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Panels and Networks - Rural Human Services Panel

 A Call to Action


The RUPRI Rural Human Services Panel envisions a system of rural human services delivery in this nation that responds to the unique social and environmental characteristics of rural America, and that are sufficiently resourced to serve the needs of its people.  These systems of care and services will have the following characteristics:


1.  All individuals and families will have reasonable access to essential human and social services from wherever they may reside.


2.  Public funding for rural human services take into consideration the increased burden of costs created by geography and distance and diseconomies of scale due to the size and distribution of the population in rural service regions.


3.  Delivery systems that emphasize prevention and early intervention, and are responsive to the changing cultural, ethnic, and age diversity of rural populations.


4.  Delivery systems that recognize, respect, and support the inherent creativity, resiliencey and culture of rural residents and communities.


5.  Systems that encourage local and regional empowerment, efficient coordination of services, and that allow programmatic felxibility, administratie simplicity and mutually beneficial partnerships.



  • Advance the understanding of the rural differential of human service delivery and finance mechanisms
  • Effect needed change in policy and practice, through the dissemination of realistic policy and practice recommendations.
Panel Documents:
Place-based Policies and Public Health: The Road to Healthy Rural People and Places.  Joint Policy Paper from the RUPRI Health and Human Services Panels.  March 2010.
Panel Membership


Members of the RUPRI Rural Human Services Panel hail from across the country and represent a diversity of rural constituents.  Their expertise covers a wide range of human service issues, including poverty research, child welfare, community development, service delivery administration, immigrants and migrant workers, and legal justice.  Panel members are:

  • Kathleen Belanger, Associate Professor of Social Work at Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Vaughn Clark, Director of Community Development at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce
  • Larry Goolsby, Director Legislative Affairs and Policy, American Public Human Services Association
  • Mario Gutierrez (panel chair), Senior Program Officer, California Connected Policy Institute
  • Colleen Heflin, Associate Professor, Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri
  • Connie Stewart, Executive Director, California Center for Rural Policy, Humboldt State University
  • Bruce Weber, Professor of Agriculture, Resource Economics and Extension Economist at Oregon State University. 


The RUPRI Rural Human Service Panel is supported through a Cooperative Agreement with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP), Department of Health and Human Services.

© RUPRI - Rural Policy Research Institute - 214 Middlebush Hall - Columbia, MO 65211 - (573) 882-0316   

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