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Learn About AzRWHN

Our Mission

To build our network partners’ capacity to cultivate and promote innovative policies, practices, and services that improve the health of women in Arizona.

Our Vision

Women in rural Arizona will experience optimal health and wellness.

Who We Are

In Arizona’s rural areas, there is a lack of health care information, services, and accessibility
specifically designed to reach women, who are the key conduits for health care and wellness
within their families. As a result there are health disparities among rural women themselves and
their associated family members.

Arizona is the nation’s sixth largest state in terms of land area, with rural residents widely
dispersed in many small communities. The Rural Assistance Center has reported that women in
rural areas face higher rates of chronic diseases and a greater risk of death from diabetes than
their male counterparts, and encounter greater barriers to health care access as a result of poverty, lack of or under-insurance, lack of public transit, geographic isolation, and reduced access to health care providers (Rural Assistance Center, 2005). In rural Arizona, these circumstances are made more complex by the state’s diverse mix of cultures, languages and health literacy levels.

The Arizona Rural Health Women’s Network (AzRWHN) was established to find solutions to
address these issues. AzRWHN is a collaborative partnership of four of Arizona’s Area Health
Education Centers in conjunction with other key state and nonprofit organizations involved in
rural and/or women’s health.

The Network’s mission is to build our network partners’ capacity to cultivate and promote innovative policies and practices that improve the health of women in rural Arizona. Through three strategic directions the Network intends to achieve the following goals: 1) Develop, grow and sustain the AzRWHN 2) Strengthen the capacity of AzRWHN Members to improve health information and services for women in rural Arizona and 3) Raise awareness of Arizona rural women’s health concerns among health service providers, policy makers and leaders.

The Network is to building on and leveraging the efforts successfully launched through a 2007 RHND Planning Grant. Considerable data collection, regional community forums, priority-setting, information dissemination, and training — has been completed by the Network members to create a foundation for meaningful collaboration and forward progress. Therefore the AzRWHN can harness the collective power of diverse network members to assess, coordinate, and respond to the multiple issues that shape rural women’s health in Arizona.

The Arizona Rural Women’s Health Network (AzRWHN) is a Rural Health Network Development Grant Program (RHND).

The Rural Health Network Development Grant Program (RHND) is authorized under Section 330A (f) of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, as amended.  Under this legislative authority, the Rural Health Network Development Grant Program Health legislative purpose to “…expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services, and enhance the delivery of health care, in rural areas.”


Rural Health Network Development Program:  The primary objective of the Rural Health Network Development Grant Program (RHND) is to assist health oriented networks in developing and maintaining sustainable networks with self-generating revenue streams.  These networks should provide activities that benefit both network partners and the community served by the network to increase access and quality of rural health care and ultimately, improve the health status of rural residents.


The Arizona Rural Women’s Health Network (AzRWHN) is comprised of the following organizations:









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Click here to learn about how to become a Network Member Organization.



AZRWHN Board of Directors 2017-2018

Network Chair- Susan Kunz – MPH
Chief of Health and Wellness
Mariposa Community Health Center

Vice-Chair- Sean Clendaniel – MPH

Director-Northern Arizona Health Education Center
North Country Healthcare


Members at Large:

Agnes Attakai – MPA
Director- Health Disparities Outreach Prevention Education
University of Arizona
Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health Center for Rural Health
Toni Means – MBA, HCM
Office Chief
Arizona Department of Health Services- Bureau Women’s Health
Cielo Mohapahtra – PhD
Implementation Manager
Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)
Division of Health Care Management

Leonard B. Goldstein-DDS, PhD
Assistant Vice President for Clinical Education Development
A.T. Still University