OSU Center for Rural Health awarded $3 million grant
Thursday, March 16, 2023
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The OSU Center for Rural Health has been awarded $3 million as part of a larger Health Equity grant awarded to the Oklahoma State Department of Health from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The funding will be divided among three key areas to improve and expand health care in rural and underserved communities in Oklahoma. Approximately $1.4 million will fund scholarships for OSU Center for Health Sciences rural and tribal medical track students and physician assistant students.
About $400,000 will be used to purchase and deploy two cargo vans for telemedicine and mobile health efforts in rural Oklahoma. The remaining funds will go toward community-based programs and partnerships with OSU Extension on nutrition, water quality, and broadband access initiatives.
“The OSU Center for Rural Health’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for rural and underserved Oklahomans,” said Denna Wheeler, the center’s executive director. “At the center we collaborate with state agencies, academic institutions, and rural communities to address health inequity through a variety of grant funded programs including rural hospital support, health care workforce development, telehealth technical assistance and research.”
“At the center we collaborate with state agencies, academic institutions, and rural communities to address health inequity through a variety of grant funded programs including rural hospital support, health care workforce development, telehealth technical assistance and research.”
Recently completed community health needs assessments highlighted gaps in basic public services including access to clean drinking water and high-speed broadband service as well as a need for additional emergency care training at small rural and critical access hospitals.
The funding will also help address health disparities among high risk and historically underserved populations in rural communities.
“OSU Center for Health Sciences is committed to improving access to quality health and public services for rural and underserved populations,” Wheeler said. “We are excited to work collaboratively with OSU Extension, and state agencies like the Oklahoma State Department of Health to implement community focused health equity initiatives.”
The Center for Rural Health was established in 2001 and is one of OSU-CHS’ Centers of Excellence.