DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Rural residents experience significant barriers to accessing health care including health information. They fit the profile of those least likely to have access to the Internet or have the skills to use the technology. The intent of this project is to improve access to accurate health care and medical information in order to accomplish the following outcomes: a) health consumers will assume increased responsibility for their own health; and b) health consumers will work with health care and social service providers to address local health care needs. The target audience includes health care consumers and health and social service professionals living in rural Missouri. This project will address barriers to access of health information by: a) lncreasing access to accurate health information by rural health consumers and professionals by enhancing the Missouri Rural Health Association website; b) Generating potential solutions for access to care and integration of services problems by promoting cooperation and collective action among local and state health and social service professionals through the use of online communities; c) lncreasing the knowledge and skills of rural health consumers and professionals regarding the use of online resources to improve local health and health care; and d) Promoting the use of NLM resources to rural professionals and residents. These objectives will be accomplished through the collaborative efforts of three organizations, Mid-Missouri Area Health Education Center's (Mid-MO AHEC), Missouri Rural Health Association (MRHA) and University of Missouri's Health Education Extension program. Mid-MO AHEC will be responsible for compiling health-related resources, building the MRHA website, providing education and training, and serving as administrator for online communities. Extension's health educator will facilitate planning and implementing training workshops and developing consumer oriented educational materials based on the technical white papers developed through the online communities. MRHA networks, and communication links will help ensure continued and long-term dissemination and utilization of the health related information.