Skip Navigation LinksWyoming Department of Health Rural and Frontier Health Division

Rural and Frontier Health

Organizational changes are being made at the Wyoming Department of Health to ensure needed services for Wyoming residents are delivered as successfully and responsibly as possible.

Most programs of the former Rural and Frontier Health Division are now part of the new Public Health Division. Vital Statistics Services currently reports to the deputy director of administration.

During this transition, ongoing contracts and services will not be interrupted. Please bear with us as we work toward updating our website and documentation.

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 percent 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 Programs - provides funding, public information, and administrative oversight to local services designed to help low-income and at-risk persons and families meet basic, ongoing medical, and emergency needs

  • Community Services Block Grant – provides funding to improve health, safety, and well-being of low-income residents
  • Emergency Shelter Grant – provides funding to five emergency shelters supporting persons at risk for homelessness
Other Programs
  • End Stage Renal Disease Program – assists low-income Wyoming residents with expenses related to chronic renal disease
  • Wyoming Cares/Wyoming Shares (Organ Donation Program) – finances efforts to provide informaiton and education related to organ and tissue donation in Wyoming


RFHD Newsletters

March 2011 Newsletter 

December 2010 Newsletter

October 2010 Newsletter

July 2010 Newsletter 

May 2010 Newsletter 

February 2010 Newsletter 


2010 Accomplishments - A 13-page PDF document that lists accomplishments for 2010

2009 Accomplishments - A 9-page PDF document that lists accomplishments for 2009

Other Documents

Advancing Rural Health Expertise and Building Rural Health Momentum - Three slides outlining courses and organizations we partner with to grow our staff and partners knowledge base.  

Meeting Rural Health Challenges - Three slides outlining Wyoming's unique healthcare challenges and related actions.