The sometimes challenging road to health care in rural Western North Carolina extends beyond the curves of country back roads. Whether it’s dealing with the current physician shortage that affects all but Madison in the 16-county region or wrestling with social and economic barriers, local providers and patients share their challenges and plans to address rural health-care needs. (Cover by Emily Busey. Photo by Max Cooper.)
President and CEO of the Mountain Area Health Education Center for a little more than a year, Dr. Jeff Heck says the academic medical center has an eye toward not only training physicians, but thinking about sustainability. And it starts with recruiting and retaining doctors.