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Rural Partners in Medicine

In the News

New Study: Care Improves when Surgeons Travel to Rural Areas

· In the News ·

Access to Care improves when Orthopaedic Surgeons Travel to Treat Rural Patients

Patient travel times reduced for more than 450,000 Iowa residents

ROSEMONT, Ill. (May 11, 2016)—Patients living in rural areas are more likely to be older, overweight and less physically active—all risk factors for orthopaedic conditions. And yet, with few orthopaedic surgeons practicing in rural areas, access to care is limited. A new study in the May 4 issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgeryassessed the impact of visiting consultant clinics (VCCs), staffed by orthopaedic surgeons, who routinely travel to meet with patients in rural areas.

While America’s rural population is aging faster than its urban population, only 30 percent of rural hospitals have a full-time orthopaedic surgeon. As a result, patients often must travel long distances for orthopaedic care, and many patients delay treatment resulting in poorer outcomes and increased costs.

In this study, researchers specifically looked at VCCs in Iowa, an arrangement that involves regular visits by an orthopaedic surgeon to an outreach site, typically a rural hospital located in a community too small to support a full-time specialist. Patients meet with doctors in person, and receive diagnostic services and some outpatient procedures. More complex procedures are usually referred to larger hospitals with the appropriate resources to support major procedures.

Data from 2014 were used to estimate average trip length for participating orthopaedic surgeons and patients in all Iowa census tracts. Primary practice locations, visiting consultant clinic locations, and census tracts were classified according to 2010 Rural-Urban Commuting Areas (RUCA) classifications.

Among the results:

  • In 2014, 4,596 VCC days were provided in 80 predominately rural sites throughout Iowa.
  • Forty-five percent of all Iowa-based orthopaedic surgeons participated in a VCC, driving a total of 32,496 miles per month.
  • The number of Iowa counties with an orthopaedic surgeon increased from 35 to 88, out of 99 counties.
  • For rural patients, the average driving distance to the nearest orthopaedic surgeon was reduced more than 50 percent—from 19.2 miles to 8.4 miles—improving access to orthopaedic surgeons for between 450,000 and 670,000 Iowa residents.

“Orthopaedic surgeons in Iowa have been involved in rural outreach for more than 25 years,” said lead study author Thomas S. Gruca, PhD, a professor in the Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa. “By traveling to 80 different sites every month, these physicians from Iowa and surrounding states reduced patient travel times and improved access to orthopaedic care.”

This article can be found here:AAOS News Room

Dan Williams, M.D. Featured in Scottsbluff Star Herald

· In the News ·

daniel-williamsRural Life Perfect Fit for Anesthesiologists

When Dan walked into Wendy’s high school classroom in Switzerland she knew she wanted to meet him. She was 17. He was 20 and was in the country after accepting an invitation from the Swiss ski team to practice with them. Wendy’s English teacher thought it would be a good idea to have Dan stop by to hear what a real American sounded like…

To read more, please visit Scottsbluff Star Herald

Supporting American 300

· In the News ·

Our very own Dr. Eric Meyer volunteered his time with the organization American 300. He and fellow Everest climbers spent time in various countries visiting our service members. Each climber shared real life stories of how they operated in the death zone while on Everest. To learn more or see photos from Eric’s Everest Tour, please visit the Facebook page of  American 300 Tours.

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Celebrate the Power of Rural Health!

· In the News ·

National Rural Health Day is an opportunity to “Celebrate the Power of Rural” by honoring the selfless, community-minded, “can do” spirit that prevails in rural America. It also gives a chance to bring awareness to the unique healthcare challenges that rural citizens face.

Rural communities are wonderful places to live and work, which is why nearly 62 million people – nearly one in five Americans – call them home. These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are places where neighbors know each other, listen to each other, respect each other and work together to benefit the greater good. These communities provide the rest of the country with a wealth of services and commodities, and they are the economic engine that has helped the United State become the world economic power it is today.

Today more than ever, rural communities must address accessibility issues, a lack of healthcare providers, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un- and under- insured citizens. And rural hospitals – which are often the economic foundation of their communities in addition to being the primary providers of care – struggle daily as declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels make it challenging to serve their residents. Take a minute to think how you can help address these issues and bring power back rural America.

RPM would like to thank all of our partners who make it possible to empower rural health!

To learn more about rural America please visit http://celebratepowerofrural.org/

Ribbon Cutting for the New SRMC Hospital!

· In the News ·

Sidney Regional Medical Center is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, December 8th. According to www.sidneyrmc.com this is a tentative date that they hope you will add to your calendars. Watch for more details to come on their website.

Photo courtesy of Saunders Construction.

Let’s Help Kevin

· In the News ·

Our friend Kevin recently had brain surgery to remove a tumor. He has touched so many lives in the Yampa Valley. We all know Kevin as the larger than life orthopedic P.A., the selfless father, and a medic for the Sheriffs department. Let’s show our support for Kevin and his family, and help defray some of their medical costs. Kevins son is in college and he has two more that will be going soon. Let’s give back to one of ours that has given so much to his community and country. Did I mention Kevin was a Special Forces Medic prior to his career as a P.A.? Let’s help this man and his family out.

You can help here: https://www.gofundme.com/465mf7bw

 

CEO: New Sidney hospital on schedule, under budget

· In the News ·

Sidney Regional Medical Center’s new hospital is meeting its goals when it comes to budget and scheduling.

That’s the message Jason Petik, the chief executive officer at SRMC, passed along in an update he provided on the project at this week’s Cheyenne County Board of Commissioners meeting.

In 2012, SRMC contracted an architect to evaluate the 2007 facility’s master plan and provide an updated plan based on the current needs of the hospital.

The SRMC Board of Directors later approved a replacement facility to be constructed at the northeast intersection of Greenwood Road and Toledo Street…

See the story.