Oklahoma has a rich and interesting history. Fifty languages are spoken in the state of Oklahoma. There are 55 distinct Indian tribes that make the state their home, and each of these tribes has its own language or dialect. Oklahoma covers 68,667 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 3,814,820 people – 1,348,714 living in rural Oklahoma (USDA-ERS). Oklahoma City, the capital, is the largest city and is located in the center of the state. The state’s other large cities include: Tulsa, Norman and Lawton. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 75.8% of the state’s population is white, 8.9% is American Indian & Alaska Native, 7.7% Black/African American, 1.8% Asian, and 9.2% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2011).
There are 113 hospitals in Oklahoma (Kaiser, 2010). The state has 34 hospitals identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (March 2013). There are 46 Rural Health Clinics in Oklahoma (Kaiser, 2012) and 17 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 64 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2010). Most Oklahomans have some form of health insurance coverage, although 17.0% of its residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011).
According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Oklahomans in 2011 was $37,679, although rural per-capita income lagged at $33,040. Estimates from 2011 indicate a poverty rate of 19.5% exists in rural Oklahoma, compared to a 16.1% level in urban areas of the state. 2011 ACS data reports that 16.7% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 12.7% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Oklahoma is at 5.9%, while in urban Oklahoma it is also at 6.3% (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
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.
Heartland 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 Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
HUD Community Development Block Grants: Oklahoma
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.
Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies (OACAA)
Serves as a statewide association of private, nonprofit Community Action Agencies that focuses on the development of self-sufficiency for the economically disadvantaged people and communities of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS)
Helps individuals and families in need help themselves to lead safer, healthier, more independent and productive lives. Includes several divisions and programs.
Oklahoma Department of Human Services: Adult Protective Services (APS)
Oversees investigations into reports of possible maltreatment of vulnerable adults. It also helps the vulnerable adult and caregiver find and get services that are acceptable to the adult to help keep them as safe and healthy as possible.
Oklahoma Department of Human Services: Child Support Services (CSED)
Acts as an economic advocate for the children of Oklahoma, ensuring that parents financially support their children.
Oklahoma Department of Human Services: Developmental Disabilities Services Division (DDSD)
Provide services to persons ages 3 and older who have a primary diagnosis of mental retardation (IQ of 70 or below). Persons served may also have other developmental or physical disabilities in addition to mental retardation.
Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS)
Delivers services in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence and sexual assault. Provides oversight regarding Department functions and activity related to the care, treatment, and recovery of persons suffering from mental illness and substance abuse.
Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)
Provides services to citizens with disabilities. Includes five divisions: vocational rehabilitation, visual services, disability determination, school for the blind, and school for the deaf.
Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC)
Enhances economic stability and employment security by: providing Unemployment Compensation to support unemployed workers and their communities, matching jobs and workers,
referring workers to training opportunities, and gathering, analyzing and disseminating information about the labor force.
Oklahoma EMT Association
Membership organization that supports the training and education of emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics and emergency medical responders in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality (OFMQHIT)
Oklahoma 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.
Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OKHCA)
Charged with controlling costs of state-purchased health care. Studies and recommends strategies for optimizing the accessibility and quality of health care.
Oklahoma Hospital Association (OHA)
Represents more than 130 hospitals and health care entities across Oklahoma. Provides legislative tracking and representation, communications, educational programs, information and data, quality resources, and workforce shortage initiatives.
Oklahoma Office of Rural Health (OORH)
Coordinates, plans, and promotes quality healthcare for targeted, underserved rural Oklahomans through enhanced delivery systems such as education, research, service, analysis, and development.
Oklahoma State Department of Education: Special Education Services (SDE)
Ensures appropriate services and opportunities for children and youth with disabilities, through leadership, service and regulation.
Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH)
Promotes the health of Oklahomans and focuses on preventing disease and injury.
Oklahoma State Department of Health: Office of Minority Health (OMH)
Addresses the disproportionately poor health of Oklahoma’s racial and ethnic minority population.
Oklahoma State University: Center for Health Sciences
Educates osteopathic physicians, research scientists and other health care professionals with emphasis on serving rural and under-served Oklahoma.
Oklahoma State University: Center for Rural Health (OSU-CHS)
Responsible for the rural education portion of OSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine. Funds programs aimed at providing Oklahoma’s rural practitioners, hospitals, and clinics the support necessary to ensure access to quality healthcare for the state’s rural residents.
Physician Manpower Training Commission (PMTC)
Works to enhance medical care in rural and underserved areas of the state by administering residency, internship and scholarship incentive programs that encourage medical and nursing personnel to practice in rural and underserved areas.
Rural Health Association of Oklahoma (RHAO)
Promotes rural health issues through advocacy, education and leadership.
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: Oklahoma (HUD)
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: Oklahoma Online
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.
Variety Care Family Health
A comprehensive, family-focused community health center that offers primary medical, dental, vision, pediatric, WIC and behavioral health care to any Oklahoman.
ERS State Fact Sheet: Oklahoma
Lists statistics on population, educational attainment, employment, income, farm characteristics, and farm financial indicators for the state. Updated yearly.
National Healthcare Quality Report State Snapshot: Oklahoma
Health care quality report for the state, based on the National Healthcare Quality Report.
NN/LM South Central Region: Oklahoma Resources
Overview of the state, with links to state agencies, health associations, and other resources for Oklahoma.
Oklahoma AgrAbility Project
Assists people with disabilities employed in agriculture. Links the Cooperative Extension Service at a land-grant university with a private nonprofit disability service organization to provide practical education and assistance that promotes independence in agricultural production and rural living. The AgrAbility Project assists people involved in production agriculture who work both on small and large operations.
Oklahoma Health Centers Research & 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.
Oklahoma 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.
Oklahoma 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.
Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers (PERLC)
Comprised of 14 accredited schools of public health that serve in a national capacity to meet preparedness and response training and education needs of the U. S. public health workforce. Funded schools are located in AL, AZ, FL, IA, IL, MA, MD, MN, NY, OK, NC, TX, and WA.
See also: State-by-State Resources: Tools
Community Resource Group (CRG) Loan Fund
Loans to help small, rural communities and tribal nations with water and wastewater projects.
Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants
Funding to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading.
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.
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.
OkAT Assistive Technology Grant
Individual grants to Oklahoma farming families impacted by disability issues who need an assistive or adaptive device to live with increased independence, work, or participate in valued leisure activities.
Oklahoma Family Practice Resident Rural Scholarship Program
Offers forgivable loans to residents enrolled in an accredited Family Practice or Family Medicine Residency Program located in Oklahoma who agrees to practice in a rural community of Oklahoma upon completion of his/her residency.
Oklahoma Healthy Kids, Healthy Families Grants
Grants designed to increase nutrition education, physical activity, disease prevention and management, and safe environments for children in the state of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Medical Loan Repayment Program
Offers loan repayment assistance to primary care physicians who agree to practice in select rural communities in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Volunteer Charitable Healthcare Provider Program
Offers state tort liability insurance to health care providers who provide care to medically indigent persons at a free clinic, or specialty providers providing care as a result of a referral from a free clinic.
Physician Assistant Program
Provides forgivable loans to physician assistant students who agree to serve in a rural community of Oklahoma upon completion of their training.
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.
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
Care Management for Medicaid Enrollees Through Community Health Teams
Author(s): Mary Takach, Janon Buxbaum
Sponsoring organization: Commonwealth Fund
Presents data from a 2011–2012 review of state Medicaid medical home programs in eight states. Identified community health team programs that provide an array of services, including care coordination to self-management coaching. Includes small or rural practices.
Date: 05 / 2013
Demographic and Economic Profile: Oklahoma
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: 01 / 2009
Oklahoma 2011 State of the State's Health Report
Sponsoring organization: Oklahoma State Department of Health
Reports on the health status of Oklahoma citizens using several health indicators. Addresses health-related issues affecting those living in rural areas. Compares Oklahoma data to that of the United States.
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.
Small Business Profile: Oklahoma
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
Published quarterly. Reports on research, programs, and emerging issues affecting low and moderate-income and small business communities. As a regional headquarters of the central bank, the Kansas City Fed seeks to link the communities of the seven-state region to the work of the Federal Reserve, including Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and portions of western Missouri, and northern New Mexico.
Choctaw Nation Specialty Services Program
The project consortium, led by the Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority, provided many services such as ophthalmology, cardiology, orthopedics, pediatric dental care, pediatric endocrinology, Alzheimer’s care, psychiatry, neurology, and otorhinolaryngology to residents of an underserved area.
Mobile Outreach to Rural Areas in Oklahoma
A mobile outreach initiative was implemented, allowing staff to deliver information and services to low-income citizens in very rural areas of Oklahoma.
Parish Nurse Outreach Project
Since the church is widely considered the most viable institution in Harper County, area churches were the crux of the project's outreach efforts to address the limited health care resources available in the community, to assess individual and community needs, and to assist members of the community in accessing local resources.