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By Anna Seaman, Kathryn Haenni, Mike Hostutler, and Isaiah Kirkpatrick

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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.

Student Essays

Distrust in Healthcare and Adverse Health Outcomes

By Anna Seaman Most people who reside within rural areas of the country lack access to healthcare facilities, physicians, and vital health-related resources. Spleen explains that rural populations have been associated with more significant rates of “healthcare avoidance” (Spleen). The … Continued

Rural Veteran Healthcare in North Carolina: The Need for Quality, Trust, and Accessibility in the VA Healthcare System

By Mike Hostutler Veterans in the United States require extensive healthcare following their service to our country as they are disproportionally affected by chronic injuries and illness resulting from their work. As such, it is vital that veterans access quality … Continued

The Socioeconomics of Rural Healthcare

By Kathryn Haenni Introduction Rural health, as it relates to the field of medical study, can be divided into two categories: health and health care delivery. Rural healthcare is lacking, to say the least. The barriers rural populations encounter are … Continued