Redefining Rural Health Care
During the Department of Health (DOH) and Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) annual leadership team meeting in September 2013, the two agencies determined there was a strong need for a clear proposal for how health care in rural communities could change to better meet the needs of each community while responding to healthcare reform.
To respond to this need, staff from the Department of Health Office of Rural Health and the Washington State Hospital Association brought together a group of stakeholders to examine barriers and opportunities to maintaining and improving access to health care services in rural communities.
The work group split into subgroups representing acute care, primary care and prevention, behavioral health, long term care, emergency medical services/transportation, and workforce to explore the opportunities in these service sectors more thoroughly. This report includes a summary of recommendations that emerged across all of the subgroups, and six appendices that include recommendations by service sector.
Rural Health Work Group
The Rural Health Work Group was co-chaired by Karen Jensen, Director of Partnerships,
Planning, and Performance at the Department of Health, and Jeff Mero, Senior Vice President,
Rural System Development at the Washington State Hospital Association. The advisory group
for this report was the Washington State Rural Strategic Planning Committee.
Critical Access Hospital Network
Dayton General Hospital
Garfield County Public Hospital District
Homecare Association of Washington
Odessa Memorial Healthcare Center
Olympic Area Agency on Aging
Pend Oreille County Counseling Services
Rural Health Clinic Association of Washington
Three Rivers Hospital
Washington Association of Community and Migrant Health Centers
Washington Dental Service Foundation
Washington Health Care Access Alliance
Washington Rural Health Collaborative
Washington State Department of Health
Washington State Health Care Authority
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
Washington State Hospital Association
Washington State Medical Association