Upper Midwest Rural Health Research Center

FORHP-funded RHRC, 2004-2012
Examines issues and topics primarily related to measuring and improving rural health care quality.

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About the Research Center

The Upper Midwest Rural Health Research Center is a partnership that brings together the resources and expertise of two research centers with extensive experience conducting policy-relevant rural health research and disseminating research findings to federal and state policymakers. The lead organization for the collaborative effort, the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, is located in the Division of Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota. The second partner, the University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health, is located in the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The Center's area of concentration is quality of care in rural areas.

The Center's mission is to conduct high quality, empirically driven, policy-relevant research that can be disseminated in an effective and timely manner to help shape the delivery and financing of rural health services. The specific aims of the Center are:

  • To conduct quantitative and qualitative health services research and policy analysis in a conceptually sound and methodologically rigorous manner on rural health issues that are important to both short- and long-term rural health policy formulation
  • To disseminate the results of original research to local, state, and federal policymakers who play key roles in the development of legislation and the administration of rural health care programs
  • To provide technical assistance to health care policymakers, helping them to understand the unique characteristics of rural health care systems and to implement programs and interventions that address rural health care needs
  • To train and develop future rural health services researchers by providing opportunities for doctoral student research assistant positions on our research projects.

The Center's projects address key forces that are shaping quality of care and quality improvement in rural areas, including: the use of technology and health professional staffing to improve quality of care and patient safety; quality measurement and public reporting as tools for improving quality; and the provision of financial incentives for improving care.

Research History

The Rural Health Research Centers and Policy Analysis Initiatives are funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). These Centers are funded through multi-year cooperative agreements. This Center has produced research products funded by FORHP during the following years.

  • 2004 - 2012