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GMEC director edits Public Health in Appalachia

 

Health care advocates and providers have collaborated on a book that provides in-depth perspectives to promote an understanding of the factors that affect health in the Appalachian region, and it examines effective responses to those issues.

“Public Health in Appalachia,” edited by Wendy Welch, executive director of the Graduate Medical Education Consortium of Southwest Virginia, brings researches and practitioners together to examine health issues, culturally appropriate healthcare delivery systems and cultural theory and clinical policy in the region. The analyses in the book offer students, health practitioners and policymakers new insights that merge anthropological and medical research to promote a holistic understanding of the health care factors in the region.

“In this important work on a subject too often dismissed with stereotypes rather than examined with an open mind, the 10 articles from people working in these fields really open the eyes of readers to the challenges, conflicts, and community innovations that are ongoing in Central Appalachia,” said Dr. John J. Dreyzehner, commissioner of health for Tennessee in the book’s foreword, “There is much more to this complex region than popular media and common perceptions let on, and “Public Health in Appalachia” has lifted the veil.”

Welch is also the author of “The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap: a true story of friendship, community, and the uncommon pleasure of a good book.” She also serves as a community advocate for rural public health and economic development.