All 50 states have a 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 healthcare 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 healthcare activities in states in order to avoid duplication
- Provide technical assistance to public and non-profit private entities