Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Empowering communities to create shared solutions

Virginia Rural Hospital and EMS Assessment

Hospitals and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers play a critical role in rural healthcare throughout Virginia, where needs are great in the face of limited resources. Two programs within the Virginia Department of Health (Office of Health Equity and Office of EMS) partnered to convene a stakeholder planning team and conduct regional listening sessions to hear about rural emergency care challenges and identify potential strategies for addressing those challenges.

To assist the stakeholder team of emergency care providers, IEN conducted an online survey, facilitated seven regional listening sessions, and synthesized the outcomes into a set of findings for consideration. With IEN facilitation, the team developed strategies and action items to address key challenges. Final recommended strategies include appropriate use of emergency resources; alternatives for non-emergency case; access to specialty care; appropriate routing of patients to local hospitals; equipment needs; and staffing recruitment and retention. The final report can be viewed here