Official Policy Positions
The National Rural Health Association is a member-driven association, so our members set our policies and positions that we advocate for at a national level. All members of the association are able to participate in that process by submitting potential policy positions for consideration. Positions are then adopted by the Rural Health Congress, which is made up of a broad representation of our members. For more information and to participate in the process, visit our Policy Position Development page.
If you have questions about any of these positions, please contact the NRHA Government Affairs office at 202-639-0550 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Official Policy Positions
The positions listed below are in the order they were originally adopted by the Rural Health Congress (formerly the Rural Health Policy Board). Positions that were adopted as part of the "Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series are in the chronological list as part of the series at the bottom of the page.
American Indian and Alaska Native Health, November 2006
Border Health, January 2010
Broadband Access in Rural America, September 2012
Comprehensive Quality Improvement in Rural Health Care, October 2007
Defining the Issues and the Principles of Recruitment and Retention, Introduction to the "The Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, January 2012
Definition of Rural, Policy Statement, April 2012
The National Rural Health Association strongly recommends that definitions of rural be specific to the purposes of the programs in which they are used and that these are referred to as programmatic designations and not as definitions. Programs targeting rural communities, rural providers, and rural residents do so for particular reasons, and those reasons should be the guidance for selecting the criteria for a programmatic designation (from among various criteria and existing definitions, each with its own statistical validity). This will ensure that a designation is appropriate for a specific program while limiting the possibilities that other unrelated programs adopt a definition, which is not created to fit that program.
Dental Health Professionals in Alaska Rural Communities, Policy Statement, June 2006
The National Rural Health Association believes rural communities should have access to the most appropriately trained dental health professionals relative to the size and demographics of the community. In frontier Alaska, tribal programs experience a 25 percent annual vacancy rate and 30 percent annual turnover rate for dentists. And, Alaska Native children have 2.5 times more dental disease than all US races. Additionally, the geography of Alaska increases the cost of providing dental care and many villages face economic conditions that make support of a full-time dentist unfeasible. Therefore, the National Rural Health Association fully endorses the provision of oral health care via dental health aides and therapists in small, frontier communities in Alaska. Click here for the full text.
Elder Health in Rural America, February 2013
Food and Nutrition, January 2011
Frontier Definition, October 2008
Future of the Frontier Extended Stay Clinic, April 2012
Future of Rural Health, February 2013
Health Disparities, Policy Statement, May 2007:
A population having health disparities is one that exhibits/demonstrates significantly poorer health status, life expectancy, access to and quality of health care such as those associated with lifestyle and health behaviors, social and ethnic discrimination, poverty, geography or marginalization.
Health Home, October 2008
Issues of Preserving Rural Professional Quality of Life, Paper #14 to the "The Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, May 2006
Medicare Advantage for Rural America?, February 2007
Pharmacy, May 2009
Primary Eye Care, Paper #8 to the "Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, October 2009
Primary Eye Care in Rural America, October 2007
Principles for Community Paramedicine Programs, September 2012
Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, May 2006
Responsive Rural Health Delivery System, October 2008
Rural Economic Development, May 2009
Rural Graduate Medical Education, June 2003
Rural Health Careers Pipeline: Kindergarten to 12th Grade Education, Paper #7 to the "The Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, February 2006
Rural Health Information Technology, February 2006
Rural Health Professions, January 2004
Rural Public Health, June 2004
Rural Veterans: A Special Concern for Rural Health Advocates, February 2007 (An update of a paper passed in February 2004)
Streamlining Telemedicine Licensure to Improve Health, February 2013
Telemedicine Reimbursement, May 2010
Telemedicine Credentialing, May 2010
Under-insurance, October 2009
A series of policy papers on the Rural Health Careers Pipeline
These will be posted as they are approved in both this list and above in the chronological listing.
- Introduction: Defining the Issues and the Principles of Recruitment and Retention, June 2005
- Number 1: Physicians, November 2006
- Number 2: Nursing, December 2005
- Number 3: Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, May 2006
- Number 4: Oral Health, November 2006
- Number 5: Behavioral Health, October 2008
- Number 6: Rural Public Health, April 2007
- Number 7: Rural Health Careers Pipeline: Kindergarten to 12th Grade Education, February 2006
- Number 10: Hospital Administration, May 2007
- Number 11: Allied Health, October 2008
- Number 12: Physician Assistants, October 2008
- Number 13: Emergency Medical Services, November 2005
- Number 14: Issues of Preserving Rural Professional Quality of Life, May 2006