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Rural Health Network Development Planning
Grant Program

A Rural Health Network Planning applicant TA conference call is scheduled for August 7, 2008 at 2:00 PM ET. Please contact Mary Collier at mcollier@hrsa.gov to register and receive call information. The call will be taped for play back. The play back information will be sent with the conference call information.

NEW - Network Planning Grant Call for Applications through September 15th

Program Purpose

The Network Development Planning Grant Program provides one year of funding to rural organizations that seek to develop a formal integrated health care network should not have a significant history of collaboration. The planning grants are to be used to develop a formal network with the purpose of improving the coordination of health services in rural communities and strengthening the rural health care system as a whole. Existing networks that seek to expand services or expand their service area are not eligible to apply.

Program Overview

The Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant Program supports one year of planning to develop and operationalize formative health care networks in rural areas. Formative networks are not sufficiently evolved to apply for a 3-year Rural Health Network Development implementation grant and do not have a formalized structure. Applicants must propose to use the grant to develop a rural health network that brings together at least three separately owned health care providers. The applicant must demonstrate the need for the network and have identified one or more problems or issues that the network will address. The applicant must have identified potential network partners and include in the application a letter of commitment from each of the potential partners of the formative network.

These grants are designed to support development of collaborative relationships among health care organizations by funding rural health networks that focus on integrating clinical, information, administrative, and financial systems across members. A formative rural health network should identify the greatest needs of the participating providers and serve to benefit them by jointly solving problems or addressing needs that can't be adequately solved by working in isolation. The ultimate goal of the grant program is to strengthen the rural health care delivery system at the community, regional, and State level by improving the viability of the individual providers in the network. Grant funds typically are used to acquire staff, contract with technical experts, and purchase resources to 'build' the network.

Eligibility is open to rural public or rural non-profit private entities. The lead applicant organization applies on behalf of a formative network or consortium of rural health providers. The proposed rural health network or consortium supported by the grant must include three or more health care providers, which may be nonprofit or for-profit entities. Networks funded through this program may also include entities that support the delivery of health care services like social service agencies, faith-based organizations, charitable organizations, educational institutions, employers, local governmental agencies or other entities. At least three of the partners that plan to participate in the network, however, must be health service providers, i.e., primary care providers, hospitals, social service agencies, home health care providers, etc. Grant funds may not be used for the direct delivery of services.

For additional information please contact:
Eileen Holloran
Public Health Analyst
Office of Rural Health Policy
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 9A-55
Rockville, MD 20857
Phone: (301) 443-0835
Fax: (301) 443-2803

Reference Materials


    List of FY 2008 New Grant Awards for the Network Development Grant Program  
Application Information
  Grant Guidance  
  State Single Point of Contact Listing, OMB  
Public Health Service Grant Application Form PHS 5161
pdf 746KB
Rural Health Network Development Management Review Form
pdf 13KB
Rural Health Network Development Profile Form
pdf 11KB
Publications on Networks
    Building Rural Health Networks: Rural Network Development Grant Program  
Organizing for Achievement: Three Rural Health Network Case Studies

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