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Rural Health Information Hub

Module 2: Program Models for Rural Health Networks and Coalitions

Health networks and coalitions often get their start by individual organizations collaborating around a common issue. There are countless issues that could be driving the assembly, however, and there are numerous directions the groups can take. There is not one “right” way to organize, and groups may adopt features from more than one model as they do so. The best way for a network or coalition to organize is entirely dependent upon the factors unique to the group itself; for example geography, complexity of issue, number of partners, and other factors.

The goals of the network or coalition will inform the organizational model to adopt. As a general rule, the larger and/or more complex the scope of the network, the more formal the structure will be. More information on organizational considerations can be found in Module 4: Implementation Considerations for Rural Health Networks and Coalitions.

There are far more possible collaborative arrangements that exist than this toolkit can adequately capture. The formation is frequently unique to the nature of the work being done. Four common models were selected for several reasons: they represent various levels of formality, membership, and methods of gathering and communicating as a group. These models also represent programs featured in Module 3: Program Clearinghouse.

In this module: