Rural Health and Hospitals

Colorado Hospital Association recognizes the importance of equitable health outcomes between rural and urban Colorado.  The needs and capacities of each rural health care delivery system vary greatly. In the pursuit of optimal health for all Coloradans, the Association designed a bold and collaborative rural health strategy that includes care access, leadership and governance development, community capacity-building and payment reform.  The strategy, which was unveiled at the CHA Rural Health and Hospitals Conference in March of 2020, was developed with input from rural health leaders across Colorado.    

A central part of that strategic plan was the design and national launch of a COVID-19 Rural Health Care Delivery Toolkit and Playbook, which aims to assist rural health care delivery systems, including rural hospitals and rural primary care practices, prepare for future surges of COVID-19. This project, which was developed in partnership with the Farley Health Policy Center and the University of Colorado School of Medicine, is a comprehensive capacity-building tool for rural health care delivery systems in Colorado and beyond.

Rural Emergency Response Playbook

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a number of fractures in the health care system, but none as stark as those facing rural communities. In order to develop a meaningful plan to assist rural health care systems, CHA sought the insight and guidance of those on the frontlines within rural communities, including hospital administrators, clinicians and public health experts. With the help of these peers, CHA and its partners have distilled dozens of personal interviews, extensive literature review and an analysis of rural health care data into an emergency response playbook for rural health care delivery systems – Re-Imagining Leadership: A Pathway for Rural Health to Thrive in a COVID-19 World.

Re-Imagining Leadership: A Pathway for Rural Health to Thrive in a COVID-19 World
Rural Health Care Delivery System Assessment Tool

Brought to you by

With generous funding from

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant Project

In 2018, CHA applied for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Building Trust and Mutual Respect to Improve Health Care” program and received funding to evaluate the role of hospital-based patient and family engagement strategies in building trust with rural communities. As part of this two-year project, CHA, in coordination with the University of Colorado Center for Bioethics and Humanities, administered the Communication Climate Assessment Tool (C-CAT) to six rural hospitals. CHA took the learnings from the six in-depth surveys it conducted with rural member hospitals and distilled them into this new toolkit, which can be implemented in any hospital statewide.