Arkansas, officially "The Natural State," is a state of mountains, valleys, dense woodland and fertile plains. Arkansas covers 52,068 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 2,949,131 people - 1,152,795 living in rural Arkansas (USDA-ERS). The state capital is Little Rock. The largest cities are Little Rock, Fort Smith and Fayetteville. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 80.1% of the state’s population is white, 15.6% is Black/African-American, and 6.6% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (Census, 2011).
There are 85 hospitals in Arkansas (Kaiser, 2010), 29 of which are identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (March 2013). The state has 12 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 56 sites (Kaiser, 2010). There are also 73 Rural Health Clinics in Arkansas (Kaiser, 2012). 18.0% of Arkansas residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011).
According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Arkansas residents in 2011 was $33,739, although rural per-capita income lagged at $30,002. Estimates from 2011 indicate a poverty rate of 21.9% exists in rural Arkansas, compared with 17.5% in urban areas of the state. 2011 ACS data reports that 20.3% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 15.3% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Arkansas is 9.1%, while in urban Arkansas it is 7.4% (USDA-ERS, 2011).
For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.
U.S. Census Bureau: State & County QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List
Arkansas Area Health Education Center Program (AHEC)
Provides access to medical services for rural residents and education for healthcare students and professionals. Their website offers information on and contact details for each of the 8 regional AHECs in the state.
Arkansas Community Action Agencies Association (ACAAA)
Provides training, technical assistance, communications support, information resource development, and advocacy to the 16 private, nonprofit community action agencies throughout the state. ACAAA is a private, nonprofit organization located in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Arkansas Department of Health
Works to promote public health policies and practices that assure a healthy quality of life for Arkansas residents.
Arkansas Department of Human Services (AR DHS)
Provides support services to Arkansas residents including families, children, youth, seniors, and those with disabilities. It also provides health and community services and support to citizens in need with telephone hotlines, food stamps, and shelter information.
Arkansas Health Care Access Foundation (AHCAF)
Provides donated non-emergency medical care to low-income, medically uninsured U.S. citizens residing in Arkansas.
Arkansas Hospital Association (AHA)
Assists its members through collective initiatives which facilitate the integration and improvement of the delivery of healthcare services throughout Arkansas.
Arkansas Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE)
Is responsible for the delivery of child support services under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. Assists both individuals and employers with information and services pertaining to child support laws.
Arkansas Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHHD)
Assists in ensuring that health services are appropriate, accessible and sensitive to the needs of the minority population.
Arkansas Office of Rural Health & Primary Care
Promotes the development of community-based health care services and systems throughout Arkansas to ensure that well managed, quality health services are available to all citizens. This is a component of the Arkansas Department of Health (William Rodgers) and Human Services, Division of Health.
Community Health Centers of Arkansas, Inc. (CHCA)
Strives to ensure 100% access and zero disparities through promoting and facilitating shared resources, collaborative partnerships, and providing technical assistance to impact positively the expansion of healthcare services in and among communities.
Community Resource Group (CRG)
Assists rural communities in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas to solve water and waste disposal problems and provides information technology guidance to nonprofit organizations.
Foundation for the Mid-South
Focuses on four regional priorities including Education, Health & Wellness, Wealth Building, and Community Development. Works in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Arkansas State Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (REC) that helps health care providers become meaningful users of electronic health records by providing information and technical assistance.
HUD Community Development Block Grants: Arkansas
Contact information for the State CDBG program. Provides funding for community development projects.
National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region (NN/LM-SCR)
Supports collaboration among libraries and information centers that serve health information needs in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
South Central Telehealth Resource Center
One of the telehealth resource centers funded by the federal Office for the Advancement of Telehealth. Assists health care organizations, health care networks, and health care providers in the implementation of cost-effective telehealth programs to serve rural and medically underserved areas and populations. Includes Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC)
One of four regional rural development centers in the nation. Works to strengthen the region's 29 land-grant institutions in addressing rural development issues. Serves a 13 state area in the Southern region which includes TX, LA, AR, OK, AL, MS, GA, FL, KY, SC, NC, VA, and TN.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Arkansas
Works to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing. The HUD state office provides information about HUD housing programs and local contacts for the state.
USDA Rural Development Arkansas State Office
Committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in all of rural America. The Rural Development State Office provides information about Rural Development programs and applications for financial assistance.
Arkansas Department of Health: Grant and Bid Opportunities
Provides links to current funding opportunities and other community development information relative to Arkansas citizens.
Arkansas Department of Health: Health Statistics
The location for health-related data collection, data management, analysis, statistics, research, consultation, training, publication, and computer use.
Arkansas Department of Health: Lifestage Health
Provides strategies to reduce and/or eliminate occurrences of tobacco use, obesity, and physical inactivity that cause chronic diseases with information and tips for communities and individuals.
Arkansas Health Centers Data
Provides access to information on Federally Qualified Health Centers for the state. Includes a map of FQHC locations, as well as information on the populations served by health centers, services provided, staff, patient visits, costs of care, and use of electronic health information.
Arkansas KIDS COUNT Data Center (KCDC)
Provides data on child well-being for the state.
Basic demographic and economic statistics for the state, with links to county-level data.
Arkansas State Health Facts
The latest state-level data on demographics, health, and health policy, including health coverage, access, financing, and state legislation. Individual state profiles and 50-state comparisons.
ERS State Fact Sheet: Arkansas
Lists statistics on population, educational attainment, employment, income, farm characteristics, and farm financial indicators for the state.
National Healthcare Quality Report State Snapshot: Arkansas
Health care quality report for the state, based on the National Healthcare Quality Report.
NN/LM South Central Region: Arkansas Resources
Overview of the state, with links to state agencies, health associations, and other resources for Arkansas.
See also: State-by-State Resources: Tools
Blue and You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas Regular Grants
Provides grants to organizations that positively affect the health of Arkansas residents, with an emphasis on health care delivery, policy, and economics.
Blue and You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas Mini Grants
Offers small grants to support health improvement projects in Arkansas.
Community Resource Group (CRG) Loan Fund
Loans to help small, rural communities and tribal nations with water and wastewater projects.
Delta Health Care Services Grant Program
Provides financial assistance for the development of health care services, health care cooperatives, health education programs, health care training programs, and public health-related facilities in the Delta Region.
Delta Regional Authority States Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP)
Grants to help Delta communities create jobs and improve infrastructure.
Entergy Micro Grants
Provides grants for projects that effectively impact arts and culture; community improvement/enrichment; education and literacy; the environment; or healthy families.
Gannett Foundation Community Action Grants
Supports local organizations with funding priority given to programs that focus on education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation, and cultural enrichment.
Georgia-Pacific Foundation Grants
Grants for organizations projects that focus on education, the environment, community enhancement, affordable housing, arts and culture, and entrepreneurship.
Kerr Foundation Grants
Provides grants in the areas of education, health, cultural development, and community service.
Mission and Ministry Fund Planning and Project Grants
Grants to build community capacity and work in collaboration with others to implement action plans that address specific, documented community needs.
Mission and Ministry Fund Violence Prevention Grant
Funds may be requested to cover the costs of community-based planning, conducting community meetings, assessing community violence-related assets and needs, continuing specific community-based violence prevention efforts and related activities.
National Network of Libraries of Medicine South Central Region Funding
Provides funding for National Network of Libraries members located in the South Central region to assist them in conducting outreach and technology projects.
Rural Health IT Workforce Loan Fund
Loans for health care providers in underserved communities to successfully adopt and utilize a Health IT system.
Wells Fargo Corporate Giving Programs
Funding for nonprofit organizations in the areas of community development, education, human services, arts and culture, civic responsibility, and environmental consciousness.
Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund
Awards grants in various rural and urban areas where Weyerhaeuser does business. Funds programs that work in the areas of affordable housing and shelter; education and youth development; environmental stewardship; and human services.
Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
Provides resources organizations in Arkansas working in the areas of economic development; education; and economic, racial, and social justice.
Inactive Funding Opportunities -
Lists additional funding programs for this state that are not currently accepting applications. Programs that are inactive may be offered again in the future.
Documents, Reports and Other Publications
Demographic and Economic Profile: Arkansas
Author(s): Kathleen K. Miller
Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute
Discusses demographic and economic data including population, race, education, age, poverty, income, and more. Includes maps and graphics.
Date: 02 / 2009
Housing in the Mississippi Delta
Sponsoring organization: Housing Assistance Council
Provides statistics and describes the housing needs of the Mississippi Delta region that will require multi-level approaches to address the social, political, and economic infrastructure of the region.
Date: 10 / 2011
Look at the Mid South Delta Region: A Glimpse of Its Assets, Socioeconomic Complexion, and Emerging Opportunities
Author(s): Bo Beaulieu, Marcus Littles
Sponsoring organization: Southern Rural Development Center
Offers a brief overview of the potential that exists to improve the social and economic conditions in the Mid South Delta Region.
Date: 03 / 2009
Oral Health: Preventing Cavities, Gum Disease, and Tooth Loss Success Stories, 2010
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Describes successful oral health programs in Arkansas, Nevada, and Wisconsin.
Rural Dropout Problem: An Invisible Achievement Gap
Author(s): Jerry Johnson, Marty Strange, Karen Madden
Sponsoring organization: Rural School and Community Trust
Reviews high school dropout rates and related factors in rural high schools throughout 15 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.
Rural Profile of Arkansas 2013: Social and Economic Trends Affecting Rural Arkansas
Describes trends in Arkansas’ social, demographic and economic structure. In this version, attention is given to the stresses that are being exerted on households and state and local governments as result of the ongoing national and international economic downturn. Compares rural to urban areas of the state.
Small Business Profile: Arkansas
Sponsoring organization: Small Business Administration
Profile of the state's economy, covering the number of firms, industry composition, small business income, banking, women and minority business ownership, and employment.
Date: 2 / 2013
Southern Rural Development Center: 2011 Annual Report: Regional Innovations, National Applications
Sponsoring organization: Southern Rural Development Center
Describes the programs and progress of the Southern Rural Development Center, one of four regional centers coordinating rural development research and extension education programs.
See also: State-by-State Resources: Documents
ANGELS: Antenatal & Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System- Arkansas
A statewide telehealth program enhances access to care and improves outcomes for high-risk pregnancies in rural areas.
Arkansas Regional Quality Improvement Initiative
The Arkansas RQI initiative is targeting quality improvement breakthroughs in four clinical areas: comprehensive diabetes care, cervical cancer screening, well-child visits, and preventive services for adults.
Tri-County Rural Health Network
The Tri-County Rural Health Network, a nonprofit community development organization that works with the low-income individuals in the Mississippi Delta, uses outreach workers with ties to the local community to identify Medicaid-eligible residents who have unmet, long-term health care needs that put them at high risk of nursing home placement. Known as "community connectors," these individuals then arrange for residents to receive appropriate home and community-based care, such as medical equipment delivery, home health aide visits, and meal provision.