January 27, 2020 | Erin Bluvas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant professor of health services policy and management (HSPM) Elizabeth Crouch has been elected by the National Rural Health Association to serve on its Board of Trustees. Charged with leading NRHA through supervision, control and direction of the association’s affairs, the board is comprised of elected officers of the association and the chief executive officer.
It also includes chairs for the State Association Council, the State Office Council, Rural Health Policy Congress, and each constituency group (i.e., clinical services, frontier, hospitals and health systems, research and education, federal qualified health center, public health, rural health clinic, statewide health resources). Crouch will lend her experience from both her professional career and her service with NRHA to her role as chair of the Research and Education Constituency Group.
A member of NRHA since 2016, Crouch was selected to participate in the organization’s 2018 cohort of its Rural Health Fellows Program. This one-year, intensive program is designed to prepare emerging rural health experts for leadership roles in advancing the health of rural America. Crouch is also serving a three-year term on the editorial board for the Journal of Rural Health, which is funded by NRHA.
“The training activities offered through the Rural Health Fellows Program were essential to furthering my knowledge of how to apply my research to advocacy work and policy development and enhancing my knowledge of the practitioner’s perspective,” Crouch says. “The breadth and depth of the articles submitted to the Journal of Rural Health has illustrated to me how much amazing work is being done to improve rural-urban disparities in health status, access, and quality of care and how there is so much left to do.”
As a health policy researcher, Crouch examines health disparities among rural and other vulnerable populations. Looking at disparities across the life course (e.g., adverse childhood experiences, Medicare utilization), her work focuses on both policy and economics.
These interests were sparked when she was a child visiting her grandparents in rural Kentucky. It continued throughout her education, which included a bachelor’s degree in financial economics (Centre College) as well as a Master of Science in Applied Economics and Statistics and a Ph.D. in Policy Studies (Clemson University).
After her 2012 graduation, Crouch taught economics at Anderson University before joining UofSC’s Institute of Families in Society as a research associate examining health economics in relation to policies implemented for Medicaid users in South Carolina. In 2015, she joined the Arnold School’s HSPM department and the Rural and Minority Health Research Center, which she now leads as Deputy Director.
“My concern and passion for health equity aligns with the NRHA,” says Crouch. “I look forward to collaborating with rural health leaders across the country as I use this new position to inform policy makers on issues important to rural residents.”
NRHA is a nonprofit organization working to improve the health and wellbeing of rural Americans and providing leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education, and research. NRHA’s membership is made up of more than 21,000 diverse individuals and organizations, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health.