Friday, September 24, 2021


New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.


The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.


A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

AR Rural Health Centers Seek Stable Funding from Congress


Thursday, November 21, 2019   

DERMOTT, Ark. – This is National Rural Health Day, and rural health centers in Arkansas and across the country are requesting that Congress stabilize the funding for their programs.

Rural health providers say lawmakers have funded rural centers on a month-to-month basis through a continuing resolution for several months.

Federal money accounts for a substantial portion of the budgets of rural health centers, and they say long-term funding is needed to smoothly run their operations.

Allan Nichols, CEO of Mainline Health Systems in southeast Arkansas, says all of his group's 17 clinics provide care for mostly poor and often uninsured patients.

"You put your organization at a lot of risk if they don't come through,” he states. “And that makes it really hard to extend yourself and try to meet the unmet needs that continue to grow in these rural communities."

This is the last day of the current continuing resolution, and if Congress doesn't act, funding could be suspended or cut off.

According to the National Association of Community Health Centers, community health centers serve one in five rural residents across the U.S.

Nichols says without consistent sources of funding, it can become particularly difficult to serve the needs of a rural population.

"You're scared to step out on a limb and hire those people because when you hire them, if the funding goes away you can let them go,” he explains. “But they have families, they're leaving jobs to come to your job. You got to be pretty sure before you commit to these people. "

Nichols says his clinics have to work smarter to serve the growing rural population in Arkansas, using technologies such as Telehealth, which extends the reach of doctors and nurses further into rural communities.

"There is no answer for health care that community health centers aren't a core part of the solution,” Nichols states. “There is none, because we're delivering care what others have left. And if these people deserve care and if they're going to get it, then we've got to deliver it."

National Rural Health Day is endorsed by the Community Health Centers of Arkansas and its national organization to highlight the challenges faced by rural community health centers.

Disclosure: National Association of Community Health Centers contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)


SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …

Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…

According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …


SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021