care professionals are marketing a program, which will bring health care to
farm families in Outagamie County. The county is in partnership with the Rural
Healthcare Initiative to improve the quality of care provided in the area.
The rural Seymour residents listened to a registered nurse Amanda Hatch, who
explained the Rural Health initiative to farm folks who face numerous barriers
where health care is concerned.
Touring the Outagamie County, she explained how the health Care Initiative
would give farmers easy access to health care. "We can do testing on them
like a blood pressure, we can do a lipid panel, so the total cholesterol, the
LDL, the HDL so the bad and the good cholesterol. Triglycerides," said
felt that due to the long working hours and the distance to their doctor's
offices, they were unable to get proper health care and the preventive tests.
Insurance cover was still a barrier.
to a report by Rural Health Initiative 18% of Wisconsin farming families have
no health insurance, 41% have plans for only major medical coverage. At an
average every 4 out of 5 people lack covers that allow for health check up and
"A lot of our farmers, they are either under insured or they have a really
high deductible. So $5-$10 thousand deductible. So they're just not going to
get that preventative care piece."
The program, which is funded mostly with donations, covers
Outagamie, Waupaca and Shawano Counties. The cost is $183 thousand a year with
Outagamie county accounting for $ 78 thousand.
"If you look at the county budget, far and away the largest department,
the largest services, is the health and human services budget. In fact we levy
over $20 million every year in property taxes just to pay for health and human
services," said Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.
Nelson said the Rural Health Initiative's potential impact on the county budget
is unknown, but he adds there will be savings nonetheless.
"If we can get early on to a problem while it's a little more cost
effective to treat, not only are we going to be able to save money from the
bottom line for our county budget, but we also have the real chance to actually
save lives," said Nelson.
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
Laura Smith, Fox 11 News