Rural Missouri Town Serves As Health Care Experiment

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NEVADA, Mo. (AP) –  The western Missouri city of Nevada is embarking on a health care initiative which organizers hope could become a model for communities around the nation. The goal is to improve both the health of the residents and the quality of health care they receive.

The Kansas City-based health care technology company Cerner is teaming up with local officials on the initiative. The city’s hospital will spend $10 million on an electronic medical records system that will allow information to be shared with the town’s two dozen doctors and medical experts in bigger cities.

Nevada’s city government may build bike lanes and sidewalks to encourage exercise. An educational campaign will promote better nutrition and health screenings. And residents will compete in fitness challenges like walking and weight-loss contests.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)