UK Hosts New Economic Analysis Center for Rural Health



LEXINGTON, Ky. (December 5, 2019) New Center for Economic Analysis for Rural Health (CEARH) has found a home at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Alison davis, professor of agricultural economics and director of the College Kentucky Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDIK), will lead the national center.

The Federal Office for Rural Health Policy to Administration of health resources and services funds the new program with a three-year renewable grant. Oklahoma State University, known for its telehealth work, has partnered up with the UK in the center.

“CEDIK is a great fit for this new center, as we are an integrated research and outreach center designed to explore the relationship between access to health care and local economic development,” said Davis. “CEARH’s goal is to raise awareness among the public and stakeholders of the economic impacts of rural health sectors on rural, state and national economies, as well as the relationship between community economic development and outcomes. health of rural residents. The hope is that we will have a quality health care system in our rural areas. We will provide tools to help providers talk about the economic importance of the local hospital or other medical services to their local community.

Research shows that rural areas of the country are facing a healthcare crisis. Across the United States, rural hospitals are on the verge of closing or have already closed. Emergency medical transport systems sometimes have to cut back on services they can no longer afford. The opioid crisis is also putting pressure on emergency medical services and hospital emergency rooms.

Davis said hospitals are often overlooked as an economic development entity. In rural towns with a hospital, health care is often the second largest employer behind the school district. Because of this, when a hospital closes, the local economy suffers.

The new center has three objectives.

  • It will respond to urgent issues facing rural communities which are identified by the Federal Office for Rural Health Policy, the centre’s advisory board and other partners.
  • It will create timely, relevant and useful research tools that health care leaders, elected officials, economic development professionals and community leaders can use to support their rural health economy.
  • It will offer face-to-face and online training and workshops, and widely disseminate resources nationwide through its advisory board, rural health conferences and rural health online repositories. .

CEDIK has done similar work in Kentucky, but the new center will broaden the scope of its work by building on and expanding existing research efforts as well as developing new tools and resources for communities at the nationwide.

“This allows us to communicate and provide support to national stakeholders, including state offices of rural health, the National Rural Health Association, and the US Department of Health and Human Services,” Davis said.

The centre’s team includes faculty and staff from the UK and OSU. The national advisory committee includes state offices of rural health, the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development and sister regional rural development centers across the country, cooperative extension faculties from other granting universities and the National Cooperative of Health Networks Association.



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