Nebraska hay field

Office of Rural Health Initiatives

Mapping the road to a healthy future

Our office serves as the umbrella under which most of UNMC’s rural outreach education activities are developed. We also provide vision, leadership, strategic and operational direction and support for a variety of rural health programs, services and initiatives that work to enhance access to quality health care as close to home as possible for Nebraskans.

Our partners

We work with expert stakeholders and partners from a variety of disciplines within UNMC and across Nebraska to enhance coordinated and interdisciplinary approaches that will shape a healthy rural future for Nebraska and beyond.

  • Rural health facilities, their partner organizations and networks
  • Public health
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Educators
  • Researchers
  • Foundations
  • Economic development associations
  • Health and human services organizations
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Health associations
  • State and federal agencies
  • Local, state, and federal policymakers

Nebraska Health Care Workforce

Rural-urban differences in access to health care continue to be an essential and challenging policy issue facing communities throughout Nebraska. The 2022 report, “The Status of the Healthcare Workforce in the State of Nebraska: Update 2022," addresses these concerns, showing the current distribution of the health care workforce throughout the state.


The number of active physicians decreased from 257.7 to 249.8 per 100,000 population between 2019 and 2021.


Since 2019, while the number of counties with any primary care physicians increased by 1 to 80 out of 93, the number of primary care physicians per 100,000 has continued to decline.


In 2021 there were 1,571 nurse practitioners in Nebraska, a 17.7% increase over 2019.

Rural Health Matters

University of Nebraska President Jeffrey P. Gold appears regularly on RFD-TV to discuss rural health issues.