Texas A&M finds a new way forward for rural communities without healthcare

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - The Texas A&M Health Science Center is working to find solutions to the healthcare desert that exists in many rural communities in the Brazos Valley.

Hospitals in Rockdale and Cameron are also closed due to the bankruptcy of Little River Healthcare, and even Huntsville Memorial Hospital was on the verge of closing this year.

The A&M Rural and Community Health Institute at the Texas A&M University Health Science Center just released a report outlining new ways forward for rural Texas communities facing or experiencing a hospital closure.

The institute has been studying the issue for two years.

"The solution is different for each community," said Bree Watzak, co-investigator on the project. "It doesn't look like a hospital in every rural community--maybe it's telemedicine, or partnerships with neighboring towns."

Watzak says the rural hospitals are closing because people are moving into cities, hospital procedures take less time and resources, and payment is changing.

For the full conversation with Watzak, see the video player above. For the full study by the Institute, see the Related Links.