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School of Medicine Columbia

Rural Innovations Cooperative Agreement

The South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare supports and manages the competitive Rural Innovations Cooperative Agreement Program. The program identifies and supports innovative programs or strategies that address unmet needs or support efforts to improve rural health. Awarded projects focus on supporting health in rural communities through improving access to healthcare services; enhancing the health professions workforce; implementing services/programs that promote improved health outcomes for rural patients and residents; or integrating health care and community-based programs.

Program Overview

Rural South Carolinians are disproportionately affected by poorer health outcomes than residents in urban areas.  In response, the Rural Innovations Cooperative Agreement program provides resources and support to local organizations throughout South Carolina to tackle rural health problems at the community-level.  And more broadly, the program is dedicated to investing in innovative solutions and best practices that can be spread and adopted by other rural communities and inform public policy.

The Rural Innovations Request for Applications is a two-step process. The first step is an online application to ensure eligibility and that objectives and activities would align with SC CRPH’s mission and guidelines. Selected applicants will be advanced to step two and invited to submit a full proposal.
  • Any public institution of higher education in South Carolina
  • South Carolina Rural Health Networks
  • SC Access Health programs
  • Public or not-for-profit (501(c)3) organizations with an emphasis on health, rural health, or community services
  • State government agencies
  • Category I: Planning Projects.  These projects would be smaller in scope and would support planning efforts and begin the process of implementing an innovation.  Projects under category I would be limited to 12-months and up to $50,000 in total cost (Direct Costs only).
  • Category II: Intermediate projects.  These projects would fall between the planning and implementation categories.  Such projects have matured past the planning stage but are not quite ready for full implementation.  These could include pilot programs.  Projects under category II would be limited to 12-month and up to $100,000 in total cost (Direct Costs only).  Based on project performance, these projects can be fast-tracked into an implementation award the subsequent year.
  •  Category III: Implementation Projects.  These projects could implement a program that is well designed but not yet realized.  These could include expanding a current program in new areas or adapting a program in new topic areas or locations.  Projects under category II would be limited to 24-months and up to $200,000 in total cost (Direct Costs only).

What we fund: We aim to fund programs that utilize innovative solutions or best practices to improve health access and/or health outcomes for rural communities, patients, or populations.  We fund direct costs only. 

We do not fund:

  • Projects centered on one-touch events (health fairs, conferences, etc.)
  • Programs or activities that target any non-rural populations
  • Capital funds or funds being raised for new buildings or building improvements or equipment such as medical
  • Salaries for personnel not directly involved with the project
January 25, 2021

Online application available

March 5, 2021 at 5:00p.m.

Online application due by 5:00 p.m.

Mid-March 2021

Applicants will be notified.  Selected applicants will receive initial recommendations and be invited to submit full proposal.

April 30, 2021

Finalists submit full proposal.

Early June 2021

Finalist are notified.

July 1, 2021

Projects begin.

*Dates are subject to change as deemed necessary.

 Past Award Recipients

Project Title Organization Category Project Description Year Keywords
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Planning for Implementation of Evidence-Based Cancer Screening Practices in RHCs Rural and Minority Health Research Center  Implementation  Increase screening for colorectal and cervical cancer and initiation of timely, appropriate treatment among patients served at rural health clinics in SC.  2019 tag 1, tag2
Expansion of a Collaborative Care Behavioral Health Model into Oconee County to Improve Access to Mental Health Care in Rural South Carolina  Prisma Health- Upstate  Implementation  Implement a behavioral health collaborative model care model in a new family medicine residency teaching clinic. 2019  
Developing a Plan for a Community Health Worker in a Rural Setting Upper Midlands Rural Health Network Planning Develop a comprehensive plan to implement Community Health Worker program and integrating the model into practice and health delivery teams. 2019  
Increasing HIV Screening and Linkage to Care for HIV PrEP or HIV treatment Palmetto Health- USC Medical Group Division of Infectious Disease  Planning  Partner with an emergency department and community providers to build their capacity to screen for HIV and provider linkage to care for HIV treatment or HIV prevention. 2019  
Coordinating Healthcare for Correctional Agencies in Rural Settings: Model Implementation & Toolkit Development University of South Carolina College of Social Work Intermediate Promote access to health care for prisoners and their families through a needs assessment and convening providers for protocol development. 2019  
Health Education and Active Living (HEAL) South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families Intermediate Pilot the Health Education and Active Living (HEAL) initiative to low-income non-custodial fathers and their children. 2019  
Healthy Tri-County Diabetes Prevention Expansion Project Trident United Way Intermediate Expand local opportunities and increase participation in the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) for at-risk adults. 2019  
Working for a Healthier Chesterfield & The Chesterfield Equity Project Chesterfield County Coordinating Council Implementation and Planning Support local employers in implementing evidence-based strategies to improve health and wellness in the workplace.Collective learning about the meaning of health equity and identifying health disparities in Chesterfield County 2018  
Improving South Carolina Rural Health Workforce Recruitment and Retention University of South Carolina College of Social Work Implementation Provide inter-professional training to increase behavioral practice in rural settings. 2018  
Rural Primary Care Resident Procedural Training Initiative McLeod Family Medicine Residency Program Implementation Leverage medical technology and simulation training to improve rural primary care procedure training and stimulate medical student interest in rural practice. 2018  
Pharmacy Advancement in Rural Experiential Development with the Palmetto Experiential Education Partnership University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy Implementation Increase pharmacy student training opportunities in rural areas through site and preceptor development 2018  
HIV PrEP Implementation Toolkit Palmetto Health- USC Medical Group Division of Infectious Disease Planning Increase pharmacy student training opportunities in rural areas through site and preceptor development 2018  
Medically Supervised Weight Management Program John A. Martin Primary Healthcare Center Planning Develop and administer a medically supervised weight-loss program. 2018  


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.