Though one-third of America is defined as “rural” and home to an estimated 59 million citizens, patient access to affordable, high quality surgical care in these communities remains an ongoing challenge. On Friday, June 27, Iowa and Midwest health care leaders convened for the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Surgical Health Care Quality Forum Iowa to discuss the unique health care issues that rural areas face today – including workforce shortages, access to trauma care, and quality education and training for the next generation of rural surgeons. The program also highlighted how the trauma system has evolved in the Midwest and best practices for improving patient outcomes and reducing health care costs among the rural population.


From left to right: Philip R. Caropreso, MD, FACS; Carol Scott-Conner, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; Richard A. Sidwell, MD, FACS; David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS; Keith J. Mueller, PhD; Jennifer Vermeer, MPA; Timothy A. Breon, MD, FACS; Ronald J. Weigel, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; K. John Hartman, MD, FACS

The event was co-hosted by Ronald J. Weigel, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS, Associate Vice President for UI Health Alliance; EA Crowell Jr. Professor and Chair of Surgery; Professor of Surgery – Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery; Professor of Biochemistry, Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and Carol Scott-Conner, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS, Professor of Surgery – Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.

Participants included:

  • Timothy A. Breon, MD, FACS, General Surgeon, Mahaska Health Partnership
  • Philip R. Caropreso, MD, FACS, General Surgeon; Clinical Professor of Surgery, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
  • David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, Executive Director, American College of Surgeons
  • Keith J. Mueller, PhD, Gerhard Hartman Professor and Chair, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Iowa College of Public Health
  • Jennifer Vermeer, MPA, Medicaid Director, Iowa Medicaid Enterprise

Click here to read a news release summarizing the program and click here to see the forum highlighted in The Gazette, Eastern Iowa’s newspaper.

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