ETSU professor named Rural Health Fellow by National Rural Health Association

Published 11:13 am Monday, November 27, 2023

JOHNSON CITY – Dr. Casey P. Balio, an assistant research professor with East Tennessee State University’s Center for Rural Health Research in the College of Public Health, has been named a 2024 Rural Health Fellow by the National Rural Health Association.
The NRHA announced its incoming class of Rural Health Fellows last month, with 17 fellows selected to participate. Each year, the NRHA selects highly motivated individuals who have proven their dedication to improving the health of rural America through their educational and professional experiences.
The yearlong program aims to develop leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America who will step up in leadership positions across sectors – from advocacy groups to legislative bodies – with an eye toward health equity.
The NRHA is a national nonprofit membership organization that aims to provide leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education and research.
“We are delighted that Dr. Casey Balio will be participating in this year’s class of NRHA Rural Health Policy Fellows,” said Michael Meit, director of the ETSU Center for Rural Health Research. “She is a talented rural health researcher and will bring a strong and grounded research perspective to NRHA. We are fortunate to have her as part of our ETSU research team.”
Balio, who joined CRHR in 2021, has authored numerous studies on block grant funding, public health workforce needs and health inequities across the country. Balio’s research focus at ETSU is centered on Medicaid, governmental public health systems and social determinants of health.
“I’m excited for this opportunity to be engaged with policymakers and experts across the country who are passionate about rural communities,” said Balio.
As part of the program, fellows will have an opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., to advocate for rural health needs with lawmakers, as well as present a policy paper project to the NRHA’s Rural Health Congress.
The new class of Rural Health Fellows will first meet at NRHA’s 35th Rural Health Policy Institute in February 2024.
To learn more about the ETSU Center for Rural Health Research, visit For more information about the ETSU College of Public Health, visit

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