|Center for Rural Health part of new grassroots rural policy project|
The Center for Rural Health is one of the first participants in the national Rural People, Rural Policy program.
The new five-year national initiative, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich., builds and strengthens networks of local organizations to develop policy that will help rural communities and small towns.
This initiative intends to grow from regional networks into a national network of rural organizations and national service groups working on a variety of economic and social issues that impact rural America, according to a statement by the Kellogg Foundation announcing the awardees.
The foundation funded only 24 of the 190 proposals they received for the first year. The Center for Rural Health is the only health-related organization selected to participate. The remaining 23 are primarily community development, youth or policy organizations.
“This program stresses collaboration, bringing together housing, economic development, migrant programs, education and healthcare,” said Brad Gibbens, associate director of the Center for Rural Health. “No one individual can be as effective as the group.”
Center for Rural Health Associate Director Alana Knudson, Gibbens’ partner on the project, agrees. “This program will give the rural voice a strong, unified grassroots foundation,” she said.
“These groups make a difference in the communities they serve every day,” said Rick Foster, vice president of programs for the Kellogg Foundation. “We want to learn from them what’s working and what we can do together to improve the vitality of rural communities and the lives of the residents. We believe policies that impact rural people are best informed by rural citizens themselves.”
“Here at the Center for Rural Health we already facilitate this sort of collaboration on a local level and now we can share what we have learned on a regional and national level,” said Gibbens.
-- Amanda Scurry, public information specialist, UND SMHS, email@example.com, 701-777-0871