Rural Health

Larissa Nakatsu, MS2, 2019 Photo Winner
“Welcome to RUOP” Colfax, WA

Contact information:

Davis Patterson, PhD

Holly Andrilla, MS

Research Team:

Holly Andrilla, Ian M Bennett, Laura-Mae Baldwin, David Evans, Lisa Garberson, Andrew Jopson, John Kearney, Natalia Oster, Davis Patterson, Samantha Pollack, Sue Skillman


Rural U.S. residents overall are poorer, have a higher burden of disease, are more likely to live in Health Professional Shortage Areas, and travel farther to access health care than their urban counterparts. Our research aims to inform local, regional, and national policy and practice to improve the health of vulnerable and minority rural populations. Research focus areas include rural health professional education, recruitment, retention, and competencies, as well as rural disparities in access to high quality care. 



  • WWAMI Rural Health Research Center (WWAMI RHRC)
    • Treatment, Provider, and Cost Differences for Rural and Urban Patients with Opioid Use Disorder Across the U.S.
    • Dentist Supply, Dental Care Utilization, and Oral Health Among Rural and Urban U.S. Residents: Exploring Changes in the Past 15 Years
    • Specialist Physicians in the Rural and Urban U.S.: Supply, Distribution, and Access
    • Palliative Care in the Rural U.S.
  • The Collaborative for Rural Primary care Research, Education, and Practice (Rural PREP)
    • Are Family Physicians Trained in Small Rural Residencies of Comparable Quality to Family Physicians Overall?
    • Routes to Rural Readiness: Enhancing Clinical Training Experiences for Physician Assistants
    • Recruitment to Rural Residency Programs: Match Rates and Best Practices
    • Routes to Rural Readiness: Enhancing Recruitment and Retention of Nurse Practitioners in Rural Primary Care
    • Collaborative Care as a Mental Health Workforce Development Strategy