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Office of Rural Health (ORH)


The Office of Rural Health (ORH) is a branch within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that focuses on improving access to healthcare services for veterans residing in rural areas. ORH develops policies, provides resources, and partners with other organizations to ensure that rural veterans receive the appropriate care they need. This office aims to address challenges unique to rural communities, such as geographic isolation, limited healthcare providers, and socioeconomic barriers.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Office of Rural Health (ORH) aims to improve healthcare services for eligible Veterans in rural areas by developing policies, providing resources, and implementing innovative programs.
  2. ORH collaborates with other VA offices, federal and state partners, research institutions, and industry to deliver effective healthcare solutions addressing challenges faced by rural Veterans.
  3. Key ORH initiatives include workforce training and development, telehealth and care coordination, access to community-based healthcare services, and enhancing infrastructure to bridge the urban-rural divide in healthcare quality.


The Office of Rural Health (ORH) is a critical component of VA benefits as it specifically focuses on addressing the unique challenges faced by veterans residing in rural areas.

The ORH works to ensure that these veterans, who often have limited access to healthcare services and resources, receive appropriate and high-quality care.

By developing innovative programs, research, and partnerships, the ORH plays a significant role in improving the overall well-being of rural veterans.

Its existence highlights the VA’s commitment to tackling the disparities in healthcare access, and it ultimately strives to provide equitable and comprehensive assistance to all veterans, regardless of their geographical location.


The Office of Rural Health (ORH) is a vital entity within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that specifically focuses on improving health outcomes for rural Veterans. The organization’s primary purpose is to identify, understand, and address unique challenges faced by Veterans living in rural or underserved areas.

Such issues may include limited access to quality healthcare, longer distances to specialized facilities, and a scarcity of medical practitioners. ORH plays a crucial role in ensuring that the rural Veterans receive equal access to quality healthcare services, irrespective of their geographic location.

To achieve its mission of providing comprehensive healthcare services to rural Veterans, the ORH collaborates with other VA offices, federal and state agencies, and non-profit organizations. By forging partnerships and developing tailored programs to address barriers in healthcare access, ORH continuously works to expand care options for rural Veterans.

These programs, which may involve the use of telehealth, structural expansion of facilities, or community-based partnerships, demonstrate the commitment of VA and ORH to bridging the gap in healthcare services for rural Veterans. This collective effort ultimately results in improved health, well-being, and overall quality of life for the brave men and women who have valiantly served their country.

Examples of Office of Rural Health (ORH)

The Office of Rural Health (ORH) is a part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that focuses on providing healthcare services to rural veterans. Here are three real-world examples of their initiatives:

The Veterans Transportation Program (VTP)One of ORH’s top priorities is ensuring that rural veterans have access to healthcare services. The Veterans Transportation Program (VTP) is a program designed to assist veterans in rural areas with transportation to VA medical centers and other facilities for necessary appointments. This program helps reduce the travel burden for rural veterans who may have limited or no access to public transportation.

Telehealth ServicesThe ORH has been instrumental in the expansion of telehealth services for veterans who reside in rural areas. By using technology such as videoconferencing and remote monitoring, telehealth allows rural veterans to receive healthcare services and consultations without having to travel long distances. This enables veterans to access timely healthcare and improve their overall health outcomes.

Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot (RVCP)The Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot (RVCP) is a program launched by the ORH to improve the coordination of healthcare services for rural veterans. The RVCP awards grants to organizations focused on serving the unique needs of rural veterans, such as addressing homelessness, reducing isolation, and providing mental health services. These organizations collaborate with VA facilities to provide a more holistic approach to meeting the healthcare needs of rural veterans.

FAQ – Office of Rural Health (ORH)

What is the Office of Rural Health (ORH)?

The Office of Rural Health (ORH) is a department within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that focuses on providing accessible and high-quality health care to rural Veterans. The ORH works to eliminate barriers and address the unique challenges faced by rural Veterans to ensure they receive the care they need and deserve.

How does the ORH help rural Veterans access healthcare services?

The ORH initiates and supports various programs and initiatives aimed at improving access to healthcare for rural Veterans. Some programs include the use of telehealth and telemedicine services, the establishment of Rural Access Network for Growth Enhancement (RANGE) program sites, and partnerships with local and state organizations to expand VA services in rural areas.

What are the main goals of the ORH?

The main goals of the ORH are to increase access to healthcare for rural Veterans, improve the quality of care, support research to inform policy decisions, and promote collaboration between the VA and other partners to address the challenges faced by rural Veterans in accessing healthcare services.

What is telehealth, and how does it benefit rural Veterans?

Telehealth is the use of technology to deliver healthcare services remotely, allowing patients to connect with healthcare providers without the need for in-person visits. Telehealth services can include video consultations, remote monitoring of vital signs, and secure messaging with healthcare professionals. Telehealth benefits rural Veterans by offering accessible and convenient care, reducing travel expenses, and connecting patients with highly trained specialists who may not be available in their local area.

How can I find out more information about the services offered by the ORH and how to access them?

For more information on the Office of Rural Health and its programs, you can visit the official ORH website (https://www.ruralhealth.va.gov/) or contact your local VA healthcare facility, which can help direct you to the appropriate resources and services available in your area.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot (RVCP)
  • Veterans Enhanced Transportation Solutions (VETS)
  • Access Received Closer to Home (ARCH)
  • Rural Promising Practices Program (RPP)
  • Telehealth and Telemedicine Services

Sources for More Information