November-December Newsletter

An Interview with Kim Zill:

The following is an interview with Arizona Rural Women’s Health Network director Kimberly Zill.  You can check out the AzRWHN website here. If you have any more questions about AzRWHN or would like to join as a member, please contact Kim at

AzRWHI:  How did the Arizona Rural Women’s Health Network get started? 

azrwhn logo

Kim Zill: A diverse and unique group of professionals from Arizona’s five Area Health Education Centers, in conjunction with seven key state and nonprofit organizations involved in rural women’s health, began meeting to find solutions to the many health disparities rural women face and ultimately formed the Arizona Rural Women’s Health Network. This group applied  for and was awarded a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Network Planning and, subsequently, the HRSA Rural Health Network Development Grant.

AzRWHI: Who belongs to the Arizona Rural Women’s Health Network?

Kim Zill: Current members include the Eastern Arizona Area Health Education Center, Greater Valley Area Health Education Center, Northern Arizona Area Health Education Center, Western Arizona Area Health Education Center, Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Women’s & Children’s Health, Arizona Department of Health Services Native American Community Development Community Development Program, Arizona Office of Rural Health, University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Arizona Association of Community Health Centers, Mariposa Community Health Center, North Country Health Center, and Mogollon Health Alliance. Also, the Network is always looking for new members. Anyone interested or working with rural women is encouraged to join. Please contact Kim Zill at

AzRWHI: What are the benefits of belonging to the Arizona Rural Women’s Health Network? 

Kim Zill: For new membership, the AzRWHN has chosen to target the health professionals serving rural women. By educating, providing outreach, and meeting the unmet needs for this population the Network can ultimately reach many more women. The benefits of belonging to the Network are belonging to a group of professionals with the same goals. Our webinars, outreach, clinical education, collaboration, advocacy, and networking will be centered on rural women in Arizona.  Members of our Network are the thought leaders in women’s rural health issues.

AzRWHI: Tell me more about the work the Arizona Rural Women’s Health Network has done.

Kim Zill: The Network has been collaborating with many organizations around the state working on health fairs, community forums, domestic violence workshops, needs assessments, networking events, and presentations.

AzRWHI: What projects does the Arizona Rural Women’s Health Network have planned for the future?

Kim Zill: Events planned for 2013 include collaborating to provide oral health workshops for senior rural women in multiple locations, partnering to produce a Women’s Health Conference in June, Domestic and Sexual Coercion Lunch and Learns along with other smaller collaborative projects planned with community partners. Additionally, AzRWHN is conducting several small needs assessments to gain a better understanding of each rural community’s needs. Moreover, the Network is always looking for  opportunities to partner with community agencies on behalf of rural women.

AzRWHI: Why focus on rural women?  Why do they face such health disparities?  

Kim Zill: Rural women live is very widely dispersed small communities in our state. They face higher rates of chronic diseases and a greater risk of death from diabetes than their male counterparts. Additionally, women living in rural areas also encounter greater barriers to health care access as a result of poverty, or lack of or under-insurance, lack of public transit, geographic isolation, and reduced access to health care providers. In rural Arizona, these issues are often made much more complex by our state’s diverse mix of cultures, languages, and health literacy levels.

AzRWHI: How did you get involved with the Arizona Rural Women’s Health Network?  How did you become the director? 

Kim Zill: I was fortunate to know about the programs that the Area Health Education Centers and The Arizona Association for Community Health Centers were doing. I interviewed for the AzRWHN position and the rest is history. This position is a perfect fit with my education and work experiences. I am thrilled to be part of such a wonderful Network!

I have worked with many organizations throughout my career providing services to women and children including Healthy Families, Break the Cycle (teen pregnancy prevention program, Director of Program Services with March of Dimes, Evaluator for Community Tobacco Program with Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, Job Coach with Elite Community Services, Developmental Coordinator for Birth to Three Program, and Education and Prevention Coordinator for the Arizona Office of Problem Gambling.

AzRWHI: What do you enjoy most about your work with the Arizona Rural Women’s Health Network?   What are your greatest challenges?

Kim Zill: I most enjoy working with the amazing group of Network members and having the ability to positively impact the health and wellbeing of rural Arizona women. My greatest challenges are not having enough hours in each day. There are so many possibilities, goals, and plans contained in the strategic plan. We have an outstanding Network, so there are many exciting things to come!

AzRWHI: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Kim Zill: Although the Network is not brand new, there is still a great deal of work to be accomplished. Currently, we are at the end of creating a logo and website. Next, we plan to develop marketing, collateral and health literacy pieces. Many new and exciting things will be coming to fruition soon! Thank you!

AzRWHI: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions, Kim!  It looks like the AzRWHN is doing great work and has a lot planned for the future.  Best of luck!

Upcoming events:

Telecommunications and Internet Funding for Rural Health Care Providers: Rural Health Care Program Application Process – Webinar
Presented by: The University of Arizona, Arizona Telemedicine Program
Date: December 12, 2012 at 12pm MT
Contact: Tracy Skinner, (520) 626-6103,
Click here to go to the website.

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps 101 – Webinar
Presented by: County Health Rankings and Roadmaps
Date: January 15, 2013 at 2pm CST
Click here to go to the website.

Rural Health Policy Institute
Presented by: National Rural Health Association
Dates: February 4th – 6th. 2013
Location: The Capital Hilton, Washington, DC
Details: Early registration available until December 30
Click here to go to the website.

26th Annual Rural Health Care Leadership Conference
Presented by: American Hospital Association
Dates: February 10th – 13th, 2013
Location: Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix, AZ
Details: Early registration available until December 14
Click here to go to the website.

Funding Opportunities:

E3 Grant Program — Effectiveness, Efficiency and Excellence in Healthcare
Deadline: December 7, 2012
Purpose: Grants should impact the efficiency and quality of care in healthcare settings; preference given to proposals that focus on medication safety and operating room safety. Nonprofit healthcare institutions, including those in acute and ambulatory settings working in partnership with each other or independently, and collaboratives are eligible to apply.
Amount: Between $15,000 and $35,000
Click here for more nformation. 

Clinical Excellence Grant Program
Deadline: December 14, 2012
Purpose: Grants will be awarded to programs that either help implement measurable clinical initiatives to improve infection prevention practices, protocols or outcomes within a healthcare setting OR support hospital-led patient education or outreach related to infection prevention within the hospital’s local community.  All non-profit organizations are eligible to apply.
Amount: Up to $50,000.
Click here for more information.

Annie’s Grants for Gardens
Deadline: December 15, 2012
Purpose: Grants provide funding for K-12 school garden projects to purchase gardening tools, seeds, and other supplies.
Amount: $500 to start new gardens, $1000 to expand existing gardens
Click here for more information. 

Basic Social and Behavioral Research on Culture, Health, and Well-being Grants
Deadline: December 17, 2012
Purpose: Grants provide for infrastructure support to develop, strengthen, and evaluate transdisciplinary approaches and methods for basic behavioral and/or social research on the relationships among cultural practices/beliefs, health, and wellbeing.
Amount: Between $125,000 to $150,000 per year for up to two years
Click here for more information. 

MetLife Foundation/National Alliance for Caregiving Innovations in Caregiving Awards
Deadline: January 15, 2013
Purpose: Seed grants will provide startup funds for new caregiving programs that adapt programs/best practices identified through the National Family Caregiving Award to the unique needs of caregivers in their own communities. All non-profit organizations that support family caregivers as a significant part of their mission are encouraged to apply.
Amount: Up to $10,000
Click here for more information.

Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) Implementation Funds Program
Deadline: January 31, 2013 (2:00pm CST)
Purpose: Supports pediatricians and pediatric residents to plan or pilot community-based child health initiatives that increase access to medical homes and health services not otherwise available. Projects should lead to the implementation of sustainable programs that can be replicated.
Amount: Between $5,000 and $12,000 for pediatricians; up to $3,000 for pediatric residents
Click here for more information.

Editor’s Note

The Arizona Rural Women’s Health Initiative (AzRWHI) is a project of the Center for Rural Health at The University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Jennifer Peters,  Coordinator, (520) 626-2254,
Jessica Hersh-Ballering, Graduate Assistant,