Improving Access and Quality of Care in Craighead County, Arkansas

The population health category evaluates access to care, healthy behaviors, health conditions, mental health, and resulting health outcomes in communities. In terms of health outcomes, counties in urban areas scored better, while those in the Delta and coastal plains scored the worst.


provides statistics for all states and counties, and for cities and towns with a population of 5000 or more. Despite this impressive record, The Natural State consistently ranks among the lowest in the country for healthcare; US News & World Report places Arkansas at No.

But Chenault, who grew up in Malvern and taught in urban and rural schools before going to Phillips County, had no idea what the future would hold when it came to his health. Sherry Turner, assistant dean of graduate medical education at the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) in Fort Smith, noted that having a hospital within an hour's reach can reduce the effects of a healthcare desert. Fortunately, Arkansas has not experienced many rural hospital closures compared to some neighboring states. Several national studies have revealed that doctors are more likely to practice close to where they were trained.

Doctors who attend medical school in Arkansas have a 50 percent chance of staying in the state, and there is a nearly 74 percent chance that they will stay less than 50 miles from where they complete their residency. In a way, Arkansas far surpasses its weight when it comes to medical care as institutions are at the forefront of research and sometimes perform some of the most advanced treatments in the world. For years, statistics have shown that a person born in the Arkansas Delta has a lower life expectancy than a person born in the urban areas of central and northwestern Arkansas or even other rural areas. Data provided to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette by the Department of Health shows that there are several areas with a shortage of primary care health professionals, and most of them are in rural areas.

Quinyatta Mumford, head of the rural health section at the Arkansas Department of Health, said there are gaps in access to health care in Arkansas. Mellie Bridewell, president and CEO of the Arkansas Rural Health Association at the Arkansas University of Medical Sciences, said challenges such as finding medical specialists should not be considered part of life in a rural area of the state. The highest rate of employment growth occurred in counties that were in urban areas in or around Northwest, Northeast, and Central Arkansas. Bridewell believes there is a solution to health inequity in rural Delta areas which will require time and resources.

Craighead County is no exception when it comes to improving access to quality healthcare. The county has seen an increase in healthcare providers over recent years due to initiatives such as expanding Medicaid coverage and increasing funding for rural hospitals. This has resulted in improved access to healthcare services for residents living in Craighead County. Additionally, initiatives such as telemedicine have allowed residents to access quality healthcare services from their homes without having to travel long distances.

The county has also seen an increase in public health initiatives aimed at improving overall health outcomes for residents. These initiatives include providing free screenings for chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension as well as providing education on healthy lifestyle choices such as proper nutrition and exercise. These initiatives have resulted in improved health outcomes for residents living in Craighead County. In addition to these initiatives, Craighead County has also seen an increase in funding for mental health services.

This has resulted in improved access to mental health services for residents living in Craighead County. Mental health services are essential for improving overall quality of life for residents living with mental illness. Overall, Craighead County has seen significant improvements when it comes to access and quality of care over recent years. This is due largely to initiatives such as expanding Medicaid coverage and increasing funding for rural hospitals as well as public health initiatives aimed at improving overall health outcomes for residents.

Cindy Frantum
Cindy Frantum

Incurable web nerd. Professional bacon trailblazer. General entrepreneur. Typical coffee buff. Total communicator.