Arizona Rural Health Resource Manual

Publication Date: 
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Publication Authors: 
Leila Barraza, MPH, Alison Hughes, MPA
Arizona Rural Health Resource Manual Cover

Arizona Rural Health Resource Manual

Information is a powerful tool for promoting change and strengthening health care. How information is used can be a potent change agent. It has been said that influencing policy is about providing the right information at the right time to the right person. How to access the right information at the right time is a challenge we all face as we make decisions about the future. As you use this guide, please remember that federal and state policies and rules are in a constant state of change. The information provided herein was as accurate as we knew it to be at the time of reporting. It is advisable, therefore, that the user does a check for accuracy on the Internet before using information that can critically impact a major project you are working on.

Download (PDF) >



Arizona Rural Health Resource Guide Contents

Background: What is Rural?

  1. Hospital Resources
    1. Hospital Financing
    2. Hospital Designations
  2. Health Clinic Resources
  3. Tribal Resources
  4. Health Information Technology
  5. EMS Resources
  6. Emergency Preparedness Resources
  7. Rural Health Funding Resources
  8. Workforce Resources
  9. Development Resources for Boards of Directors and Board of Trustees
  10. Public-Sponsored Insurance Resources
  11. Advocacy Resources
  12. Other Resources of Interest

Background: What is Rural?

The definition of rural has tremendous fiscal and health service implications for rural residents of our state and country.

Learn more about federal and state definitions of rurality >

As populations shift and are noted in our official Census records, so does the definition of rural. Many towns in Arizona that were considered rural twenty years ago are no longer federally identified as rural because of population growth.

It is extremely important that health care agencies and institutions remain vigilant over the changing defi ni­tions of “rural.” For example, modification of a single definition can cause a health care provider to lose its federal Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designation and the financial rewards that accompany the designation.

It is also important for rural providers to make their voices known to policy-makers whenever new rural definitions are proposed.  When the federal government proposes to change a definition, a notice seeking public comment is printed in the Federal Register. Currently, for example, a definition of “frontier” is being explored by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Frontier” differs from “rural” in that it may apply to much more sparsely populated areas than those that fit under “rural.”  Many Navajo Nation members can be identified as liv­ing in “frontier” areas of the state where their homes are located in remote areas that are a one-hour drive from the nearest service center.  Similarly, the Havasupai Tribe might be identified as “frontier” as there are no roads leading to the homes of the residents that live at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. To date, no formal definition of frontier has been adopted by HRSA.  Until then, a few federal programs are funding pilot projects that will strengthen access to health services in areas they consider “frontier.”

Defining rural is critical when applying for federal funding that is specifically directed to rural communi­ties. For example, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Universal Services Corporation all require applicants for funding and/or telecommunications discounts to meet the definition of rural adopted by these agencies.  It is highly recommended that before a rural entity applies for federal funding, eligibility based on rurality is determined.

Federal and state definitions of rurality >


Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <div> <span> <img> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.