About Us
What we do

About TRHA

Since 1984, the Texas Rural Health Association has been a cornerstone for rural Texans, serving as the state association advocating for quality health care in rural Texas. The foundation of the Association was built by community members collaborating with a shared vision. The Association is powered and driven by our comprehensive board and diverse membership network of organizations – health professionals, health profession students, educational institutions, provider groups, community-based organizations, businesses, policymakers and government leaders – all committed to working together to strengthen and sustain the rural health care system in Texas. We aim to be a unifying voice for rural communities by bringing together the existing initiatives and by providing a collaborative forum to exchange ideas to maximize opportunities for improvement.

Our Voice

The TRHA represents the interests of all rural, medically underserved and socially vulnerable communities in Texas and is intended to serve as the leading advocate for better health and healthcare access to these populations. The US Office of Management and Budget states that 191 of the 254 counties in Texas are designated rural and HRSA designates 177 counties as being Medically Underserved and 139 counties as being within a Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). TRHA understands that access to healthcare providers and resources has a direct impact on health outcomes and health disparities in rural communities. TRHA looks to identify and understand these factors and variables that these numbers reflect to explore tangible solutions and improve access to healthcare and resources throughout Texas.

We acknowledge that rural communities in Texas have distinctive challenges that limit their resilience and are detrimental to their ability to access necessary health care and resources as well as their ability to address ongoing systemic problems at local and state levels. TRHA believes that building community connectedness and providing education and advocacy is the key to evolving and sustaining rural health.

TRHA is aligned with several major colleges and universities throughout Texas as well as local, state, and federal level organizations, programs, and funders that intend to identify tangible solutions to further bridge the gaps between urban and rural healthcare inequities. We aim to leverage these relationships to amplify your voice to transform healthcare in rural communities across Texas.


Current Initiatives & Services Include:

  • Outreach & Education – We provide outreach and education on rural topics via event presentations and speaker engagements. We promote and support a wide variety of educational and training opportunities each year, in person and virtually.
  • Advocacy – TRHA stays current on policies surrounding rural health and works directly with the National Rural Health Association. We work closely with officials at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure they understand how the policies they make affect the quality of health care provided in rural Texas. TRHA hosts and engages in legislative briefings and discussions regarding rural health issues that are before the Texas State Legislature.
  • Cooperation – TRHA works to generate strategic partnerships with like-minded entities that support and contribute to the TRHA mission and the improvement of rural Texas.
  • Networking & Dissemination – TRHA distributes information to its network of board members, community members, and partners, providing newsletters and updates to keep them informed about state and national rural health issues through TRHA media and marketing platforms. TRHA also regularly disseminates event opportunities, resources, policy, and outreach information from its partners using the Association to leverage its shared mission and maximize our reach together.

Board of Directors

Courtney West, President
Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, Texas

Ann Smith, Secretary
UNT Health Sciences Center
Fort Worth, Texas

Candy Powell, Treasurer
Collingsworth General Hospital
Wellington, Texas

Mike Easley
Austin, Texas

Gayla Quillin
Parmer Medical Center
Friona, Texas

Paula Winkler
South Central AHEC
San Antonio, Texas

Bel Flores
South Coastal AHEC
Corpus Christi, Texas

Katherine McDonald, MBA, PA-C
Radiology Partners
Conroe, Texas

David M. DeShan, M.D.
Midland Women’s Clinic
Midland, Texas

Tomiko Fisher, MBA
Texas AHEC East



Kelly Cheek

Terra Moreno

Haley Stuteville