CentraCare St Cloud Hospital

Support for Rural Life

We are advocates for greater Minnesota, rural America, and the rural way of life.

We know that rural life is as varied as the communities, families, and individuals that are living it. However, within that diverse experience is a common challenge: a disparate shortage of rural doctors and healthcare workers.

According to the new England Journal of Medicine:

Rural areas in the United States suffer disproportionately from inadequate access to health care. In 2018, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), 66% of Health Professional Shortage Areas for primary care and 62% of those for mental health were located in rural or partially rural areas of the country. Although there is disagreement about the adequacy of the overall physician supply, there is little disagreement that the uneven distribution of physicians presents serious access problems in many rural areas. Limited access to physicians can reduce access to preventative care and exacerbate unmet health needs, leading to costly hospitalizations and poor health status.

July 25, 2019 N Engl J Med 2019; 381:299-301

Today, we know that our rural communities are demographically older, poorer, and sicker than their metropolitan and suburban neighbors. While each of our organizations speak from different perspectives, we share a common sense of urgency to address this disparity. Central to this crisis is the worsening shortage of rural doctors.

This is why we support the University of Minnesota Medical School and CentraCare establishing a medical school campus in central Minnesota and expanding their current residency program, to attract, train, and retain rural physicians in greater Minnesota and rural America.

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