Rural communities suffer disproportionately when it comes to accessing healthcare and workplace wellness programs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Small town residents must contend with:
- A shortage of primary care physicians. Even something as simple as getting a vaccination can be difficult if there isn’t a medical practice or urgent care center nearby.
- Lack of access to specialists and diagnostic services for screenings.
- Higher levels of poverty and residents with chronic diseases and other lingering health issues.
- Lack of access to healthy food and exercise options for physical activity. It does no good to get a CorePower membership as part of your employee benefits if none exist in your area.
Employee benefits and wellness programs must find ways to expand equity and inclusiveness to these more isolated regions. Some of this is being addressed through:
- Expansion of healthcare delivered by rural retailers like WalMart and Dollar General with their onsite health clinics
- Mobile health clinics
- Asynchronous telehealth options that don’t require high-speed internet connections