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Rural Health Information Hub

Federal Agencies Addressing Rural Health

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP)
Phone: 301.443.0835
Coordinates activities related to rural healthcare within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Focuses on matters affecting rural hospitals and healthcare, coordinating activities within the department that relate to rural healthcare, and maintaining a national information clearinghouse.
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Other federal agencies listed on this page also have a national interest in rural health. To find organizations and agencies that focus on a specific topic, please consult the related topic guide.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Lead federal agency focused on improving the safety and quality of the nation's healthcare system. Invests in research to understand how to make healthcare safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable. Develops resources, tools, and data to help healthcare professionals, policymakers, and consumers make informed health decisions.
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Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW)
Works to improve the health of underserved and vulnerable populations by strengthening the health workforce and connecting skilled professionals to communities in need. Manages federal shortage designations, administers grant programs related to the healthcare workforce, and administers scholarship and loan repayment programs designed for healthcare professionals. Part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC)
Oversees the Health Center Program, a national network of health centers that provide comprehensive primary healthcare services, regardless of a patients' ability to pay, charging for services on a sliding fee scale. Part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
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CDC Office of Rural Health
Works across the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to connect and coordinate related to rural public health infrastructure. Located within the CDC Public Health Infrastructure Center.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Acts as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people at home and abroad. Work includes disease prevention and control, environmental health, emergency preparedness and response, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of U.S. residents.
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Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Operates the Medicare and Medicaid programs - two national healthcare programs that benefit millions of Americans. Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Website includes access to research, statistics, and data related to these programs.
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Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
The primary federal agency for improving healthcare for people who are geographically isolated and those who are economically or medically vulnerable. Helps those in need of high quality primary healthcare, people living with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women, and mothers. Supports health professions training, the distribution of providers to areas where they are needed most, and improvements in healthcare delivery. Part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
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Indian Health Service (IHS)
Provides federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Works to positively affect the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Administers scholarship and loan repayment programs for American Indian and Alaska Native health professionals. Part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
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Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
Works to prevent death, illness, and injury from mining and promote safe and healthful workplaces for U.S. miners. Provides training and resources related to mine safety and health. Part of the U.S. Department of Labor.
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National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Provides leadership, direction, and funding for programs designed to improve population health by supporting research in human diseases; human growth and development; biological effects of environmental contaminants; mental, addictive, and physical disorders; and collection, dissemination, and exchange of information in medicine and health.
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Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
Part of the Executive Office of the President that focuses on improving population health by coordinating and developing drug control policy and related strategies for the nation. Focuses on reducing substance use disorder (SUD) and improving related health issues. Supports programs to increase federal, state, local, and tribal collaboration and capacity to address drug overdoses and reduce substance use in youth.
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Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)
Supports the adoption of health information technology (HIT) and promotes nationwide health information exchange to improve healthcare.
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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Leads public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and provide treatments and supports to foster recovery while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes. Part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
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Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC)
Supports access to broadband services needed to work, learn, heal, and communicate. Collects and delivers funding through four programs focused on places where broadband and connectivity needs are critical. These programs - High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and the E-rate (schools and libraries) Program - serve people in rural, underserved, and difficult-to-reach areas.
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USDA Economic Research Service (USDA ERS)
Anticipates trends and emerging issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and rural America. Conducts economic research on these topics to inform and enhance public and private decision making.
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USDA Rural Development (USDA RD)
Helps improve the economy and quality of life in all of rural America through programs that support economic development and essential services such as housing, healthcare, first responder services and equipment, and water, electric and communications infrastructure.
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Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health (VHA ORH)
Implements initiatives that help improve the health and well-being of rural veterans by increasing their access to care and services.
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Last Reviewed: 7/3/2023