Indiana State University Newsroom

Rural Health Innovation Collaborative awarded Healthy People 2020 grant

November 22, 2011

The Rural Health Innovation Collaborative (RHIC) has received a grant to develop ways to better prepare rural health care providers.

The RHIC will use the grant from the federal government's Healthy People 2020 Community Innovations program to develop health-related, inter-professional education materials, take part in state and national forums and implement an internship program.

"Student interns will help develop and deliver educational information and messaging designed to promote greater understanding of how to incorporate inter-professional education in creating a well-prepared workforce," said Sarah Snider, RHIC executive director. "A collaborative approach is vital to improving health care access and health equity in rural communities."

The nearly $10,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes the lead role community-based organizations such as the RHIC play in improving a community's health, said David Doerr, RHIC board chairman.

"We are very excited about receiving this award," Doerr said. "The RHIC has been able to formally bring together a unique set of private, public, clinical and educational partners to address transforming our health education system to improve delivery, quality and outcomes as well as the regional economy. This grant helps us to make further strides toward achieving this outcome."

The Healthy People program recognizes that access to comprehensive, quality health care services is important to achieving equitable access to health care and that a strong health care workforce directly impacts the economy of a community.

The mission of the RHIC is to improve and expand inter-professional education, training and deployment of future health care providers, especially for those committed to serving rural areas. The RHIC is also working to be an economic engine for west-central Indiana, through development of health-care related jobs, and a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization in Terre Haute.

The RHIC was created in 2008. Partners in the collaborative include Union Hospital and its Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health, Indiana State University, Ivy Tech Community College-Wabash Valley, Indiana University School of Medicine, the city of Terre Haute, Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation, Hamilton Center, Vermillion-Parke Community Health Center, Indiana Rural Health Association and the Indiana Area Health Education Center.

For more information about the RHIC, visit

Launched in December 2010, Healthy People 2020 provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For three decades, the Healthy People program has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to encourage collaborations, guide individuals toward making informed health decisions and measure the impact of prevention activities.

Contact: Sarah Snider, Executive Director, Rural Health Innovation Collaborative (RHIC),, 724-594-4218