West Virginia is one of six Rural Health Research Centers (RHRC) funded by HRSA’s Office of Rural Health Policy to perform policy-oriented research on issues related to rural health care. Others RHRC’s are located in Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, Minnesota (Minnesota and North Dakota) and Washington (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). Each RHRC has its own identity, although it may be part of a larger organization, and core staff. Core staff members include a disciplinary mix of health services research, epidemiology, public health, geography, medicine and mental health professionals.
The RHRC program is designed to help policy-makers better understand the problems that rural communities face with regard to health care. The RHRC’s work to understand the ways in which the health of rural Americans can be improved, analyze the implications of federal and state policy options and communicate research results to policymakers and others who may take action based on research results.
To strengthen the dissemination of research results of the RHRC, the Gateway to Rural Health Research was launched in early 2007. The Gateway is a website which allows “one stop shopping” about the RHRC’s. The Gateway provides easy access to the RHRC’s rural publications and authors, as well as summaries of research in progress or completed. The Gateway Listserv provides email updates when new publications become available. Through their research and policy analysis, the RHRC’s bring to the forefront the health care challenges facing rural America.
A Gateway to Rural Health Research: Links