How counties are improving healthcare accessibility in rural communities

Listen to the episode

In rural areas, healthcare access poses unique challenges and opportunities

Healthcare is a critical part of our lives, and access to quality care can, in a worst-case scenario, be the differentiating factor between life and death. In the best-case scenario, quality and holistic healthcare keeps us out of the hospital and in the places and activities where we thrive.

In rural communities, barriers such as access and connectivity can affect how and when patients receive care. We had the opportunity to recently work with two clients on new rural healthcare facilities to help support their communities with the care they need. With two different geographies, communities, and needs, we wanted to discuss their insights into ways these new critical access healthcare facilities are helping support their patients.

To discuss this topic, Treanor Health principals Curtis Hendershott and Mike Hagan join this episode, along with Dr. Timothy Ryan, the public and environmental health director of Clear Creek County in Idaho Springs, Colorado, and Dave Garnas, administrator at the North Central Kansas Medical Center in Concordia, Kansas.

Idaho Springs Community Clinic
North Central Kansas Medical Center

Finding the right balance of treatment and prevention

For Dr. Ryan, serving rural communities is just as much about providing care as it is equipping people with the resources and tools they need to stay healthy and avoid unplanned visits to the clinic.

Throughout this episode, Dr. Ryan shares several ways that the clinic in Idaho Springs is providing preventative care and education to residents. From a food pantry to internet connectivity, Clear Creek County’s new Health and Wellness Center serves as a true community focal point.

“I differentiate between healthcare and medical care,” says Dr. Ryan. “I think medical care is what you get in the hospital. It’s what you need in an emergency. If we have robust healthcare and public health, we can avoid a lot of the medical care.”

Dr. Timothy Ryan, Public and Environmental Health Director, Clear Creek County

For Dave, part of the problem that the new medical center had to solve was attracting medical staff. “We’ve focused heavily on workforce, and pay and recruitment and retention tools,” says Dave. “Now that we’re open, and we’re in, people are just getting excited in the community everywhere I go.”

In Cloud County, they were able to raise enough money to pay for the project without using taxpayer funds. This achievement instilled pride and ownership within the community that it was something they wanted and needed. According to Dave, more than 700 people showed up for the facility’s open house.

Listen to the full episode to learn more about these unique facilities and how both counties are serving their rural communities with the health and medical care they need.

Voices in this episode

Curtis Hendershott

Principal, Specialty Leader

Megan Cooper

Communications Manager

Related content

Stay on the leading edge

Stay up to date on emerging trends, research, hot topics, and more delivered conveniently to your inbox.

"*" indicates required fields

Treanor specialties I'm interested in
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.