Skip to Content

Coronavirus: Get complete details about the university's response to COVID-19.

Arnold School of Public Health

Current Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) Projects

Using the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health, spatial multilevel models will be constructed to estimate county-and Census tract-level rates of childhood obesity in the US. Particular emphasis will be placed on rural areas, for which direct estimates are often unavailable because of small sample sizes in population-based surveys. 

Lead Researcher: Jan M. Eberth, PhD

Anticipated Completion Date: July 2020

The Rural Colon and Cervical Cancer Environmental Scan will use a mix of quantitative and qualitative techniques to identify opportunities for improving cancer screening uptake, follow-up of abnormal screening results, and timeliness and quality of treatment received among rural residents in South Carolina. Study methods will include on-site observation of routine care in various rural provider settings, consultations with physicians, insurers and patients, claims based analysis, and mapping of cancer outcomes and healthcare service points.

Lead Researcher: Jan Eberth, PhD

Anticipated Completion Date: April 2020

This project aims to understand how rural hospitals implement evidence-based cancer screening and treatment and related intervention strategies. We will identify what types of cancer screening are offered in rural hospitals, their diagnostic and treatment referral processes, and the extent to which surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy services are provided on-site or through affiliated ambulatory/outpatient surgery centers.

Lead Researcher: Peiyin Hung, PhD

Anticipated Completion Date: August 2020

This project will leverage growing collaborative efforts between the Rural and Minority Health Research Center (RMHRC), SC Office of Rural Health, SC Primary Health Care Association, and SC Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare to assess and improve cancer prevention and control among rural SC residents. The project will involve three phases: (1) planning and adapting; (2) pilot testing; and (3) evaluation focused on increasing use of evidence-based (EB) strategies to increase colorectal and/or cervical cancer screening and initiation of timely, appropriate follow-up care as applicable, among patients served at Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) in South Carolina. Throughout the project period, we will use a flexible, iterative, and adaptive approach to ensure our efforts maximize existing statewide efforts

Lead Researcher: Jan M. Eberth, PhD

Anticipated Completion Date: August 2020 


This proposal examines the impact of rural hospital closures occurring between 2005-2017 across the nation on change in potential demand within safety-net health care systems as well as changes in all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Using a novel integration of spatial analysis, multi-level modeling, and difference-in-difference tests, we propose to 1) investigate whether safety-net providers were more likely to defray the demand for services due to their proximity to hospitals that closed, and 2) quantify the impact of hospital closures on rural mortality rates. The proposal aims to fill gaps in prior work by providing national estimates of impacts of hospital closures for rural populations due to changes to potential demand for services as well as in changes in health outcomes. Our study findings will provide new information on the cascading effect of increasing transportation times, social and economic conditions, and reduced access to health care providers on population health outcomes within rural communities.

Lead Researcher: Nathan Bell, PhD

Anticipated Completion Date: August 2020 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.