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This month, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy issued funding for programs helping providers at the local level address the unique challenges in rural communities.  The Rural Health Network Development Program places strong emphasis on partnership with social and community organizations to provide well-rounded patient care.  The 51 existing networks awarded funding for the three-year program have identified cross-sector collaboration projects that focus on workforce behavioral health, health information technology and quality improvement among other local-level issues.  The Rural Health Network Development Planning Program is a community-driven program designed to assist in the planning and development of integrated health networks.  The program creates a platform for medical care providers, social service providers and community organizations to coalesce key elements of a rural health care delivery system, boost local capacity and coordinate care.  Behavioral health, infrastructure, and health information technology are among the projects identified by the 23 grantees for this one-year program. Four of these projects are proposing to address the loss of local health and/or social services as a result of recent hospital closure.  For more information about past networking projects, including case studies and toolkits, visit the Rural Health Information Hub online and search Rural Health Network Development.