About the Oregon Office of Rural Health

About the Oregon ORH

The mission of the Oregon Office of Rural Health (ORH) is to improve the quality, availability, and accessibility of health care for rural Oregonians.

The Office partnered with Oregon Health & Science University in 1989 to increase its ability to bring statewide resources to rural areas. The office engages in four principal activities:

Planning, Policy Development and Advocacy
The state legislature has charged the office with “coordinating” the provision of health care to rural Oregonians and developing legislative proposals to benefit the health of rural Oregonians.

Functions include:

  • Leadership and participation in federal and state groups
  • Representation of rural interests to Congress and Legislature
  • Advocacy with federal and state agencies
  • Coordination with other agencies and organizations, including collaborative policy development

Information Clearinghouse
The office operates an information clearinghouse, which provides rural health information to health care providers, elected officials and government agencies, educators and members of the public.

Activities include:

  • Annual rural health conference
  • Customized community profiles
  • Standard and customized datasets and maps depicting vital statistics,workforce, health status and utilization information
  • Regular newsletters
  • Web site
  • Independent research/reports
  • Grants information

Provider Recruitment and Retention
Our Provider Recruitment and Retention Services help rural communities recruit and retain primary care providers.

Services include:

  • Consultation with practice sites regarding recruitment and retention strategies
  • Promotion of practice opportunities to physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants
  • Administration of state income tax credit for rural practitioners
  • Information on scholarship, J-1 Visa, and student loan repayment programs

Technical Assistance to Communities
The office offers assistance to rural communities, often on-site, to strengthen their health care delivery systems.

Assistance is offered with:

  • Hospital financial issues and access to federal programs
  • Strategic planning
  • Hospital and clinic board training
  • Team building and conflict resolution
  • Health district formation
  • Needs assessment and analysis
  • Rural Health Clinic and Federally Qualified Health Center development and certification requirements
  • Community health development.

The Oregon Office of Rural Health is proud of its 30-year track record of success and is supported by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, OHSU and the state of Oregon. The $1,618,548 annual budget is 29 percent state-funded and 66 percent federally funded. Five percent of the budget is generated from service fees.