Update on the Rural Health Research Center

The following update is provided by William Fay, MD, ICTS Governing Council member, Senior Associate Dean for Research at the University of Missouri School of Medicine.

There are significant disparities in the health and care of rural inhabitants (who comprise about 20% of US residents) compared to the general population, particularly in vulnerable subgroups, such as children and the elderly. Research is vital to understanding the reasons for rural health disparities and developing effective strategies to alleviate them. To foster rural health research, the ICTS, in collaboration with the University of Missouri School of Medicine, recently created the Rural Health Research Center (RHRC), which provides key personnel, connections, and processes to drive research advances in rural health. The RHRC is co-funded by the ICTS and the MU School of Medicine. Kevin Everett, PhD (everettk@health.missouri.edu), and Jane McElroy, PhD (mcelroyja@health.missouri.edu), faculty members in the MU Department of Family and Community Medicine, are the co-directors of the RHRC, which has the following main objectives:

  • Assist ICTS investigators to initiate and conduct research involving rural participants
  • Foster interdisciplinary collaborations, including those involving MU Extension faculty and staff
  • Increase participation of rural subjects in clinical trials
  • Develop a rural research practice network that supports implementation science by allowing researchers, primary care providers, and other professionals to collaborate
  • Cultivate community engagement in rural health research

ICTS investigators with research interests and questions related to rural health are encouraged to reach out to Drs. Everett or McElroy.