Garney examines lack of access to health care for rural residents

Whitney R. Garney, M.P.H.

Whitney R. Garney, M.P.H.

Whitney R. Garney, M.P.H., Brazos Valley regional manager with the Center for Community Health Development located at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, recently authored an article on the lack of access to health care for rural residents.

Published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, “Rural Community of Solution: Increasing Access to Care for Brazos Valley, Texas” presents a case study of the Brazos Valley Health Partnership (BVHP) and its implementation of health resource centers within rural counties. Center for Community Health Development researchers worked with the BVHP to design a strategy to increase continuous access to a variety of health-related services and to obtain resources for implementation.

“The resource center concept allowed for service providers, previously only able to offer services in more populous areas, to expand into the rural communities because of the reduced overhead costs,” Garney said. “It was created as a one-stop shop where multiple health and social service providers could be housed.”

This case study revealed that through the partnership of local health providers and community leaders, rural communities could increase access to sustained health services.

Additional authors include Kelly Drake, M.P.H., Monica Wendel, Dr.P.H., Kenneth McLeroy, Ph.D., Heather Clark, M.P.H, and Byron Ryder. The Center for Community Health Development is one 37 Prevention Research Centers designated and funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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