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Rural & Frontier Health


The Rural & Frontier Health Unit coordinates efforts to improve the health of Wyoming’s residents, with a focus on access for the medically underserved. The Community Services Program works towards improving the health, safety and well-being of low-income Wyoming residents as they move towards self-sufficiency, and the Office of Multicultural Health focuses on minimizing health disparities among underserved and minority populations across the state. The End Stage Renal Disease program assists low-income Wyomingites with end stage renal disease related expenses and the Wyoming Cares/Wyoming Shares program furthers education about organ donation statewide. Also enhancing healthcare for Wyoming’s communities, the Office of Rural Health supports the development of an adequate healthcare workforce while promoting collaboration in expanding comprehensive, community-based healthcare.

Key Facts  

  • Entire state considered “rural/frontier” except Laramie and Natrona counties

  • 17 counties have fewer than six residents per square mile and are considered “frontier” (47% of population)

  • 200,000 residents in shortage areas with inadequate access to primary care

  • Eight counties have shortage of primary care physicians

  • 205,000 residents in shortage areas with inadequate access to dental care

  • Entire state is designated shortage area for mental health care


Office of Rural Health – enhance access to healthcare services, support development of adequate healthcare workforce, and promote collaboration in expanding comprehensive, community-based healthcare in rural and underserved areas

  • Wyoming Healthcare Professional Loan Repayment Program – provides loan repayment grants to physicians, dentists, and allied healthcare professionals in exchange for their practice for three years in areas of greatest need
  • Wyoming Physician Recruitment Grant Program – helps medically underserved communities recruit physicians
  • Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program – supports Wyoming’s 16 Critical Access Hospitals in quality/performance improvement, nurse leadership training, and integration of emergency medical services
  • Primary Care Office – manages geographic, low income, and facility shortage area designations, and provides technical assistance in eligibility issues for federal programs
  • Key Partners – Wyoming Health Resources Network for recruitment/retention of healthcare workforce; Wyoming Hospital Association for management of Critical Access Hospital Network; and Wyoming Primary Care Association for development/enhancement of healthcare safety net


Office of Multicultural Health – collaborates, advocates, and educates to reduce/eliminate health disparities in minority/underserved population and promotes culturally competent programs to improve access to healthcare services

  • State Partnership Grant - facilitates improvement of minority health and elimination of health disparities

Community Services Program - provides funding, information, and administrative oversight to local service providers designed to help low-income and at-risk persons and families meet basic, ongoing, and emergency needs

  • Community Services Block Grant – provides funding to improve health, safety, and well-being of homeless and low-income residents



Wyoming Cares/Wyoming Shares (Organ Donation Program) - finances efforts to provide information and education related to organ and tissue donation in Wyoming



 End Stage Renal Disease Program - assists low-income Wyoming residents with expenses related to chronic renal disease


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