Tahoe Institute for Rural Health Research

The Institute (TIRHR) was created in August 2009 as a subsidiary of the Tahoe Forest Hospital District. The mission of TIRHR is to develop innovative technological or programmatic products and practices, which improve the affordability and delivery of high quality healthcare. TIRHR is particularly interested in “disruptive technologies” that reduce health care costs or reform healthcare delivery in hospitals, clinics, and remote or home settings.

Project ideas for TIRHR typically originate from health care professionals, primarily from remote or rural environments, who work with more limited resources and are looking to solve unmet needs. Practitioners from these areas are more sensitive to opportunities for improvement than their peers from urban environments because of the need for solutions to problems that are not readily at hand. The innovations developed by TIRHR will reduce the cost of care and /or improve the quality of care and will therefore be applicable to a wide variety of health care settings both rural and urban. The scientists and engineers working as management or staff of TIRHR have significant experience in conducting revolutionary research and bringing important new technologies to market. TIRHR also includes the expertise of additional physicians, nurses, scientists, engineers, researchers, educators, and others in related fields through its current collaborative partners.

TIRHR is well positioned to conduct high-quality community-based research focusing on the unique barriers to optimal healthcare delivery in a geographically remote, mountainous region. In addition, TIRHR enjoys the involvement of the community and the track record of successful collaborations with UC Davis. The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the Institute has requested that interested community members and medical professionals provide innovative ideas to the TIRHR that can be translated into solutions for providing better healthcare delivery services. This effort has resulted in numerous ideas from front line providers in the region. The Institute is currently pursuing or developing four projects that were approved by the SAC.