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Out in the RuralA Mississippi Health Center and Its War on Poverty$
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Thomas J. Ward Jr. and H. Jack Geiger

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190624620

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624620.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 September 2021

Delivering Health Care

Delivering Health Care

(p.64) 3 Delivering Health Care
Out in the Rural

Thomas J. Ward

Oxford University Press

When the health center opened, its physicians and nurses worked to overcome numerous challenges to deliver health care to a rural, impoverished clientele. They developed an (often rocky) partnership with the local hospital, and its visiting residents from the historically-black Meharry Medical College. Knowing about the high infant mortality rates of the area, much of their planning had been on maternal and infant health, but they found that other issues, especially geriatric care and malnutrition, were more pressing for the local population, forcing them to adapt their programs on the fly. To combat the chronic malnutrition that they found in Bolivar County, Geiger and his team began writing prescriptions for food that would be filled at local grocery stores. When the OEO balked at this program, Geiger responded that “the cure for malnutrition is food,” and the program was allowed to continue.

Keywords:   Malnutrition, housing, infant mortality, racism, public health nursing

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