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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Health Information Hub and Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis Launch Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response Toolkit

November 14, 2022 — The Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub), in collaboration with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, is announcing the release of the Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response Toolkit. This new toolkit was developed to help rural and tribal communities, healthcare facilities, and other organizations serving rural populations access evidence-based and promising models and resources to support emergency planning, response, and recovery efforts. With National Rural Health Day approaching later this week, the partners look forward to supporting rural areas with this new tool.

“This toolkit provides important insights for rural communities, no matter where they are in their emergency preparedness planning cycle. It combines evidence, expert advice, and the actual experiences of rural communities into an easy-to-use resource,” said Tom Morris, the Associate Administrator for Rural Health Policy in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response Toolkit consists of 6 modules and a set of 31 case studies and provides information, publications, tools, and other resources related to rural emergency preparedness and response. The toolkit examines cross-cutting issues related to rural emergency preparedness, response, and recovery, then focuses on the different types of public health emergencies and disaster rural communities may face, such as:

  • Infectious Disease Outbreaks
  • Natural Disasters and Agricultural Impacts
  • Equipment and Infrastructure Failures
  • Chemical and Radiation Emergencies
  • Mass Casualty Incidents
  • Bioterrorism

Content for the Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response Toolkit was developed based on an extensive literature and resource review, and interviews with 35 individuals with subject matter expertise in rural emergency preparedness and response. The toolkit team collected real-world preparedness, response, and recovery experiences and lessons learned from over 30 rural and tribal organizations to inform the case studies that accompany the toolkit.

“This project was an example of the great partnership between CDC, RHIhub, the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. In the many discussions we've had with these partners over the past two years, and in talking to other rural partners and community members, the lack of just such a toolkit came up time and time again. RHIhub and the Walsh Center spent many hours talking to emergency preparedness experts, including those in rural communities, to put together an excellent set of recommendations and case studies that rural communities and rural emergency planners can draw upon to help make their residents better-prepared for the next major emergency,” said Dr. Diane Hall, Lead, CDC Rural Health, and a Senior Health Scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department.

The development of this toolkit was supported by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), Health Resources and Services Administration, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department.

About the Rural Health Information Hub
RHIhub Logo The Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to be a national clearinghouse on rural health issues. We are committed to supporting healthcare and population health in rural communities. RHIhub's website, ruralhealthinfo.org, offers an online library of resources covering an array of rural health topics, including transportation, mental health, and the rural healthcare workforce. RHIhub hosts more than 20 evidence-based toolkits, 50 topic guides, state guides, the Exploring Rural Health Podcast, rural health models and innovations, and other resources highlighting rural health issues.

About the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
NORC at the University of Chicago The NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis conducts timely policy analysis, research, and evaluation to address the needs of policymakers, the healthcare workforce, and the public on issues that affect healthcare and public health in rural America.

For more information, contact:

Rural Health Information Hub
Kristine Sande, Program Director
kristine@ruralhealthinfo.org

NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
Alana Knudson Ph.D., Director
Knudson-alana@norc.org