Reviewing Rural Health


July 13, 2017

The National Rural Health Association holds the Rural Quality and Clinical Conference in Nashville, Tennessee this week.

National Rural Health Association CEO Alan Morgan joined us today to discuss this event as well as the recent Center for Disease Control report.

Morgan says that this conference is one of his favorites because it discusses what works, what works well in rural America, and where the future is heading for healthcare. While this topic has dominated national attention, with the emphasis being placed on what we don’t have in rural America, he plans to speak at the conference on what we do have – about what is working from a clinical standpoint and about some of the innovative approaches that are being taken right now.

We asked him who can be expected to make an appearance at the conference this week. He said, “Everyone who is involved in health care, such as rural clinicians, nurses, physician assistants, hospital CEOs, and key government officials.”

As this conference is being held, another related topic is weighing heavily on the minds of many. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report on cancer which highlighted the fact that, while the cancer death rate nationwide is decreasing, in rural America the rate is still high and is declining at a slower pace.

Morgan believes that a key driver behind this stastic is lung cancer. “The smoking rate is higher in rural America,” he stated. But he also emphasized that early detection and quality treatment are crucial factors as well, which underscores the need to improve health care for rural Americans in general.

The National Rural Health Association is working to innovative solutions such as telehealth to link primary care in local communities with specialty care providers, so that people in rural communities can receive the same level of treatment as people in urban areas.

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