Rural and Frontier Health

The goal of NACCHO’s Rural and Frontier Health programs is to expand the public health capacity and capability of rural and frontier local health departments (LHDs) and communities.

Rural female doc image

NACCHO’s Rural and Frontier Health Initiatives:


1. Building Workforce Capacity of Rural and Frontier Local Health Departments to Respond to COVID-19

This is a two-year project focused on increasing the workforce capacity of local health departments that serve rural/frontier jurisdictions to effectively respond to, recover from, and build community resiliency related to the COVID pandemic and other public health emergencies.

The focus of the training and technical assistance will be on:

  • Emergency and Administrative Planning
  • Communications
  • Workforce Resilience
  • Mental Health & Well-Being
  • Health Equity

2. Rural Local Health Department Partnership in Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI), Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), and Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS)

In April 2022, NACCHO conducted an exploratory survey of Rural, Frontier, and Small LHDs to understand their engagement in HAI, AMR and/or AMS activities or initiatives. Forty-four (44) health departments answered the call and responded to the exploratory online survey.

3. Local Health Departments (LHDs) Informing the Evolution of Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP)

The purpose of this project is to increase the preparedness and response capacity of LHDs that serve rural and frontier jurisdictions to effectively respond to, recover from, and build community resiliency related to the COVID pandemic and future public health emergencies.

Starting in 2023, NACCHO will recruit Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Coordinators/Staff from rural local health departments (LHDs) to take part in a rural PHEP Subject Matter Expert (SME) Workgroup and regional listening sessions.

In these meetings, participants will review the current PHEP capabilities through the lens of a rural LHD to identify challenges faced meeting the PHEP capabilities given the current resources.

Interested in joining? Opportunities for recruitment will be posted in early 2023.

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        Rural Health and Covid-19

        A quick sheet which identifies challenges faced by rural areas specific to covid-19 and offers considerations for meeting each challenge.

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        Rural Health and Covid-19

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        COVID-19 Vaccine Resources for Rural Health Departments

        Tools and resources to help rural health departments address specific questions and concerns members of our community have about covid-19 vaccines.

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        Assembles programs and resources to assist organizations in implementing programs to address social determinants of health in rural communities.

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        Partner Organizations

          NACCHO's initiative aimed at building and fostering a community of local public health officials and partners with a common interest and expertise in rural health issues; and to develop an environment for mutual exchange of knowledge and experience.

          Past Topics include:

          • Rural Health Needs Assessment
          • Mental Health
          • Data and GIS Needs in Rural Communities to Promote Health Equity
          • Workforce Mental Health Strategies and Situation Reporting

          If you would like to be added to the mailing list for upcoming Rural Café sessions, please contact Victoria Freire at VFreire@naccho.org

          How to Connect?

          If you are interested in working with other rural health departments to share best practices and lessons learned, develop recommendations and tools to strengthen the public health preparedness capacity of your department, email NACCHO’s Preparedness Team with a description of your jurisdiction and why you want to join the workgroup.

            Become a Member

            Rural Health Virtual Communities Group

            Connect with other public health colleagues online using our member forum.

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            Rural Health Virtual Communities Group

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            Rural Public Health Preparedness Collaborative Workgroup

            Work with other rural health departments to share best practices and develop recommendations to strengthen public health preparedness.

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            Rural Public Health Preparedness Collaborative Workgroup

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            NACCHO’s Rural Health Section

            This is composed of NACCHO members and partners working on specific rural public health issues across multidisciplinary and programmatic expertise.

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            NACCHO’s Rural Health Section

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            For more information about our rural and frontier health initiatives, contact Victoria Freire.

            Community Health Program

            Victoria Freire

            Senior Program Analyst, Rural Health

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