Identification of High-Need Rural Counties Lacking an FQHC Presence

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2016
Project completed:
May 2019

Federally Qualified Health Center (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 US, there are still many rural communities that lack access to this resource. The purpose of the research is two-fold: identifying  rural counties with the greatest health disparities as potential targets for FQHC expansion, and ascertaining 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.