Why Locum Tenens: The Personal Mission Behind the Work

Improving access to healthcare in rural communities through locums.

“When I was six years old, my grandmother went into the hospital with a broken ankle,” says Jackson + Coker President Tim Fischer. “It was a rural area, and unfortunately, she died there. This really impacted me. Connecting doctors and advanced practitioners with the communities that need them is a personal mission.” 

Rural communities have historically struggled to attract and maintain physicians and advanced practitioners. It’s a problem that affects the quality of life and care for 46 million Americans. This has created barriers to healthcare in rural areas, like the one Fischer is from. 

“I grew up in a small town of 4,000 people in rural Illinois, and getting medical care was challenging. It was hard to find quality doctors,” says Fischer. 

This experience is not unique. The need for patient care is becoming harder to meet amid the growing physician shortage. Disparities are growing and becoming more complex as the American population ages and many physicians are near retirement

According to Rural Health Information Hub, three reasons healthcare professionals hesitate to practice in rural settings include:  

  • Heavy workloads. 
  • Increased patient volume. 
  • Difficulty taking time off. 

The view is changing with the help of locum tenens and telehealth solutions. In 2021 and 2022, 88% of healthcare organizations incorporated locums into their staffing solutions. The shift towards locum tenens in rural areas empowers healthcare systems with the flexibility to offer a broader range of services, while extending the number of patients they treat. Through proactive planning, leveraging locums for on-site and virtual care supports existing staff and reduces rural healthcare disparities. It also helps alleviate burnout through scheduled coverage while empowering organizations to adapt quickly to patient needs. 

Helping others receive compassion and care through locum tenens is at the heart of what fuels Fischer’s – and J+C’s – work. 

“When I had an opportunity to get involved in locum tenens and help underserved communities around the country that needed access to quality healthcare, I jumped at it,” says Fischer. “And that’s what we do here at Jackson + Coker. We connect providers and communities to transform lives. This is not just our mission statement; it’s something we believe in and live out each day. We’re making a difference in the world.” 

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Maggie Youmans

Senior Vice President, Sales

As Senior Vice President, Maggie oversees several key specialty divisions and adjacent teams. With a demonstrated history of leading teams and developing individuals across the organization, she is dedicated to inspiring, challenging and empowering associates to achieve their personal and professional goals. 

Maggie earned degrees in marketing and management focused on consumer economics from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business. She enjoys traveling with her husband to visit different bed and breakfasts. Together, they have been able to see the beauty within their own backyard and across the country.

Connect with Maggie on LinkedIn.

Anne Anderson

Executive Vice President

"I'm passionate about the locum tenens industry - we make a real difference in the lives of both our heroic healthcare providers and the patients they treat."

Anne has been at the forefront of the evolution of locum tenens for more than 35 years. She’s a respected leader with expertise in corporate operations, risk management, credentialing, and travel services. Before joining Jackson + Coker, she served as Executive Vice President at Medical Doctor Associates, part of Cross Country Healthcare. 

An ardent industry advocate, Anne served several years on the Board of the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO), including two years as president. 

Anne received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Spring Hill College. She is also a PADI open water diver and enjoys scuba diving. 

Connect with Anne on LinkedIn.