What if... (healthcare)

 

  • What if our rural communities are given the flexibility to design and provide the safety net (human services) system for our most vulnerable residents in community-based partnerships? These services should be integrated into the community infrastructure through family/community resource centers. These centers can become our community hubs to support community livelihood, sustainability and cohesion.
  • Rural America has a hard time recruiting and retaining healthcare professionals.  A common strategy to combat this is to encourage local kids to attend medical school and then come back home.
  •  BUT what frequently happens is that the local kid goes to college and before they even get to medical school, meets the boy/girl of his/her dreams, and the life partner is from an urban area and doesn’t see a future living in rural America.
  •  WHAT IF… some sort of loan repayment or tax credit program was offered to the spouses of healthcare professionals to encourage them to set up a business in a rural community where their spouse was practicing?  So for example, the husband of a physician wanted to set up an accounting firm.  Hubby would be offered a $5000 loan to start the business, and for each year the business existed and the healthcare professional continued to practice in the area, a portion of the loan was forgiven.
  • What if we create through our combined networks an alternative government to drive a rural economy turning deficits into assets: poor health into employment; transportation; technology; infrastructure (schools); good deserts into food systems
  • What if... focused on keeping every rural hospital open and running - emergency room - community health clinics - drug treatment. What if... Internet speed was faster than urban Internet speed. What if... Build a message around the principle that "small towns cannot afford spectators." Divide closed.
  • What if the billion $s that the federal government wants to invest for further border national security (border wall) was redirected to more educational resources, healthcare (establishing universal healthcare to reduce the national debt), and to quality of housing and infrastructure. What if we created a national rural youth leadership program to engage youth people in civic engagement and to run for office?
  • What if we saw as central to our work to improve rural communities a necessity to tackle the suicidal despair that wracks communities struggling with the opioid epidemic and aggressively worked to dismantle the silos between health, individual social services, and economic development so that efforts centered on a systematic strategy of culture change, leadership development, and alternative job creation that's outcome is building a culture that has a desire to live.
  • What if we could really help ourselves and everyone around us understand that every child in each of our communities is our child? If we did that, would everyone and every organization came together to nourish all children with good food and good medical care and teach all children to read and to thrive so that the next generations are stronger and better than the current ones?
  • What if...No one tried to discredit ethnic groups, experiences, cultures and what they found offensive? Tribes were able to exercise full sovereignty? Native youth were given the tools they need to reach their full potential (sustainable living, top of the line school facilities, committed teachers/mentors, supportive communities, access to better healthcare, fully funded programs) and had nothing to stop them?
  • What if where we live doesn't negatively limit educational or health outcomes?
  • What if rural Americans could hope to live as long as urban Americans (into their 70s rather than 40s or 50s * study published in PNAS Sept. 17, 2015). What if we could unite all rural sectors behind a national campaign to build/transform/design a health rural America?
  • What if .. dream... Provide employment opportunities for all rural citizens so they may afford the lifestyle (health, education, and home) they so choose for themselves and their family?