Ends on

Communities Connecting to Care Cooperative Agreement Program 

Request for Applications 


RFA Release Date: September 1, 2022 

Application Due Date: November 1, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. 

Earliest Anticipated Project Start Date: January 1, 2023 

Award Range: 4-6 Awards of up to $200,000/2 years

Maximum Total Amount Awarded: $800,000 

Cooperative Agreement Timeline: up to 2 years (Jan 1, 2023 – Dec 31, 2024) 


Purpose of the Communities Connecting to Care Cooperative Agreement Program: The South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare (CRPH) celebrates the vibrancy and resiliency of rural communities in South Carolina; however, CRPH also recognizes the health challenges and inequities faced by rural and underserved populations in our state. To support communities addressing these challenges and building upon promising and successful programs, CRPH has a new funding opportunity to engage community partners to build more equitable and resilient community health systems that better serve rural and underserved groups. 

The Communities Connecting to Care Program seeks to support community health improvement programs that connect people to health-related and healthcare services where they live and to address rural health disparities. CRPH is interested in programs that identify and implement community-driven solutions and best practices that can be adopted by other rural communities, expanded into a larger context, and/or inform public policy. We encourage the submission of a diverse group of proposals to improve health in rural communities. Proposals that are led by, or have an established relationship with, organizations based in rural communities will receive priority for funding. We seek applications that have clearly defined objectives, results-oriented activities, and meaningful health outcomes. Proposal objectives should follow the S.M.A.R.T format


Strong applications will include the following elements: 

  • Located in, and serve, a rural population (Rurality may be determined using the SC Rural Healthcare Resource Dashboard. Instructions on how to use the dashboard is attached to the RFA.) 
  • Description of needs in the community that will be addressed by the project (e.g., needs assessment or other data) 
  • Demonstrate clear and established partnerships 
  • Clear and direct connection between program activities and positive health outcomes  


These projects can be innovative in nature or expand a promising or evidence-based practice, and be designed to fit the local environment, needs, and resources. Key areas of emphasis for this funding opportunity include, but are not limited to:  

 Access to Care 

  • Programs that increase access to care through community-clinical linkages to expand the availability and quality of health and health-related services to rural communities. This may include expanding the delivery of services via non-traditional access points and working with non-traditional, non-healthcare centered partners. 
  •  Programs that test alternative models of community care and healthcare engagement via non-traditional access points, virtual care, and go beyond clinic walls.

Community Engagement & Health Equity 

  • Programs to increase community engagement and work alongside community members to identify root causes of health disparities, rural and racial/ethnic inequities, and drivers of poor health.
  • Programs that take community-directed action to prevent illness and poor health. 
  • Programs that promote healthcare literacy and consumer education to better equip people to make informed decisions about their health and healthcare. 

Healthcare and Health-Support Workforce and Higher Education Engagement 

  • Programs that provide educational opportunities to recruit, retain, and train a diverse healthcare and health-support workforce. This may include programs that ensure equitable access to opportunities by removing geographic, social, and economic barriers for people living in rural and underserved areas. 
  • Programs led by institutions of higher education to increase field and practical experiences for students in rural settings. Such programs will result in students serving and benefiting the broader community outside of the classroom. 

 Behavioral Health 

  • Programs to strengthen community-based behavioral health organizations to expand efforts and improve access to behavioral health services. 
  • Programs to address needs and gaps in capacity, for rural communities, within the behavioral health sector. 
  • Programs that address barriers to the implementation of evidence-based practices in rural settings. 

Eligibility Criteria: 

  • Public or not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organizations with an emphasis on health, rural health, or community services
  • State government agencies 
  • Human service organizations
  • Any institution of higher education in South Carolina (public or private) 
  • South Carolina Rural Health Networks 
  • AccessHealth SC networks 

If you are uncertain if you are eligible, please contact us at SCRuralHealthcare@uscmed.sc.edu so we can assist you in determining your eligibility. 


Application Process: 

The Communities Connecting to Care Program Application is available on our grants management system, Submittable. You will be required to create an account if you have not already done so to being the application process. CRPH leadership and staff will review the applications and select awardees. CRPH may engage in collaborative discussions to determine the program elements, activities, and outcomes, and better inform the final funding decisions. 

Overview of Funding Opportunity: 

The Center expects to award 4-6 proposals. Up to $800,000 will be distributed via this cooperative agreement. Programs may be up to 2 years, with total costs up to $200,000 for the total project period. The Center also welcomes submissions for pilot programs that are smaller in scope, budget amount, and/or time duration. 


What we fund: 

We aim to fund programs that utilize innovative solutions or best practices to improve health access and/or health outcomes for rural communities, patients, or populations. We fund direct costs only to include: 

  • Staff salary and fringe 
  • Supplies and a limited amount of equipment vital to the project (equipment must be specifically requested and justified) 
  • Project-related travel 
  • Advertising and outreach related to grant-supported services 


What we do not fund:

  • Projects centered on one-touch events (health fairs, conferences, etc.) 
  • Programs or activities that solely target non-rural populations
  • Capital projects or funds for facilities 
  • Indirect/overhead costs 
  • Salaries for personnel not directly involved with the project 
  • Medical care costs 
  • Research projects 


Important Dates: 

September 1, 2022 Online application available via link or CRPH website.

November 1, 2022  Online application due by 5:00 p.m. 

Late November 2022 Finalists will be notified. 

January 1, 2023 Projects begin.


Fall Cycle FAQ

Submittable FAQ


We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.