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Rural Health Outreach Program


Helping to preserve quality health care and access through education, research and leadership for those living, working and visiting rural Texas.

Sylvia Alonzo Rawlings
Sylvia Alonzo Rawlings

Message from Sylvia Alonzo Rawlings, Director

I am excited to welcome you to The Rural Health Outreach Program (RHOP), where no matter where in rural Texas you live or work, you are only a phone call or email away from information and referral on rural health and policy issues.

One of only two state-funded outreach programs in Texas, the RHOP has evolved into a center of influence through its years of accumulated rural knowledge and expertise, resulting in solicited participation in multiple organizations, including those at the state and national levels. We have become the hub of information exchange for rural, the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, and the community. To date, the RHOP has responded to education and information requests from 189 of the 254 Texas counties – a tremendous increase from our original 15-county service area in 1975.

As Director of the RHOP, I continually respond to multiple requests for my participation, through committee and leadership positions, and provide input from the rural perspective on various health care, workforce, and policy issues.

It is important for us to help you stay current about health care issues affecting rural Texas, such as The Affordable Care Act, National HIV/AIDS Strategy, Accountable Care Organizations, or Medicare Expansion. To that end, we dedicate information on our website to inform you of existing rural challenges and the advocacy efforts by those championing for the improvement of health care in rural Texas.

This is an exciting yet challenging time for nurses and other health care providers. We are privileged to serve you by keeping “rural” in the forefront of those who affect change, ensuring and enhancing the health of rural Texas citizens.