Institute for Rural Health Research

Established in 2001, the Institute for Rural Health Research works to bring the highest attainable standard of health to rural citizens. The Institute pursues this mission through the combined strength of scientific knowledge, community involvement and informed public policy. The Institute’s research efforts are focused on health issues that impact people who live in rural areas. The goal is to produce research that is useful to communities, policymakers and health care providers as they work to improve the availability, accessibility and quality of health care for rural and underserved citizens. The Institute also serves as a resource for researchers, individuals and organizations working to improve the health of rural communities.

Emergency Medical Services Program

The College of Community Health Sciences, in collaboration with the Alabama Department of Public Health Office of EMS, implemented an Emergency Services Medical oversight program in 2007 to provide continuing education and updated technology to emergency medical services workers and volunteers in the 14 county West Alabama region.

Rural Health Conference

Each year, the Rural Health Conference brings together health care professionals, community leaders, researchers, government officials and policy-makers to share knowledge about the health disparities that impact rural Alabama and discuss novel solutions to address those disparities.

IRHR Leadership

Pamela Foster, MD, MPH

Pamela Foster, MD, MPH

Deputy Director for Community Outreach

(205) 348-5148

Louanne Friend, PhD

Louanne Friend, PhD

Deputy Director of Operations

(205) 348-6753

John Higginbotham, PhD, MPH

John C. Higginbotham, PhD, MPH


(205) 348-7259