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Rural Health Leadership Group

During this fourth conversation in the GIH leadership series on rural health, we learned about key resources available for rural communities through the American Rescue Plan. Including large federal funding programs that are seeking applications or will be rolled out in coming months.

Chad Parker, Acting Administrator for the Rural Housing Service at USDA Rural Development, detailed RD’s Emergency Rural Health Care Grants. Although the due date for these funds is coming up on October 12, many rural stakeholders can still field viable applications, especially for Track 1 of the program. Chad also noted the availability of funds for refinancing single family home loans, an important tool for rural families facing financial impacts of the pandemic. Funders could refer potential applicants and other stakeholders to their state’s Rural Development Director; there may also be ways funders could provide matching resources or support for the completion of applications. More information is available in the attached handout and slides.

Tom Morris, Associate Administrator for Rural Health Policy at HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, discussed their upcoming $52 million funding opportunity for rural health workforce initiatives. Broadly, the program will support cross-sector network development around healthcare workforce initiatives, including tracks for CHWs, paramedicine, HIT/Telehealth, and respiratory therapy/care coordination. ORHP is finishing the program design and rural stakeholders are invited to an outreach call on 9/29 (see flyer attached). We encourage interested funders to work with their constituents to begin assembling local partners and a governance structure as needed to support cohesive and effective networks. If you have suggestions about the design of this program, feel free to share them with me and we will pass them along to ORHP.

This was the fourth in a series of ongoing discussions to improve health in rural communities. If you are interested in participating in this candid conversation, please reach out to Eric Stockton at for more information.