About Rural Health Association of Tennessee

The Rural Health Association of Tennessee (RHAT) is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization of individuals and organizations committed to improving the health of rural Tennesseans by providing leadership on rural issues through advocacy, communication, education and legislation. Since 1995, RHAT has worked to effect a positive change in the health and well-being of all rural people in Tennessee through the proactive involvement of our members, other organizations, and policymakers in identifying and resolving rural health care concerns.

Click here for the 2016 listing of Board of Directors.


Our Staff

Executive Director

Sandy Hayes, MPH

Sandy has a strong background in public and rural health. Prior to accepting the position of Executive Director, Sandy was employed with the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department in Jackson, Tennessee as the Regional Administrator.  In her role, Sandy had responsibility for all fiscal operations.  Shortly after joining the health department Sandy guided the health council steering committee to re-form Jackson-Madison County’s health council.  Sandy’s experience also includes 12 years at the Arkansas Department of Health.  One of her responsibilities was forming networks in rural communities while working in the State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care. While in this role, she also worked with community healthcare providers to facilitate network development and provided technical assistance for grant writing.  Sandy states, “Since working at the State Office of Rural Health in Arkansas, I have continued to have a passion to help educate and advocate for improving access to healthcare in rural communities.  I am honored to have the opportunity to do that for the citizens of Tennessee.”