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The Closing of Rural Hospitals Puts Local at Risk

BROWNSVILLE, TN-MAR 27: A resident of Sugar Creek Senior Living, (an assisted living facility) Carolyn Freeman, 86, has been taken to Jackson General four times since December, each time she has fainted and fallen from low blood pressure. With Jackson's longer ambulance drive time (at least 30 minutes farther than the now closed local hospital) waits and unfamiliar doctors, Freeman said of the shuttered Haywood Park, "Oh, I do miss it. It was such a good feeling just having that hospital." She's been in the assisted living facility for 5 years and she said that she guesses at some point she'll die there. --The demise of Haywood Park Community Hospital three years ago added Brownsville, Tennessee to the emergency services plight being endured in many rural communities across America. Nearly 80 small rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and many more are considered fragile - downstream effects of federal health policies, shifts in medical practice, and a limited tolerance of companies that own hospitals for empty beds and financial losses. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images
The Closing of Rural Hospitals Puts Local at Risk