Across the nation, nearly 800,000 people suffer strokes each year. When someone has a stroke, minutes matter, but hospital closures and other access issues mean millions of people find it difficult to get specialty stroke care quickly.
In our series on “Bridging the Great Health Divide” we examine at the pandemic’s role in deepening the crisis, and the bridges people in our communities are building to bring hope to those who need it most.
By Jill Riepenhoff, Daniela Molina, Jamie Grey and Lee Zurik
In nearly every Appalachian and Delta community, residents die on average before their 78th birthday, which is the average life expectancy in the United States. Health care providers are working on innovative ways to combat the unique disparities in the regions.
The Health Resources and Services Administration classifies geographic areas as medically underserved based on them having too few primary care doctors, a high infant mortality rate, high poverty or a high elderly population.
Heart failure affects roughly 5.7 million Americans and that’s why doctors at the University of Virginia are working on a therapy to improve the quality of life for their patients suffering from this disease.
The Mississippi Delta and Appalachia both fare far worse than the national average in health indicators and outcomes. The project will explore why health disparities exist, with a focus on long term and sustainable solutions.