AZCOVIDTXT-RH - A Two-Way Texting Service for Rural Arizona’s Resilience

Who are we?

AZCOVIDTXT was created at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic by a few professors at the University of Arizona in order to address the growing need for accurate and up-to-date information about the constantly changing policies and advice around how to deal with the disease. From then until today, the project has provided timely information about the pandemic to over 3700 users around Pima County via sms text messages. In collaboration with the Arizona Center for Rural Health, as a component of the AHEAD AZ grant, AZCOVIDTXT was adapted into AZCOVIDTXT-RH. AZCOVIDTXT-RH is a bilingual,  two-way texting system designed to provide and gather health information to and from users in order to distribute timely, expert-curated information to promote the resilience of our health systems and communities in rural areas of Arizona. The team who founded and implements the program is comprised of staff, faculty, and students across multiple University of Arizona colleges, including the College of Public Health, Communications, Medicine, Linguistics, and more.

Ultimately, our service will provide rural healthcare workers with relevant and useful information to support their communities in combating COVID-19. We are also aiming to expand our focus to help build resilience within rural communities around the state. 
What is our mission?

Our overarching goal with AZCOVIDTXT-RH is to disseminate tailored information related to social determinants of health to rural healthcare workers in Arizona to support them and their communities to build resilience against future health-implicating disasters and shocks to community wellbeing and promote health equity.

We plan to promote resilience through:
1. Providing rural healthcare workers with weekly, expert-curated health information related to community-specific social determinants of health
2. Supporting rural healthcare workers in communicating health information to their communities
3. Tailoring health messaging to the unique interests of rural individual healthcare workers and the needs of their communities
4. Incorporating feedback through input from community advisors and participants
5. Collaborating with local partners and organizations who are pursuing similar objectives.

How to join?

Interested in joining AZCOVIDTXT-RH? First, subscribe by texting “JOIN” or “UNIRSE”  to the AZCOVIDTXT-RH phone number (1-833-410-2974). Next, complete a brief intake survey which is used to ensure future content is tailored to their needs and interests. Users then gain access to relevant weekly health information and are given regular opportunities to provide feedback on programmatic features and content.

For more information:

We hope you will join our program and gain access to the useful information we are sharing via text. You may also visit our website ( or social media pages (@azcovidtxt) to learn more!  Finally, if you are from a rural community or are a healthcare professional working with rural communities in Arizona and would like to contribute to helping to make our program better tailored to the needs of rural communities, please email or follow this link to fill out our interest survey and we’ll contact you: 

About the Author

Samantha Heckman and Maiya Block Ngaybe's picture

Samantha Heckman is a student at the University of Arizona pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health and is the Community Outreach and Research Assistant for the AZCOVIDTXT-RH project.




Maiya Block Ngaybe is originally from Rio Rico, Arizona. She is the Community Outreach Professional of the AZCOVIDTXT-RH project at the University of Arizona, funded by the Center for Rural Health.

Share this