The Rural Health Research Program (RHRP) is built on the forty-four year history of rural health services research at the University of North Carolina’s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. The program draws on the experience of a wide variety of scholars and researchers, analysts, managers, and health service providers associated with the Center. The Program also has an ongoing partnership with the NC Foundation for Advanced Health Programs, Inc. and the Office of Rural Health and Community Care in the NC Department of Human Resources.
The RHRP is working to address problems in rural health care delivery through basic research, policy-relevant analyses, the geographic and graphical presentation of data, and the dissemination of information to organizations and individuals in the health care field who can use this information for policy or administrative purposes. The Program’s research involves primary data collection, analysis of large secondary data sets, and in-depth policy analysis. The Program brings together a diverse, multidisciplinary team including clinicians in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, mental health, and other professions and disciplines along with experts in biostatistics, geography, epidemiology, sociology, anthropology, and political science to address complex social issues affecting rural populations.
The Program’s present policy analysis and research agenda focuses on the following substantive areas: measures of underservice, Medicare reimbursement policy, Medicaid, and access to care. The Program also has an active dissemination component and emphasizes the use of geographic methods in research
Nested within the Rural Health Research Program is the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center (NC RHR & PAC), one of six federally-designated Rural Health Research Centers, that conducts policy relevant rural health research. In addition, the Rural Health Research Program conducts performance monitoring of the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program as part of the Flex Monitoring Team and provides rapid response for rural-focused data analysis as part its Rapid Response for Rural Data Analysis and Issue Specific Rural Research Project. These projects are funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration. To visit NC RHR & PAC website or the Flex Monitoring Team website please click on the links below.