lost when the hospital shut its doors, we rewind the story to 1886.
Instrumentalists in ensembles, marching bands and other groups are getting creative with pantyhose, air filters, fabric and sewing machines to reduce the risk of COVID without silencing the music.
Fort Scott, Kansas, went without an ER for 18 days, after the local hospital shut down. Documenting local trauma during that “dark period” helped investigative reporter Sarah Jane Tribble unravel some of the complications that come after a rural hospital closes.