The AHA and its Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities today held a Capitol Hill briefing on its recently released strategies to preserve access to essential health services in vulnerable rural and urban communities. The report provides a menu of options to help hospitals based on their unique needs, support structures and preferences. Ray Montgomery, chair of the Task Force’s Rural Subcommittee and president and CEO of Unity Health White County Medical Center in Searcy, AR, and task force members Carrie Saia, RN, CEO of Holton (KS) Community Hospital, and Scott Cooper, M.D., former CEO of St. Barnabas Hospital in Bronx, NY, described the report’s findings for participants and how they arrived at the nine strategies, which range from integrating rural hospitals and health clinics to using technology to provide 24/7 care in isolated areas. “We were looking at the needs of our local communities,” said Montgomery.

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