More than 20% of the U.S. population resides in rural areas where poverty, cultural factors, and provider shortages combine to impose a variety of health disparities. Located in a federally designated Health Professionals Shortage Area (HPSA), surrounded by 21 counties classified as being in “rural persistent poverty”, Georgia Southern University’s Rural Health Research Institute is uniquely poised to be the leader in rural health research in the state, the region, and the nation. To achieve its mission of improving health outcomes in rural areas and promoting research focused on rural health issues, the Rural Health Research Institute:
- Conducts high quality, interdisciplinary research focused on improving the health of rural residents.
- Engages in research initiatives to reduce health disparities among vulnerable and underserved rural populations.
- Supports development of rural health researchers through mentoring and funding programs.
- Creates development of rural health researchers through mentoring and funding programs.
- Creates interdisciplinary research teams that connect researchers from a variety of fields.
- Fosters mentoring relationships between faculty and students who focus on rural health issues.
- Provides hands-on research and training experiences for students across campus, including graduate students in the Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.), Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.), Master of Public Health (M.P.H.), Master of Science in Psychology (M.S.), and Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) programs, as well as numerous undergraduate majors.
- Engages community partners in collaborative research and outreach efforts.
- Maintains an active communications plan to disseminate research findings to key stakeholders, including policy-makers.
- Serves as a resource for researchers and communities working to improve rural health.