Federal Agencies Addressing Rural Health
Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP)
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.
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
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
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 and improve quality. Develops resources, tools, and data to help healthcare professionals, policymakers, and consumers make informed health decisions.
Bureau of Health Workforce
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.
Bureau of Primary Health Care
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.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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.
Health Resources and Services Administration
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.
Indian Health Service
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.
Mine Safety and Health Administration
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.
National Institutes of Health
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
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Part of the Executive Office of the President that focuses
on improving population health through the coordination and
development of 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 to address drug overdoses and reduce
substance use in youth.
Universal Service Administrative Company
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.
USDA Economic Research Service
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.
USDA Rural Development
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, health care, first responder services and equipment, and water, electric and communications infrastructure.