Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Chad Knoderer


Patient access to healthcare can be a potentially significant barrier to overall health outcomes, especially when paired with a costly and complex disease state such as diabetes. The purpose of this study was to determine if patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus living in rural areas of Jackson County experience greater health disparity and more diabetes-related hospitalizations than those living in non-rural areas. The study was conducted at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, Indiana. A total of 164 patients were included in the final analysis based on the presence of a diabetes-related diagnosis code in the patient’s chart; of these, 53 were considered rural and 111 were considered not rural. The primary outcome was difference in diabetes-related hospitalizations between rural vs non-rural patients. Secondary outcomes included difference in length of stay and difference in total medical charges.