Document Type

Research From the Field


Walker County, Alabama, population 70,713, typifies health challenges in rural America. The county is poor with per capita income $10,000 below the national average. It lacks an adequate health care infrastructure — 4 physicians per 10,000 population compared to 7 nationally. The county has severe chronic health problems. For example, there are 67 heart failure deaths per 10,000 population compared to 20 nationally (Alabama Community Health Resource Guide, 2008). There are many other similar statistics, but a new conjunction of health care providers and leaders offers promise for a united approach in Walker County.