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.)
Despite challenges in providing health care to patients in rural areas, Dr. Steve North, founder and president of the Center for Rural Health Innovation, is building relationships with patients even when he’s not physically present.