Emergency healthcare can save lives in rural communities

For Muscatine, the hospital or emergency department often offers the sole source of health care for miles. Proximity can save seconds and minutes, from recognizing an emergency to providing critical care.


The usually calm, cool, and collected Muscatine resident and Calvary Church Pastor Bruce Martin knew he needed help fast for a dangerous blood clot.

“Four people walked in, but I was seen in five minutes,” he said.

The team was professional, courteous, coordinated, and efficient. After a first check, he was transitioned to UnityPoint Health – Trinity in Rock Island.

“I needed an ultrasound. They were waiting for me when I arrived in under an hour,” Martin said, adding, “I’ve been to hospitals in Denver and Chicago where you wait longer than that to simply check-in at the ER.”

The strength of a coordinated health system helped him get resources and answers.

“After the diagnosis, I left with the next steps to address my symptoms – an antibiotic.” But his care didn’t stop there.

He had a follow-up visit with family medicine doctor Hamid Sagha, back in Muscatine, to ensure things were working as planned and for continued monitoring to get everything resolved.

“I’m proud to have Trinity Muscatine for an emergency. It’s good to know the resources of all of UnityPoint Health are available to me. Everyone was pleasant and professional and took time to get to know me. I felt cared for and not just a number,” Martin said.

Not only does Trinity Muscatine offer quality emergency care, but our hospital system ensures continuity of care from stabilizing an emergency to expanded resources for testing and diagnosis, to the treating and follow up from your local involved care team.

Where minutes make a difference

About a fifth of the US population lives in rural communities – where some amount of travel is built into getting care. Having Trinity Muscatine in the heart of our community reduces barriers for those who need lifesaving care.

Rural emergency departments typically see fewer patients than their urban counterparts, but very significantly, experience more emergency room visits per person.

This becomes clearer through time. In the past 20 years, nationwide, rural emergency department visits have doubled, far outpacing the rate of increase in visits at urban counterparts.


This trend solidifies the critical role the emergency department in Muscatine plays in caring for family, friends, and neighbors.

Economic benefit of emergency healthcare

Additionally, as one of the region’s largest providers of jobs, Trinity Muscatine strengthens the economic health of Muscatine.

The availability of quality emergency services makes the community more attractive to those who want to live, work, and play here. Businesses, industries, employees, and retirees all rank access to emergency healthcare as a factor in determining where to open up shop and set down roots.