UM Rural Institute Receives $4 Million Grant

January 29, 2014

MISSOULA – Researchers at the University of Montana will develop new techniques to improve health, employment and participation in community life for people with disabilities living in rural settings through a new five-year, $4.38 million grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

The Rural Institute’s Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities has served people with disabilities for more than 25 years. Through this new grant, the center will conduct 10 new research projects over the next five years.

“This award marks a major advance in our understanding of living in rural communities,” said Tom Seekins, director of the Research and Training Center. “We will develop new methods and measures to study the places where we live, how those places affect the quality of our lives and how we can use that knowledge to improve our communities.”

Researchers will contribute to improving health systems policy and service delivery by analyzing who moves to small towns, where they come from, who leaves and who returns, what services are available, and the relationship between these issues. The center also will continue to provide training and technical assistance through its award-winning programs of health promotion, self-employment and transportation.

Through the UM Rural Institute Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research and Service, researchers work to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities, especially those living in Montana and other rural areas across the country. The institute is part of the national network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research is a component of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

For more information call Rural Institute Knowledge Translation Director Tracy Boehm at 406-243-5741 or email




State, National Health


Contact: Tracy Boehm, knowledge translation director, UM Rural Institute, 406-243-5741,