The New Blue “H” Report

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.

Read the New Blue “H” Report

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.

Participating organizations:

Critical Access Hospital Network

Dayton General Hospital

Garfield County Public Hospital District

Homecare Association of Washington

Jefferson Healthcare

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



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Washington State Hospital Association
999 Third Avenue
Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104

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206.281.7211 phone
206.283.6122 fax

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