Analysis of an Innovative Approach to Target Rural Communities in Public Health Funding


In 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) carved out $427 million in state funding to focus on combatting COVID-19 in rural communities as part of a multi-billion dollar national initiative to address COVID-19-related health disparities among at-risk and underserved populations. This brief explores the circumstances around this emphasis on rural America by interviewing relevant decision-makers and key stakeholders. The analysis indicated the funds were well supported by stakeholders and were being used in creative ways. It also allowed more rural stakeholders to be involved in public health decision making. Although it's too soon to evaluate the funds' impact on rural communities, and there have been some infrastructure and capacity challenges in using the funds, most stakeholders would encourage rural carve outs for future grant programs.

Southwest Rural Health Research Center
Timothy Callaghan, Gogoal Falia, Earl Greer, Maya Ramy, David Washburn