The health of Vermonters depends upon access to comprehensive health care services. The State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care works with and supports small rural hospitals, clinics and health care providers to improve access to primary care, dental and mental health care for all Vermonters – especially the uninsured, under-served and those living far from larger medical centers.

The State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care collaborates to:

  • Improve quality, performance and sustainability of rural and critical access hospitals.
  • Expand access to primary, dental and mental health services regardless of insurance coverage.
  • Support recruitment and retention of primary care, oral health and mental health workforce.
  • Support training for health care professionals, students and community health workers
  • Collect, analyze and report healthcare workforce data and calculate shortage designations.
  • Support outreach to farm owners and workers on how to access preventative care and best practices for agricultural health and safety.

We also connect local health care providers and decision-makers to state, regional and national resources, information and technical assistance.

Is my community "rural"?

Determine whether your specific location is considered "rural" based on various definitions of rural, including definitions that are used as eligibility criteria for federal programs. Am I Rural? Tool

Health Equity resources

Health equity exists when all people have a fair and just opportunity to be healthy. Health equity is one of the goals of our Strategic Plan and a cornerstone of our work. Health care providers, organizations and communities have important roles to play to ensure equitable and just health outcomes and access to care for all Vermonters.  To learn more about health equity, visit Equity page.

Local and Regional Resources

Local Health Offices

The Health Department has 12 local health offices across Vermont that work directly with local stakeholders, including hospitals and health care providers, to prevent disease, reach under-served populations, and improve the health of all Vermonters.

Local Health Offices 

Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care (VPQHC)

The Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care (VPQHC) administers quality improvement activities with the state’s rural and critical access hospitals. VPQHC is funded by grants from the State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care to is to improve clinical care related to patient safety, outpatient services and patient satisfaction under the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP).

New England Rural Health Association (NERHA)

The New England Rural Health Association (NERHA) serves as the rural health association for the six New England states seeking to “improve the health and well-being of communities throughout rural New England” through collaboration, education and advocacy. The annual Rural Health Conference is the premier interdisciplinary education and networking event for rural health care providers in primary care, oral health and mental health services.

Northeast Telehealth Resource Center (NETRC)

The Northeast Telehealth Resource Center (NETRC) is federally funded to provide technical assistance to develop, implement, and expand telehealth services in New England and New York. Weekly office hours are available to clinicians seeking to implement, expand or troubleshoot remote monitoring, live video, mobile health or store and forward technologies.

Rural Northern Border Region Healthcare Support Technical Assistance Center (NBR-TAC)

The Rural Northern Border Region Healthcare Support Technical Assistance Center (NBR-TAC) provides tailored technical assistance to rural health care providers in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and Maine.  

New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) 

The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) works with federal and state partners in New York and Vermont to enhance agricultural and rural health by preventing injury and illness.

Health Workforce Technical Assistance Center (HWTAC)

“The Health Workforce Technical Assistance Center (HWTAC) provides technical assistance to states and organizations that engage in health workforce planning. Each year, HWTAC is engaged in a number of initiatives designed to provide expert assistance with health workforce data collection, analysis, reporting, and dissemination.”


National Resources

Rural Health Information Hub (RHI Hub)

The Rural Health Information Hub (RHI Hub) is funded by HRSA's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) to be a national clearinghouse on rural health resources and information. The RHI Hub provides access to research, toolkits, best practices and resources to support rural communities and health care providers.

The RHI Hub offers an extensive website, an email newsletter, research and referral service as well as the "Am I Rural? "Tool to determine if your organization is located in an area defined as rural by many different Federal grant programs. 

National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center)

The National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustaining and improving health care in rural communities. The Center provides technical assistance, information, tools, and resources for the improvement of rural health care, especially for rural and critical access hospitals participating in the Flex, SHIP and MBQIP programs.

FLEX Monitoring Team (FMT)

Funded by HRSA's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) the Flex Monitoring Team (FMT) evaluates the impact of the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility grant (Flex program). Researchers collect and report de-identified comparative data on quality measures, financial strength and community engagement of critical access hospitals (CAHs) across the nation. CAH leaders can compare their hospital's performance against regional and national peers with secure log-in credentials in the CAH Measurement & Performance Assessment System (CAHMPAS).

Health Care Workforce Data

Workforce Data Reports

We collect, analyze and publish data on over 40 health care professions. These data briefs, summaries and detailed reports can be found at: Health Care Workforce Data.

Recruitment and Retention Incentives 

A variety of federal and state funded educational loan repayment and scholarship  programs are available to health care professionals and students in Vermont. In addition, J1 visa waivers are available to foreign medical graduates seeking to serve Vermont communities.

Contact us with questions or concerns

John Olson, M.Ed., Chief
State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care
Phone: 802-951-1259