Nevada recently hosted its annual rural health conference, with a particular focus on infrastructure as COVID-19 continues to ravage rural America.
“What's keeping a lot of us up at night and that is strains on rural health care capacity right now. [When] I think of capacity in rural areas, I think of hospital beds and workforce,” said John Packham, an associate dean at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.
One way to address the shortage of rural health care workers is cross-jurisdictional sharing. This type of agreement allows counties to pull health resources from one another when in need.
“Communicable diseases do not stop at the jurisdictional boundary, I think that is a really poignant way to frame the importance of this type of model and its impact on an entire population particularly in light of the public health emergency," said Sage Beard, a graduate student researching this approach.
In the Mountain West, Nevada and Colorado have cross-jurisdictional sharing arrangements, according to the Center for Sharing Public Health Resources and its interactive CJS map.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.