The national shortage of healthcare workers is hurting Arkansans – and so is Congress’ inaction

Our nation’s healthcare system has a serious shortage of doctors, nurses, mental health providers, dentists, physical therapists — you name it, there’s a worsening shortage of credentialed workers to meet Americans’ needs — and it’s hitting our rural counties the hardest.

The people of Arkansas deserve better, and our current members of Congress are sitting on over a dozen proposals to help solve our healthcare workforce shortages – yet they’ve have taken no action. This is why I’m running for U.S. House: It’s time we tackle our problems — including the healthcare workforce crisis — head-on.

The healthcare system is failing many of us, especially in our small towns. Imagine needing medical help and having to drive hours just to see a doctor, or having to wait at least a week even if you drive two counties over.

Industry leaders have been warning of a coming workforce crisis and begging Congress to act for several years; all the signs and data from 2024 so far shows that the healthcare workforce crisis is already here. A new Healthcare Workforce Report summarizes the situation well, with links to a half-dozen 2024 reports and surveys — all revealing that the healthcare professionals who haven’t left the field yet are burning out faster than ever, and the number of Americans with no nearby access to primary care is rapidly rising. 

Congress’ inaction is hurting Arkansans:

What does this mean here in Arkansas? Here are a few statistics – but those of you living in he 1st District don’t need to see statistics. You already know you have to drive 30 miles or more and wait at least a week to see a doctor for the flu. God help you if you need to see a cardiologist after a heart attack event — specialists are even harder to get in to see.

22 of the 31 counties in the 1st District are federally designated as Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) due to having too few (or having no) primary care physicians.

Generally speaking, for every 3,500 residents, at least one full-time primary care physician (PCP) is needed — or one for every 3,000 residents if the population is older and likely to need more health services. For example, Baxter County, a hotspot for retirees with a higher median age than surrounding counties, direly needs more PCPs despite having one of the region’s biggest health systems.

Half of Arkansas counties have no primary care, no midwives, and no maternity care at all. Arkansas ranks 45th worst in the nation for access to maternity care.

A few examples from the 1st District:

    • Crittenden County has no maternity care at all and is also on the federal HPSA list.

    • Lonoke County also lacks any maternity care, despite growing in population and not being ultra-rural.

This is unacceptable. I’m committed to making healthcare accessible and affordable for everyone. But first I have to get elected, and that means I need volunteers and contributions to run a successful campaign.

Congress needs to do its job and pass legislation to invest in our healthcare workforce.

Despite the urgency of the situation — even lobbyists are now begging lawmakers to do something — Congress hasn’t made any real progress on the dozen-plus proposals from this session that would expand healthcare education programs and make it easier for healthcare organizations to hire, train, and retain staff. Several important bills are stuck in limbo, including:

    • Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2023: Sets limits on how many patients a nurse can handle.

    • National Nursing Workforce Center Act of 2023: Aims to help nursing schools and state agencies address nursing shortages.

    • Strengthening Community Care Act of 2023: Extends funding for Community Health Centers and the National Health Service Corps.

    • Primary Care and Health Workforce Expansion Act: An in-depth, holistic and bipartisan proposal introduced last fall by Sen. Bernie Sanders that proposes a $20 billion annual investment to expand community health centers and recruit and train more healthcare workers.

How immigration impacts healthcare labor shortages

Freezing EB-3 visas for healthcare workers has worsened the staffing crisis, especially in nursing homes across the United States. Immigrant nurses are vital to facilities’ ability to function and care for patients, particularly in long-term care facilities.

About 25% of U.S. nursing home care workers are immigrants, and they tend to stay longer in their jobs. The proposed Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act could help by authorizing an additional 40,000 visas for nurses and doctors, but it’s also stuck in committee with no action taken since it was introduced.

What you can do about it right now

Arkansas and the rest of the country can’t afford to look the other way and hope the healthcare workforce crisis resolves on its own.

I’m dedicated to pushing for the changes we desperately need in order to ensure we have enough healthcare professionals to meet Americans’ needs in every part of this country — including the rural counties of Arkansas.

Will you step up and support a candidate who prioritizes your health and well-being? Your $24 contribution or even just your “digital spare change” or round-ups will make a huge impact on my campaign.

If you cannot donate and would rather volunteer as a campaign helper, we’d love to hear from you — you can sign up here. Volunteers can help in-person in their town or county, or they can help remotely by internet or phone — there are lots of ways you can help.

Join us in making a difference. Let’s take the first step towards a healthier, more equitable future for all of us. Together, we can fix our broken healthcare system and make sure every Arkansan can access a doctor in a timely manner without having to drive to a different county or city.
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With 10+ inches of rain falling in parts of the 1st District, lots of folks experienced flash flooding this morning — including a nursing home rendered uninhabitable in Yellville, where elderly residents are being rescued and relocated by community members even now. But these nursing home residents now need our help! 
See the photos for info on items that are urgently needed, where to take them and how to reach some of the folks handling these aid and rescue efforts in the Harrison area. 
*We don’t have additional info and are not affiliated with any of these folks, just sharing to try to get the word out about neighbors in urgent need of aid. 
**feel free to comment with links to other needs and ongoing aid efforts to help victims of today’s flash flooding. 
Arkansas is better when we work together!
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#flashflooding #arwx #marioncounty #boonecounty #ArkansasImage attachmentImage attachment

With 10+ inches of rain falling in parts of the 1st District, lots of folks experienced flash flooding this morning — including a nursing home rendered uninhabitable in Yellville, where elderly residents are being rescued and relocated by community members even now. But these nursing home residents now need our help!

See the photos for info on items that are urgently needed, where to take them and how to reach some of the folks handling these aid and rescue efforts in the Harrison area.

*We don’t have additional info and are not affiliated with any of these folks, just sharing to try to get the word out about neighbors in urgent need of aid.

**feel free to comment with links to other needs and ongoing aid efforts to help victims of today’s flash flooding.

Arkansas is better when we work together!

Read the original post:
https://facebook.com/share/2vrJK6XSJ8epxiE4/…

#flashflooding #arwx #marioncounty #boonecounty #Arkansas
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07/17/24

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07/15/24
TLDR: How long do you have to wait, or drive, to see a doctor where you live? 
We’ve got a serious healthcare workforce problem on our hands, and it’s hitting our rural counties the hardest. Despite the urgency, Congress has declined to act on any meaningful proposals to address the nation’s healthcare workforce crisis, and provider shortages are harming more Americans. 
In the current Congress, nearly a dozen meaningful solutions have been proposed as bills, yet none have seen serious consideration or hearings let alone a vote. This is unacceptable. 
22 of the 1st District’s counties are federally designated as Health Professional Shortage Areas, and in some counties, there are no local OBGYNs. 
Is that ok with yall? How long do you have to wait, or drive, to see a doctor where you live? 
It will get worse, until lawmakers choose to pass solutions. 
READ MORE: https://bit.ly/rodney-healthcare
If you want a Representative who will prioritize working on solutions for real-world problems impacting you and your family, then you’ve got to use your voice, your vote, and your contributions accordingly. 
Rodney is ready to get to work on your behalf, and with your help, he can — will you considering donating, volunteering, or sharing this post? 
Sign up to support his campaign at https://RodneyForCongress.org. 
#rodneyforcongress #ridingwithrodney #arkansas #HealthcareWorkforce #HealthcareAccessImage attachmentImage attachment+2Image attachment

TLDR: How long do you have to wait, or drive, to see a doctor where you live?

We’ve got a serious healthcare workforce problem on our hands, and it’s hitting our rural counties the hardest. Despite the urgency, Congress has declined to act on any meaningful proposals to address the nation’s healthcare workforce crisis, and provider shortages are harming more Americans.

In the current Congress, nearly a dozen meaningful solutions have been proposed as bills, yet none have seen serious consideration or hearings let alone a vote. This is unacceptable.

22 of the 1st District’s counties are federally designated as Health Professional Shortage Areas, and in some counties, there are no local OBGYNs.

Is that ok with yall? How long do you have to wait, or drive, to see a doctor where you live?

It will get worse, until lawmakers choose to pass solutions.

READ MORE:

If you want a Representative who will prioritize working on solutions for real-world problems impacting you and your family, then you’ve got to use your voice, your vote, and your contributions accordingly.

Rodney is ready to get to work on your behalf, and with your help, he can — will you considering donating, volunteering, or sharing this post?

Sign up to support his campaign at .

#rodneyforcongress #ridingwithrodney #arkansas #HealthcareWorkforce #HealthcareAccess
... SEE MORESEE LESS

07/11/24

1 CommentComment on Facebook

Come on, dude. We all know that you can’t run fast enough to chase an Arkansan down and force them to accept adequate healthcare. They don’t want it, because if they get it, then some poor, lazy, “undeserving” people will get it, too. Don’t waste your time and subject yourself and your family to the abuse that you will get from the horrible MAGAts in this shithole state.

Burt Ballard with Buffalo River Air Tours, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Joe Wilson, Rodney Govens for Congress at the Searcy County “Buffalo River” Airport-4A5, Marshall AR

Burt Ballard with Buffalo River Air Tours, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Joe Wilson, Rodney Govens for Congress at the Searcy County “Buffalo River” Airport-4A5, Marshall AR ... SEE MORESEE LESS

06/24/24
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