NewsHealth / October 11, 2019

Seeking A Cure: The Quest To Save Rural Hospitals

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


How A Kansas Hospital Survived Multiple Owners And Bankruptcy

As rural hospitals struggle to break even, one financially troubled Kansas institution  sought salvation in the wrong place before turning things around. Read more

Why Rural Hospitals Keep Closing Maternity Wards

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

How This Rural Hospital Operates In The Red And Stays Open

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

Immersion Program Seeks Next Generation Of Rural Doctors

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

How One Wisconsin Hospital Was Saved Amid Rural Health Crisis

To survive, Wisconsin’s rural hospitals are consolidating, getting creative about doctor recruitment and tapping new segments of the medical market. Read more

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