• TIPRC

WEBINAR: The Road To Good Health May Be Impassible: Effects Of Transportation Infrastructure On...

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

Title: The Road To Good Health May Be Impassible: Effects Of Transportation Infrastructure On Health Of Rural Tribal Residents


Description: Many tribal residents live in rural areas, isolated geographically from larger towns and cities where most hospitals and other health care facilities are located. Distance alone is not the only challenge to accessing health care, however: many rural tribal roads are minimally maintained and unimproved, and become impassible in rainy and winter seasons. Further, signage is often poor, maps can be inaccurate, and radio and internet coverage is spotty to non-existent. This deficiency in basic infrastructure delays ambulance response to tribal patients experiencing medical emergencies, putting such patients at a disadvantage far greater than distance alone would suggest. Less obvious though, but perhaps more concerning, is that these same factors hamper access to regular health care visits and other non-emergent health needs. Regular health maintenance can help obviate the need for emergency medical care, yet transportation infrastructure deficiencies interfere with both for rural tribal residents. The 2017 Tribal Transportation Strategic Safety Plan appropriately highlighted strategies to reduce the frequency and severity of transportation-related injuries, and provided guidance for improvements in EMS and law enforcement response to such incidents. This presentation will look beyond those topics to illustrate the ways that transportation infrastructure affects – or interferes – with the overall health of rural tribal residents.

Speaker: Dr. Chelsea C. White


Emergency Physician

Department of Emergency Medicine at University of New Mexico


Dr. White is an Emergency Physician at the University of New Mexico, and is the Director of the UNM Center for Rural and Tribal EMS. He serves as EMS Medical Director for several tribal EMS agencies in New Mexico. His areas of research interest are in frontier and tribal EMS.


Speaker: Margaret Greenwood-Ericksen, MD


Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine

University of New Mexico


Margaret Greenwood-Ericksen, MD MSc is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of New Mexico. Following her residency at the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency, she completed her research training at the National Clinician Scholars Program as a VA Scholar at the University of Michigan. She is an emergency physician and health services researcher who studies the quality and delivery of rural healthcare. Her career is focused on optimizing and transforming the structure of rural healthcare delivery to improve rural health outcomes. She is widely published on emergency care quality, identifying effective models of rural care delivery, and exploring disparities in acute care delivery for rural populations. She has developed rural-specific curriculum for emergency department quality improvement and serves on a national committee dedicated to rural quality and delivery.


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