University of Minnesota: U of M, CentraCare outline vision for improving health in Greater Minnesota

EXCERPT: “Leaders from the University of Minnesota Medical School and CentraCare discussed with the University’s Board of Regents today their intention to strengthen the organizations’ partnership to improve health for Greater Minnesota residents. Jakub Tolar, dean of the Medical School and vice president for clinical affairs, along with Ken Holmen, president and CEO of CentraCare Health, detailed how Minnesota’s small towns and rural communities face a daunting challenge — addressing a growing shortage of medical professionals. Without enough qualified healthcare professionals in their local communities, rural Minnesotans more regularly encounter limited access to quality care, including waiting longer for appointments, traveling further to receive inpatient healthcare, and reduced services at local hospitals and clinics due to low numbers of primary and specialty care physicians. Data also show residents in these areas tend to be older and at greater risk of death from myriad health conditions, including heart disease, chronic respiratory disease and injury, which exacerbate the difficult conditions created by staffing shortages.” FULL STORY: