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Southwest Rural Health Research Center

The Southwest Rural Health Research Center (SRHRC) is nationally recognized and funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. The center was established to address the needs of rural and underserved populations across Texas and the nation by bringing together a unique combination of faculty expertise in health policy, chronic disease, health economics, aging, long-term care, health law, and epidemiology and biostatistics.

Rural Healthy People 2030


Some of the distinctive cultural, social, economic, and geographic characteristics that define rural America place rural populations at greater risk for a myriad of diseases and health (challenges instead of disorders) disorders. It is this recognition of the unique health challenges faced by rural America that served as the impetus for our once-a-decade Rural Healthy People publications.

These publications discuss the top twenty rural health priorities for the current decade, as chosen by the people who live and work in rural areas. You’ll discover the latest research and best practices for each priority written by leading experts in the field. You’ll also find examples of community-based programs that could serve as models in reaching rural and minority populations. Don’t miss the Rural Healthy People 2030 edition, hot off the press in 2023. You can also access the previous editions from 2020 and 2010.

Rural Healthy People publications are one-of-a-kind national resources equipping health policy planners at the federal and state levels with vital information, and empowering rural leaders and health care providers with critical tools for responding effectively to the needs of the communities they serve.


Current Center Projects

Rural Healthy People 2030: Challenges and Opportunities for the New Decade

With the consultation of rural stakeholders, the top 20 target health outcomes, based on the Healthy People 2030 objectives, will be described to identify the key health challenges that the rural population faces. Faculty and staff are drafting chapters for the publication with the help of student research assistants. The final publication is planned to be released Fall of 2023.

The Intersection of Race/Ethnicity and Rurality in Pediatric Asthma: Trends and Predictors

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) has previous research on pediatric asthma; however, little is known about the disparities associated with children's asthma outcomes such as race/ethnicity and rurality. This project will provide a more contemporary examination of the pediatric asthma burden across the urban-rural continuum.

Evaluating the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy's Community-Based Division Funding Programs: Does the Performance Improvement and Measurement Systems (PIMS) Database Adequately Capture Impact?

cbd hospitalThe Community-Based Division (CBD) of the FORHP oversees the dissemination of federal funds to community networks and providers who aim to address rural health challenges. This project will involve an examination of three types of CBD programs.

Trends and Predictors of Urban-Rural and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Hospitalizations Associated with the Top 5 Cancers

Researchers will examine trends and predictors of hospitalizations associated with the top five cancers in the U.S.: skin, lung, prostrate, breast, and colorectal. The research will help to understand the hospitalization burden associated with the top 5 cancers, and the extent to which this burden varies by race, ethnicity, and rurality. This project will also serve to update the FORHP's cancer research portfolio.

Trends and Predictors of Urban-Rural and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Hospitalizations Tied to Acute Myocardial Infarction

Researchers of this project will examine hospitalization trends and explore the role of income level/poverty, insurance status, census region, race/ethnicity, and the nature of patients’ residence in predicting hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarctions (AMIs). The project aims to highlight variances in hospital-based outcomes along the urban-rural continuum and among diverse sub-populations for AMIs in the U.S. and expand the FORHP’s portfolio on this topic. 

Other SRHRC Programs


Texas Cancer Screening, Training, Education, and Prevention (C-STEP)

The Texas Cancer Screening, Training, Education and Prevention Program, or  Texas C-STEP, is conducted through the  Texas A&M Health Family Care. Texas C-STEP provides critical safety-net services, such as cancer screenings and certain advanced diagnostics, to uninsured, underserved, and low-income Texans through an established family medicine residency training program.

Texas C-STEP is funded by grants from the  Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas. The grants provide much needed access to women’s health services and colonoscopy, while also enhancing screening capacity and physician training. The program serves as a state and nationwide model for translating cancer screening services, such as colonoscopies, into the family practice setting.

Funding for this prevention and screening project has dramatically increased the availability of various cancer screenings for safety-net patients, while increasing the number of family medicine physicians trained to conduct colonoscopy screenings. Community health workers provide culturally-appropriate outreach, education and navigation services to the patients who receive cancer screenings at the Texas A&M Health Family Care clinic.