TORCH (Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals) held its annual conference in Dallas last week at the Hyatt Hotel and Conference Center. TORCH’s mission is “to be the voice and principal advocate for rural and community hospitals in Texas and to provide leadership in addressing the special needs and issues of these hospitals.”1
Stat Staff Professionals, Inc.’s Vice President of Client Relations, Kelly King, and HR Analyst, Victoria McCartney, were in attendance to talk with healthcare professionals about the challenges facing rural healthcare. With Stat Staff Professionals specializing in staffing rural hospitals and helping those facilities stabilize their workforce, we know the importance of listening to those affected.
A big topic at this conference was the closure of rural health hospitals. Rural hospitals are imperative to the delivery of healthcare to small towns across the US, but with many closures occurring due to staffing shortages and difficulties with Medicare reimbursements, they need help to stay afloat. Twenty-nine hospitals have closed in Texas alone.
The consequences of these closings include:
- Loss of jobs – the hospital is often the biggest employer in the area
- Loss of professionals and their spending power
- Loss of the ability of the community to attract new businesses
- Loss of access to healthcare particularly for senior citizens
(For more information on these closures see the TORCH article, Twenty-Five Things to Know About Texas Rural Hospitals.)
One highlight of attending conferences is the ability to engage with the other vendors taking part in the trade show and learn about the services they offer. It is an eye-opening experience to talk with them and learn how we might work as partners in the delivery system. This really helped paint the picture of what it truly takes to run a hospital. We were thrilled to exchange contact information for future collaboration.
Hearing the pain points of these hospitals really sheds light on just how important our role is in helping rural communities. The shortage will continue as the population continues to increase and baby boomers require more care. Stat Staff Professionals will continue to deliver quality staff, regardless of the size of the facilities we serve. We believe that everyone deserves the best care available.
 Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals. (n.d.). Mission and Values | TORCH. Retrieved April 18, 2019, from https://www.torchnet.org/mission-and-values.html