To accommodate our diverse membership, NRHA asks its members to affiliate with its constituency groups. NRHA's broad membership represents people from a variety of professions and interests, including doctors, nurses, administrators, clinicians, non-physician providers, academicians, researchers, mental health care providers, hospitals, students and many other subgroups. All of these individuals and organizations bring their own interests and agendas to our common goal of ensuring affordable and accessible quality health care for rural populations.
Through its constituency groups, NRHA is structured to represent these individual concerns as well as the more encompassing interests of the entire membership. Each group elects a chair to serve on NRHA's Board of Trustees and Rural Health Policy Board. In addition, constituency groups are allowed one representative on the Rural Health Policy Board for each 50 affiliated votes, with the chair representing the first 100 votes.
Individual members of NRHA have one vote, while organizational and supporting members have two, which can be split between more than one constituency group. Individuals can affiliate with more than one constituency group but can vote in only one. The individual interests and agendas are then given a voice in the leadership of NRHA, helping to determine its policies and direction.
There are currently nine recognized constituency groups within NRHA, and several more are in formation. Click on any of the constituency groups listed below to find out more. To join a constituency group, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to enter your preferred CG directly into your profile.
- Community Health Status
- Clinical Services
- Federally Qualified Health Centers
- Hospitals and Community Health Systems
- Diverse Underserved Populations
- Research and Education
- Rural Health Clinics
- Statewide Health Resources
This group represents members interested in community-level policy development and advocacy. Recognizing that change occurs at the community level, this group works to ensure that local policy is well informed and that policies contribute to promoting access to health care services and tangible improvements in the community’s overall health status.
NRHA members working or interested in rural federally qualified health centers (FQHC) are served by this group. Members in this CG focus on interests and issues regarding policy, regulation and collaboration with other health care organizations of concern to FQHCs.
This group addresses the concerns of NRHA members associated with facilities or organizations that work with populations with unique health care needs, such as the rural elderly, American Indians, migrant and seasonal farm workers, and those needing mental health care.
The health care interests and issues of NRHA members working or living in sparsely-populated areas are served by this group. Members come from all areas-hospitals, medical practices, public health nurses, emergency medical technicians, state health organizations, research and more.
Hospitals and Community Health Systems CG
This group is NRHA's largest, representing anyone affiliated with rural hospitals or hospitals with significant interest in rural areas.
Michael F. French
The Research and Education Constituency Group is one of the largest in the NRHA. Its membership includes practitioners and scientists located at academic medical centers as well as persons involved in health professions education in rural communities. These individuals include community-based faculty, who teach clinical practice to rotating and regionally based health professions students, as well as administrative and support staff who make such important work possible. Area Health Education Centers are well represented among the membership as are the nation's Rural Health Research Centers.
Among our more important activities are the management of several sessions at the NRHA Annual National Conference; co-sponsorship of other educational conferences throughout the year, along with other constituency groups and the association; and support for The Journal of Rural Health, which is published by the NRHA. As active members of the Rural Health Policy Board, our representatives have authored or co-authored a number of the association's issues papers on public policy. We invite and encourage input from NRHA members interested in health professions education or research designed to enhance our understanding of rural health issues.
The NRHA Rural Health Clinics Constituency Group is comprised of health care professionals and others who are interested in encouraging the delivery of quality primary care services in rural areas and in the development, organization, operations, regulation, reimbursement, support and success of federally designated Rural Health Clinics. These clinics are designed to provide primary health care services in medically underserved areas or health professional shortage areas.
This constituency strives to:
Lynda Bergsma, PhD
NRHA members interested in building or strengthening statewide rural health care systems make up this constituency group.
Student CGChair:Jenna Kennedy Sloan
KUMC Rural Medicine Interest Group
This group is comprised of student members, whose input is very important to NRHA since they are the future workforce and leaders in rural America. As a member of the Student CG, students can come together with their peers, educators, administrators, health professionals and other stakeholders to dialogue about rural health and its related issues such as workforce and policy.
Forming Constituency Groups
In order to become a recognized constituency group within the NRHA, a group of members with a specific interest must gather 75 signatures of members willing to affiliate with that constituency. The group can then petition the Board of Trustees for provisional status. When provisional status is granted, the constituency then has one year in which to increase its membership to 100 to gain full recognition as a constituency group.
In addition to the constituency groups already within the NRHA, members are considering forming several others. For information on these forming constituencies, contact the NRHA at 521 E. 63rd Street, Kansas City, MO 64110; (816) 756-3140; E-mail:email@example.com.