About Us

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 healthcare’s critical role in rural development. NCRHW has provided information to help 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 healthcare 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 longtime 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 healthcare services.
  • Develop tools that decision-makers can use to assess the need for new or expanded rural healthcare 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).

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