December is the final chapter in a yearlong exploration of The Changing Face of Rural Health Care.
What a journey it has been.
Along the way, we’ve discovered the heroes behind three days of free health care, how a Little Clinic That Could brought itself back from the brink, the evolution of telemedicine and so much more. In July, we shared how the opioid epidemic—raging in the shadows in so many places—is being bravely tackled by in-the-trenches helpers and survivors who have come out of the dark and are now paying it forward.
As part of the coverage, we produced compelling companion videos, a first for us. Our opioid video, a powerful picture of hope, concluded with words of encouragement and where to get help. Our September video offered an amazing visual and audio journey, courtesy of editor Mike Teegarden, who shared how health care is delivered to an Arctic Alaskan village.
The intent—starting in January—was to shine a light on what is right, what could be replicated and on how readers could act on the information presented.
Some of the storytelling came out of your suggestions. In fact, today’s focus on pain relief came as a result of feedback following July’s opioid coverage. Readers not caught up in the crisis, but chronically suffering from pain, asked about help for them.
This year’s rural health care series was made possible, in part, with financial support from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. The extra foundation dollars allowed us to do meaningful public service journalism with the only string attached being to serve the greater good in the Northwest and beyond.
To keep the momentum going into the new year, we’ll be putting a fresh focus on the difference makers in your communities. Details to come.
Speaking of the new year, come January, your magazine will have a fresh new look for the first time in a decade. We’ll walk you through the changes next month.
Until then, we wish you a wonderful season of celebrating and a very Happy New Year!
Leon Espinoza, Editor