Vulnerable Rural Hospitals Assistance Program

Funding Agency:
Health Resources and Services Administration

This notice solicits applications for the Vulnerable Rural Hospitals Assistance Program (VRHAP). The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to provide targeted in-depth assistance to vulnerable rural hospitals within communities struggling to maintain health care services. The goal is for residents in rural communities to continue to have access to essential health services. 

The awardee will work with individual hospitals and their communities on ways to address economic challenges, understand community health needs and resources, and find ways to ensure hospitals and communities can keep needed care locally, whether it is with a more limited set of services provided by the hospital, or by exploring other mechanisms for meeting community health care needs.

Deadline: July 16, 2018

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants include domestic public or private, non-profit entities. Domestic faithbased and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations are also eligible to apply.

This eligible applicant (VRHAP recipient) will provide targeted technical assistance to selected rural hospitals in need. Rural hospitals are eligible to receive targeted assistance from the VRHAP recipient. For this cooperative agreement, “rural hospitals” are defined as short-term, non-federal general facilities located outside Metropolitan Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs), or located within Metropolitan areas in locations with Rural-Urban Commuting Area (RUCA) codes of four (4) or greater, or facilities in any location participating in Medicare as Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). Hospitals operated by tribes and tribal organizations under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (Public Law 93-638, as amended) are also eligible.



Amount Description

HRSA expects approximately $800,000 to be available annually to fund one recipient. Applicants may apply for a ceiling amount of up to $800,000 total cost (includes both direct and indirect, facilities and administrative costs) per year. The period of performance is September 1, 2018 through August 31, 2023 (5 years). Funding beyond the first year is dependent on the availability of appropriated funds for VRHAP, satisfactory recipient performance, and a decision that continued funding is in the best interest of the Federal Government.

Funding Type





Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Social Sciences

External Deadline

July 16, 2018