The Center for Rural Health was formed in 1989 on the recommendation of the Governor's Rural Health Task Force. The goal of the center is to improve access to primary health care in rural and underserved areas of Illinois and to encourage community involvement in health issues. The center also serves as an information clearinghouse on rural health issues.
Center for Rural Health staff perform a number of services for local health care consumers and providers. Among these are consultation and technical assistance, which are offered to community-based organizations and health care providers to help them to identify health care issues, to discuss potential solutions, and to develop and implement plans of action.
The center is a vocal advocate, both in Illinois and nationally, that endeavors to educate policy makers and the public about the problems rural communities experience in their efforts to maintain and enhance health care access. Center staff also participate on a number of boards and task forces that address rural health issues.
The Center for Rural Health administers a number of scholarship programs for students in the health professions. The Center for Rural Health administers the State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), the J-1 Visa Waiver Program for Illinois and supports the federal National Health Service Corps (NHSC) programs.