KHN and Gray Television’s InvestigateTV team joined forces to dig into the underlying reasons why strokes are a deadlier threat across most counties in Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta, rural regions that are characterized by high rates of poverty, vulnerable elderly populations, a shortage of medical providers and an epidemic of local hospital closures.

They found that large shares of the regions’ residents live more than 45 minutes from a hospital that is stroke-certified and able to provide the most advanced care. Routing patients from rural areas to the right level of care can be an intricate jigsaw puzzle. The closest hospital may not offer the full scope of stroke treatments, but hospitals with more advanced care could be hours away.

KHN and InvestigateTV teamed up on the story as part of Gray’s year-long effort — Bridging the Great Health Divide, which spotlights health issues that have historically plagued rural parts of Appalachia and the Delta.

The InvestigateTV story aired this week on 32 Gray stations in the Appalachian and Delta regions. A companion digital story appears on KHN.org, InvestigateTV.com and all Gray websites. KHN has plans to expand its reporting in the South and on rural health issues, and expects to partner with InvestigateTV on more stories in the coming months.

About KFF and KHN

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation. Recent KHN investigations include a deep dive on the nation’s public health infrastructure, a year-long project examining health care worker deaths during the pandemic, and an ongoing crowd-sourced investigation into medical billing practices. For all recent KHN investigations, see https://khn.org/news/tag/investigation/.

 About Gray Television and InvestigateTV Gray Television is a leading media company that owns and operates high-quality stations in 94 television markets. InvestigateTV is Gray Television’s national investigative team, delivering original, in-depth reporting for Gray stations from award-winning journalists around the U.S.

 



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