• Building Partnerships for Better Health in Rural Communities

    The Massachusetts (MA) State Office of Rural Health (SORH) builds partnerships in order to increase access to health services, develop better systems of care, and improve the health status of rural communities.

    The SORH was first established in 1994 at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).   The MDPH SORH is funded through multiple federal grants from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy at HRSA with considerable additional matching and in-kind resources from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and other collaborating partners.

    The program has developed a successful institutional framework that links rural communities with state and federal resources to help create solutions to rural health problems.

    Major areas of activity are:

    • Collection and dissemination of rural health information through a variety of means.
    • Coordination of rural health networking activities within the state and region.
    • Provision of technical assistance for planning, development, and implementation of local rural health projects and initiatives.
    • Providing leadership to strengthen local, state, and federal partnerships and secure additional resources to improve rural health.
    • Administration of the MA Rural Hospital Programs including the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program and the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program.
    • Administration of Massachusetts’ participation in the National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network (3R Net).
    • Leadership and coordination for special rural initiatives such as rural healthcare systems transformation, telehealth including telemedicine, community based behavioral health services, community engagement strategies and community coalition development, healthcare quality, operational, and financial improvement, the development of community based health safety net services and new models of rural healthcare, healthcare workforce recruitment and retention, sexual assault and family violence services, oral health, primary stroke services, and EMS.


    This program is a part of the Division of Health Access .

    Contact Information

    Cathleen McElligott, Director State Office of Rural Health
    MA Department of Public Health
    180 Beaman Street
    West Boylston, MA 01583
    Telephone: 508-792-7880 ext. 2172
    Fax: 508-792-7706
    Email: Cathleen.mcelligott@state.ma.us

    Ronnie Rom, Rural Hospital Program Coordinator
    MA Department of Public Health
    23 Service Center
    Northampton, MA 01060
    Telephone: 413-586-7525, ext. 1154
    Fax: 413-784-1037
    Email: Ronnie.rom@state.ma.us

    Kirby Lecy, Rural Health Outreach and Communications Coordinator
    MA Department of Public Health
    180 Beaman Street
    West Boylston, MA 01583
    Telephone: 508-792-7880, ext. 2167
    Fax: 508-792-7706
    Email: Kirby.lecy@state.ma.us




    This information is provided by the Division of Health Access within the Department of Public Health.