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University of Arizona Granted $4.4M to Continue Rural Health Services

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The University of Arizona has been granted $4.4 million by the US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to improve health and wellness services in the state’s rural areas.

In a press release, the university said that Arizona is one of the largest states by area, isolating many of its rural communities from human services and healthcare providers.

People living in rural areas experience additional challenges resulting in significant health disparities, particularly Native American and Latinx populations, according to the school.

“We are very honored and excited to receive competitive continuation funding from the HRSA over the next five years to build on the more than 30-year history of the State Office of Rural Health Program here in Arizona,” Director of the Center for Rural Health, Dan Derksen, said.

“This program shows how federal, state, and community collaboration can really make a difference in the lives of rural Arizonans,” he added.

Core Areas of Focus

The program aims to assist states in improving rural healthcare by maintaining a “focal point” within each state.

The Arizona State Office of Rural Health is looking to focus on collecting and disseminating information to rural healthcare providers concerning grant opportunities, policy updates, best practices, research findings, and other rural health issues.

To ensure effective implementation of the initiative, Arizona will coordinate rural healthcare activities in the state and provide technical assistance to public and nonprofit entities for development and sustainment of health programs and services.

Prioritizing Rural Healthcare

In addition to Arizona, the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) recently received a $7.6 million federal grant for healthcare students to work in underserved communities in rural Mississippi.

The university’s Department of Family Medicine Clerkship Director Sheree Melton even said that rural hospitals have begun contracting student grant recipients to be their regular employees after graduation.

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