The Centre for Public Health Practice and Research at Georgia Southern University in Georgia, US, has secured a $4m grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

This grant is intended to provide specialised technical assistance to rural hospitals across the US.

To achieve this, the Targeted Technical Assistance for Rural Hospitals Programme will be implemented for the next five years.

JPHCOPH Dean Stuart Tedders said: “Many rural hospitals are struggling financially across the US.

“Long-term, the primary programme goal of this grant is to ensure that all rural hospitals are financially viable and positioned to serve their communities with the essential health care services that we all need and expect.

“A viable health care system is essential for assuring that all communities and their residents thrive.

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“I am very proud of the Center for Public Health Practice and Research at the JPHCOPH and the commitment they have made to improving the quality of life of rural and underserved populations across the country.”

The centre will lead this initiative under the guidance of co-principal investigators Bettye Apenteng and Charles Owens, who are both professors in health policy and management.

Working alongside the HRSA and rural healthcare stakeholders, the team will offer comprehensive, tailored technical support to rural hospitals facing financial challenges across the US.

The programme aims to allow these hospitals to develop and implement strategies that prioritise maintaining essential local services.

This support will encompass areas such as evidence-based decision-making, operational and financial enhancement, strategic management, community partnerships, project implementation and evaluation.

Dr Apenteng said: “We are excited to extend the work we have done in Georgia with rural hospitals, for close to a decade, to the rest of the nation.

“We look forward to building strong collaborative relationships with rural hospital communities nationwide.”