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Rural Matters

Dec 17, 2021

In this special episode of Rural Matters, Michelle chats with Brian Alexander, author of the powerful best-selling book, “The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town.”  During the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) annual meeting on October 13, 2021, Michelle and Brian were featured speakers for a session they called, “Candid Conversations.”  During this episode, Michelle talks with Brian about his book as told through the lens of a small town hospital in Bryan, Ohio.  The critically-acclaimed book covers how an individual’s race, social/economic standing, and zip code can affect or determine their health and whether or not they can access vital health care services.

"The Hospital shows how fragile our country’s health care was even before the pandemic, and how that fragility affects staff and administration as well as patients."―The Washington Post

Continuing the conversation, Michelle and Brian discuss his take on NOSORH’s National Rural Health Day theme of the 4 R’s: Resiliency, Relationships, Readiness, and Resolve.  They also discuss Brian’s views on the challenges that rural communities and health care face in the future and field questions from listeners.

“Nobody would make this (health care) system 100 years ago. If you start with that… there may be room to say, let’s blow it up. But we need to be honest about what disruptions that would cause. It is 19% of the American economy… the disruption would be enormous. If we are willing to do that, we can have a much better system, but I think that we can start with the commonality that nobody likes it.” - Brian Alexander.

Stay tuned for more Candid Conversations in 2022.  To follow Michelle and today’s guest, you can find them @MRBImpact and @BrianRAlexander on Twitter.  You can also read about NOSORH’s 2021 Community Stars here.