Public Support Needed: Finding Funding in Rural American Health Systems

Compared to their urban counterparts, rural health systems frequently struggle to define grant processes and administrative solutions, which can result in a decreased probability of securing grants and impact organization's ability to grow or sustain their current programs. This graduate project proposal will explore how successful grant administration processes influence rural health systems in the United States. Current research shows that patients who utilize rural health systems that receive increased funding are more likely to seek consistent care, however fewer rural health systems succeed in securing funding than urban health systems (McMorrow & Zuckerman, 2013). The literature review will illustrate the importance of funding rural health systems, discuss the current state of grant administration and existing funding priorities in rural health, and show how improved grant processes can increase the likelihood of funding an organization. To further examine this problem on a state level, qualitative and quantitative data will be collected from surveys and semi-structured interviews administered to rural California Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) to determine what grant administration process they utilize, identify their barriers to funding, and what areas need to be improved upon. The results from this study will allow rural organizations to identify what factors of change need to occur to be eligible for increased future funding.