News Headlines Article

Rural Hospitals Closing at an Alarming Rate

When Terry Fulmer’s 90-year-old aunt fell and tore her shoulder ligaments, she had surgery in Albany, a two-hour drive from her home in rural upstate New York.

“Maybe she could have gotten care in a closer town. But her daughter lives in Albany so she had to go there because that’s where she recovered. She couldn’t feed herself, she couldn’t dress herself,” said Fulmer, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., president of the John A. Hartford Foundation in New York, a foundation dedicated to improving the care of older adults. For people living in a city, or even in a suburb, the nearest hospital is often a short drive — or bus or subway ride — away.

This is not true for people living in rural America.