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Loss of Federal Funding for repayment of Medical and Dental School Debt. How we are abandoning the poor and underserved in Healthcare Critical Access Regions

From our friends at NC Health NewsAs the Raleigh Area Right Care Alliance Chapter Leader I want to voice our displeasure at the barriers to financing a medical education that have recently surfaced. It appears our congress is succeeding at making huge strides backwards in the wonderful advancements toward improving the health of our most vulnerable populations.
I moved here in 2001 to work with the Rural Health programs that were implementing what we now refer to as Medical Homes. North Carolina was one of the most advanced states in the Nation when it came to addressing the needs of poor, chronically ill children in rural locations. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with these projects which have received national awards for improving the health and controlling the inflation of healthcare cost of high risk populations. I can recall late night meetings with physicians working for roughly half of what they could earn elsewhere as they paid the government back for the opportunity to go to medical or dental school and later serve people in critical access areas. Their sense of generosity, expert knowledge and willingness to contribute are the highlights of my career.
Regardless of the data, the US Congress and the NC General Assembly have made terrible mistakes that will severely impact the health status of our poor. They will claim otherwise but as a professional healthcare program evaluator I can honestly say they are making counter-intuitive decisions that deserve a public challenge. We intend to do this through public education events in 2018.
Tonight I am thinking about the complications with dental hygiene and periodontal disease that our children have in this State and the success of our Federally Qualified Health Centers at treating these kids, their improved health outcomes and more importantly chance to have a healthy life free of chronic disease which is brought about by chronic inflammation.
I will pray for the well-being of our children as it becomes more difficult to find providers willing to serve them. History repeats itself unfortunately and we have plenty of experience that illustrates the suffering and loss of health in populations that are underserved.

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