Office of Primary Care and Rural Health

The Hawaii State Office of Primary Care and Rural Health (OPCRH) coordinates federal, state, and local efforts aimed at improving the health of Hawaii’s rural and medically underserved populations. The Office is organizationally placed within the Family Health Services Division of the Hawaii State Department of Health.


  • Promote health equity and opportunities to be healthy, particularly among Hawaii’s rural and medically underserved populations.
  • Enhance the access and availability of quality health care services in Hawaii.


  • People should receive health care services as close to their homes as possible.
  • Access to quality health care will be assured through the development of a comprehensive, integrated, community-based,  culturally competent system of care that improves the lives of Hawaii’s medically underserved and rural populations.
  • We promote social responsibility, collaboration, and integrity in our activities.
  • We are accountable for the scope and quality of our work and strive for service excellence and quality improvement to  maintain public trust and confidence.


  • Establish and maintain an information clearinghouse.
  • Support community engagement/empowerment.
  • Foster the development and equitable placement of health professionals in our communities.
  • Improve the health and wellness of people living in rural communities and those medically underserved in Hawaii.
  • Enhance the economic viability of Hawaii’s community health centers, small rural hospitals, rural health clinics,  and other providers.
  • Engage in and stimulate health policy, planning, and research on issues related to the medically underserved and rural communities.


  • Plan, coordinate, implement, and evaluate health projects that build capacity in rural and medically underserved communities.
  • Collect and disseminate health information.
  • Conduct activities to encourage recruitment and retention of health professionals, including National Health Service Corps (NHSC)  and J-1 Visa application information and processing.
  • Work to strengthen state, local, and federal partnerships.
  • Review and develop state, county, and federal policy initiatives.
  • Work with facilities in rural and medically underserved areas to improve financial, operational, and clinical performance.
  • Timely submission of Health Professional Shortage Area, Medically Underserved Area/Population (MUA/MUP) designation, and NHSC site applications.
  • Demographics and health statistics by state, county, and defined communities.


  • Increased capacities for the provision of services and products.
  • Increased culturally appropriate and community oriented interventions.
  • Increased awareness of rural health and medically underserved populations.
  • Strengthened voice, unity, and commitment of our stakeholders.
  • Partner needs are supported (e.g. quality improvement, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, policy “boot camp,“ establishing and updating shortage designations).
  • Improvement in rural (health system) quality measures.

Office Functions

Rural Health Functions

Primary Care Functions

  •  Shortage Designation (HPSA, Health Professional Shortage Area) and (MUA/P, Medically Underserved Area or Population) Applications and Updates (Shortage Designation Program)





The Office of Primary Care and Rural Health celebrated National Rural Health Day 2023 in partnership with the Hawaii State Rural Health Association by organizing a gubernatorial proclamation. National Rural Health Day is an opportunity to celebrate the #powerofrural by honoring the community-minded spirit that prevails in our rural communities. It also brings light to the unique healthcare challenges that rural residents face while showcasing the efforts of rural health organizations and partners.




In recognition of National Rural Health Day, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) is pleased to announce the 2023 Community Star Awards. These Community Stars teach us all valuable lessons and provide positive examples of what can be accomplished. There are Community Stars nationwide, and it is our honor to bring attention to their excellent work. In Hawaii, congratulations to Lisa Rantz on her 2023 Community Star Award. Lisa is the President of the Hawaii State Rural Health Association and a true rural champion & advocate.




Thank you for celebrating National Rural Health Day with us!
For more information, please visit


Contact Us:

Honolulu Office                                                                                       Hilo Office
1250 Punchbowl Street, #216                                                             75 Aupuni Street
Honolulu, Hawaii  96813                                                                     Hilo, Hawaii  96720
Phone: (808) 586-4122                                                                         Phone: (808) 961-9460