SIU Partnership

SIUSM Center for Rural Health and
Social Service Development (CRHSSD)


The CRHSSD will be acting as the external evaluator for this innovative project.  An evaluation team will assess the delivery and impact of the learning journey for this rural cohort and provide a summary report to the planning committee.  The CRHSSD is happy to be a partner in this endeavor designed to strengthen and sustain our network of community based organizations in southern Illinois.


Southern Illinois University (SIU) is a comprehensive university with campuses in Carbondale, Edwardsville and Springfield, Illinois.  SIUC Carbondale, which administratively includes the Springfield campus, is the second largest university in Illinois and maintains academic programs leading to associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist, doctoral, and professional degrees.  The SIU School of Medicine (SIUSM) is a public, community-based medical school whose mission is to improve the healthcare of people living in central and southern Illinois through teaching, research, clinical care, and community service.  The 3.4 million Illinois citizens who live within the 32,000 square mile “downstate” region of Illinois are to a large extent both rural and medically underserved.  Operationally, the primary and secondary service areas of SIUSM encompass more than 60 Illinois counties.


The Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development is a unit of the SIUSM’s Office of Regional Programs.  The Office of Regional Programs focuses on building relationships between SIUSM and external agencies, organizations, communities, and the public to further the School’s mission of teaching, research, patient care and service to the community.  The mission of the Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development (CRHSSD) is to strengthen rural health infrastructure and to promote opportunities for enhancing health primarily in rural communities. The purpose of the CRHSSD is to bring together the resources of the University—the faculty, staff and students—to work as partners with area agencies to successfully address the most pressing health and social service problems of the region.

The CRHSSD has a well-respected history of research, evaluation, needs assessments, project development, curriculum development, training, and publication in relation to rural health and social service issues. The Center is consistently developing programs, conducting evaluations and needs assessments, and leading collaborative initiatives to fulfill needs in the Illinois Delta Region.  In the spirit of this mission, the Center provides leadership to:

  • Support and coordinate new grant development of community projects and programs;

  • Develop resources to support improvement in the delivery of community health and social service delivery;

  • Stimulate and conduct cooperative research;

  • Coordinate and conduct program demonstrations;

  • Conduct program evaluations and needs assessments;

  • Provide information transfer services for the public and private sectors;

  • Recommend policy alternatives; and

  • Develop alternative service delivery systems.

The CRHSSD, with a professional staff of 7 members, has over 25 years of experience managing all aspects of local, state and federally funded grants.  They are also part of a large University system in which to draw on various areas of expertise and resources to serve the southern Illinois region.