Illustration by Phillip Clark.

Examining Health Inequities in Three Distinct Rural Regions

The lack of rural health services takes a toll on both patients and practitioners. This series looks at health-equity issues in three diverse rural communities in Hawaii, Western North Carolina and Northern California. The series is a collaboration of The Daily Yonder and three other nonprofit news organizations: Carolina Public Press, Honolulu Civil Beat and Shasta Scout. The Rural News Network of the Institute for Nonprofit News initiated the project, with support from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation.

Breaking point

Lack of Medical Specialists Increases Obstacles to Care and Worsens Patients’ Prognoses

In Shasta County, California, with vast swaths of sparsely populated land, patients who need local, specialized health care may be out of luck. That strains primary-care clinics, increases use of ERs, lengthens travel times for those who must find care in urban areas, and creates worse patient outcomes. A local response to the problem shows promise.