On July 1, 2019, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) announced that it will award approximately $2.2 million to 25 awardees for the 2019 Rural Health Network Development Planning Program (Network Planning). This is a one-year, community-driven program designed to assist in the planning and development of an integrated health care network at the local level. By emphasizing the role of 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 for the purpose of improving local capacity and coordination of care.
The Network Planning program will aid providers as they move from focusing on the volume of services to focusing on the value of services. For grantees, the award (of up to $100,000) provides an opportunity to implement new and innovative approaches towards a dynamic health care environment that may in turn serve as a model for other rural communities. The incoming cohort of Network Planning grantees have projects that focus on building, strengthening, and formalizing integrated health care networks and systems, developing training cooperatives, conducting community health needs assessments, increasing service capacity, addressing behavioral and mental health conditions, and addressing the rural opioid epidemic.
Historically, previously awarded grantees have been successful in leveraging finances by using FORHP grants to sustain their efforts; they have been able to combine federal funds with local and foundation dollars to support the continuation and development of health care services in rural areas. Organizations have also demonstrated the ability to achieve innovative expansion and replication of their funded projects to successfully serve additional populations and regions, providing support to other rural communities with similar healthcare needs.
As FORHP continues to focus on showcasing program outcomes, the identification and dissemination of rural evidence-based models maintains as a priority. The Rural Community Health Gateway, located on The Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) consists of a number of resources, including successful program models and evidence-based toolkits.
If you have any questions about the program, please contact Jillian Causey: JCausey@hrsa.gov or 301-443-1493.