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Montana Rural Health Association
A forum for all aspects of rural health care.
In 1991, the Montana State Office of Rural Health at Montana State University was established. In the early years of the Montana State Office of Rural Health, plans were initiated for development of the Montana Rural Health Association (MRHA). The MORH established the infrastructure for development of the MRHA. However, progress toward its development was limited to: (a) preparation of a brochure and membership application, (b) mailing of information to prospective members, (c) solicitation of membership and (d) communication to members through a newsletter. Due to these limitations, growth of the MRHA was slow.
The initial membership of MRHA consisted of approximately 75 individuals and organizations. Articles of Incorporation and ByLaws for the MRHA were written in 2002, and an application to the Internal Revenue Service for designation as a non-profit corporation was submitted. In 2003, the MRHA received notification that their request for designation as a non-profit organization had been approved.
To date, the Montana Rural Health Association continues to be a developing organization. Membership building remains a key focus of MRHA. The Montana Rural Health Association also produces and distributes a quarterly newsletter to its members and those interested in membership. The Montana Rural Health Association is also a proud co-sponsor of multiple rural health conferences.
After the process of developing the MRHA is completed, the functional role of the MORH will be as a supporting member of the MRHA; including the provision of technical assistance as requested by the MRHA Board of Directors, Executive Committee and staff of the association.
The MORH recognizes the importance of and need for an external non-profit organization to support the efforts of health professions organizations, health care facilities, and health care providers working to improve and sustain quality health care for rural Montanans and throughout rural America.
The mission of the MRHA is to promote a healthy rural Montana by addressing issues of health care delivery, health professions education, public health education, health services, rural health research, and health policy through national, state, and community leadership.
The goals of the MRHA are to: (a) provide a better understanding of health and health care problems which are unique to rural Montana, (b) provide a forum for the exchange and distribution of ideas, information, research, and methods for improvement of rural health, (d) identify rural health needs, (d) assist with the development of solutions to rural health problems which are applicable at the community, county, state, regional and national levels, (e) encourage research initiatives of importance to rural communities, rural health care facilities, rural health professionals, and rural citizens, (f) promote the development of a Montana Rural Health Research Office, (g) serve as an advocate for rural health, (h) support the development of rural educational opportunities for health professionals, (i) serve as a communication and support network for rural health care in Montana, (j) support the continuation of the MORH and other offices and organizations promoting and serving rural health, (k) establish partnerships with community, state, regional, and national organizations, (l) advocate for the continuation of a visible and viable Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and (m) participate as an active member of the National Rural Health Association and the National Association of State Offices of Rural Health.
Membership in the MRHA is open to any individual, health care organization, health professions association, health care facility, local health department, federal agency, state agency, educational institution, business, foundation, or corporation interested in supporting the mission and goals of the association.
MRHA Brochure and Membership Form
Electronic Health Care Resource List
Natalie Claiborne, Assistant Director