From Torch About us Page


An organization of rural and community hospitals, corporations, and interested individuals working together to address the special needs and issues of rural and community hospitals, staff, and patients they serve. 


TORCH ...since 1990

dedicated to assisting rural and community hospitals


DEVELOPS specialized programs, activities and services for rural and community hospitals

  • RECOGNIZES rural and community hospitals as the focal point for health care delivery in the community
  • SUPPORTS local access and delivery of health care service to the community residents
  • PROMOTES the many contributions and special attributes of rural and community hospitals
  • PROVIDES advocacy and input to elected officials and governmental/regulatory entities on rural and community hospital issues
  • ADDRESSES and supports issues unique to rural and community hospitals

As we look toward the future, we see the added challenges of bringing new information technology into the rural landscape, dealing with a growing number of retirees and uninsured residents, and functioning under a national health care system that many agree is broken.

We believe that in this time of change, our new strategies will allow us to significantly enhance TORCH and its capacity to serve its members. Working as a more integrated organization, we envision the development of new services that will benefit rural hospitals, embracing everything from staff education to the funding of technological improvements. Meanwhile, we will remain the only clear voice that speaks for just rural hospitals in Texas.

We also believe that TORCH takes a place on the national stage, serving both as a model of rural hospital organization and an effective voice in our nation’s capital for rural health care here and elsewhere.

Although we have adopted a new strategic plan, and have new staffing in place, our focus will be where it has always been – representing rural and small hospitals. It is our privilege to do so.


Important Milestones


2008 - Developed a unified strategic planning and marketing approach across the three organizations; enhanced legislative strategy to improve access to physicians; record attendance at annual conference and expanded HITCON to include a trade show; launched new website.

  • 2007 - Transitioned to new leadership; published MarketPlace newsletter; incorporated the nonprofit TORCH Foundation, to search out and receive grants for rural hospitals and health clinics; named first recipient of the John Boff SRPH Scholarship; secured additional HAN grant funds.
  • 2006 - Developed first TORCH Leadership & Management Institute; mourned passing of long-time CEO John F. Boff; established the John F. Boff Scholarship at the TAMU School of Rural Public Health.
  • 2005 - Launched IT Conference; initiated Voter Voice; secured funds to expand IT services.
  • 2004 - Established the Business & Industry Advisory Council; secured $25 million in additional rural UPL funding.
  • 2003 - Helped pass major liability reform and federal funding increase; established new education program.
  • 2002 - Established Medicaid Inpatient UPL program.
  • 2001 - Held first Rural Hospital Advocacy Day.
  • 2000 - Celebrated 10th year of our founding; gave first Gordon Russell Merit Award.
  • 1999 - Legislature adopts TORCH Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Fund.
  • 1998 - Obtained $4.2 million in inter-connectivity grants for 89 hospitals, and established Texas Rural Hospital Telecommunication Alliance.
  • 1997 - Developed website; published Regulatory Line newsletter.
  • 1996 - Expanded management services; developed legal manual; published Legal Line. newsletter.
  • 1995 - Doubled initial membership; created TORCH Management Services, Inc. and increased services provided to member hospitals.
  • 1994 - Launched vendor endorsement program, implemented HPL insurance program and vendor recognition services.
  • 1993 - Assisted in creation of Texas Association of Rural Health Clinics and Texas Hospital Home Health Association; established advocacy program.
  • 1992 - Conducted first education conference and trade show exclusively for rural hospitals in Texas; developed worker's comp program.
  • 1991 - Conducted and co-sponsored HealthFind, the first recruiting event for rural hospitals in Texas; established insurance program services; initiated salary survey.
  • 1990 - TORCH founded in April with John Boff as CEO and Lynn Heller as Board chairman; introductory issue of Frontline newsletter published.