Identification of High-Need Rural Counties Lacking an FQHC Presence
FQHC expansion has been a key component of expanding access to care in rural areas since 1975, when the Community Health Center program was established under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act. While existing FQHCs are broadly distributed across the U.S., there are still many rural communities that lack access to this resource. The purpose of the proposed research is two-fold: to identify rural counties with the greatest health disparities as potential targets for FQHC expansion, and to ascertain perceived barriers to such expansion through interviews with local officials. Given the high proportion of minority populations served by FQHCs nationwide, this project aligns with the SCRHRC focus area of disparities among rural vulnerable and minority populations.