The Rural & Underserved Health Research Center Receives $2.8 million in Renewed Funding

photo of Dr. Ty Borders at a poster presentation
The RUHRC has found a new home in the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, where director Dr. Ty Borders has accepted a faculty appointment as a full professor.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2020) – The Rural & Underserved Health Research Center (RUHRC) recently received a $2.8 million, 4-year funding renewal from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to continue important research on health and health care challenges unique to rural communities. The Center is the only new rural health center in the nation to receive renewal funding in the past 20 years.

The RUHRC has also recently found a new home in the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, where RUHRC's director Ty Borders, Ph.D., has accepted a faculty appointment as a full professor.  

“As one of only seven federally-funded rural health research centers in the country, we produce research reports and policy briefs that inform federal and state decision-makers about how to better organize, finance, and deliver healthcare services to maximize rural population health,” said Borders. “We have assembled an excellent multidisciplinary team tackling timely and understudied problems in rural areas not only Kentucky, but the nation as a whole. I'm excited to join the UK College of Nursing's exemplary group of faculty researchers and look forward to continuing the Center's important work to improve overall rural health."  

The RUHRC brings together experts in health services and policy from the UK Colleges of Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Communication and Information.  The Center also collaborates with the American Board of Family Medicine, which is headquartered in Lexington, Ky.  

The RUHRC was established in 2016, with an initial HRSA funding award of $2.8 million.  Since then, the Center has produced 22 research products, including policy briefs and peer-reviewed publications, as well as more than a dozen related publications.

Much of the Center's research is focused on the areas of substance abuse and mental health, preventing and treating cancer, and access to primary care in rural communities. Researchers affiliated with the RUHRC have also published works on the impacts of Medicaid expansion for rural residents, the prevalence of lung diseases among rural residents, and the higher rates of suicide and suicidal planning among rural Americans. 

For more information on the RUHRC's publications and research, visit