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Developing sustainable solutions for rural healthcare in North Carolina

To ensure accessible, equitable and effective healthcare for rural communities throughout North Carolina, a group of experts has come together to advance the Rural Healthcare Sustainability Project, a plan for sustainable rural healthcare delivery backed by data and insight from North Carolinians.

The project began in the fall of 2023 when the North Carolina General Assembly awarded funds to the nonprofit Rural Healthcare Initiative (RHI) to study “effective models of sustainable healthcare for North Carolina rural communities.”

Led by experts with North Carolina ties and experience in evaluating and addressing every aspect of rural healthcare, the project will start with soliciting input from rural communities and conducting both quantitative and qualitative research.

The plan will be:

Influenced by the thoughts and experiences of people in rural communities.
Anchored in the unique healthcare needs of the state and its diverse individual communities.
Comprehensive and actionable, with solutions that address multifaceted problems.
Flexible and custom – not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Developed in partnership and through thoughtful conversation with healthcare providers and community leaders across the state.

The plan will address issues that impact every aspect of rural health, including:

Access to primary, emergency, specialty and mental health care
Community partnerships between state and local agencies, healthcare providers and community organizations
Gaps in transportation and technology

To address the rural healthcare crisis in North Carolina, our work will result in a detailed plan with specific solutions for sustainable, long-term healthcare across the state.

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