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Rural Health Care Demands National Attention


January 19, 2018

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) released a new report that highlights the challenges of health care delivery in rural areas of the Upper Midwest. The study identifies four key areas for reform that could apply nationally to all rural communities. The project utilizes information learned from Nebraska, one of seven states The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust (Helmsley) focuses grantmaking on through their Rural Healthcare Program based in South Dakota.

The report, Reinventing Rural Health Care: A Case Study of Seven Upper Midwest States, was created over a six-month period in collaboration with the Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE). It includes insight from nearly 100 regional and national thought leaders. Roundtables were held in three Midwestern cities which included health care providers in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming on the current state of rural health care, and the strategies and tools needed to deliver high-quality, high-value care to rural and frontier areas of these states.

Healthcare professionals from Nebraska participating in round tables or personal interviews for the BPC project include: Dr. Brian Bossard and Dawn Brock, Bryan Health; Margaret Brockman, Nebraska Office of Rural Health; John Roberts, Nebraska Rural Health Association; Sue Medinger, Nebraska Department of Health; Amy Behnke, Health Center Association of Nebraska; Anne Byers, Nebraska Information Technology Commission; Mary Devany, University of Nebraska Medical Center Telemedicine; James Frazee, Office of U.S. Rep. Bacon; Tim Wilson, Nebraska Department of Health; Rod Triplett, Prairie Health Ventures; Dr. Kimberly Jarzynka and Dr. Michael Sitorius, University of Nebraska Medical Center; Shannon Hossinger, Office of U.S. Senator Ben Sasse; and John Dunn, Nebraka Methodist Health System. Dunn was also one of four rural health panelists at the report roll-out in Washington, D.C.

“This report serves as a critical snapshot of the health care challenges and opportunities for reform in rural communities across America,” said Walter Panzirer, a trustee at the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “Strengthening the financial viability of the rural health care system and providing an injection of innovation and technology to these underserved communities is imperative.”


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