Rural and Frontier Listening Tour

ORH Listening Tour

The Oregon Office of Rural Health coordinates a Listening Tour of rural and frontier health facilities to discuss and share current challenges, and to encourage partner collaboration to address solutions.


The 2017 Listening Tour included 56 rural and frontier health facilities and 25 partners. The goal of the 2017 report is to objectively address one of the challenges consistently raised during the Listening Tour- the lack of available information and clarity on the roles, responsibilities and authority of the various behavioral health providers (e.g. Local Mental Health Authority, County Mental Health Provider, Coordinated Care Organization, Hospital, Clinic). Participating partners were asked to submit information on their efforts to address the identified challenges.

Four challenge areas were identified:

  • Practice Sustainability


2016 Report

The 2016 Listening Tour expanded to include all rural and frontier health facilities. Facilities were asked what state partner organizations they would like to attend the visit. Thirty-six partners from 16 organizations participated in the tour. Forty-five facilities participated.

Four challenge areas were identified:

  • Availability and Affordability of Housing
  • Nurse and Credentialed Medical Assistant Shortages
  • Health Information Technology
  • Patient Access to Primary Care Providers, Specialists, and Acute Care Placement Options


2014 Report

The first Listening Tour brought together state partners that work closely with Oregon's rural hospitals in order to collaboratively learn more about what the hospitals think is important and challenging during a period of health reform. Tour attendees included: Kelly Ballas, then Chief Financial Officer of the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems and ORH. Twenty-seven rural and frontier hospitals participated.

Five challenge areas were identified:

  • Availability of mental health services
  • Sustainability of health reform
  • Availability of long term care
  • Improving access and quality of care
  • Workforce challenges

For questions or to request a high-resolution PDF of the 2017 Report, please contact:

Rebecca Dobert, Field Services Program Coordinator | (503) 494-6627