Taking the local pulse

Health care is expensive. And for the nearly 40 percent of Rockbridge area residents who are classified as low-income, finding ways to get the treatments they need is a constant challenge. But it’s not just low-income people who struggle to find even the most basic of care in our rural area. From routine doctor checkups to a standard tooth cleaning, an occasional counseling session to hearing that first thump of a baby’s heartbeat, people sometimes have to travel 35 miles or more to see physicians who can provide such basic services. As the health care landscape continues to change, government funding can only be stretched so far. To fill the health care holes, local organizations often team up to serve a community the federal government labeled “medically underserved” two years ago.