Message from the Director
Welcome to the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center, located in the Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health, on the campus of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. Establishment of the SCRHRC was made possible by a cooperative agreement with the Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration.

The South Carolina Rural Health Research Center focuses on investigating persistent inequities in health status within the population of the rural US, with an emphasis on inequities stemming from socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, and access to healthcare services. Special attention will be given to rural health services delivery and health professions placement through data and policy issue analyses.

We strive to make our research findings useful to organizations and individuals working to improve the quality of life for rural residents. Some of our early work is available on this web site, which also contains links to other sources of information about rural health. We welcome questions and ideas about rural health issues, policy and administration.

Janice C. Probst, Ph.D. Director

History & Mission

Since its inception,the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center has focused on one principal goal: to illuminate the problems experienced by poor and minority rural populations in order to guide research, policy, advocacy and legislation. Reflecting this goal, our specific aims are to:

-Develop the methods and conduct the research necessary to provide a clear picture of health status, health care needs, health services use and health outcomes among poor and minority rural populations

-Investigate the effectiveness of policies aimed at improving health and reducing barriers to care among rural poor and minority residents

-Assess the resources available to and barriers experienced by rural healthcare providers as they work with poor and minority rural residents

-Promote the development of minority researchers examining rural health issues

-Provide expert advice to national, state and local government and to rural and minority constituency groups, to empower policy development and advocacy

-Develop a repository of knowledge regarding health issues among poor and minority populations



The South Carolina Rural Health Research Center receives core funding from the Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, Iran Naqvi, Research Coordinator.


Division of Research and Statistical Services(DRSS)

The SC Budget and Control Board, DRSS has extensive health and social services databases. All the researchers at the Center have used these databases.

The DRSS provides the Center with centralized data management and biostatistics services. These databases are the most complete set of state-wide linkable databases in the United States. The data are stored in a "warehouse" configuration that allows data linking to answer specific research questions. This is a unique situation and the basis of the Center.

Databases that the DRSS will maintain for the Center include the Medicaid billing records--both inpatient and outpatient--the uniform hospital discharge data set, the SC State Employee Health Plan files, emergency department visits, and health professions licensure files. Although the linked data sets apply only to South Carolina, South Carolina has the highest percentage of rural African American residents in the nation.