Senator Smith talks housing and telehealth on reservations in Northern Minnesota

Duluth News Tribune reports on Senator Smith’s recent visit to the American Indian Community Housing Organization and Fond du Lac Center for American Indian Resources. The visit focused largely on access to housing and healthcare. Broadband came up as a tool to help with health care…

Solutions may require thinking outside the box. Increased access to broadband could bring more telehealth opportunities — allowing doctors to treat patients without traveling hundreds of miles. Better access to affordable child care could help recruit professionals to smaller communities.

And while broadband didn’t specifically come up in the discussion of encouraging more young people to go into health care, I think that remote classes might help, especially if part of the end goal is to facilitate more telehealth…

Smith said there will not be a “simple fix” to rural health care woes, but told the News Tribune at the end of her visit that the firsthand accounts provide valuable guidance for her work.

“I think one of the biggest things we need to do is figure out how to help young people understand what opportunities there are for really fulfilling and purposeful and profitable careers in health care beyond the idea of going to medical school,” she said. “We need people to go to medical school, but we also need physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners and nurse assistants and personal-care attendants.

“There’s a whole continuum of opportunities that we need to get people interested in.”

This entry was posted in Healthcare, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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