Rural Health Equity Research Center

The East Tennessee State University (ETSU)/NORC Rural Health Equity Research Center maintains a primary focus on rural substance misuse and addiction, in addition to a broad set of health policy topics that include access to mental health services, rural payment and delivery models, access and utilization of social services, leading causes of death, adverse childhood experiences, rural hospital bypass, rural public health, women's and children's health, and rural aging, among others. The ETSU/NORC Rural Health Equity Research Center is a partnership of the ETSU Addiction Science Center, the ETSU Center for Rural Health Research, and the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis.

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About the Research Center

The ETSU/NORC Rural Health Equity Research Center's mission is to develop strategies and recommendations for policymakers, rural healthcare providers, and rural communities to mitigate the individual and community-level impacts of substance use disorder (SUD), improve access to health care and social services, and improve population health. Research staff work to create policy solutions that are responsive to challenges rural communities face in addressing SUD and rural health care and social service issues, including workforce shortages, lack of transportation, long wait times for appointments, payment and reimbursement challenges, social service availability, limited specialty services, and limited rural-focused research to understand rural population health needs. Underpinning all of the center's work is the recognition of strengths and assets within rural communities and strategies focused on leveraging community strengths to address rural health challenges.

The ETSU/NORC Rural Health Equity Research Center builds on a history of successful collaboration between the ETSU Addiction Science Center, ETSU's Center for Rural Health Research, and the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis. This partnership bridges NORC's long history of rural health research and evaluation and ETSU's commitment to honor its rural heritage.