Health Professional Shortages Force Changes

Howard Cronquist baled hay the other day, and also fit in some time to work on one of his farm buildings. That may not be big news for many farmers, but it is for him. Fifteen months ago, the rural Brainerd man suffered what was described as a major stroke. He and his wife, Sharon,…
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Everyone Looking For More Doctors

Primary-care doctors, long the cornerstone of rural America’s medical community, are becoming increasingly hard to lure. Interviews with health care leaders across Minnesota showed a combination of factors adding up to a medical doctor shortage. The shortage of primary-care physicians is everywhere, but more acute in rural areas. A lack of specialists is especially felt…
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Two Small Hospitals Learn How To Survive

  Small-town hospitals and clinics may not have all the bells and whistles of their big-city counterparts, but they offer something patients often cannot find in the cities: quarterbacks. “You have a quarterback here,” said Dr. Heidi Korstad, sitting in the cafeteria of Bigfork Valley, a sprawling medical complex of hospital, clinic, nursing home and…
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Smile, You Are On Telehealth Camera

Angie Lundsten was thrilled. The Hayward, Wis., woman sat in her local medical clinic telling Dr. Stephen Park she had lost 15 pounds in the past month. “I have struggled with my weight a lot,” she said, but after trying two other doctors, she said she is on the right track with Park. “It was…
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Chatter: Rural Lawmakers Look For Infrastructure Money

Infrastructure is becoming a Washington, D.C. hot topic. And no one is discussing it more than rural America’s lawmakers. “A strong rural infrastructure is necessary for our rural areas to remain vital but our rural economy faces unique infrastructure challenges,” U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said as the House Agriculture Committee discussed the topic on…
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