Many rural hospitals in the U.S. face serious financial problems. More than 110 have closed in less than a decade, and the trend accelerated last year. To examine the personal impact of this crisis, news organizations -- including the WFY-led public health reporting inititative Side Effects -- sent reporters across the Midwest. The series explores the origins of the problem, as well as potential solutions.
This collaboration of 12 newsrooms was led by IowaWatch and the Institute for Nonprofit News, with additional support from the Solutions Journalism Network. For more stories, visit hospitals.iowawatch.org
As rural hospitals struggle to break even, one financially troubled Kansas institution sought salvation in the wrong place before turning things around. Read more
To avoid closing, some hospitals have cut services, including labor and delivery units. That’s had a big impact on small Iowa communities. Read more
The Big Fork, Minnesota municipal hospital is a chronic money-loser. But without it, local leaders fear the community's health would suffer and employers would melt away. Read more
To help address a shortage of medical professionals, a University of Missouri program immerses future doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other health workers in small-towns. Read more
To survive, Wisconsin’s rural hospitals are consolidating, getting creative about doctor recruitment and tapping new segments of the medical market. Read more