More than a quarter of Tennessee counties don’t have a hospital and a fifth don’t even have an emergency facility, though they may have an ambulance service. When a hospital closes or there's no hospital at all, rural economies suffer. It's impossible to recruit businesses and to keep employers, residents, and retirees in the area. The communities impacted by all of this are disproportionately made up of the uninsured, the elderly, the chronically ill, and those living in poverty.
WUOT's Chrissy Keuper spoke with members of state agencies, nonprofits, and social justice advocacy about what the present and future look like for healthcare in Tennessee’s rural counties.
Dr. Carole Myers - Professor, University of Tennessee College of Nursing
Jacy Warrell - Executive Director, Rural Health Association of Tennessee
Chanda Freeman - Health Policy Team Program Manager, Tennessee Justice Center
Judy Roitman - Executive Director, Tennessee Health Care Campaign
Bill Jolley - Senior Vice President, Rural Health Issues, Tennessee Hospital Association
Tina Pilgreen - Director, Tennessee Office of Rural Health
Logan McCoy - Special Projects Director, Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development