In nearly every Appalachian and Delta community, residents die on average before their 78th birthday, which is the average life expectancy in the United States. Health care providers are working on innovative ways to combat the unique disparities in the regions.
The Health Resources and Services Administration classifies geographic areas as medically underserved based on them having too few primary care doctors, a high infant mortality rate, high poverty or a high elderly population.
The CDC says minorities have been more likely to have serious complications with COVID-19, but a number of studies say there are far less likely to get a vaccine. However, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is hoping to change that for minority groups.
The Mississippi Delta and Appalachia both fare far worse than the national average in health indicators and outcomes. The project will explore why health disparities exist, with a focus on long term and sustainable solutions.