Maryland State Office of Rural Health​


The mission of the Maryland State Office of Rural Health (SORH) is to help improve the quality of health among rural Marylanders by developing strong partnerships; building local resources; promoting relevant state and national rural health policies; and supporting efforts to expand healthcare access. Maryland SORH implements these three goals: 

1) Serve as a focal point and state clearinghouse for collection and dissemination of information regarding rural health care issues, research findings, and innovative  approaches to the delivery of health care in rural areas;  

2) Provide coordination of rural health programming across the state and in identified  areas such as diabetes, substance use, and workforce development to avoid redundancy  of efforts among public health and health care entities; and  

3) Deliver technical assistance to rural-serving public and non-profit private entities to build capacity to access state and federal resources.  

The Maryland SORH is federally funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) and serves as one of the country’s 50 SORHs.​

Rural Maryland

The State of Maryland recognizes 18 of its 24 jurisdictions as rural. Maryland’s rural counties include:

Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester

25% of Maryland's residents live in rural Maryland. Maryland's rural communities face unique healthcare concerns that include a lack of healthcare providers and difficulty accessing those providers due to transportation and technology barriers. Rural hospitals and health care providers, which frequently are the economic backbone of the communities they serve, deserve special consideration so that they can continue to provide high-quality services and meet the needs of rural residents. ​​​

Where can I learn more?


Sara Seitz, MPH


Maryland State Office of Rural Health

Maryland Department of Health

201 W. Preston Street

Baltimore, MD 21201

Phone: 410-767- 4467​  


Last updated:  07/23/2024​



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​The Maryland Department of Health and health care workforce development stakeholders have identified benefits of planning and establishing a Maryland statewide healthcare workforce data clearinghouse to serve as a central repository of data related to the healthcare workforce serving Maryland residents. To this end, MDH, in conjunction with vendor assistance, has conducted an exploratory landscape analysis on available healthcare workforce data clearinghouse models consisting of literature review and interviews with representatives of successful healthcare workforce data clearinghouses in other states. ​


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