Often times, people in rural areas have less access to healthcare than their urban counterparts. Fewer medical practitioners, mental health programs, and healthcare facilities in these areas often mean less preventative care and longer response times in emergencies. Being forced to travel long distances to receive the advanced healthcare they need, these citizens face major accessibility issues.
When these issues arise, certain people ‘step up to the plate’ and treat these problems. The Louisiana Primary Care Association acknowledges these people through their electronic publication “Community Stars.”
“Community Stars is an electronic publication that is released on National Rural Health Day each year. Each Community Star profile is a shining example of their generosity, service, and dedication to the people who call rural America home. The LRHA is honored and beyond proud to congratulate Karen Wyble, CEO – St. Martin Parish Hospital for being named one of the 2019 Community Stars,” Stacy Fontenot, Executive Director of LRHA.
Karen Wyble was chosen as one of the 2019 Community Stars particularly because of her leadership of two initiatives that will have a major impact on the health of Louisiana citizens.
When Karen Wyble saw how poor St. Martin Parish’s heart disease data was, she took matters into her own hands. Karen created the program “Road to Good Health,” a trademarked 6 week program to teach people how lifestyle choices can affect their health. There are a range of topics covered in the program such as safe weight loss, portion sizes, BMI information and much more. This course educates citizens on how to make choices in their daily life to better their overall well-being.
Karen also implemented another initiative called “Pathway of Transformation,” a program that focuses on inclusivity in healthcare. This program takes away any “roadblocks” when it comes to access to healthcare by allowing rural areas to get care outside of the hospital. Through her program, Karen has truly transformed the environment and delivery of healthcare for rural citizens. “Today, and because of her dedication and drive, telemedicine is available at every school Parish, and there is a comprehensive telemedicine program in place at the jail, including 24/7 nursing care, as well as a Medicaid clinic that provides care post- release.”
Karen Wyble defines what it is to be a “Community Star” through her leadership initiatives and accessibility focused programs that make her community a better, healthier place to live.
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