You may be familiar with the five primary causes of death in the US: cancer, cardiovascular disease, opioid overdoses, accidental injuries, and strokes. What you may not know however, is that rural areas experience higher rates of deaths in these areas than in urban cities. If you live in a rural area, you are 50% likelier to die from an accidental injury probably due to increased motor vehicle deaths and opioid overdoses than if you lived in urban suburbs. Adults aren’t the only ones who suffer. Children who grow up in rural communities suffer increased rates of mental health issues and receive less access to developmental disorder resources further widening the disparity gap. Furthermore, health research is typically conducted in metropolitan areas attracting study participants who don’t face the same low literacy rates, socioeconomic burden, and geographical hindrances that their rural counterparts face furthering the chasm of quality rural healthcare delivery. Most importantly, nearly 20 percent of the nation’s population resides in rural areas yet they receive only 10 percent of the healthcare provider resources. This discrepancy lowers quality of care delivery and overburdens care providers.
To combat and overcome the unique challenges rural communities face requires increased financial resources to draw a greater number of healthcare providers, funding to enhance clinical support mechanisms like telehealth to improve healthcare access, and political representation from leaders who understand how these barriers impact healthcare. Enter Strengthening Our Rural Health Workforce Act of 2019 (Bill S. 2902).
Bill S. 2902 – Background
Voting in Favor of Bill S. 2902 - Pros
Voting in Favor of Bill S. 2902 – Cons
Imploring your state representatives to vote in favor of Bill S. 2902: Strengthening the Rural Health Workforce Act ensures that nearly 20 percent of the population receives equitable healthcare compared to their metropolitan counterparts. Many individuals living in rural areas are elderly, isolated, have fewer financial resources available, and manage high acuity physical and mental health needs. This disenfranchised group depends on others to reinforce their healthcare needs and to improve their care delivery. This community shouldn’t suffer simply because their geographical location differs from those who can afford to live in urban areas. Join me in my quest to improve access to care by reaching out to your state officials and encouraging them to vote yes on Bill S. 2902.
My focus for this piece was to use Lasswell’s Three Aims: inform, guide, educate. I chose this model because I wanted to inform and educate my audience regarding rural healthcare discrepancies and how bill S. 2902 provides solutions to those issues, but my primary focus was to guide my audience to reach out to their state representatives and prompt them to vote in favor of the bill. Additionally, I felt comfortable with this mode of communication because a blog post (when someone is the writer and someone different is the reader) is a linear connection. If I wanted to deliver this message to an audience in person, I may be inclined to choose another communication method that considers the audience’s response to the material.