Our Mission

Advance the health and well-being of rural people and communities

Areas of Focus


Bringing awareness to the unique needs facing rural communities.


Building knowledge, skills, and confidence through a range of community health interventions and educational programs.


Supporting programs and policies that bridge connections between local agriculture, food access and healthcare.


Improving transportation access and coordination in South Central New York.


Enhancing service planning and assessment, policy implementation, and program evaluation through coordination and collaboration.

"My VISTA experience showed me the importance and impact that programs and initiatives like those at Rural Health Network can have on individuals and communities."

-Caroline Russo
AmeriCorps VISTA Member 2016-2017   

Our Impact

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Today is the first day of Black History month! Throughout this month, we will be sharing posts about some notable African Americans who have made significant contributions to the fields of health, medicine, and food throughout history. Today, meet Dr. William Augustus Hinton.Hinton was the first African American to hold a professorship at Harvard University and the first African American physician to publish a textbook. His textbook, published in 1936, was called Syphilis and Its Treatment. He is known internationally for the development of a flocculation method for the detection of syphilis called the "Hinton Test." This was an important creation for African Americans, especially because of the inequality in healthcare and the occurrence of the Tuskegee Syphilis Trials in 1932. buff.ly/2MWGT8j The Tuskegee Syphilis Trials involved 600 Black men – 399 with syphilis, 201 who did not have the disease. Participants’ informed consent was not collected. Researchers told the men they were being treated for 'bad blood,' a local term used to describe several ailments, including syphilis, anemia, and fatigue. In exchange for taking part in the study, the men received "free medical exams, free meals, and burial insurance".These trials ended up being unethical due to several factors. One big factor was that penicillin became a treatment of choice for syphilis in 1942, but men in the study were not treated. The results of this trial were lackluster and patient consent was not prioritized. Later in 1973, a class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of the study participants and their families, resulting in a $10 million, out-of-court settlement in 1974.The issue was not addressed by a president until 1997 when President Clinton issued a formal Presidential apology for the Tuskegee Trials. Thanks to microbiologts like Hinton, syphilis has become a lot less prevalent in the black community. buff.ly/2EmB1PP ... See MoreSee Less
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