I posted a week ago on health care and the market for rural America (and by extension, Alabama). I wanted to share with this group a vision that some of us at the Alabama Rural Health Association have. I will share some thoughts I have on how to achieve that vision later.

An Achievable Vision for Alabama

By 2021 Alabama will have a rural health infrastructure characterized by excellence in ACCESS and QUALITY. This system will have the following characteristics:


  • Every rural Alabamian will have one or more primary care providers within 10 miles of his or her home offering acute care, chronic disease care, and preventive services for 60 hours a week
  • Every rural Alabamian will have a hospital within 30 miles offering critical need access 24/7/3
  • Every rural Alabamian will have ready access to needed specialty care within the state


  • Care provided in rural Alabama will be characterized by excellence
  • Primary care will be accessible to all residents regardless of ability to pay
  • Primary care will offer ongoing continuous care as characterized by stability of providers over time
  • Care will reflect coordination among physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers using electronic and other means
    • Primary care will coordinate care across all domains and facilitate access to needed services not located within the community
    • Care available within the community will be comprehensive, offering care beginning at pre-conception and ending with natural death
    • Care within the community will be characterized by use of accepted quality and safety measures, the results of which will be readily available to the members of the community
  • Care provided will reflect and enhance the culture of the community
  • Providers will understand the unique needs of the community and will provide services targeted to those needs
  • Providers will deliver services outside of the traditional office setting when needed, including at occupational sites, home and businesses, and other settings as needed