WWAMI Rural Health Research Center

The mission of the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho (WWAMI) Rural Health Research Center (RHRC) is to improve and sustain rural health through research that engages policymakers, planners, and practitioners advancing equity in rural access to care.


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About the Research Center

The WWAMI RHRC conducts policy-oriented research with an emphasis on the rural health care workforce and access to care. Established in 1988, the WWAMI RHRC is based in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine and works closely with our co-located research centers, the Collaborative for Rural Primary care Research, Education, and Practice (Rural PREP) and the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies. We also collaborate with and serve as a resource to other academic departments and schools, government agencies, professional organizations, and other stakeholders regionally and nationally.

The WWAMI RHRC team spans multiple disciplines, including sociology, biostatistics, geography, health economics, medicine, and allied health, benefiting from the expertise of clinician researchers in many of our studies. Our major areas of inquiry include:

  • Rural health care provider supply and demand
  • Training, recruitment, and retention of rural health professionals
  • Geographic access to home health, obstetrical, behavioral health, and emergency medical services
  • Access to specific therapies and treatments, such as recommended cancer screening and medication for opioid use disorder

In all of our work, we seek to provide policymakers, planners, and providers with evidence to inform health care policy and practice to improve rural health.

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.

  • 1988 - current