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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Iowa Researchers Receive Grant to Study Culture of Health in Rural Communities

Researchers at the University of Iowa College of Public Health and the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) have received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to study the role that rural communities and hospitals play in building a local Culture of Health.

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[Photo: Dr. Keith Mueller (left) and Dr. Xi Zhu]

Dr. Keith Mueller, professor and head, department of health management and policy and RUPRI director, and Dr. Xi Zhu, assistant professor of health management and policy are co-lead investigators on the grant. Other members of the UI team include Dr. Marcia Ward, Dr. Tom Vaughn, Mr. Fred Ullrich, and Dr. Paula Weigel.

According to Dr. Zhu, the project aims to develop an understanding of community and health-system characteristics associated with a Culture of Health and to identify strategies to lead the change toward building a local Culture of Health in rural communities.

The project will combine an analysis of national data with cases studies of selected rural communities. The researchers look to identify community characteristics and innovations that have made significant impacts on population health, well-being, and equity, along with strategies that rural hospitals and broad-based community coalitions can use to achieve and sustain a Culture of Health.

To find out more about a Culture of Health, visit