Rural Health Overview

Hawaii’s Rural Health functions result from a federal-state partnership that provides support, resources, and coordination to Hawaii’s rural health care providers and stakeholders.

The Hawaii State Office of Rural Health (HSORH) was established in 1992 in the Office of Planning, Policy, and Program Development. As part of a Departmental restructuring process in 2011, HSORH merged with the Office of Primary Care to form the Office of Primary Care and Rural Health (OPCRH) and is organizationally part of the Family Health Services Division.


The rural health mission is to enhance the access and availability of quality health care services in Hawaii’s rural communities. We strive to accomplish this through partnership with local, state, federal, and national organizations, as well as community members. Access to quality rural 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 rural populations. We aim to be a recognized leader in rural health issues and work to make a positive difference in the lives of people in Hawaii’s rural communities through leadership, collaboration, education, community development, and advocacy. OPCRH is one of fifty state offices of rural health nationwide, all with federally mandated goals of:

  • Collecting and disseminating information 
  • Coordinating state rural health resources and activities 
  • Providing technical assistance to rural communities 
  • Supporting recruitment and retention of health professionals in rural areas 
  • Strengthening local, state, and federal partnerships 

Rural health offices are located in Hilo on the island of Hawaii and in Honolulu on the island of Oahu.

Hilo Office                                                                                          Honolulu Office
75 Aupuni Street                                                                                1250 Punchbowl Street, #216
Hilo, HI 96720                                                                                    Honolulu, HI 96813

To coordinate, plan, and advocate for improved health for Hawaii’s rural residents and communities, rural health functions are composed of the Rural Communities Healthcare Infrastructure Transformation (RCHIT) and Office for the Rural Advancement of Technology and Hospital Improvement (ORATHI) programs.

The Office of Primary Care and Rural Health participates in the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH). Partnering with NOSORH fosters increased communication and involvement with other states and health care groups.