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Arnold School of Public Health


HSPM’s Elizabeth Crouch selected to join National Rural Health Association’s 2018 Rural Health Fellows Program

November 17, 2017 | Erin Bluvas, bluvase@sc.edu 

Elizabeth Crouch, assistant professor of health services policy and management, has been selected by the National Rural Health Association to join the 2018 cohort of the organization’s Rural Health Fellows Program. This one-year, intensive training program is designed to prepare emerging rural health experts for leadership roles in advancing the health of rural America.

Crouch’s interest in rural health began when she was a kid spending several weeks each summer at her grandparents' home in Kentucky. “My grandfather was a large animal veterinarian and would take us out to rural farms to check on cows, horses, and pigs.” she says. “I think my interest in rural started as a kid out in the country every summer.”

Today, the health policy researcher sees her work with vulnerable populations and rural health disparities as a natural extension of the interests she first cultivated as a child. Specifically, she examines disparities across the life course, from the beginning of life (e.g., audiological services, oral health delivery, adverse childhood experiences) to the end of life (e.g., caregiver burden, Medicare utilization, access and expenditures patterns) with a focus on both policy and economics.

Crouch’s academic career began with a full scholarship to study financial economics at Centre College. She then earned both her master’s (applied economics and statistics) and doctoral (policy studies) degrees from Clemson University.

She joined UofSC in 2013 as a research associate for the Institute of Families in Society, applying her knowledge in health economics to policies implemented for the South Carolina Medicaid population. Two years later she joined the Arnold School, where she holds faculty appointments with the department of health services policy and management and the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center. Through these roles, Crouch has developed expertise that she plans to strengthen through the Rural Health Fellows Program.

“I look forward to continuing my focus on rural health disparities across the life course,” she says. “The training activities offered through this program will be essential to furthering my knowledge of how to apply my research to advocacy work and policy development and enhancing my knowledge of the practitioner’s perspective.”