The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) is proud to announce that it has received a one-time, unrestricted donation in the amount of $7 million from philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott.
“These funds will be utilized in the priority areas of rural leadership development, health equity, state capacity building, and educational and policy programing,” says NRHA CEO Alan Morgan. “NRHA staff will work directly with the association’s elected member leaders to complete a rural health environmental scan and establish a process to ensure these funds are allocated to projects that will demonstrate a clear outcome and provide a direct benefit to the health of rural communities.”
At a time when the pandemic has particularly impacted rural communities and health care, this investment will help NRHA improve health care access and outcomes for all rural Americans.
NRHA has a strong grassroots network that helped secure more than $21 billion in emergency funding for rural health care providers, worked directly with federal agencies to boost rural COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake, and ensured vital legislative and regulatory changes to allow rural patients to receive health care via telehealth during the pandemic. NRHA has also worked directly with rural hospitals, rural health clinics, and federally qualified health centers across the country to ensure they have the resources to care for their communities. This generous donation will empower the association to provide even more long-term support beyond the public health emergency.
“This gift is a recognition of the history of outstanding work that NRHA has undertaken in addressing rural health issues and rural health disparities,” says NRHA President Beth O’Connor. “The funds will greatly expand our reach and ability to improve the health care system for 62 million Americans who call rural home.”
Backed by longstanding support from private and public partners, NRHA and its members have initiated and implemented critical rural programming that comprises three-fourths of the association’s overall revenue. These include developing and supporting the now 43 state rural health associations across the country since 1992, training and creating a network of more than 2,000 community health workers, developing rural medical education programming, and convening and establishing border health and oral health initiatives. Additionally, for 27 years NRHA has convened the Health Equity Council and Health Equity Conference – the only event of its kind in the nation – creating a forum for vital discussions related to underserved rural multiracial, multicultural, LGBTQ+, veteran, homeless, and other populations.
This unprecedented gift is the largest unrestricted donation in NRHA’s 45-year history and will be utilized to further the mission of the organization. Scott does not accept solicitations or proposals from organizations.
NRHA is a nonprofit organization working to improve the health and well-being of rural Americans and provide leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education, and research. NRHA’s membership consists of diverse individuals and organizations, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health.