Maryland State Office of Rural Health
The State of Maryland recognizes 18 out of the 24 counties/ 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 health care concerns that include lack of health care 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.
MDH's State Office of Rural Health (SORH) and MDH's Healthcare Workforce Programs address the rural health care needs in Maryland through local and federal partnership to develop policy and programs. The State Office of Rural Health (SORH) is federally funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) to provide technical assistance to rural entities throughout Maryland; coordinate rural health resources and activities in the State; encourage recruitment and retention in the State; collect and disseminate information; and participate in local, state, and federal partnerships. Maryland SORH’s mission is to improve the quality of health care for all rural Marylanders by developing strong partnerships; building local resources; promoting relevant state and national rural health policies; and supporting efforts to recruit and retain health care providers in rural area.
With a collaboration between Maryland Rural Health Association (MRHA), the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), the Rural Maryland Council (RMC), and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) the 2018 Maryland Rural Health Plan was created. The health plan is a collaborative document that synthesizes data from multiple sources, such as county health plans, the State Health Improvement Process (SHIP), and feedback from citizens in rural counties, among others. The 2018 Maryland Rural Health Plan highlighted six areas of need including: access to care, sustainable funding mechanisms for health care services, care coordination, chronic disease prevention and management, health literacy and health insurance literacy, and, outreach and education.
Read the full plan here
. Visit the Maryland Rural Health Plan's new interactive website here
What does this program do?
Where can I learn more?
Maryland Department of Health
201 W. Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410-767- 4467
Last updated: 2021June 11