Do Residents Return?

“Grow your own” is a popular phrase for those trying to improve the supply of health professionals in rural areas.  But does it work? The USDA recently released a report titled “Factors Affecting Former Residents’ Returning to Rural Communities“.

Factors which encouraged residents to return to their rural roots:

  • presence of parents
  • desire to raise their children back home
  • easy-going environment
  • outdoor recreation

Local schools also played an important role.  People who had a positive outlook on rural schools came back; those who felt that urban schools would better fit their child’s needs, did not.

The report summary goes on to say:

Family motivations dominated, but returning home also depended on securing a job, often involving creative strategies to overcome employment limitations. Return migrants frequently mentioned their acceptance of financial and career sacrifices for returning home. Most nonreturnees who may have considered coming home cited low wages and lack of career opportunities as the primary barriers to their return.

So the challenge for rural recruiters is: what can be done to improve the factors that can be controlled – school systems and economic environment?

Turn Up the Volume

Head for the Hills isn’t the only event for rural healthcare providers this fall; the Virginia Rural Health Association will be hosting their annual conference October 13 & 14.

For twenty years, the Virginia Rural Health Association has served as “The Voice for Rural Health in Virginia.”  Now they are asking you to turn up the volume on that voice.  Rural hospitals, clinics, providers and students are under greater pressure than ever to provide services in an increasingly challenging environment.  For their 20th Anniversary, VRHA is asking all rural health stakeholders to raise their voice with us and help call attention to the needs of Virginia’s rural citizens.

The Annual Conference of the Virginia Rural Health Association is an opportunity for the people and organizations that serve Virginia’s rural population from across the Commonwealth to meet.  The event is filled with workshops, keynote speakers, poster presentations, networking and an Exhibit Hall.  The people who attend the event are as diverse as the VRHA membership: hospital executives, academic faculty, clinic staff, government officials, health professions students and more.

Bringing the people who care about rural Virginia together provides an opportunity to discuss how we can ensure the sustainability of rural Virginia through policy, access, economics, education and more.

Turn Up the Volume!  Click here for details.