Midlands Voices: Let’s focus on meeting Nebraska’s rural health care challenges | Columnists

Rural communities that are vibrant, growing and healthy enjoy a handful of similar resources. One is access to education, and another is access to health care. Ask yourself this question: “Would I move my family to a community that does not meet my needs and expectations as they relate to education and health care?” The answer is no!

Access to health care services is vital to recruit and retain businesses and the jobs they bring. After a great deal of hard work, Gothenburg was able to create the right environment to attract Fortune 500 companies. Access to quality health care services was critical to this process. To many seeking the good life in rural Nebraska, driving 20 miles, instead of 100 for a checkup or procedure, is a deal maker. It means employers seeking to fill jobs can ensure future employees that health care for their families is readily

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Midlands Voices: Let’s use strategic collaboration to boost rural health care | Columnists

America’s health care system is not working for all Americans, especially those who live in rural areas. We believe there are two core issues that have kept us stuck in a rut.

One of these issues is summed up by Bill Gross, founder of Idealab: “You can try to persuade people to care about issues, but the only way you’re going to get huge change is if you save them money.”

Another is summarized by John Stone, Deere and Co. president: “For John Deere to realize our vision, innovation has to be there. And it has to be empowered, encouraged, invested in and cultivated.”

Health care in America is stuck because it is not saving people money, and it does not encourage innovation, especially in rural areas.

Citizens are not able to spend less for health care. Any systemic savings are going to stockholders in major, vertically integrated health

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STEM creates pathways for students’ futures | Columnists

Editor’s Note: The following is Mary Ann Wolf’s “Final Word” from the Sept. 19 broadcast of Education Matters “STEM Engagement.”

Because of the age of my own children — in college and high school — I have the opportunity to hear firsthand (or at least hear) about what students are planning to do after their formal education. It has amazed me recently to appreciate how many students have a sense of what they want to do in their careers — whether to be a computer programmer, a journalist, a dentist or an engineer.

When I dig deeper, however, I quickly realize that these students who know what they want to do have something in common. They all were exposed to the possibilities of their fields early. They had a chance to understand what a job might be through many different avenues.

They had the opportunity to know enough to pursue

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