USDA Announces Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced an Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program with more than $450 million in available funds.  The program is designed to assist rural areas broaden access to COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, healthcare services, and food assistance through food banks and distribution facilities.  There are two available tracks of funding:

Track One:  Recovery Grants which are designed to provide immediate relief in addressing economic conditions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Grant awards range from $25,000 to $1 million with a total of $350 million available.  Track One: Recovery applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Each Rural Development state office will conduct an initial review, rating, and selection of complete applications received by 4 p.m. local time on October 12, 2021.  Rural Development will conduct subsequent reviews as long as
funding remains available.

Track Two:  Impact Grants are earmarked to advance ideas and solutions to solve regional rural healthcare issues and support the long-term sustainability of health care in rural areas.  The USDA defines long-term sustainablity as “improved health outcomes, improved access to quality health care, and creating and maintaining sustainable economic development for small communities.”  Grant awards range from $5 million to $10 million with a total of $125 million available.  Track Two: Impact applications must be received by the applicable Rural Development office by 4 p.m. local time on October 12, 2021. Track Two: Impact applications received after October 12, 2021 will not be considered.

Public bodies, community based nonprofits, and Federally recognized tribes may apply.  Track Two:  Impact Grant applicants need to establish a network of organizations consisting of health care provider organizations, economic development organizations, federally recognized tribes, or institutions of higher learning (which may include academic health and research institutes).  Rural areas with no more than 20,000 residents, as determined by the latest U.S. Census Data, may apply and the projects for which they intend to use grant funds must be located in and primarily serve rural areas.  Grants can cover up to 75% of eligible project costs based on both the population and median household income of the target population served.

A fact sheet summarizing the program and it’s requirements can be found at the following link:

Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program – Fact Sheet (

NOSORH Call for Speaker Proposals for October Conference

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health invites you to partner with us to bring meaningful education to our 2021 Annual Meeting being held on October 12th–14th, 2021!

We invite you to submit proposal(s) to speak and present your work, research findings, projects, and other topics to help SORH address the needs of rural communities to prepare for the future. Depending on travel capabilities the Annual Meeting may be a fully virtual or hybrid event. Be sure to indicate your virtual or in-person preference when submitting your proposal.

New to the Annual Meeting?

State Offices of Rural Health have a responsibility to collect and disseminate rural relevant information, encourage collaboration to reduce duplication of rural efforts and provide technical assistance to rural communities. Beyond the unique federal-state funding SORH receive, many SORH are also the lead for the state Flex, SHIP, and Primary Care Office programs. SORH work with rural health providers including Critical Access Hospitals, Rural Health Clinics, Rural Community Health Centers, and other safety net providers to improve access to care and promote better health. They often play a role in the recruitment and retention of rural health professionals, seeking innovative approaches to care coordination and promoting rural community vitality.

SORH Requested Topics

While all proposals are encouraged, we are particularly looking for submissions that are future-focused and encourage cross-sector collaboration. The Annual Meeting planning committee is prioritizing proposals that include projects implemented with at least one SORH state, and proposals that incorporate interactive discussion components.

Our members have expressed an interest in the following topics:



  • Alternative Payment Models (APMS) and Medicare/Medicaid demonstration projects
  • Given the SORH funding, what can be done about paramedicine or mental health or farming
  • Behavioral Health Integration
  • Health Equity (diversity and inclusion, LGBTQ+, etc.)
  • Collaboration between rural hospitals and urban health systems
  • Primary Care Integration
  • Community paramedicine and community health workers
  • Public health infrastructure and clinical integration
  • Data analysis, interpretation, and visualization
  • Rural community-based funding opportunities
  • Emergency preparedness and Emergency response
  • Rural facility closure (Hospitals, clinics, EMS, etc.)
  • Telehealth and broadband access
  • SORH success stories
  • Workforce challenges and solutions

Required Components

One of NOSORH’s strategic priorities should be apparent in your proposed presentation.

The priority areas are:

  • Cultivate a vital, innovative rural health landscape and infrastructure.
  • Grow leadership to address rural population health and health equity.
  • Build capacity for rural data driven program planning and decision making.
  • Advocate for meaningful partnerships and additional resources for SORH, and their stakeholders.


Next Steps

Our selection process is done by The Annual Meeting Planning Committee who will make recommendations for the final selection. When filling out the attached proposal form please ensure you include basic background on your subject matter/topic and what you will discuss in your session. Please write it so the committee can understand exactly what will be delivered to attendees. If you were requested to submit a proposal by your SORH, please indicate that on the application. This helps committee members ensure they are selecting quality and engaging presentations.

Once a proposal has been selected and speakers have accepted an invitation to speak, accepted speakers will receive an email regarding the selection. It is your responsibility to ensure your event registration, forms, and deadlines are met by the required dates for each meeting. It takes considerable time to coordinate all details to produce a successful meeting, your cooperation in our success is appreciated.

Complete your proposal now!

All proposals must be submitted by 11:59 pm EST on July 9, 2021. Complete your proposal here.

NIH announces a new P2P virtual Workshop

Register Now for the Virtual NIH P2P Workshop:

Improving Rural Health Through Telehealth-Guided Provider-to-Provider Communication


About one-fifth of all people in the United States live in rural areas, which have higher mortality rates, a higher prevalence of diseases, and lower life expectancy than urban areas. Telehealth-guided collaboration between health care providers has the potential to increase access to services and improve health outcomes in underserved rural populations. However, more research is needed to better understand how provider-to-provider telehealth affects rural patients, populations, health care providers, and payers. Workshop speakers will identify those research gaps, as well as explore barriers to and facilitators of successful, sustainable implementation of provider-to-provider telehealth in rural settings.

How To Register

Registration is required. You must register separately for each day you plan to attend to receive a unique meeting link for that specific day.

October 12, 2021
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ETDraft Agenda – Day 1

Register for Day 1
October 13, 2021 
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ETDraft Agenda – Day 2

Register for Day 2


October 14, 2021 
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ETDraft Agenda – Day 3

Register for Day 3


This workshop will be captioned in real-time. Individuals needing reasonable accommodations should contact

Attendees will have opportunities to submit questions and comments during discussion periods. After weighing the evidence, an independent panel will prepare a report that summarizes the workshop and identifies future research priorities.

Learn more at

Sponsoring Organizations


Tweet This

Join @NIHprevents, @ncats_nih_gov, @nih_nhlbi, @HRSAgov, and @CDCgov for a virtual #NIHP2P workshop on the use of provider-to-provider telehealth to improve rural health outcomes and reduce rural health disparities, October 12–14, 2021.


Coming Soon – New HHS funding for Rural Health Clinics to strengthen COVID-19 testing and mitigation and increase vaccine confidence

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Health Policy (FORHP) will be making a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funding available for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) to strengthen COVID-19 testing and mitigation and increase vaccine confidence.

Interested RHCs should watch for the upcoming funding opportunity and start the process to register to apply for a HRSA grant.  RHCs that have met the requirements for the RHC COVID-19 Testing Program will receive a one-time allocation of up to $100,000 per clinic site.  For additional program announcements and updates, click here.

USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program Grant for Rural Communities

The Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density.  This program can link teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another.  To learn more about recently funded DLT projects, Rural Development has developed a map of recently funded DLT projects at:

Funds may be used to acquire capital assets such as broadband facilities, equipment, hardware, software, internal infrastructure, instructional programming, and technical assistance for using all that was acquired.  To learn more, follow this link to the grant opportunity:

USAC Extends Application Deadline for Rural Telecom and Broadband Assistance Programs

USAC (Universal Service Administrative Co.) offers two different funding options for rural healthcare providers to increase connectivity with their patients. The Telecommunications Program (Telecom) provides reduced rates to rural health care providers for telecommunication and voice services for the use of telemedicine and telehealth. The Healthcare Connect Fund Program (HCF) provices a 65% discount on eligible broadband connectivity expenses (services and equipment) for rural health care providers (individual providers or consortiums). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s deadline for application has been extended to June 1, 2021. Click the registration link below to access their website and determine if you or your organization qualifies for assistance.

Rural Health Care