NPR, United States, Dr John Mcmillan discussed on Weekend Edition Sunday
To weei edition from NPR news. When a hospital closes in a rural area, the economic shockwaves, go beyond lost healthcare jobs. A closure may scare off heavy industries that need to be near an emergency room. And it makes it harder for rural towns to attract another valuable economic resource retirees Blake farmer of member station. W P L N explains. It's pretty obvious where the priorities lie and Selena Tennessee by looking at the humble government complex half. The building is used as a senior center. This is very tyrant committee coming and we're planning a murder mystery weekend and trying to get people up here and see this gorgeous area. Susan Scovill is a Seattle transplant who leads a chamber of commerce effort to bring in retirees like herself. She relocated in twenty fifteen with her husband who had Parkinson's. They were joined by serene lake surrounded by secluded hills. Two hours from Nashville while they wanted an escape they also made sure to scope out the twenty five. Bed hospital near the sleepy town square. Scoville rush. There. Four times, I have very high blood pressure, and they're able to do the IV to get it down. And this is an exciting. Thank since my husband died. So now. I don't know many towns in the region have pinned their economic futures on retirees to replace dwindling industries, but Scoville says she can't in good conscience suggest a senior with health problems. Come her in Selena. I'd say look elsewhere Silina's hospital. Cumberland river was kept alive as part of a neighboring city owned medical center. But officials finally decided to shut it down March first they blame the same factors that have put one in five rural hospitals at risk of closing fewer patients and more who can't pay the closure trend has hit hardest in states like Tennessee that didn't expand Medicaid to cover the working poor the closest emergency room is now eighteen miles away that adds thirty minutes over mountain roads, which will be annoying for those who need an x Ray or blood work. But it could mean life or death in the back of an ambulance. Natalie Boone overseas emergency response. Salon. We have the capability of doing a lot of advanced law support, but we're not a hospital. She says the area is already limited in its ambulance service with half its trucks down because of a tight budget. You know, what happens when you have that patients that doesn't have that extra time people say probably need to move or Susan Bailey hasn't retired yet. But she's close she spent nearly forty years as a registered nurse, including at her hometown hospital. She and others are concerned that the three remaining physicians in town might leave. But even if they stay until retirement, there's little hope of attracting new doctors without a hospital. That's a big problem. The doctors aren't gonna wanna come in and open an office in have to drive twenty or thirty miles to say their patients every single day. The cascading effects have residents in somber mood one hundred forty two people lost their hospital jobs. Including Dr John McMillan. He would drive into work weekends at the ER and give the local physicians break at thought of salon as as maybe the Andy Griffith show of healthcare. He says the staff knew just about anyone who'd walk through the door. That's why it was attractive to retirees reminded me of time long ago that has seemingly past can't say that it will ever come back. I have hopes that there's still some hope for small hospitals in that top of community. But the chances McMillan says are becoming less and less for NPR news. I'm Blake farmer in Celina, Tennessee. This story is part of a reporting partnership with NPR WPN and Kaiser health news. This is NPR news. On this week on the media. We continue our probe of the American frontier with a look at how the map of the US. We grew up with has never shown our true selves. If you looked at the end of nineteen forty five and you saw a US flag flying overhead. It was more likely that you're living in a colony occupied zone on the US mainland empire on this week's on the media from WNYC this morning at ten on ninety three point nine FM..