The State Office of Rural Health (SORH) is housed in the Bureau of Policy and Workforce Services at the Iowa Department of Public Health. The SORH program is a unique federal-state partnership tasked with providing rural health advocacy and outreach as well as coordinating efforts for rural health activities to reduce statewide duplication. The State Office provides consultation to rural Iowa communities and health care providers regarding Federal, State, and rural health program participation and collects and disseminates data and resources for rural communities.

SORH’s Grant Technical Assistance:

For Applicants: provides community level data and technical assistance for grants and other funding opportunities. Identifies resources to support community grant application efforts.

For Funders: can help you publicize your grants and provide rural perspective on your grant application.

The Office of Rural Health can also connect you to resources on the recruitment and retention process for rural and underserved areas in Iowa. The Office of Rural Health also works with other stakeholders at a national level to address national, regional and state rural health issues.


The following are rural health resources provided by the State Office of Rural Health in partnership with various organizations:

Rural Health Forum Summary Report:December of 2018. A Rural Health Forum was convened in partnership between the Iowa Department of Public Health and stakeholders across the rural health landscape. For a day and a half, attendees came together to brainstorm and share a common vision of what it means to be rural bringing to light the current issues of rural health. This event brought together action-focused stakeholders with recommendations to advance rural health in Iowa.

Rural Health Programs Booklet:Fall of 2019. This resource includes the latest maps of Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), workforce retention and recruitment opportunities/resources, and other program resources brought to you by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Opportunities in Health Sciences Guide – Iowa Career Pathways: July, 2018. IDPH in partnership with the Iowa Department of Education and Iowa Workforce Development have worked to engage in Governor Reynolds’ Future Ready Iowa initiative to highlight career opportunities in healthcare. This work was conducted in partnership with Departments of Education and Workforce Development, Iowa Hospital Association, Iowa Health Care Association, and other health industry partners.

Iowa Health Science Work-Based Learning Toolkit: November 2018. IDPH reconvened the career pathways project partners to begin exploring options for expanding the quantity, quality, and ease of access to work-based learning opportunities within the health science industry for high school students in Iowa. Out of this work, guidance, tools, and recommendations for developing high-quality, work-based learning opportunities for high school students to experience healthcare careers first-hand were developed.

SORH POND:  Ongoing. This web-based data collection, reporting and benchmarking application tool is free for Iowa’s rural health clinics. This tool is funded by the State Office of Rural Health. To receive additional information and updates about POND®, please contact Samra Hiros at

3RNet: Ongoing. 3RNet, or the National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network, is a nonprofit job board that is specifically geared to candidates interested in working in rural and underserved areas. Healthcare facilities can post job opportunities directly to the website free of charge and receive automatic referrals for potential candidates. Health care professionals within or outside the state of Iowa can create an account to search for jobs, are matched to opportunities based on profile criteria, and have access to employer contact information. The State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care Office at the Iowa Department of Public Health support the state’s membership in 3RNet with funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration.