Former Board Member and Stoneleigh Fellow David Rubin wrote a piece for the Philadelphia Inquirer about his experience with the health care realities of rural areas.
As I spent time away this summer in a rural area of upstate New York, I had the opportunity to observe some of the challenges of providing health care in such an area. What I learned was that despite the stark differences between my life up there and my life in Philadelphia, patient needs were surprisingly similar.
Tucked far away from large academic health centers, rural areas are concentrated with some of our most elderly and fragile patients. For them, there are no urgent care solutions and a visit to a specialist can be a full-day experience, much of it spent on the road — assuming they drive or have access to a ride.
Cut off from the doctors, nurses and social workers they need to manage their care, the risk of isolation for these patients is great. Yet, if you spend time with some of these people, they insist they wouldn’t change a thing. So, how do they get by?