skip to main content

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.

Current Center Projects

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

Current Projects 1This project builds on past work from Rural Healthy People 2010 and Rural Healthy People 2020 as well as new data from Rural Healthy People 2030, to analyze variations in top-ranked Healthy People objectives for rural America over time as determined by rural stakeholders.

Updating and Exploring the Burden of Potentially Avoidable Emergency Department Visits in Rural U.S. Communities

ambulance-image.jpgThis project will summarize the literature outlining the evidence on the disproportionate burden of pediatric ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC)-related hospital-based care along the urban-rural continuum to date.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities Shouldered by Rural Americans: Evidence from the Peer-Reviewed and Grey Literature On the Five Leading Causes of Death

Current Projects 4This project will identify and summarize the literature on the 5 leading causes of death particularly as they relate to racial and ethnic disparities along the urban-rural continuum.

An Innovative Approach to Targeting Rural Communities in Public Health Funding

Current Projects 2The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) launched a new initiative to address COVID-19 related health disparities and to advance health equity among underserved and at-risk populations.This project will provide critical insight into the evolving relationship between the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) and the CDC over time, lessons learned from this grant program, and how those lessons might be applied to future efforts to carve out rural-focused funds from broader grant projects.

Federal Agencies' Recent Collaboration and Innovation in Rural Cancer Control: A Model for Practice

Current Projects 3The investigators will conduct an examination of the multi-year effort by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to focus on rural cancer issues and its collaboration with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

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.

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.

Rural Healthy People 2020

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 disorders. It is this recognition of the unique health challenges faced by rural America that served as the impetus for Rural Healthy People 2020.

This highly requested update to the 2010 version (Rural Healthy People 2010: A Companion Document to Healthy People 2010) is a one-of-a-kind national resource providing federal and state health policy planners with valuable information, and rural leaders and health care providers with critical tools for responding to the needs of the communities they serve.

In these volumes, the top twenty most critical rural health priorities for the current decade – as identified by rural stakeholders – are discussed with accompanying literature reviews.

RHP2020 Volume 1

Volume 1 includes chapters on rural health priorities 1-10:


  • Access to Quality Health Services
  • Nutrition and Weight Status
  • Diabetes
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse
  • Heart Disease and Stroke
  • Physical Activity
  • Older Adults
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Tobacco Use
Download Volume 1

RHP2020 Volume 2

Volume 2 includes chapters on rural health priorities 10-20:

  • Cancer
  • Health Education
  • Oral Health
  • Quality of Life
  • Immunizations, Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health Infrastructure
  • Sexual Health and Family Planning
  • Injury and Violence Prevention
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Information Technology
Download Volume 2