The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) was established in 1995 to assist State Offices of Rural Health in their efforts to improve access to, and the quality of, health care for America’s 61 million rural citizens. NOSORH enhances the capacity of SORHs to do this by supporting the development of state and community rural health leaders; creating and facilitating state, regional and national partnerships that foster information sharing and spur rural health-related programs/activities; and enhancing access to quality healthcare services in rural communities.

Mission and Purpose

All 50 states have a State Office of Rural Health (SORH). These offices vary in size, scope, organization, and in services and resources they provide. Most are organized within the state health departments, but some are located in universities or not-for-profit organizations.

The general purpose of each SORH is to help their individual rural communities build health care delivery systems. While funding levels and sources also vary, every state receives a portion of their funding from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy through the SORH Grant program, begun in 1991. With this grant a SORH is expected to:

  • Collect and disseminate information
  • Coordinate rural health care activities in states in order to avoid duplication
  • Provide technical assistance to public and non-profit private entities

Mission Statement

NOSORH promotes the capacity of state offices of rural health to improve health care in rural America through leadership development, advocacy, education, & partnerships.


  • Support the development of state and community leadership for rural health
  • Facilitate partnerships at the national and state levels to enhance sharing and collaboration
  • Help communities promote a healthy rural America through enhanced access to quality healthcare services

What We Do

  • Strengthen the leadership and capacity of State Offices of Rural Health
  • Provide a forum for the exchange and distribution of rural health information
  • Promote the development and maintenance of State Rural Health Associations
  • Provide leadership for state and community-based rural health activities