Jun 29, 2011, 1:45 PM, Posted by
The AARP Solutions Forum: “Advancing Health in Rural America: Maximizing Nursing’s Impact,” was held on June 13. This post is the fourth in a series in which Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholars share their thoughts on the ideas presented. The author, Elizabeth A. Kostas-Polston, Ph.D., A.P.R.N., W.H.N.P.-B.C., is an assistant professor at Saint Louis University School of Nursing. Find out more about the forum or view the archived webcast.
Nearly one in four Americans—70 million people—live in rural America. On average, they are older, poorer, more likely to be uninsured, and suffer from higher rates of chronic health conditions.1
For the past 15 years, I have lived in south central Missouri, in a small town—population ~12,000 rural Americans. I am a nationally, board certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and Colposcopist. In this role I participate by providing primary and specialty health care to rural, underserved and uninsured women who are often the target of Healthy People 2020 indicators. What’s more, the women I care for are not just faces in the crowd. They are my children’s teachers, colleagues’ wives and daughters, the lady who waits on me at the post office, the woman who rings up my groceries, my children’s friends, and my friends’ daughters—all of whom make up our community. It is no surprise, then, that the primary aim of my practice is to improve the health of women and their families. Improving the health of women and their families, in turn, positively impacts the health of our community.
As I listened to nurses such as the Honorable Mary Wakefield and Gail Finley share their thoughts regarding the challenges and opportunities that simultaneously exist as Nursing purposely and strategically moves to make its mark on the improvement of health care in rural America, I could not help but reflect on the numerous barriers which continue to interfere with my ability to practice to the full extent of my education, training, and competence.
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Jun 16, 2011, 1:55 PM, Posted by
The AARP Solutions Forum: “Advancing Health in Rural America: Maximizing Nursing’s Impact,” was held on June 13. This post is the first in a series in which Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholars, who viewed the forum live, share their thoughts on the ideas presented. The author, Tami L. Thomas, Ph.D., C.P.N.P., R.N.C., works with rural populations in Georgia.
When does an invention or innovation occur? According to Dr. Mary Wakefield it occurs with regularity when the best of nursing and best of rural health care merge with the support of national health policy.
The current challenges of rural health care were discussed Monday morning in Washington, D.C., as policy experts, leaders and key stakeholders met to examine how to improve health care in rural America. Growing up in rural America, my childhood memories include long car drives to see physicians or dentists. Access to care for my father’s family on a rural farm was punctuated by the death of his two-year-old sister, my Aunt Marilyn.
The access to health care problems facing my parents and grandparents are not unlike the problems facing the families I work with in my health promotion research in rural areas.
So I was excited and eager to listen to panelists discuss solutions and innovations like cutting-edge rural health models that could make a difference for the families in rural America.
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Jun 6, 2011, 3:51 PM, Posted by
Have you registered for the June 13 AARP Solutions Forum on Advancing Health in Rural America: Maximizing Nursing’s Impact? There’s still time! The forum will be held in Washington, D.C., and a live webcast will be offered on the Center to Champion Nursing in America’s website.
The forum will convene policy experts, thought leaders and key stakeholders to examine how to improve health care in rural America, where a shortage of providers limits access to primary and preventive services, reduces consumer choice and can raise costs.
Learn more about the forum. Register to attend in-person or via the live webcast.
This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.