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Due to COVID-19, CRH will continue working remotely until further notice.


The Center for Rural Health undertakes research initiatives to support rural and tribal communities by:

  • Illustrating health inequities
  • Studying and describing social determinants of health
  • Examining issues related to healthcare service delivery and systems, health workforce, and population health
  • Supporting the development of research expertise

What We Can Do for You

In the area of research, we offer:

  • Key research findings on a wide range of topics via presentations and publications, including fact sheets, policy briefs, reports and journal articles, related to our research.
  • Information about areas we research through the key research contacts listed below.
  • Opportunities to collaborate on research relating to rural and tribal health at the state, regional, and national level.
  • Community-based participatory research through Community Health Needs Assessments.
  • Tribal participatory research through the National Resource Center on Native American Aging.
  • Statewide healthcare workforce research and data analysis, conducted by the Healthcare Workforce Group. This group provides clear, efficient information for policy and decision-making, and advances the knowledge of rural and urban health factors within the state.
  • Research education and mentorship through the Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health, the American Indian Health Research Conference, student internships, guest lectures, conference presentations, and faculty roles on students' thesis and dissertation committees.
  • Access to national rural health research publications funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy via the Rural Health Research Gateway.
  • Policy relevant research that is relied on by congressional offices, state legislators, state associations and other key policy makers and stakeholders.

Our Expertise

The Center for Rural Health (CRH) is home to many programs, faculty, and staff engaged in research. For example, the National Resource Center on Native American Aging works with tribes nationwide on tribal participatory research. Through the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center, faculty study topics like mental health stigma. CRH faculty and staff also conduct research on behalf of foundations, North Dakota state government agencies, and through support from a variety of federal programs. The Center's researchers have a wide network of contacts involved in rural health research across the country, as well as connections with key organizations and agencies within North Dakota. Mapping and working with large databases, including Medicare and Medicaid data, are particular skills of the Center's research team. CRH is also home to the Rural Health Research Gateway program, which provides access to national research conducted by all of the

Key Contacts

We are interested in all aspects of research that relate to rural and tribal health. For inquiries about specific research topics:

Most Recent Publications

  • The Role of Rural and Urban Geography and Gender in Community Stigma Around Mental Illness
    This article describes the role of gender and rural-urban living in perceptions about mental illness in North Dakota. Results are based off of a survey conducted in the fall of 2018; the survey was completed by 749 North Dakota residents.
    Project: Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
    Author(s): Schroeder, S., Tan, C.M., Urlacher, B., Heitkamp, T.
    Publication: Health Education & Behavior
    Date: November 2020
    Type: Journal Article
  • Rural Health Research RECAP: Rural Ethnic/Racial Disparities: Adverse Health Outcomes
    Rural minority group populations often experience dual disparities in health. This recap summarizes adverse health outcomes across these populations including premature death, age-adjusted mortality, disability status, and obesity rates.
    Project: Rural Health Research Gateway
    Author(s): Ostmo, P.
    Date: November 2020
    Type: Fact Sheet
  • Rural Health Research RECAP: Rural Ethnic/Racial Disparities: Social and Systemic Inequities
    This resource examines social and systemic inequities that influence disparities in health among minority group populations. Rural non-White populations experience both residence-based and racial/ethnicity-based health disparities.
    Project: Rural Health Research Gateway
    Author(s): Ostmo, P.
    Date: November 2020
    Type: Fact Sheet
  • Student Connectivity in Online Programs: Role of the Nurse Faculty
    This study explored the level of connectivity among online nurse practitioner students. The results indicate that nursing faculty must develop high-quality online learning environments with strong teaching methods. Universities should offer professional mentorship to transition nurse clinicians into successful online nurse educators.
    Author(s): Schroeder, S., Shogren, M., Terras, K.
    Publication: The Journal for Nurse Practitioners
    Date: November 2020
    Type: Journal Article
  • Brief: Evaluation of Medical-Dental Integration at the University of North Dakota Center for Family Medicine
    A brief review on the evaluation of the medical-dental integration program implemented by the North Dakota Department of Health Oral Health Program. The brief also offers a summary and recommendations for future medical-dental integration in North Dakota.
    Project: Oral Health Research and Evaluation
    Author(s): Schroeder, S., Knutson, S.
    Date: September 2020
    Type: Policy Brief

Most Recent Presentations