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Supporting Health Care For Rural Texans

The Rural Engagement Program at Texas A&M Health supports small-town health care providers in delivering high-quality care to the rural communities they serve.

The program brings together:
School of Medicine
School of Nursing
Rural and Community Health Institute


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Broadening access and fortifying delivery

We are a collaboration of physicians, nurses and health care leaders with rural health expertise​. We work with rural communities, hospitals, clinics and providers to improve:
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Health Care Workforce Expansion

Attracting, developing, supporting and retaining talented health care professionals who practice in rural communities

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Operation & Financial Viability

Comprehensive operational, financial, and workforce expansion technical assistance for rural health care facilitiess

Together with each provider we support, we are broadening access and fortifying health care delivery for the millions of rural Texans who make up the backbone of our state.

Program activities

To learn more about how we can support your rural health care organization or practice, watch our presentation. Contact information is listed under each activity below.

Technical Assistance

We work alongside health care organizations to implement sustainable action plans that improve:

  • Financial performance
  • Operational efficiencies
  • Quality and safety
  • Service line development
  • Workforce development opportunities
  • Value-based care support
  • Virtual care management support
Please complete our inquiry form to request technical assistance. Services are provided at NO COST to hospitals and clinics​. Contact Melissa Lackey for more information:, 979-436-0409.

Medicare Advantage Community Education Project

Value-Based Care

We provide operational and technical assistance to strengthen and grow rural health’s value-based care through work with providers, hospitals and existing programs.

We provide support in enabling the transformation of care delivery. Our services encompass performance improvement, financial assessment, digital transformation, and strategic alignment of incentives and business models.

Contact Reyann Davis for more information:, 979-436-0394.

Expanded Rural Workforce Support

We strengthen the rural health workforce in Texas by addressing the critical shortage of health care professionals in underserved areas. Through this activity, we aim to attract, educate and retain talented individuals in the health care workforce through:

  • Rural clinical experiences for Texas A&M medical and nursing students
  • K-12 health career exposure activities
  • Workforce development and evaluation
  • Community engagement
  • Scholarship opportunities for rural nurses seeking advanced education

Contact Cassandra Shelton for more information:, 979-436-0536.

Telehealth Network/ECHO

This activity focuses on the expansion of telehealth capabilities through professional development and increased access to telebehavioral health programs and counseling in Texas communities.

Specifically, we aim to:

  • Increase rural community access to behavioral health
  • Expand tele-educational professional development offerings
  • Increase mental health access in rural areas
  • Connect providers to Texas A&M mental health experts

Contact Carly McCord for more information:, 979-458-9990.

Our Team

Our team of rural health experts is here to help your organization or practice thrive. Please contact program coordinators to set up a meeting.

Melissa Lackey, MSN, RN, CPPS

Director, Technical Assistance 

Rural and Community Health Institute

Full bio

Cassity Avila, MS

Program Coordinator 

Rural and Community Health Institute

Full bio

Dominique Massey, MA 

Workforce Coordinator, East Region 

Rural and Community Health Institute

Jana Harrison, MAEd 

Workforce Coordinator, West Region 

Rural and Community Health Institute

Cassie Shelton, RN, BSN 

Director of Operations for Rural Medicine 

School of Medicine 

Curtis Donaldson 

Director of Operations for Rural Medicine Outreach 

School of Medicine  

Carol Brewer, MEd 

Assistant Director of Rural School District Relations  

School of Medicine 

Emily Turner 

Administrative Coordinator II for Rural Medicine 

School of Medicine 

Sharon Dormire, PhD, RN 

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Nursing Education 

School of Nursing 

Full bio

Matthew R. Sorenson, PhD, APRN, ANP-C, FAAN 

Associate Dean for Graduate Nursing Education 

School of Nursing 

Full bio

Todd Stricherz, MS 

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs 

School of Nursing 

Kia Parsi, MD,

Executive Director,

Rural and Community Health Institute

Full bio

Reyann Davis, MPH 

Director, Value-Based Care 

Rural and Community Health Institute

Nicole Kroll, PhD, APRN, ANP-C, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC 

Associate Dean for Clinical and Outreach Affairs 

Carly McCord, PhD,

Executive Director, Texas A&M Telehealth Institute, Licensed Psychologist

Clinical Associate Professor, School of Medicine and School of Education

Graduate Faculty, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty Fellow, College of Architecture

Full bio

John Stewart, 

Health Operations Liasion

Rural and Community Health Institute

Full bio

Justin Perkins,

Regional Health Operations Liaison

Rural and Community Health Institute