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Conducting Rural Health Research, Needs Assessment, and Program Evaluation Organizations

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 and improve quality. Develops resources, tools, and data to help healthcare professionals, policymakers, and consumers make informed health decisions.
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Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health (CRCAIH)
Focuses on building tribal research infrastructure and transdisciplinary research teams in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota. Assists tribal communities and health professionals plan and perform research to study health issues facing American Indians.
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Commonwealth Fund
Supports independent research on health and social issues and makes grants to improve healthcare practice and policy. Dedicated to helping people become more informed about their healthcare and improving care for vulnerable populations such as children, elderly people, low-income families, minority Americans, and the uninsured.
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Essentia Institute of Rural Health
Identifies needs and deficiencies in rural healthcare and investigates solutions to resolve disparities. Acts as a conduit for academic health centers to access rural patient populations and collaborate in research and educational activities.
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Federal 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.
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Flex Monitoring Team
Performance monitoring project for the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex Program) conducted by the Rural Health Research Centers at the Universities of Minnesota, North Carolina, and Southern Maine. The monitoring project is assessing the impact of the Flex Program on Critical Access Hospitals and their communities and the role of states in achieving overall program objectives.
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Frontier Rural Innovations Network
A national practice-based research network focused on the improvement of the frontier and rural healthcare delivery process. Based in Kentucky.
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High Plains Research Network (HPRN)
Supports a research network of rural primary care practices, hospitals, healthcare facilities, and communities in eastern rural Colorado. Conducts research and quality improvement programs focused on rural primary care practice.
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Maine Rural Health Research Center
One of the Rural Health Research Centers currently funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Focuses on barriers to health access for rural residents and related topics, including health insurance coverage, Medicaid, behavioral health, long-term services and supports, and challenges faced by Rural Health Clinics and Critical Access Hospitals in delivering and sustaining services
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National Center for Rural Health Works
Develops tools to help communities measure the economic impact of the healthcare system and to identify new healthcare services needed by the community. Provides training workshops and technical assistance to help clients understand and use these tools.
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National Rural Health Resource Center (NRHRC)
Provides technical assistance and information resources addressing community and population health, health information technology, leadership, workforce, strategic planning and performance improvement. Rural Health Innovations (RHI), a subsidiary of the National Rural Health Resource Center, provides programs, activities, and resources that benefit the emerging market of healthcare in rural communities.
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Native American Research Centers on Health (NARCH)
Federally-funded research centers that conduct research and research training responsive to the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
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Native Research Network
Network of American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Canadian Aboriginal people promoting high quality research that is collaborative, supportive, and builds capacity.
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NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
Focuses on changes in Medicare payments to rural providers, access to care for rural residents, and rural public health infrastructure.
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North Carolina Rural Health Research Program (NC RHRP)
One of the Rural Health Research Centers currently funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Works to identify rural health problems through policy-relevant analyses, geographic and graphical presentation of data, and information dissemination. Focuses on federal insurance programs and healthcare delivery organizations and access.
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Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN)
Works in partnership with communities and practitioners to improve the health of rural populations in Oregon through health research and promotion.
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Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
Conducts research to give patients a better understanding of the prevention, treatment and care options available. Considers potential for differences in treatment effectiveness among subpopulations, such as rural residents.
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ResDAC (Research Data Assistance Center)
A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) contractor that provides assistance to academic, government, and nonprofit researchers interested in using Medicare and/or Medicaid data for their research.
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Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC)
Conducts research on issues of access to transportation and housing, employment and self-employment, independent living services, health and wellness facilities, and inclusion in community planning and activities of people with disabilities. Provides information and training to rural communities on disabilities.
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RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
One of the Rural Health Research Centers currently funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Focuses on access to healthcare services, Medicare policies, development of rural delivery systems, and public health.
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Rural and Community Health Institute (RCHI)
A health extension center that promotes safe, effective health care practices. Activities focus on education, policy, and research. Registered as a practice-based research network. Located at the Texas A&M Health Science Center.
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Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
One of the Rural Health Research Centers currently funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Focuses on underserved rural areas of the U.S., including the predominantly white Appalachia region, predominantly African American Mississippi Delta region, and heavily Hispanic areas of the West.
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Rural Health Reform Policy Research Center (RHRPRC)
Former (2012-2016) federally-funded Rural Health Research Center funded by Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. A consortium of the University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health and NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis. Examined issues and topics primarily related to the rural implications of health reform legislation, in particular frontier health services and systems.
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Rural Health Research Gateway
Provides access to all of the research and findings of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy's (FORHP) Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Centers. Covers current and completed research projects and publications resulting from those projects. Includes information about the research centers and individual researchers.
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Rural Health Research Institute (RHRI)
Interdisciplinary research center focused on rural health and reducing rural health disparities. Located at Georgia Southern University.
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Rural Oklahoma Network (ROK-Net)
A practice-based research network that focuses on recurring problems in rural primary care. Provides infrastructure for the development of peer learning networks comprised of rural clinicians and providers in Oklahoma.
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Rural Telehealth Research Center
One of the Rural Health Research Centers currently funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Focuses on building the evidence base for telehealth, especially in rural applications. A collaboration of the University of Iowa, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and the University of Southern Maine.
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South Carolina Rural Health Research Center (SCRHRC)
Former (2005-2016) federally-funded Rural Health Research Center funded by Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Focuses on investigating persistent inequities in health status within the population of the rural U.S., with an emphasis on inequities stemming from socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, and access to healthcare services.
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Southwest Rural Health Research Center (SRHRC)
One of the Rural Health Research Centers currently funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Focuses on health insurance, maternal and child health, chronic disease, substance abuse, and aging.
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University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
One of the Rural Health Research Centers currently funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Conducts research and disseminates information, with primary areas of research focused on quality of care and quality improvement in rural areas.
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Urban Institute (UI)
Gathers data, conducts research, evaluates programs, offers technical assistance overseas, and educates Americans on social and economic issues — to foster sound public policy and effective government. Research includes rural America.
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WWAMI Rural Health Research Center (WWAMI RHRC)
One of the Rural Health Research Centers currently funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Focuses on training and supply of rural healthcare providers, availability and quality of care for rural women and children, and access to high-quality care for vulnerable and minority rural populations. Based in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
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Last Reviewed: 4/8/2018