Path Home Shows 2009 Show Archive May 2009 Show 0922 Community Partnerships - Stigler

Community Partnerships - Stigler

For many small towns, the lack of a strong tax base can be crippling. So when the town of Stigler in eastern Oklahoma needed to make improvements in healthcare, they entered into a unique partnership that’s literally been a lifesaver for the town’s 3000 residents.
Community Partnerships - Stigler

USDA: Rural Development

For more information visit these links:

Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc.
USDA Rural and Community Development

Show Dates

Show 0922: Community Partnerships - Stigler

Air date: May 31, 2009

 

Transcript

Rob:  Well for many small towns, the lack of a strong tax base can be crippling.  So when the town of Stigler in eastern Oklahoma needed to make improvements in healthcare, they entered into a unique partnership that’s literally been a lifesaver for the town’s 3000 residents.  Keith Smith has our story.

Keith:  USDA Rural Development and REI are both in the business of improving communities across our state.  And for some in the small rural town of Stigler, they have literally been a lifesaver.

Keith:  This community healthcare center offers care to the underinsured and those without health insurance.  Tamra Young says she’s been a patient since the facility opened four years ago.

Tamra Young:  It has been extremely valuable for, not just myself, but for my whole family.

Keith:  How much you pay is based on what you make, according to the center’s CEO, Teresa Huggins.

Teresa Huggins:  It is satisfying to be able to help the population that may have to travel fifty miles or more to see a doctor.

Keith:  This year, they’ve partnered with REI and Rural Development

Teresa Huggins:  Which allowed us to purchase the old Walmart property; we anticipate being able to serve about 36,000 patient visits.

Keith:  Serving twice as many people with less and less sick visits.

Tamra Young:  You know do some well visits, to keep an eye on things, and make sure that everything’s okay before we get sick or something happens.

Rob:  Now small businesses dominate our rural economy, and many are struggling as the cost of healthcare continues to climb.  If you would, take a look at these numbers.  Nearly one-in-five of those considered uninsured live in rural areas, that’s eight-point-five million Americans.  And these rural residents are paying a hefty portion of the bill, an average of about forty percent of healthcare costs come out of their own pocket.  And that’s why, according to one report, one-in-five insured farmers has some sort of medical debt.