NRHA Rural Health Fellows Program

NRHA's Rural Health Fellows program is a yearlong, intensive training program that develops leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America. 

View the current Rural Health Fellow rosters

Become a Rural Health Fellow

Each year, NRHA selects 10 to 15 highly motivated individuals who have proven their dedication to improving the health of rural Americans through their educational or professional experience.

The goal of the fellows program is to educate and develop a network of diverse rural leaders that will step forward to serve in key positions in the association, affiliated advocacy groups, and local and state legislative bodies with health equity as a main focus.

The submission period for 2023 Rural Health Fellows applications is now open through Sept. 15.

For more information, contact Ally Zimmerman, program services coordinator, at 202-639-0550.

NRHA's Rural Health Fellows meet in person three times throughout the year to undergo intensive leadership and advocacy training. In addition, fellows take part in monthly conference calls to supplement their training, receive updates on legislative and regulatory concerns that impact rural health, and participate in a mentorship program with current members of NRHA's Board of Trustees. Fellows should be committed to advocating on behalf of rural health and should be dedicated to NRHA's mission.


  • Applicants to the Rural Health Fellows Program must be NRHA members or willing to join before the start of the program.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a strong commitment to improving the health of all people residing in rural America through the provision of equitable health care services. This commitment must be demonstrated in the personal statement, as well as the curriculum vitae/resume of the applicant.
  • Applicants must be willing and able to commit to monthly conference calls as part of the program and complete a project as a member of an Action Project Team.
  • Applicants must have a sponsor to support travel/lodging expenses to attend three NRHA meetings: 1) NRHA's Rural Health Policy Institute, 2) NRHA's Annual Rural Health Conference, 3) the fellows graduation ceremony.
  • Applicants must commit to attend all Rural Health Fellows training sessions.

2023 Rural Health Fellows class training sessions:

1.  Feb. 7-9, 2023 - Rural Health Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.
2. May 16-19, 2023 - Annual Rural Health Conference in San Diego, Calif.
3. Feb. 2024 - Rural Health Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

Rural Health Fellows program costs:

There is no program fee for participation in the Rural Health Fellows program. Applicants must have a sponsor (employer, corporate or self) responsible for all travel and lodging costs to attend the three training sessions.