By Anna Seaman, Kathryn Haenni, Mike Hostutler, and Isaiah Kirkpatrick
While listening to interviews from the Stories to Save Lives database, our group realized that accessibility and quality of healthcare in the rural South are prone to inadequacy. Residents of rural communities are at increased risk of delayed care. These communities are at higher risk for adverse health outcomes associated with a lack of resources and diminished access to physicians and medical centers. Specifically, the differences between rural and urban healthcare centers demonstrate the deficits in healthcare in the rural South. These disparate rates of healthcare delivery are evident when comparing rural communities in North Carolina to urban centers. It is clear that there is a problem within this healthcare system. Rural residents are left behind and do not receive the holistic care they deserve, ultimately leading to distrust in patient-provider relationships. Further, certain groups that are concentrated within rural areas can experience different and incomplete care. Distinctly, veterans have been affected by inadequate rural healthcare.
The interviewees include residents of the rural South all of whom have either administered or received health care in the area: Stephanie Atkinson, Don Chaplin, Henry Toole Clark, Terry Alston Jones, Amber Miller, Ysuara Rodriguez, McLaughlin Thomas, and Sandra Williams.
Our group’s theme analyzes rural healthcare from a broad perspective, patient-provider lens, and veteran viewpoint. We use the interviews with members of rural North Carolina Communities to demonstrate the need for health interventions in the South. The rural-urban healthcare gap should not be widening with the advances in health technology. We must continually make efforts to close this gap and ensure equal access to and quality of healthcare.