University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center

The University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center conducts policy-relevant research to improve the lives of rural residents and families, to advance health equity, and to enhance the vitality of rural communities.


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About the Research Center

Experts at the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center (RHRC) conduct research to advance equity and improve health and well-being among those who are frequently absent from policy discussions, but whose lives are deeply impacted by policy decisions. All work is informed by the lived experiences of rural people, families, and communities that experience disproportionate health risks and exhibit disproportionate resilience.

The University of Minnesota RHRC studies access to and quality of health care and population health outcomes in order to build the evidence base for policymaking. Their work maintains a focus on eliminating inequities based on geography, race, gender, nationality, age, and ability. They are committed to the highest standards of excellence in research and to communicating results to academic and policy audiences as well as to the people and communities to which the research pertains. The core principles of the University of Minnesota RHRC are:

  • Conducting research to inform the development, implementation, and evaluation of health policy that impacts rural residents and communities.
  • Studying the impacts of policies that affect health care access and quality and population health outcomes across the lifespan, answering questions voiced by rural residents and communities.
  • Focusing on groups that experience disproportionate health risks because of structural inequities, including communities of color, Indigenous people, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, women and girls, older adults, and people with limited incomes in rural communities.
  • Educating policymakers about the consequences of their decisions for the communities and population groups studied.

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.

  • 2013 - current
  • 2008 - 2009
  • 1999 - 2006