As Appalachian hospitals disappear, rural Americans grapple with limited care

As rural hospitals close, small towns in communities throughout central Appalachia grasp for creative solutions.

Williamson Memorial Hospital overlooks the central district of Williamson. The hospital first closed in 2018. It was purchased by local businessmen who were able to keep it open until April 2020 when it closed a second time. The town once thrived in a coal mining economy, with a population of 10,000. The population today is around 2,800. This decline has contributed to a shortage of emergency services in the county.

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