Rural Health Day

About the ARHI

The Appalachian Rural Health Institute (ARHI) is an interdisciplinary health services and research institute at Ohio University. Sharing the recognition that Ohio University is uniquely positioned to address critical rural health issues, ARHI was established by a team of researchers and staff members from the Office of the Vice President for Research, the College of Health and Human Services, the College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Edison Biotechnology Institute, the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs, the College of Communication, and the College of Arts and Sciences. The Institute and its name were officially approved by the Ohio University Board of Trustees in September, 2003.

ARHI History

The Appalachian Rural health Institute (ARHI) was formally established in 2003 by the Ohio University Board of Trustees with support from the Colleges of Health and Human Services (now the College of Health Sciences and Professions) and the Osteopathic Medicine (now the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine).  ARHI’s initial efforts focused on the establishment of a Diabetes-Endocrine Center in 2006, which grew and evolved into the newly formed Diabetes Institute at Ohio University. As a result, in recent years, ARHI has expanded its mission by facilitating community-engaged research and scholarship in order to improve the health related quality of life among individuals living in rural Appalachia.  To that end, ARHI is uniquely positioned to address critical health issues by facilitating collaboration among researchers, educators, experts, and community partners to address health concerns and quality of life in underserved and rural populations.


The Appalachian Rural Health Institute’s mission is to improve the health status and quality of life for rural Appalachian populations by fostering interprofessional research, community outreach, education, ands scholarly activities through collaborative partnerships that empower university and community stakeholders.

Appalachian Rural Health Institute (ARHI)

  • Conducts community-engaged research on health issues relevant to rural, Appalachian and underserved populations;
  • Engages faculty, students, and partners to create interdisciplinary research teams that collaborate and address identified health concerns;
  • Fosters the creation of interprofessional research and education;
  • Facilitates local and regional networking;
  • Invests in building capacity for faculty, staff and students to conduct engaged research and to apply for grants;
  • Enhances the integration of research, education, and outreach linked with rural health;
  • Awards the ARHI Award for Excellence in Rural Health for undergraduate and graduate submissions at Ohio University Research and Creativity Exposition annually.

Through the achievements of its faculty affiliates and institutional partners, ARHI will establish itself as a national leader in rural Appalachian health research.

Research Philosophy

In an effort to increase well-being and quality of life of individuals in the rural Appalachian region, ARHI is committed to facilitating and fostering community-engaged research.  Since addressing the needs of the Appalachian population is paramount for ARHI, it is important that ARHI and its affiliated researchers engage target populations in the research process in order to assess the needs of the population as well as design interventions and policies that are culturally appropriate and responsive to the needs of the region.


ARHI projects have been funded by:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Fordham University
Health Resources and Services Administration
Integrating Professionals for Appalachian Children (IPAC)
Live Healthy Appalachia
Marshall University
National Institutes of Health
National Rural Health Association
Ohio Academy of Family Physicians
Ohio Department of Health
Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services
Osteopathic Heritage Foundation
Ohio State University
Ohio University
Westat, Inc.

Contact Us

Appalachian Rural Health Institute

Office Phone: 740-593-2133