May 22-26, 2017 marks the first-ever Rural Health Week and Mountain West Medical Center joins community hospitals and caregivers across the nation to highlight the positive impact we have on the patients we care for and the communities we serve.
When you hear rural community, you may think small town. However, when combining the population of areas like ours across the country, it equals nearly 60 million people, or one in five Americans. At the heart of many of those communities is the local hospital.
The obvious benefit that a hospital like ours provides is also our most vital: timely access to health care. Whether you need emergency treatment or need a routine procedure, providing local access to care is essential. When time matters most, having access to essential health care can mean the difference between life and death.
The impact that rural hospitals make on their communities extends far beyond medical capabilities. In many rural areas, the hospital is the largest or second largest employer in the area it serves. MWMC takes pride in supporting our local economy by being the 4th largest employer in Tooele County.
Health care works best when it is local, working specifically to solve issues that are important and relevant to the community. MWMC has served the Tooele County area since 2002. During that time, we have helped people receive care, provided 24/7 emergency services and delivered lots of babies — all thanks to the never-ending commitment of our clinical and support staff. We are honored to have a staff of dedicated individuals who see health care not only as a job, but a personal calling.
Rural hospitals are vital to keeping a community physically and fiscally healthy. The goal of Rural Health Week is to raise awareness about our impact nationwide. We want to spread the word about the importance of rural health care to our friends and family in larger cities and our elected officials in Congress. You can help by joining the conversation on social media. Tell people what your hospital means to you and then use #StandUp4RuralHospitals. Working together, small towns can make a big impact on the future of health care.
Phil Eaton is the CEO of Mountain West Medical Center in Tooele City.