School of Medicine publishes Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book – 2009 Edition

News & Events

RENO, Nev. — A newly released University of Nevada School of Medicine report documents the diverse features of health and health care in rural and frontier counties of Nevada.

The Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book — 2009 Edition contains a wide range of current information on the demography, population health, and the health care delivery system in rural and frontier regions of Nevada. It includes important data for public policy makers, health care professionals and administrators, rural health care advocates, and residents of rural and frontier Nevada.

"The primary purpose of the data book is to provide the health care community with the most comprehensive and accurate county-level data on rural health trends in Nevada," said co-author John Packham, Ph.D., director of Health Policy Research at the School's Center for Education and Health Services Outreach. "The data book should also be valuable to anyone interested in learning more about health and health care in Nevada."

A few of the interesting findings presented in the report include:

  • In 25 of 30 licensed health care occupations, the per capita number of professionals is greater in urban counties versus rural counties - for example, there are 50.3 primary care physicians per 100,000 residents in rural and frontier counties as compared to 79.4 per 100,000 residents in urban counties.
  • 16.7% of the state's rural population is enrolled in the Medicare program versus 12.1 in urban regions.
  • The average distance between acute care hospitals in rural Nevada and the next level of care or tertiary care hospital is 115 miles.
  • Since the 1990 Census, the Hispanic population in rural and frontier counties of Nevada has grown by 19,243 or 124.6% and the population aged 65 and over has increased by 22,987 or 129.3%
  • The health sector in rural and frontier Nevada - hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, pharmacies and other medical care providers - employ 6,289 individuals with a combined payroll of $308 million.
  • Rural hospitals provide jobs for 2,000 health care professionals with a combined payroll of $104 million.

The Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book - 2009 Edition is divided into five major sections containing the most current data on:

  • Demographic characteristics of rural and frontier Nevada, including recent population estimates and projections
  • The social and economic characteristics of rural and frontier Nevada, including data on income, poverty and educational attainment
  • Population health status and health insurance coverage in rural and frontier Nevada
  • The health care workforce in rural and frontier Nevada, including estimates and projections for many licensed health care occupations across the major regions of the state
  • Health care resources and the economics of health care in rural and frontier Nevada

Download a complete copy of the report. For more information or to request a hard copy of the data book, please contact John Packham at jpackham@med.unr.edu.


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The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.