The Sustaining and Increasing Access to Care in Rural Communities Learning Collaborative, hosted by Capital Link and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), will explore community needs, growth planning, and financing options for health centers serving rural communities. Through a series of four 60-minute interactive webinars from February to May 2022, this Learning Collaborative will address challenges and opportunities FQHCs face in communities experiencing hospital distress and closure; examine the impact of telehealth on care delivery; and address financial capacity, sustainability, and financing options for FQHCs seeking to expand their impact in rural America.


Capital Link will be accepting applications from interested health centers, which will need to be completed and returned by Wednesday, January 26, 2022. There is no fee for participants as this Learning Collaborative is funded by HRSA through its cooperative agreements with Capital Link and NACHC. We recommend that each organization enroll at least two appropriate team members. All organizations interested in participating must:

  • Complete and submit an Application of Interest on/by January 26, 2022 to Tony Skapinsky at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


  • Commit to engage in all Learning Collaborative sessions and exercises with the goal of incorporating new knowledge in connection with expanding access to care in rural communities and provide feedback on the overall structure and effectiveness of the Collaborative after the last session.
  • Obtain written consent from your health center’s leadership for your health center’s participation in the Collaborative (see the last page of application)

Webinar Schedule

Session 1: Lay of the Land for Rural FQHCs

Feb. 9, 2022; 1-2:30 pm EST

This session will review basic data on health centers in rural America, including the shifting market, the rural/urban split, patient characteristics (via UDS mapper), and definitions of rural vs. highly rural/frontier. The session will highlight current and emerging federal initiatives and funding opportunities at HRSA, USDA, FCC, and SBA; notable findings of Capital Link’s recent report on Financial and Operational Trends of FQHCs serving rural America; and the landscape of available resources, including those housed on the Rural Health Hub (a FORHP-funded clearinghouse managed by University of North Dakota). We will also facilitate a group discussion on the challenges participants are facing in their rural communities.

Session 2: Enhancing Rural Health Access through Telehealth

March 9, 2022; 1-2:30 pm EST

This session will review challenges and opportunities related to telehealth in rural areas. It will provide fresh status update on broadband (USDA or FCC) access, as well as CMS and state reimbursement and flexibilities. We will consider NACHC’s State Affairs Telehealth State Guide as a resource and review other available telehealth resources. During the session, we will also provide examples of innovative ways health centers are utilizing telehealth and virtual engagement with patients and conduct a group discussion on participants’ experiences with telehealth thus far. 

Session 3: FQHC Roles and Opportunities in Connection with Rural Hospital Financial Challenges

Wednesday, April 6th 2022, 1-2:30 pm EST

This session will provide a context for considering how FQHCs can play a critical role in evolving health systems in rural communities. We will focus on best practices, strategies, and lessons learned and discuss a recent Capital Link case study of a rurally-located health center’s experience related to responding to a hospital closure.

Session 4: Growth Planning & Capital Resources for Health Centers Serving Rural Communities

Wednesday, May 4th 2022, 1-2:30 pm EST

This session will pull together aspects of the three prior sessions to provide perspectives on planning and financing health center growth in rural communities. Aggregated financial and operational data of LC participants will be presented and discussed. We will offer key capital funding information relevant for rural FQHCs, including USDA Community Facilities Program, NMTC and the HRSA Loan Guarantee Program—highlighting examples of health centers that have obtaining these types of capital funding.


Presenters of the four webinars will include content experts from both the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and Capital Link as well as other industry professionals.

Please direct any questions about this learning collaborative to Tony Skapinsky, Project Consultant, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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