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HRSA awards JPHCOPH $4 million to assist rural hospitals

Georgia Southern University’s Center for Public Health Practice and Research at the Jiann Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) has received a $4 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to provide targeted technical assistance to rural hospitals nationwide. The funding will support the team’s implementation of the Targeted Technical Assistance for Rural Hospitals Program over a 5-year period (2023-2028).

Georgia Southern students practice clinical skills.

“Many rural hospitals are struggling financially across the US,” said Dean of JPHCOPH Stuart Tedders, Ph.D. “Long-term, the primary program goal of this grant is to ensure that all rural hospitals are financially viable and positioned to serve their communities with the essential healthcare services that we all need and expect. A viable healthcare system is essential for assuring that all communities and their residents thrive. I am very proud of the CPHPR at the JPHCOPH and the commitment they have made to improving the quality of life of rural and underserved populations across the country.”

Bettye Apenteng, Ph.D. and Charles Owens serve as the co-Principal Investigators on the grant and are faculty members in JPHCOPH.

“We are proud to be selected to work cooperatively with rural hospitals across the US to strengthen their viability so they can continue to provide essential health care locally so the residents, the local hospital and the community may thrive,” said Charles Owens, clinical associate professor in JPHCOPH and one of the principal investigators on the grant.

As part of this cooperative agreement, the team will work in partnership with HRSA and rural health stakeholders to provide in-depth and tailored technical assistance to rural hospitals at risk of financial distress nationwide. Technical assistance delivered as part of this program will help rural hospital communities implement a prioritized strategy for maintaining essential services locally through capacity building in evidence-based decision-making, operational and financial improvement, strategic management, community partnership, project implementation, and evaluation.

“We are excited to extend the work we have done in Georgia with rural hospitals, for close to a decade, to the rest of the nation,” said co-project investigator Bettye Apenteng, Ph.D. “We look forward to building strong collaborative relationships with rural hospital communities nationwide.”

The grant activities will be executed by a multidisciplinary team with faculty from the JPHCOPH (Owens, Angie Peden, Apenteng, Andrew Hansen, Ph.D., Linda Kimsey, Ph.D., William Mase, Ph.D., Tilicia Mayo-Gamble, Ph.D., and Samuel Opoku, Ph.D.), the Parker College of Business (Kwabena Boakye, Ph.D.), and the College of Arts and Humanities (Jason Murdock, Ph.D.).

Last updated: 9/20/2023