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2/25/11 - MSU research center offers statewide healthcare data

Information about healthcare access in the state's 82 counties now is available through an annual publication of a Mississippi State research center.

"Monitoring Mississippi 2011: Assessing Our Health Workforce" is published by the Northeast Mississippi Area Health Education Center's research arm, the Mississippi Center for Health Workforce. (For online orders, visit http://nemsahec.msstate.edu/book.php.)

The health workforce center is located at the university's nationally recognized Social Science Research Center.

Health workforce center director Lynne Cossman, an MSU sociology professor, said the annual assessment compares data of different counties in such categories as physician-patient ratios, population demographics, insurance rates and admissions to hospitals, among other areas.

Cossman described the publication as a reference guide for health care planners, providers and others associated with this field in the Magnolia State. This is the second consecutive year the center has compiled the information for publication, she added.

Led by Cossman, a team of SSRC researchers joined with graduate students in MSU's sociology department to compile data for the book.

One of seven regional operations, the Northeast Mississippi Area Health Education Center works to help recruit and retain health professionals, and create connections between communities and professionals, among other missions.

Additionally, Katherine Harney, director of the Northeast Mississippi Area Health Education Center, worked with students in the department of communication on the publication's layout and design.

The Area Health Education Center system was established in response to a shortage of highly trained health-care professionals. The Northeast Mississippi Area Health Education Center has a primary mission to develop a statewide database focusing on what draws health care professionals to practice in the state, what keeps them practicing here, and why they may choose to practice elsewhere.

For other information about the center's research, visit www.nemsahec.msstate.edu.

ROBBIE WARD | University Relations

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