Rural Health Research Programs

The Research Centers Program is the only Federal research program entirely dedicated to producing policy-relevant research on health care and population health in rural areas. Each Research Center has its own identity (although it may be part of a larger organization), website, and core staff that include a disciplinary mix of health services research, epidemiology, public health, geography, medicine, and mental health. Over the four-year award cycle, each Research Center develops a portfolio of several research projects per year in conjunction with input from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and other experts.

To strengthen the dissemination of research results, the Rural Health Research Gateway exit disclaimer icon was launched in early 2006. The Gateway is a “one stop shop” for the Research Centers providing easy access to projects funded by ORHP and summaries of research in progress. The Gateway’s Research Alerts provide e-mail updates when new publications become available.

Data collection and analysis is essential to understanding the challenges in rural communities, how those communities are impacted by policy and setting policy for the future. For this reason, the work of the Rural Health Research Centers informs that of FORHP’s policy team and vice versa.

Provides technical assistance, tracking and analysis to providers participating in the Frontier Community Health Integration Project, which identifies new approaches to health care delivery in sparsely populated areas.

Supports rapid data analysis to inform national, state and local policy makers on specific issues.

Supports identification and analysis of key issues facing Rural Health Clinics.

Disseminates policy-oriented information for use by rural stakeholders and decision-makers.

Supports research centers working in consultation with FORHP to conduct policy-oriented research on rural health services.

Supports analysis of Federal policy changes on health care delivery, organization and finance in rural areas and assistance to rural providers with requirements under health system reform.

Supports research and analysis of key health care issues in rural areas to identify trends and challenges.

Aims to increase the amount of policy-relevant research related to telehealth.

Last Reviewed: January 2017