NBC News: Coronavirus strains rural hospitals to ‘the absolute limit’

Although coronavirus has yet to make the same harsh impact on rural communities as in metropolitan areas around the United States, their financial reality may drastically reduce their best efforts when preparing for the worst.

Most facilities have already to turned to telehealth in order to minimize that one-on-one contact. However, as Beth O’Connor, director of the Virginia Rural Health Association, states, “Many of our rural families, and even many of our rural hospitals and clinics, don’t have the bandwidth that they need to be able to participate in telehealth service. So when you have something like this pandemic when you would prefer to see someone virtually, it’s just not possible.”

Click HERE to read.

How to Make a Face Mask: Protection Against COVID-19

Join others in learning how to sew face masks for your community members that desperately need them! Click HERE to view easy-to-follow instructions and a video made by Deaconess Hospital staff.

 

PLEASE SEND MASKS!

CHECK YOUR BARNS! (and garages, workrooms, etc.) Have you got boxes of gloves (latex, plastic, or vinyl), N95 face masks? Those are badly needed and GMEC can make sure they get redistributed. Have you got surgical masks, face shields, plastic dust masks, safety goggles? Those are needed as well.

If you are hand-sewing masks, we also have locations that need those. They are not front-line COVID but are VERY useful for other parts of care. If you would like to sew masks, we can send you patterns.

THANKS and PLEASE check your basements et al. We’ve sent several N95s to small clinics because of kind people willing to share what they have. EVERY donation will help keep our rural communities safe.

Contact director@swvagmec.com so we can tell you where to mail, or collect. Thanks!

AmeriCorps VISTA: Service Spotlight

This week, AmeriCorps wishes to recognize the efforts of their VISTA members and the work being done throughout the communities they serve. As part of our introduction to Wise County, Virginia – GMEC along with our VISTA member – led the incoming family medicine residents on an exercise to help them better understand their patient population. Check out what one of the residents had to say about their experience…

AmeriCorpsVISTA Service Story

Guest View: Don’t forget about medical cannabis patients in rural Virginia

The Virginia Medical Cannabis Coalition has made 2020 their year to advocate for barrier reduction when it comes to creating patient access to cannabidiol oil and THC-A oil. A statement from the Pharmacist in Charge and Founder/Chief Pharmacy Office of Dharma Pharmaceuticals details their plans to bring regulated, medical-grade cannabis to Health Service Area 3. This push is also looking to expand prescribing capabilities of current practitioners – following federal regulations for Schedule II through V controlled substances via telemedicine.

Click HERE to read.

Rethinking Rural Health: Maternal and Infant Health RFI

Seema Verma, CMS Administrator, brings her personal experience working on infant mortality prevention into today’s conversation on maternal and infant health. She discusses the trajectory of the issue and remarks on CMS efforts and their ‘Rethinking Rural Health Initiative’.

Request for Information has been released and is seeking feedback from the community to better direct future CMS programs and policies. The deadline for submissions is April 12, 2020.

Click HERE to read.

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