State Office of Rural Health

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VA-SORH’s Innovative Programming Awards

For nearly 30 years, the VA-SORH has provided funding that bridges small, rural communities to state and federal resources with the goal of developing long-term solutions to address the root causes of rural health disparities. VA-SORH accomplishes this goal by awarding funds to grant sub-recipients or “grantees”. Each grantee utilizes the funding to implement innovative programming in rural communities across the Commonwealth.

In 2020, VA-SORH awarded a combined total of over $150,000 amongst ten grantees. Programs are focused on increasing access to dental care, tele-behavioral-health services, substance use disorder, rural workforce development and food security.

Awards consist of annual grants that range in value from $1,000 to $20,000. Recipients must reapply each year and will receive subsequent grants based on their progress and performance. Priority will be given to grantees that demonstrate a need for the funding, have a clear plan in place for using the funding, and can articulate the anticipated impact of the funding if received.


VA-SORH’s current areas of focus are:

  • Healthy Moms & Babies
  • Food Access & Nutrition
  • Workforce Development
  • Behavioral Health
  • Telehealth


Application/Award Timeline:

  • The application cycle for grant year 2021 – 2022 will open on November 23rd, 2020.
  • Application submissions must be received by 5 p.m. on January 8th, 2021.
  • Applications will be reviewed and awards will be announced April 7th, 2021.
  • Funds will be dispersed during the fiscal year to start July 1st, 2021 through June 30th, 2020.


VA-SORH Grantee Resources:


2020-2021 VA-SORH Grantees:

  • Central Virginia Health Services, Inc.
      • Central Virginia Health Services (CVHS) is Virginia’s oldest federally qualified community health center with the mission to transform lives through exceptional healthcare by providing safe, accessible, affordable, comprehensive, high quality and culturally sensitive health services to anyone. 12 of the 18 CVHS locations offer dental services which are very much in demand. The need for increased access to oral health care in most of CVHS’ rural locations, specifically Charles City, Louisa, and Westmoreland counties, inspired a current project to provide much needed oral health equipment to shorten wait times and increase the number of dental patients seen per month.
  • Eastern Shore Health District & Eastern Virginia Medical School
      • The Eastern Virginia Medical School for Eastern Shore Health Communities serves a rural, health professional shortage area where medical and behavioral health resources are often inadequate. In order to build a resilient and trauma-informed community the Eastern Shore Health District will focus on community organizations, primarily worksites, as promising places for secondary prevention of trauma, and thus a stronger alternative investment to building a referral network. 
  • Far Southwest Virginia Drug Court Initiative & Cumberland & Lenowisco Health Districts
      • The Far Southwest Virginia Drug Court, representing eleven rural Drug Treatment Courts, work to ensure Drug Court participants, families, significant others, and personal supports continue to have access to services addressing significant public health issues in their communities. Adult Drug Treatment Courts are an alternative to incarceration for non-violent offenders who are identified as being alcohol and/or drug dependent while Juvenile Drug Courts target substance abusing adolescents charged with delinquency. According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, evidence-based Drug Courts save lives because they graduate individuals with the necessary tools to rebuild their lives and because they adhere to Best Practice Standards.
  • Health Wagon
      • The mission of the Health Wagon is to provide compassionate, quality health care to the medically underserved people in the mountains of Appalachia. The Health Wagon provides care from two brick and mortar stationary clinics as well as three mobile units. The Health Wagon has been able to provide a full range of comprehensive health services to those in need and serves as a regular medical home to over 4,000 patients annually in the communities where they live. The Health Wagon has extended its services to include tele-health and virtual visits.
  • One Care of Southwest Virginia
      • One Care of Southwest Virginia is a consortium of 16 substance abuse coalitions working throughout the 21 counties and cities in the region. One Care is committed to decreasing substance abuse and misuse, and related social, economic, and health factors through planning, policy, and advocacy. In order to directly address the need for additional Substance Use Disorder (SUD) personnel and services in rural Virginia, One Care provides education in the form of Prescription Drug Abuse Forums, Health Care Profession Education Programs, and Community Stigma Awareness Campaigns.
  • Southern Virginia Botanical Gardens and Environmental Education Center
      • The Healthy Harvest Community Garden is a program of the Southern Virginia Botanical Gardens and Environmental Education Center. Originally conceived as a way to introduce people to the importance of nutrition and healthy eating, and a way to provide healthy produce to individuals who otherwise may not have access to fresh food, the garden has become a way for community members to explore healthy eating while learning about growing and cooking nutritious produce. The Healthy Harvest Community Garden has partnered with local schools and organizations to produce student interns and expand community outreach efforts. 
  • Southwestern Virginia Rural Area Health Education Center & Edward Via College of Osteopathic  Medicine
      • The recent opening of an AHEC in Southwest Virginia on the campus of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) in Blacksburg, Virginia has allowed two established institutions to join together to further carryout their joint mission of addressing today’s healthcare workforce gaps, particularly in rural and underserved areas. A current project, the Healthcare Interprofessional Rural Immersion Program for Students, leverages the nexus of health science programs convened through the Southwest Virginia Rural AHEC and VCOM to create a hands-on, interprofessional education and training experience in rural health care, aimed at recruiting and retaining future health professionals to underserved rural areas. Upon completion of the program, students will have an understanding of common health concerns affecting rural populations, including substance abuse and behavioral health issues; how different medical professionals work together to treat patients using available resources such as telemedicine, mobile medicine, and federally funded and community health clinics; and the importance of cultural competency skills for physicians in rural areas where resources are limited.
  • Blue Ridge Health District & Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) 
      • The Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD) is composed of 5 counties and the City of Charlottesville, all of which are designated by HRSA as health professional shortage areas,medically underserved, or both. Community health workers (CHWs) have been found to be effective in reducing disparities for specific conditions (diabetes, etc.) and for making the healthcare workforce more reflective of the communities it serves. TJHD and Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) would like to continue to expand on the work begun in FY2020 to partner with agencies, job seekers, and community members to maintain a community health worker training program.
  • Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics
      • The Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics free clinic members are safety-net health care organizations that utilize a volunteer/staff model to provide a range of medical, dental, pharmacy, vision and/or behavioral health services to economically disadvantaged individuals. Recent efforts to strengthen the volunteer workforce in Virginia’s rural free clinics ensure that they are able to continue to serve working individuals and families so they remain healthy, avoid missed time from work due to illness, and reduce unnecessary and costly visits to the emergency room.
  • Virginia Rural Health Association
      • The mission of the Virginia Rural Health Association (VRHA) is to improve the health of rural Virginians through education, advocacy, and fostering cooperative partnerships. Virginia currently has 39 Rural Health Clinics (RHC), down from a historic high of 68. Many factors have contributed to the decrease in RHC facilities, foremost being the difficulty of sustaining financial viability and maintaining regulation compliance; loss of an RHC means loss of an access point for that community. VRHA is committed to providing Virginia’s Rural Health Clinics with educational opportunities to optimize RHC practice management.