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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
Rural Health

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State Offices of Rural Health

Program Overview

The State Offices of Rural Health Grant (SORH) Program creates a focal point within each State for rural health issues. The program provides an institutional framework that links communities with State and Federal resources to help develop long-term solutions to rural health problems. 

The SORH program was developed in 1991 as a Federal-State partnership.  It features a single grantee from each State and requires a State match of $3 for each $1 in Federal funding and has leveraged in excess of $250 million in State matching funds. Currently, 37 Offices are located in State health departments, 10 in academic settings and 3 in non-profit organizations.

The five core functions of the SORH program are to:

  • Serve as a clearinghouse of information and innovative approaches to rural health services delivery.
  • Coordinate state activities related to rural health in order to avoid duplication of efforts and resources.
  • Identify Federal, State, and nongovernmental rural health programs and provide technical assistance to public and private, nonprofit entities serving rural populations.
  • Strengthen Federal, State, and partnerships in rural health.
  • Promote recruitment and retention of a competent health care workforce.

State Offices of Rural Health support a wide range of activities, depending on the needs of their state.  In nearly all states the Critical Access Hospital Flex program is based in the State Office of Rural Health.  State Offices of Rural Health may support quality improvement networks, loan repayment programs, annual rural health conferences, regular rural health updates, information or technical assistance for grant writing, support for rural health clinics or emergency medical services. To learn more about rural health information and resources in your state contact your State Office of Rural Health exit disclaimer

The work of the SORHs is strengthened through the State Rural Health Coordination and Development Cooperative Agreement between ORHP and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) exit disclaimer. This program enhances the rural health infrastructure in each State by supporting leadership development and partnerships of the State Offices of Rural Health, other state entities and partners at the national   at the national and State levels to improve the exchange of information and engage in collaborative activities for supporting rural health.