3312.0 Reducing Disparities: Issues in Rural Healthcare

Monday, November 5, 2007: 2:30 PM
America’s rural communities face unique challenges to accessing health care services, especially in the recommended medical home model, in which care is timely, comprehensive, coordinated, family centered, and culturally relevant. These challenges include the mal-distribution of healthcare professionals in the U.S., with many rural communities being federally designated as Healthcare Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). This problem is compounded by the higher level of family poverty and often very poor public transportation infrastructure in rural communities. Even with insurance, many low-income rural Americans cannot get to the nearest doctor – who may be more than ten miles away. This presentation will describe several approaches to improving health access and outcomes in rural communities. We will begin with a description of diverse ways to provide rural children with access to a medical home including school-based and school-linked care, use of mobile medical units, and collaboration with federally qualified health centers. We will next discuss strategies to measure the success of the federal Office of Rural Health Policy in its efforts to provide information dissemination, coordination, and technical assistance to rural healthcare providers. We will next present strategies to improve health access in an extremely remote rural community in northern Arkansas, enhance chronic disease management in rural Maine, and improve access to HIV/AIDS services for Latino populations in the Deep South.
Session Objectives: At the end of this sessin, individuls will be able to: • Discuss a variety of care delivery models that can bridge these barriers to health access for children in underserved rural communities • Assess the difficulty in determining how to meaningfully measure performance in coordination, training and technical assistance activities • Discuss how community-academic partnerships lay the foundation for in-house capacity building in program evaluation • Describe diverse strategies to improve access to care and disease management for rural patients with chronic conditions
Rashida R. Dorsey, PhD, MPH

2:30 PM
Diverse ways to enhance access to child healthcare in underserved rural communities: Implementing medical home models
Arturo Brito, MD, Michele Montero, Lynn Seim, MSN, Sharon Kim-Gibbons, MPH, Roy Grant, MA and Sarah Overholt, MA
2:45 PM
Program performance measurement models for rural health
Lynda Bergsma, PhD, Jennifer Peters and Heather Free
3:15 PM
Improved care for chronic conditions in rural Maine
Phil Elkin, MD, Ronald D. Deprez, Amy Kinner and Catherine Princell

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Community Health Planning and Policy Development
Endorsed by: Socialist Caucus, APHA-Committee on Women's Rights

CE Credits: CME, Health Education (CHES), Nursing