About

The National Center for Rural Health works was founded in 1998 as an initiative to expand public awareness of the economic importance of health services and to stress health care’s critical role in rural development. NCRHW has provided information to support local decision-makers in rural communities to become proactive and intricately involved in planning and supporting their local health systems. The ultimate objective has been to maintain local health care services, including critical access hospitals, to result in healthier rural communities and economies.

With the retirement of the founder of the Center Dr. Gerald Doeksen in 2017. The National Center for Rural Health Works was moved from OK State to Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, with long time advisory board member Ann K. Peton, MPH becoming Director of the center.

Goals of National Center for Rural Health Works:

  • Be the focal point for analysis of the economic impact of selected health policies on rural America
  • Develop tools that clients (states, counties, local communities, hospitals, etc.) can use to measure the economic impact of health care services.
  • Develop tools that decision-makers can use to assess the need for new or expanded rural health care services in a community
  • Provide training and technical assistance to help clients understand and use these tools and templates.
  • Promote findings, experiences, toolkits, and templates to both health and economic development audiences.

The National Center for Rural Health Works (NCRHW) is funded from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) through a cooperative agreement with the National Rural Health Association (NRHA).


Basic economic impact methodology could be applied to many areas

We originally partnered with the NCRHW to conduct economic impact of our new school, but soon realized that the basic economic impact methodology could be applied to many areas. We partnered with both NCAHD and NCRHW in our efforts to support our OneHealth initiatives by measuring the economic impact of both veterinarians and primary care physicians throughout our Appalachian region, which was a keystone tool/products that launched many of our other activities.

Jason Johnson,DVM, MS, DACT, Vice President and Dean
Lincoln Memorial University, College of Veterinary Medicine

NCRHW now a partner of VCOM

With nearly 60% of our graduates becoming primary care physicians and over 50% practice in a rural or underserved setting, our school fully appreciates the economic and employment impact our students and schools have upon the nation. With NCRHW now a partner of VCOM, we’ll share with faculty, students and stakeholders NCRHW’s vast resources through our vast education network.

Dixie Tooke-Rawlins, DO , Provost and President
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

NCRHW now a partner of VCOM

With nearly 60% of our graduates becoming primary care physicians and over 50% practice in a rural or underserved setting, our school fully appreciates the economic and employment impact our students and schools have upon the nation. With NCRHW now a partner of VCOM, we’ll share with faculty, students and stakeholders NCRHW’s vast resources through our vast education network.

Dixie Tooke-Rawlins, DO , Provost and President
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine