Expanding Access, Education, and Jobs to All Corners of Utah
America’s traditional brick-and-mortar health care system, with facilities and experts centered in urban and suburban areas, is clearly not designed for the 20 percent of Americans who live in rural regions. Of those 65 million or so citizens, 80 percent are considered medically underserved. Their life expectancies run a full decade shorter. Rates of poverty, obesity, and diabetes are nearly 25 percent higher. Convenient access to health care is reduced precisely where it’s needed most.
Utah has managed to buck some of the most alarming national trends. While 130 rural hospitals across the US have closed since 2010, not a single one in the Beehive State has suffered the same fate. And technological solutions like telehealth have actually started to expand access for Utah’s rural residents.