What is RHI?

West Virginia:

  • RHI is a long-standing state-funded grant program to improve student interest and exposure to rural practice.
  • The program is governed by state statute and supported by an annual budget.
  • Recent program restructuring moved from funding a statewide community consortium to granting funds separately and independently to the state's three academic health centers.
  • The Higher Education Policy Commission awards and oversees the grants, provides technical assistance, funds a statewide housing system and facilitates monthly telephone conferences among the institutions.
  • Academic health centers each develop their own Rural Health Initiative program and retain control of all curricular and programmatic development.


  • WVSOM recruits students from rural areas that have an interest in primary care.
  • The institution emphasizes rural primary care throughout its four-year osteopathic medical education curriculum, residencies, and post-graduate support of alumni.
  • During the 2014-2015 academic year, third- and fourth-year students enjoyed more than 1,430 total rural clinical rotations within the state.
  • Currently, 55 WVSOM students are participants in the Rural Health Initiative Program.