Editorial: Should Metro America Subsidize Rural America?

This Roanoke Times Editorial explores the polarizing comments made by Jackson Kernion and Brad Blakeman, both academics discussing the following popular, unspoken opinion – “Why bother [about economic revitalization in rural communities]? Maybe investing in rural America— especially the coalfields of Appalachia — is simply a waste of resources. Maybe the federal government should simply buy out people who live there and let the region revert to nature as a giant national forest.

Click HERE to read.

$44,000 for an Ambulance, Hour-Long Drives to an ER: The Impossible Cost of Healthcare in Appalachia.


Mason Adams captures Southwest Virginia’s healthcare climate and the dire consequences brought on by rural hospital closures. Downgraded trauma centers, a lack of providers and reliable, cost-efficient transportation are a few things affecting a community where the median income has remained around $32,590. The article also includes testimony on how the community continues to rally in an effort to secure the care that they deserve.

Click HERE to read.

ETSU: Addiction medicine fellowship receives initial accreditation

This past month the ACGME granted ETSU’s Family Medicine Addiction Medicine Fellowship their initial accreditation, making it possible for two fellows to begin their education and training by July 2020. In partnership with Ballad Health, the creation of this fellowship has been an effort to introduce evidence-based care to the families and individuals of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

Click HERE to read more about the fellowship’s plans.

WJHL: Less opioids, more acupuncture: alternative medicine providers aim to help veterans

In an effort to stray away from heavy medication use, acupuncturists in the Tri-Cities area are seeking ways to treat veterans with PTSD. Former Army veteran, Linda Carter, who has suffered from acute and chronic pain, has welcomed the idea of triggering her body’s natural healing response. In recent months, insurers have even begun to include coverage of alternative treatments into their plans.

Hear Linda and the Licensed Acupuncturists HERE.


2019 Head for the Hills: Speaker PowerPoint Presentations

Thank you for joining us at our annual CME conference hosted at the BREAKS. To access the slides our speakers presented, please click on any of the links below:

  1. David Beckner, MD Cardiologist: BECKNER-h4th
  2. Jeffrey LeBoeuf, GME and Rotations Chief Officer, LMU-DCOM: LEBOEUF-h4th
  3. Nicholas Pennings, DO, FOMA: PENNINGS-h4th
  4. David Thompson, MD, Diabetes, IM: THOMPSON-h4th
  5. Ashley Masterson, PGY3, Lonesome Pine Family Medicine Residency: MASTERSON-h4th
  6. Matt Loos, MD, VP and CMO for Ballad SW Market: LOOS-h4th
  7. Kevin Myers, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist: MYERS-h4th
  8. Casey Carringer, Director of Clinical Engagement for Population Health: CARRINGER-h4th
  9. Michael Kahn, MD, Psychiatrist: KAHN-h4th
  10. Nirav Patel, PGY1 Internal Medicine Resident at Johnston Memorial Hospital: PATEL-h4th


Five ways health care is (and isn’t) shaping debate in this year’s General Assembly election

The topic of healthcare reform has been at the heart of several debates, sparking heated discussions among the candidates. Thoughts on medical coverage expansion, increasing drug prices, and corporate campaign contributions have certainly intensified this election season. With November 5th around the corner, take a look at a quick breakdown of the topic.

Check out the article HERE.

If You Like to Write…

Request for Proposals –

The Graduate Medical Education Consortium of Southwest Virginia has proposed a collection of essays to McFarland Press. Titled Healing Ourselves, with a tentative subtitle along the lines of Physicians Respond to the Opioid Crisis in Appalachia or Healthcare Providers tell their stories of Appalachia’s Opioid Epidemic.

We are looking for a wide range of approaches to the topic, with the intent that these individual narratives should tell together the larger story of what is happening in the region. If you are actively involved in treating pain and/or addiction in Appalachia, we would like to hear from you. We are particularly interested in stories that focus on reflective awareness or solution-driven activity. If you’ve been part of a working solution, tell us about it.

We understand that many substances continue to play a role in Appalachia’s addiction story; your proposed story should not focus on other substances to the exclusion of opioids.

Please send a one-page write-up of your approach to telling a piece of the big story on opioids/substance abuse in Appalachia. Do not put your name on this page but please include why you are well-positioned to write this unique piece.

On a separate page, please give us your name, profession and titles, geographic location, work location (are you based out of a hospital, private or free clinic, college or university, etc.) and why you are interested in writing for this collection. Please include e-mail and phone contact details.

McFarland is primarily an academic publisher; we are looking for writers who can address their topic with narrative skill and present data or complicated terms in language appealing to readers overloaded with faceless statistics. Tell us a story. Tell us YOUR story.

We look forward to reading your proposals on Monday, Sept. 9. Email them to director@swvagmec.com



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