The State Office of Rural Health (SORH) builds partnerships to improve access to health services, build better systems of care, and improve health status in rural communities.
The SORH assesses rural health needs, maintains a focal point and voice for rural health within the state, further strengthens a framework that links rural communities across the state with State and Federal resources, strengthens rural health care delivery systems, and develops local leadership and rural health networks for addressing long term solutions to rural health problems. Other key activities are the collection and dissemination of information, the coordination of resources and a number of programs and initiatives to improve access to rural healthcare services at all levels, and provision of a wide range of technical assistance.
The SORH staff works closely with a vast statewide network of rural healthcare organizations, community groups, local officials, state staff, and statewide associations and other organizations from the Berkshires to the Islands. The 713,968 people in the 65% of the state's landmass live in small rural towns in western, central, and coastal southeastern MA.
For rural workforce, the SORH promotes, and assists with, rural health care workforce recruitment and retention strategies for a variety of professions, offers assistance to communities seeking federal healthcare shortage designations, operates Massachusetts' participation in the National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network (3RNet) linking Massachusetts rural healthcare organizations with a national pool of health worker candidates and additional national workforce expertise, and is developing pipeline workforce strategies for multiple healthcare professions.
This information is provided by the State Office of Rural Health within the Department of Public Health.