Some 57 million rural Americans depend on their hospital as an important source of care as well as a critical component of their area's economic and social fabric. In many areas, there is growing concern…that fabric is starting to fray.
The stresses of the past 2.5 years have affected every hospital and health system in America, none more so than rural hospitals. On this Leadership Dialogue Series podcast, AHA Board Chair Wright L. Lassiter III is joined by Dr. Julie Yaroch (Yarrow), president of ProMedica Charles and Virginia Hickman Hospital in Adrian, Michigan. Lassiter and Yaroch talk about the issues that rural hospitals continue to face, including workforce shortages, increased costs of care, and an aging population. At the same time, patients living in rural communities must navigate challenges related to accessing care, such as lack of transportation and unreliable or unavailable internet access. Yaroch says collaboration is key right now. She describes how the hospital she leads views health care as a team approach and talks about its vital role as an anchor institution in the community.