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When the Doctor is Out
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September 5, 2016

Why disappearing rural hospitals spell trouble for the Central Valley. In this special feature, High Country News looks at the troubled rural Western healthcare system. Plus, when to say yes to invasive plants, Alaska’s overtaxed firefighters and New Mexico’s oldest climate correspondent.

Feature

What hospital closures mean for rural California
What hospital closures mean for rural California
The very economic decline that contributed to their closure is likely to be worsened by their disappearance.
Telemedicine shrinks the West’s vast health desert
Telemedicine shrinks the West’s vast health desert
In New Mexico, an experiment in treating stroke victims at a distance.
The West’s widening health care gaps
The West’s widening health care gaps
Changing demographics, including an aging rural population, put more pressure on health care systems.
Rural hospitals pool their resources to survive
Rural hospitals pool their resources to survive
A group of ten New Mexico hospitals is making a go of it in tough times.
A cure for the ‘catch-all’ emergency room
A cure for the ‘catch-all’ emergency room
In Colorado, a new movement aims to provide an alternative for people experiencing mental health crises. But does it work?

Current

Alaska’s emergency wildfire crews are burning out
Alaska’s emergency wildfire crews are burning out
The state is grappling with more fires and fewer fighters where they need them.
The Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered species triage
The Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered species triage
Buried in petitions to list new species, the Fish and Wildlife Service proposes a system for prioritizing who gets help first.
Time to make peace with invasive species?
Time to make peace with invasive species?
A conversation with climate science director Stephen Jackson about why and where we should tolerate non-native invaders.
Latest: Feds warn states against letting mining companies self-bond
Latest: Feds warn states against letting mining companies self-bond
Three major coal companies have filed for bankruptcy this year.
Latest: NASA determines methane hotspot is from natural gas production

Uncommon Westerners

Meet the West’s oldest climate correspondent
Meet the West’s oldest climate correspondent
Anna Mae Wright has spent seven decades recording the weather.

Essays

The slaughter of innocents
The slaughter of innocents
After prairie dogs invade a corner of her lot, a writer weighs the cost of eliminating them.

Writers on the Range

An electric-power giant is poised to fail
An electric-power giant is poised to fail
A radical change could be coming to the way electric co-ops across the country do business.

Heard Around the West

Bunny times at the state fair, dumpster-diving bears and parasitic springs
Bunny times at the state fair, dumpster-diving bears and parasitic springs
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

Letters