National Rural Health Foundation

Caring for the future of rural America

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More than 150 rural hospitals have closed since 2010. Today, an additional 450+ rural hospitals are at risk of closure. Despite the vulnerability of rural hospitals, health care is still one of the leading employers in most rural communities.  

Many health care professionals working outside of hospitals – pharmacists, optometrists, therapists, and more – also need support, including recruitment, workforce development, training, and more. In addition to the tremendous staffing issues, many community leaders lack formal training or the necessary executive skills in these distinct rural settings.

Rural-relevant leadership programs have shown proven results in improving community health, as well as the financial well-being of rural facilities. These focused leadership programs, particularly tailored for the small community environment, result in relevant, dynamic, high-quality leadership.


Our approach to delivering improved community health and lessening the financial strain of rural facilities has been to promote leadership training for eager individuals from and for rural America. The National Rural Health Foundation has pledged to fund 100 percent of the operational costs of NRHA's Rural Health Fellows Program in 2024 and beyond. As we grow, we hope to expand our reach into funding scholarship opportunities and providing additional operational support to important leadership programs.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we depend on the generosity of our supporters to help fund our mission-driven initiatives. A donation to the National Rural Health Foundation immediately impacts the next generation of leaders for rural America. Your support will create a ripple through our supported programs, felt by all of our participants nationwide. Please click here to contribute to the growth of rural health leadership. 




  • Marcia Brand, PhD (Co-Chair)
  • Paul Moore, DPh (Co-Chair)
  • Kevin Bennett, PhD
  • Thomas M. Dean, MD
  • Carter Florence, DrPH
  • Alan Morgan, NRHA CEO
  • Rob McVay, NRHA CFO
  • Keith Mueller, PhD
  • Lisa Rantz
  • Tim Size, D.Hum


Rosemary McKenzie Legacy Award

Rosemary McKenzie's passion for rural health and dedication to multicultural and multiracial populations were unparalleled. Rosemary served as the National Rural Health Association's minority liaison and program services manager in the Kansas City, Mo., office for 27 years. She died in 2011 due to complications from pancreatic cancer.

To carry on Rosemary McKenzie's legacy and honor her memory, the National Rural Health Association has established the Rosemary McKenzie Legacy Award to be presented annually during the Health Equity Conference, a conference she predominantly and passionately coordinated. The award winner will receive free registration to the 2018 conference and a $1,000 stipend to be used for travel and accommodations for the event, where they will be recognized.

You can make a tax-deductible donation by including "Rosemary Legacy Fund" or "Rosemary McKenzie" in the Acknowledgement line on the above form or you can send a check to 406 West 34th St., Suite 408/409 Kansas City, MO 64111. Please make checks out to "Rural Health Leadership and Education Foundation" and indicate "Rosemary Legacy Fund" on the memo line.


Brandon Brook

Fundraising Manager - National Rural Health Foundation


Phone: (818) 205-7552


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