rural healthcare

Rural Hospitals Brace For COVID-19

May 13, 2020
Ferrell Hospital

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, some of the biggest outbreaks have been concentrated in urban areas, like New York City and Chicago. But rural America isn’t immune to the virus — and many rural areas are already dealing with a scarcity of health care.

Ferrell Hospital, in Eldorado, is bracing for coronavirus. While most of Illinois’ cases have concentrated in the Chicago area, Dr. Joseph Jackson, a physician at Ferrell, said the virus spreading to rural areas like the ones his hospital serves is inevitable.

Durbin Meeting With Healthcare Leaders
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

US senator Dick Durbin meet with health care leaders from the area Wednesday.

He’s co-sponsoring a bill that creates a program for student loan forgiveness to health care providers in rural communities.

Illinois is on track to expand the number of physician assistants allowed in rural areas thanks to Senate Bill 2904.

The bill, which has passed both houses of the General Assembly, will expand the number of physician assistants a doctor is allowed to collaborate with in areas facing a shortage of healthcare providers.

SIU and SIH Break Ground on New Facility

Jun 19, 2018
People wearing hard hats shovel dirt in groundbreaking ceremony.
Steph Whiteside/WSIU

The SIU School of Medicine and Southern Illinois Healthcare came together on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 to break ground on a new clinic and teaching facility in Carbondale. 

The 40,000 square foot building will house medical residents and students in the physician assistant program. It will provide expanded space for teaching and patient care and help provide healthcare to Southern Illinois.  

The number of students who stay to practice in the rural community is much higher than the national average.