The Kansas Rural Health Association (KsRHA) is the result of years of combined effort from the widely varied individuals and organizations in our state that have a rural health interest.  There are many organizations in the state that represent various significant aspects of the rural health spectrum.  Many organizations have participated in the formation of the KsRHA or have representation in the association.


Collaborating Organizations

Kansas Hospital Association (KHA)
A voluntary, non-profit organization existing to provide leadership and services to member hospitals, with the goal of optimal health for Kansans.

Office of Rural Medical Education, The University of Kansas Medical Center 
Fostering educational experiences in rural settings. 

Rural Health Education and ServicesThe University of Kansas Medical Center
Partners with health care providers, rural and underserved employers, and state stakeholders to advance Kansas' health care workforce through recruitment, retention, education, and research to ensure that every Kansan has access to quality health care.

Kansas Office of Primary Care & Rural Health, Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment (KDHE)
Aid Kansas rural and medically underserved communities in building sustainable access to quality, patient-centered primary health care services.


Photo ©Amanda Franklin.

There are numerous individuals that have worked very hard to bring the KsRHA to life.  Medical students at University of Kansas School of Medicine that are members of the Rural Medicine Interest Group (RMIG) served in a vital role organizing the first meetings of the KsRHA. Photo ©Amanda Franklin.



The National Rural Health Association granted Debra Lea, Michael Kennedy and the students of the Rural Medical Interest Group (RMIG) funding to form a Kansas Chapter of the Rural Health Association.  Nationally, most states have a chapter of the NRHA.  The rural needs of Kansas have been historically well served by a wide variety of individuals and groups around the state.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 was the first meeting of the KsRHA.  It was held at the Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure Conference Center in Salina, Kansas. 

At that meeting attendees expressed a uniform desire to have an organization that provided one thing – networking.  The many excellent organizations in Kansas serve their constituents extremely well.  However, none of these organizations have as their prime mission “rural health”.  Although, it should be said that many of the organizations have rural at the top of their list, hence their participation in the initial meeting. 

It was the desire of the initial group that the main job of the KsRHA be to put state and federal issues into the context of rural. The group worked on a vision statement and mission for the KsRHA.  They also arrived at a set of value statements, listed below.

Our Core Values

  • Rural way of life
  • Thriving rural communities
  • Innovation of healthcare
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Promoting healthy rural communities
  • Affecting local, State and Federal legislature
  • Stakeholders
  • Advocacy
  • Education
  • Quality
  • Excellence
  • Leadership
  • Optimal health for all Kansans with a focus on rural Kansans
  • Inclusivity

Subsequently, the group formed a sub-committee to draft by-laws for the KsRHA.  Members of this By-Laws Sub-Committee drafted Bylaws for the KsRHA and a second was conducted.  At that meeting the by-laws were approved by the membership present and a temporary Board of Directors for the organization was appointed.