This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the Rural Health Network Planning Program (“Network Planning Grant”). The purpose of the Network Planning Grant Program is to promote the development of integrated health care networks in order to: (i) achieve efficiencies; (ii) expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of basic health care services and associated health outcomes; and (iii) strengthen the rural health care system as a whole.
This program supports one year of planning and brings together key parts of a rural health care delivery system, particularly those entities that may not have collaborated in the past, to establish and/or improve local capacity in order to strengthen rural community health interventions, and enhance care coordination.
For the purposes of this program, an integrated health care network is defined as an organizational arrangement among at least three (3) regional or local health care organizations that come together to develop strategies for improving health services in a community.
This program uses the concept of developing networks as a strategy toward linking rural health care partners together to address local challenges, and help rural partners achieve greater collective capacity to overcome challenges related to limited economies of scale for individual hospitals, clinics or other key rural health care stakeholders. Studies show that integrated health care networks formed in rural communities allow for better resource allocation of both personnel and shared assets to decrease and/or prevent chronic disease, create stronger buy-in, trust and input among partners and community members, improve data sharing, and increase sustainability and longevity of the network.2 3 Because of the benefits a network provides, 88% of past Network Planning awardees have reported the sustainability of at least some elements of their network activities post-grant 4.
Eligible applicants shall be domestic public or private, non-profit or for-profit entities, including faith-based, community-based, tribes and tribal organizations. The applicant organization may be located in a rural or urban area, but must have demonstrated experience serving, or the capacity to serve, rural underserved populations. The applicant organization should describe their experience and/or capacity serving rural populations in the Project Abstract section of the application.
b. Applicants should list the rural counties that will be served. Proposed counties should be fully rural, but if counties are partially rural counties, please include the rural census tract(s) in the Project Abstract. It is important that applicants list the rural counties (or rural census tract(s) if the county is partially rural) that will be served through their proposed project, as this will be one of the factors that will determine the applicant organization’s eligibility to apply for this grant funding.
• To ascertain rural service areas, please refer to https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/rural-health. This webpage allows you to search by county or street address and determine rural eligibility.
c. Each applicant organization and network partner must have its own EIN number unless an exception is requested (see details below under ‘Exceptions Request’).
d. In addition to the 50 U.S. states, only organizations in the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Federated State of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau may apply. If you are located outside the 50 states, you must still meet the eligibility requirements.