Promising Practice: NC Office of Rural Health Helps Rural Providers Get Connected to HIT

i Feb 4th No Comments by

By Beth Blevins

Behavioral and other healthcare providers in rural North Carolina are getting connected to the statewide health information exchange thanks to the state’s Office of Rural Health Information Technology (ORH HIT) program.

The ORH HIT program evolved from the North Carolina 2015 Health Information Exchange Act (HIE Act), which mandates that healthcare providers that bill for Medicaid or receive state funds for services must connect to NC HealthConnex, the statewide HIE, by June 1, 2019, to continue to receive payments.

“The ORH already saw a need for more HIT support, but the HIE Act made a compelling case for a team to help smaller, rural providers with HIT needs,” said Lakeisha Moore, HIT Program Manager at the NC ORH since August 2017. “We work closely with the NC HealthConnex team to support all healthcare providers, especially rural/safety net providers.”

While the NC HealthConnex team can pay for providers to get connected to the HIE, it lacks specific funding for healthcare providers to purchase an Electronic Health Record system (EHR), Moore said.  “So, our team worked with the NC HealthConnex team and other stakeholders to design a complementary program to assist certain providers with funds to procure an EHR to get them connected.”

NC ORH HIT Program Details

Last year, the HIT program offered the Behavioral Health EHR Funding Program, and 243 providers applied to get financial as well technical assistance to purchase an EHR and get connected to the state’s HIE, according to Allison Owen, NC ORH Deputy Director.

The grant offered three tiers of funding, from small to large providers, Moore said. Of the 243 behavioral health providers that applied, 178 were awarded. “The majority of this funding was awarded to organizations with 11 or fewer providers, which was encouraging for us, because it showed that we were helping a lot of those smaller provider practices that might not be able to invest in EHR technology.”

In the future, the HIT program hopes to offer grants to providers that were excluded from Meaningful Use funds such as Long Term Post-Acute Care Providers and Home Health Care Providers, Moore said. “We still find providers whose patient records are still on paper and we have to meet them where they are.” Other providers have implemented an EHR but need additional help in making the switch from fee-for-service to a (CMS) value-based care model, she said.

Grantee Map

Moore attributes the HIT program’s success to the many partnerships it has forged. For example, her office reaches out to rural physicians through partnerships including the state’s Primary Care Advisory Committee, Medicaid listservs, Medical Society, and Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), as well as via social media channels and marketing tools. The Rural HIT Team meets regularly with members of the HIE Authority, along with the state’s AHEC staff, to share information and update one another on the status of key joint initiatives, Moore said.

“We have a really good relationship with the NC AHEC and their technical team,” Owen added. “We look at how we complement each another with our strengths and our skill sets. We come together to talk about challenges and successes, and we’ve had many brainstorming sessions. I would recommend that other states look to AHECs because often they are really strong for technical expertise.”

NC ORH HIT receives 90/10 funding—90% CMS dollars with a 10% state match, distributed through the state’s Medicaid HIT plan, Moore said. The program is in its second two-year funding cycle and will work with the Medicaid HIT team managers to update performance measures in July, the middle of the current cycle, Moore said.

“I’m excited that our Medicaid HIT team reached out to ORH and thought this was a program worth investing in,” Moore said. “I feel that other states may want to collaborate with their Medicaid team because that’s exactly how we received our funding and continue to receive our funding.”

Moore concluded, “Our program has been primed for more opportunities to support rural healthcare providers with Health IT, with a lot of the changes in our state and nationally. Providers need to utilize EHRs and HIT to help better take care of their patients and for population health management.”

Owen agreed, saying that telehealth will become more and more important, especially in rural areas. “Our state didn’t expand Medicaid, but we have transitioned to a managed care framework—we’re right in the heart of that,” Owen said. “One thing managed care organizations (MCOs) have to do is demonstrate that they can provide a broader range of care for their Medicaid population. Telehealth, we think, will be key in helping MCOs demonstrate that they can provide that access. Great opportunities abound!”

Does your SORH have a “Promising Practice”? We’re interested in the innovative, effective and valuable work that SORHs are doing. Contact Ashley Muninger to set up a short email or phone interview in which you can tell your story.


Promising Practice: Loan Repayment Programs in Nebraska Yielding Huge Payoffs

i Dec 6th No Comments by

By Beth Blevins

Loan repayment programs in rural Nebraska are showing huge payoffs: family medicine providers who participate in them are significantly less likely to leave small towns and rural areas than those who don’t.

“We’re trying to maximize the impact and the opportunities for loan repayment in rural and urban underserved areas in the state,” said Thomas Rauner, Program Manager at the Nebraska Office of Rural Health (NORH). “So we are assessing how effective the programs are, and how are they working.”

Towards that end, NORH issued a report in July that examined the impact of incentive programs on retention of family practice providers—the most frequent specialty participating in loan repayment programs and serving in rural areas, Rauner said. The findings showed that these programs are especially effective in rural areas of the state—for example, participating small town and rural area providers are more likely to remain in their positions than non-obligated providers by 23% and 42%, respectively. They remain significantly longer by 2.3 years (small town) and 4.3 years (rural) than non-obligated providers.

A sample visual from the “Analyzing the Impact of Incentive Programs on Retention of Family Practice Providers in Rural Nebraska” report.

One thing that makes the report interesting, Rauner said, is that it offers visual representations of the data. “We’ve been working in the last few years to come up with more visualization components,” he said. “You can look at number, but a picture makes it easier to understand and share with a much broader group.” In the future, he said, they will share data by a place-based and legislative format.

Though the report was issued earlier this year, it has been in the making for nearly two decades with resources from the State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care Office grant programs, Rauner said. “The data on family medicine providers was analyzed by a graduate student intern in our office, using information from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) Health Professions Tracking Service (HPTS), which they collaborated with our office to develop over 20 years ago,” he said.

HPTS tracks providers enrolled in all state and federal loan repayment programs during and after their obligation, Rauner said. “Using HPTS, we’re able to track all the healthcare providers in our state,” he said. “The system also allows them not only to track whether physicians who served their obligation out there stay longer in practice than those who did not have obligations, but also gives them the capacity to look at that data over time.”

HPTS data can also be used for economic analysis, Rauner said. “Some of the more interesting findings from the report was that analysis based on years worked shows there is a significant economic benefit associated with rural healthcare providers—a total of $3.6 billion,” he said. “This benefit far outweighs the financial investment in incentive programs.”

HPTS tracks physicians as well as dentists, physician assistants, nurses, graduate-level mental health providers, and allied health providers—those who qualify for loan repayment in the state. Its data also has been used by UNMC authors for reports on primary care nurse practitioners, on physician assistants, and on the status of healthcare workforce in the state.

In addition to HPTS, Rauner said, NORH uses the Practice Sights Retention Management System “to solicit feedback from the providers while serving their obligation, determining if they would like and need to continue receiving loan repayment assistance, and their anticipated and actual retention.”

The data from the two systems benefit both providers and communities, Rauner said. “There are many variables when it comes to assessing workforce needs,” he said. “Each community desires the right care, right time, right place, and the right cost. NORH is continuing to work with communities to develop such a system of care, while working to improve the process and utility of loan repayment programs.”

With the proven success of the loan repayment programs in Nebraska, NORH also has been working to get more healthcare students enrolled in them. “We’ve been trying to simplify it as much as possible,” Rauner said. “We recently combined and changed our loan repayment applications to be a single online application. This will allow NORH to track and process applications for loan repayment and determine the best fit for the provider and the site.”

Does your SORH have a “Promising Practice”? We’re interested in the innovative, effective and valuable work that SORHs are doing. Contact Ashley Muninger to set up a short email or phone interview in which you can tell your story.

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Promising Practice: Arizona Center for Rural Health SHAREs Health Insurance Information, Gets People Enrolled

i Oct 31st No Comments by

by Beth Blevins

People in Arizona communities are becoming more aware of their health insurance options through Project SHARE (Students Helping Arizona Register Everyone).

Project SHARE, run by the Arizona Center for Rural Health (AzCRH), trains University of Arizona health sciences students as Certified Application Counselors (CACs) that provide information on enrollment through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace. Alyssa Padilla, who supervises the SHARE program for the Arizona State Office of Rural Health (AzSORH) under the AzCRH, said that the program helps not just the patients but also the students, who become more rural and health insurance literate.

Second-year UA College of Medicine – Phoenix student and SHARE leader, Jaymus Ryan Lee

“SHARE gives the students a better understanding of social support services and how to connect individuals with those services,” Padilla said. Through SHARE, the students earn volunteer credits that allow them to graduate with distinction. But, more importantly, Padilla said, graduates of the program “are better equipped to answer patients’ questions about coverage on the spot.” To become a SHARE participant, students take five to 10 hours of online federal training in addition to in-person session training, Padilla said.

When surveyed afterwards, participants have said the program has given them a better understanding of the ACA, health insurance premiums and deductibles, and the value of expanding Medicaid in Arizona, Padilla said.

Lauren Dominick said she has already benefited from the program. Dominick, an MD candidate and Project SHARE leader for the UA-College of Medicine–Phoenix, joined last year hoping to develop the skills that will help her better serve current and future patients. “I have gained so much knowledge of how the marketplace works and how to navigate it,” Dominick said. “I’ve helped patients complete their ACA applications and seen the empowerment they experience as they take better control of their health care. The program opens up their opportunities to seek preventative health care rather than just when they have an acute, major issue.”

Unfortunately, Dominick said, as a medical student she has seen many patients with very advanced diseases who were unable to access care earlier. “This is heartbreaking, especially when their condition could have been prevented or effectively managed if they had had access to health care.” Dominick added, “Helping sign people up for insurance makes me feel like I am making a difference and hopefully having a positive impact on their health even before I see them in the clinic or the hospital.”

Kendra Marr, SHARE leader, presents on the SHARE project

Kendra Marr, an MD/PhD student at the UA College of Medicine-Tucson and Tucson SHARE leader, said that another benefit she has found with SHARE is the “wealth of opportunities for collaboration with other clubs and services within the College of Medicine,” including the Commitment to Underserved People (CUP) health clinics. Marr has been working with the free, student-run CUP clinics to form a partnership so that SHARE can refer patients to them and vice versa, and has been holding her SHARE enrollment office hours at the clinics.

Project SHARE has benefited the university as well. “The University of Arizona is a White House Healthy Campus because of Project SHARE and UA Campus Health’s efforts to improve access to health insurance coverage,” Padilla said.

Right now, Project SHARE offers in-person, outreach, education, and one-on-one enrollment services in Pima County and in-person outreach services in Maricopa County, Padilla said. The CACs also can volunteer to staff the Cover Arizona phone number, where they answer insurance questions and schedule appointments for patients across the state.

Typically, 15 to 25 students work for SHARE each year, Padilla said. So far, 90 students from the UA Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, and Pharmacy have gone through the SHARE program since its inception in 2015.

In her role with the AzSORH, Padilla oversees the licensing, recruitment, training, and mentoring of the SHARE participants. Most of the funding for the program comes from SORH grants, Padilla said, with small additional amounts of funding from UA College of Medicine CUP, which pays for things like food for the students during their trainings.

Padilla said she hopes other SORHs will consider replicating Project SHARE. The AzSORH has created templates on the processes involved and how-to directions, which Padilla will provide to any interested SORHs. Meanwhile, Padilla said that AzCRH is planning to extend the reach of SHARE to remote areas of her state through partnerships with Critical Access Hospitals and rural faith-based communities.

Since the ACA has been in effect, Padilla said, the uninsured rate in Arizona has been cut in half (to 10 to 11 percent), similar to the national average. “It’s important to note that we have a conservative Republican governor, and we have expanded Medicaid,” she said. “Our hospitals are no longer in the red because we have patients that are now insured due to Medicaid expansion and the ACA.”

“Medicaid expansion has really helped our bottom line,” Padilla concluded. “State Offices of Rural Health support that effort and that message ‑ it can do wonders for our rural and underserved communities.”

Does your SORH have a “Promising Practice”? We’re interested in the innovative, effective and valuable work that SORHs are doing. Contact Ashley Muninger to set up a short email or phone interview in which you can tell your story.

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Promising Practice: Team Effort in Idaho Achieves New Funding for Physician Repayment Program

i Sep 28th No Comments by

by Beth Blevins

Remarkably, less than a year after the Idaho State Office of Rural Health (ID SORH) set a goal to find new funding for a physician loan repayment program, the state legislature appropriated $640,000 annually for it.

“It’s something we’re thrilled about,” said Mary Sheridan, ID SORH Director. “I think it points to the reasons we take advantage of new opportunities, even though we may be unsure of the ultimate outcome.”

Mary Sheridan (third from left) with the Idaho team that attended the NCSL meeting last June.

That opportunity was a three-day meeting in June 2017, convened by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), on “Challenges and Innovations in Rural Health Policy.”  Sheridan attended the meeting along with three Idaho state legislators, the Primary Care Office Program Manager, and deputy administrators from the Division of Public Health and Division of Medicaid.

The NCSL event, funded through a cooperative agreement with the Health Resources and Services Administration, included presentations from rural health policy experts and state-specific team meetings for developing collaborative action plans to improve rural health. Idaho was one of eight states attending.

“Our team there identified three goals: securing reimbursement and funding for community paramedic programs, securing funding for loan repayment, and expanding telehealth,” Sheridan said. “Afterward, the team typically met monthly to share updates and progress on all project goals. The on-going support from NCSL post-meeting was truly helpful in moving the loan repayment legislation forward.” Members of the team are currently working on the other two goals, Sheridan said.

It was a team effort that got the loan repayment legislation to the floor in the next (January 2018) legislative session. “One strategy was for me to provide a presentation on loan repayment and physician shortages to the Idaho legislature’s Health and Welfare committees,” Sheridan said. “Team members made it happen. They worked with legislative leadership to schedule it on the calendar and NCSL actually came to that presentation and lent their support. The Idaho Medical Association worked actively with legislators on the issue and it went from there.” A legislator who was on the team introduced House Bill (HB 472) to fund the loan repayment program.

“It’s remarkable how fast it went, especially when you realize this is the first time we’ve ever had state funding for loan repayment,” she said.

HB 472 provides state funding for the Rural Physician Incentive Program (RPIP), a program that already existed but which had been paid for with student fees‑Idaho students attending out-of-state medical schools in Washington and Utah at in-state tuition rates had been assessed $1,600 per year, which went into the RPIP fund. In order to qualify for loan repayment, physicians must work in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) in Idaho and receive up to $25,000 per year for four years.

According to the Idaho Physician Workforce Profile, Idaho has a significant shortage of primary care physicians, ranking 49 out of 50 states for physician workforce. “Approximately 98% of the state is designated as a HPSA for primary care and dental, and 100% for mental health,” Sheridan said. “So loan repayment is hugely important for us, and is certainly a tool for recruitment and retention of physicians in rural and underserved communities.” NCSL estimates that the $640,000 loan appropriation will fund about six more physicians per year, more than double the current number.

Sheridan said that she is pleased that so much has resulted from the NCSL meeting, especially since she initially had few expectations going into the meeting. “In fact, when I first got the invitation I thought, ‘if we’re going to just take Idaho there, why can’t we just meet in Idaho and do this very same thing?’” she said. “But I think it was that structure of being away and focused on an issue, of us learning together and having facilitated discussions to create this plan that provided an opportunity to really focus on rural health in Idaho in a very coordinated and collaborative fashion.”

Sheridan added, “The NCSL event provided a unique opportunity to identify Idaho-specific rural health issues. We’re extremely pleased to have participated. It truly provided leverage and new collaborative opportunities to advance rural health in Idaho.”

Does your SORH have a “Promising Practice”? We’re interested in the innovative, effective and valuable work that SORHs are doing. Contact Ashley Muninger to set up a short email or phone interview in which you can tell your story.

Promising Practice: Texas SORH’s Handheld Ultrasound Project – An Innovative Approach to Providing Training & Technology to Small Rural Hospitals

i Sep 4th No Comments by

by Beth Blevins

At a rural hospital in Texas last year, a woman’s life was saved when doctors, using a handheld ultrasound device, determined that her abdominal pain was due to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and were able to act quickly to address it.

The hospital had the handheld unit on-loan as part of an innovative pilot project run jointly by the Texas State Office of Rural Health (TX SORH) and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). The devices, as well as accompanying training, were offered to Small Hospital Improvement Project (SHIP) hospitals in the state.

TX SORH had received approval from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to use $95,000 in unencumbered funds from their 2015-2016 SHIP grant for the project, according to Shari Wyatt, Rural Health Specialist at TX SORH. “We had asked ourselves: ‘what can we use this funding for that will help hospitals?’” Wyatt said.  “The GE Vscan Extend handheld unit had just come out. It’s an innovative piece of equipment that a lot of hospitals hadn’t used or even knew about.”

A Texas hospital participates in a training session.

“I love new technology,” Wyatt continued, “but if you don’t get it into the hands of the rural providers and clinicians, they never know about it. Some of the big vendors don’t bother with small rural hospitals—when you’re rural, you’re the little dog. They’re not really going to pay attention to you. That’s another reason I wanted to do it, so rural hospitals actually got to try out new technology to determine its usefulness in their facilities.”

TX SORH contracted with TTUHSC on the two-year project to help provide training on the devices. “Our state is big so we divided it into four regions,” Wyatt explained. “Texas Tech and I went to those four regions along with a sonographer from GE who did basic training on using the handheld unit.” Providers who could not attend in person were invited to participate in webinar training on the device, she said.

With TX SORH funding, eight Vscan Extend devices were purchased by Texas Tech to deploy to the hospitals that had been trained, for a one-month trial period each. A total of 67 hospitals signed up.

Hospital staff participate in a training session.

“They could use it anyway they wanted to for four weeks—any department, any doctor, nurse, or health care professional,” Wyatt said. “We only asked them to complete a brief evaluation sheet and send it back when they returned the device.”

The project was completed in July 2018, and TX SORH recently received the project completion report. The report reveals that more than 90% of the hospitals found the unit to be extremely helpful, and that the device was used mostly for abdominal scans and OB concerns. In addition, users found that the device was helpful for easier IV placement, for quickly scanning a patient for vascular effusion, and for checking an accident victim for fluid in the abdomen, helping avoid more costly, time-consuming imaging studies.

TX SORH negotiated with a vendor and obtained bulk discounted pricing for those hospitals that wanted to purchase the devices after the trial period. “This gave them the ability to purchase handheld ultrasounds at a price they could afford,” Wyatt said. As a result, several hospitals bought the units, with others planning to purchase the device with future SHIP funding.

“Through the negotiation we also were able to provide one year of online ultrasound training with SonoSim for all employees at the hospitals that purchased the devices,” Wyatt said. “I think online training will make a difference. A lot of the doctors really liked the device, but they wanted additional training for it.”

This is not just a one-time project, Wyatt added. The units purchased for the initial training project will be used in future training initiatives as well, she said.

“Many small, rural hospitals are financially hurting and don’t have the means to purchase innovative equipment, or get the opportunity to try out new products,” Wyatt said. “The handheld unit project gave the hospitals’ providers the ability to use the technology and determine its usefulness within their facilities. I feel that these are the types of projects that truly benefit rural hospitals.”

Does your SORH have a “Promising Practice”? We’re interested in the innovative, effective and valuable work that SORHs are doing. Contact Ashley Muninger to set up a short email or phone interview in which you can tell your story.

Promising Practice: Alabama SORH Collaborates with VA to Provide Telehealth Care for Vets

i Jun 4th No Comments by

A chance encounter at a local store sparked a telehealth partnership between the Alabama Office of Rural Health (AL SORH) and Alabama Veterans Affairs (VA).

“A couple of years ago, I was out shopping on a Sunday night and ran into Dr. Randall Weaver, whom I hadn’t seen in awhile,” said Chuck Lail, AL SORH Director. Lail, a military veteran, already knew Weaver from the VA hospital where Lail has gone for his annual physicals. “I said to him, ‘We really need to get something going with the VA—I think there are good opportunities for telehealth.’ And he said, ‘Why don’t you call me and we’ll explore it.’ ”

“Our office has always been a strong advocate of telehealth,” Lail continued. “The state health department was starting to install telehealth carts in our county health departments, so I thought there might be an opportunity to marry the needs of the VA with the county telehealth program.”

The Alabama SORH has the advantage of being located within the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), explained Rob Boyles, PCO Program Manager at the AL SORH. “We have access to other divisions and bureaus, including the Distance Learning and Telehealth Division.”

With the aim of creating a partnership between ADPH and the VA, the two groups began having regularly scheduled telephone conferences, Boyles said. “We worked together to assess which rural county would be the best site to pilot the project, in terms of rurality, the number of Veterans, and the distance they travel for healthcare services.”

Through those discussions, Lail said, they determined that mental health services would be a good place to start. “It seemed to be one of the greatest needs of the VA,” Lail explained. “And telemental health and delivery of telepsychiatry have been proven to be deliverable seamlessly over telehealth media.” The long-term objective of the program, he said, is to expand beyond mental health to many types of services for VA telehealth delivery.

Cullman County Health Department was the site of the first VA telehealth pilot, which began in spring 2017. The VA provided the services, Lail said, while ADPH facilitated the telehealth encounter. “Veterans there can visit their local county health department and have a virtual visit with their mental health care team from the Birmingham VA,” he said.

An initial evaluation by participants at the pilot site was done via an informal survey, Lail said. “The veterans stated that they were pleased with their telehealth consults, and that they liked being able to receive services from the VA at their local county health department,” he said.

Michael Smith, (ADPHTP) Director, said the county telehealth program has benefited from having funding from a variety of sources. “In Alabama, we’ve had telehealth with small networks,” Smith said. “You wrote a grant, the grant ended and the funding went away, and then the technology got pushed into a corner. But ADPHTP has been aggressive in terms of expanding our sites at county health departments and collaborating with health care providers.”

Smith said the expansion of the county telehealth program has been possible through several infrastructure grants from organizations including: the , the Centers for Disease Control (), and the USDA (); and from AL-ORH, using federal Health Resources Services Administration funding (SORH and Primary Care Office grants). Each grant award, Smith said, has funded a number of telehealth carts given to county health departments. “We’ll have a total of 60 county health departments with telehealth carts by this summer,” he said. Alabama has 67 counties.

“We’re looking at health departments to be single point of entry for a variety of services for all patients, such as counseling prior to a procedure, mental health services, genetic counseling, maternal fetal medicine, and pediatric neurology,” Smith said. “Patients shouldn’t have to travel a long distance for a routine appointment that can be just as successfully achieved via telehealth technology.

Lail reflected on the chance meeting that started it all. “It can be a small world,” he said. “Dr. Weaver and I had been acquaintances for some time. It was from that rapport that the rest of this story sprang.”

Promising Practice: Summits Tackle Opioid Misuse and Treatment in Rural Illinois

i May 1st No Comments by

by Beth Blevins

Illinois is tackling the opioid crisis in its rural communities through a series of opioid summits sponsored by the Illinois Center for Rural Health (ICRH).

“We realized there were no coalitions or groups working on opioid misuse in rural Illinois,” said Julie Casper, ICRH Director. “Community Health Needs Assessments have consistently listed drug use and addiction as problems in their communities, so making opioid misuse a priority was a natural conclusion.”

The first “Opioid Crisis Next Door” summit was held June 2016 with the stated purpose of building local coalitions to increase awareness of opioid and heroin use in rural communities and to identify ways for communities to respond to the crisis. At the end of the summit, attendees took a pledge to work together to combat opioid misuse in rural Illinois, Casper said.

Local coalitions, healthcare providers, and other rural community stakeholders attended the “Opioid Crisis Next Door: Identifying, Organizing and Activating Local Resources” summit in October 2017.

Each subsequent summit has added a specific focus. The opioid summit held in March of last year focused on “,” with the goal of encouraging dialog among providers. The October 2017 summit looked at “.” The next summit, scheduled for June 27 of this year, will be focused on “Keeping the Momentum: Are We Hitting the Mark?” and will include naloxone training for overdose treatment.

“All the summits have a rural focus, but it’s been different aspects of rural,” Casper explained. The summits have had an average of 100 attendees and all have been held in the state capital of Springfield, centrally located and within a few hours’ drive for everyone in the state, Casper said. Summits are held twice a year now, she said, because they realized they cannot wait a full year for the next one, there is so much to go over.

Rural stakeholders from across Illinois participate in a 2017 “Opioid Crisis Next Door” summit.

The target audience for the summits includes rural hospitals, rural providers, pharmacists, law enforcement, policymakers, community leaders, and behavioral healthcare providers. In addition to ICRH, the summits receive support from the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, the Illinois Pharmacists Association, the Healthy Communities Partnership, and the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN).

“We are very fortunate that at the state level the reduction of opioid misuse is a priority for the governor and for the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH),” Casper added. (ICRH is part of IDPH). “Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D., IDPH Director, has opened every conference and will open the next meeting.”

The summits have offered a variety of speakers, including physicians on treatment options, community leaders and hospital administrators on creating community coalitions, and past opioid users sharing their stories of addiction and recovery.

The opioid summits are funded using a small amount of Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant money, Casper said, with the rest of the cost, mostly for food and the rental of the space, paid by the attendees.

Although opioid misuse may not be as prevalent in Illinois as it is in other states, the number of opioid-related overdoses is growing every year, according to Heidi Clark, IDPH Division Chief of Health Data and Policy. While there were , there were an estimated 2,093 overdoses in 2017, Clark said, a number she attributes to the increasing use of dangerous synthetic opioids like fentanyl and its analogues.

“Opioid abuse is a statewide problem but there are specific issues in different parts of the state and among different demographics,” Clark continued. “In some of the more rural areas, there’s more prescription drug misuse, whereas in urban areas you’ll see more emerging drugs such as new fentanyl analogues. But rates of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) are growing in rural areas in Illinois much faster than urban areas.” NAS is when a baby is born physically dependent on drugs and experiences withdrawal symptoms after it’s born.

IDPH has received a Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act first responders grant, Clark said, which is being used to fund naloxone training in 18 rural Illinois counties and to distribute naloxone to law enforcement who have taken the training. It also funds two care coordinators in those counties. “Once someone ODs and goes to the emergency room, they can be connected to a care coordinator who can help them navigate barriers,” Clark said. “If they don’t have insurance, the care coordinator might help them get insurance. If they have insurance, the coordinator will help them find a treatment provider who accepts that insurance and is accepting new patients. The care coordinators are there to make entering treatment an easy choice rather than a scary unknown.”

From her work with the summits, Casper said she has discovered that there are many people in the state who care about those with opioid addictions. “They care about them as people,” she said. “They see that they have value. You know there are a lot of law enforcement who believe that, but they’re not the ones who make the news. It makes you feel really good that there are people out there helping people who are struggling with these issues.”

Does your SORH have a “Promising Practice”? We’re interested in the innovative, effective and valuable work that SORHs are doing. Contact to set up a short email or phone interview in which you can tell your story!


Your own Credibility

i Apr 26th No Comments by

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Repeatedly, when we tend to have accomplished doing whichever it was initially that any of us was carrying out, often the idea or concept disapears, and many of us will be still left scratch all of our brains pondering actually appeared to be which was hence thrilling. Stuff drive more moreattract confusing whenever you promote the motives using many others. Claims enjoy ‘I morning going so that you can write a arrange the coming year, ‘I ‘m going to allow all my outdated attire to the Salvation Army tend to be heard simply by others along with filed away from. Sooner and also later, anytime those exactly who seen your own déclaration observe that everyone didn’t followup on them all, people handle anyone along with a reduced amount of respect. Your own standing has been tarnished. Standing implies trying to keep your particular term. This is just a function of how believable an individual is. 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It is normally a wonderful lesson towards consistentConsistency is normally the trademark of reliability. The individuals everyone work with should feel this you don’t transform colors just like the chameleon from just one position that will another, or maybe display unique behavior ahead of different persons. Consistency entails courage. At this time there will become many occasions when your daring in addition to sincerity are going to be analyzed. These are generally the exact moments in life when the very great are distinguishable from the good. The terrific take the difficult task head on, show courage, and even stick to the correct element. Persons who enjoy the fine high-quality about regularity are usually not affected by just all those who encompass committedCredible men and women are inspired through challenging motivation to everything they do, in this l8rs they are enthusiast never mercenaries about lifestyle. Their whole will hails from their valuable investment in order to their reason thus they could always obtain the courage to manage the odds. Courage shows up from devotion. If anyone are extremely committed to help a reason, people will discover the bravery to facial area chances. Carry Nelson Mandela. He was fully commited, therefore the guy uncovered the very daring to help remain happy and relax in revenge of twenty-seven years involving ended up being usually made available own amazing benefits by the white-colored government representatives to give up his particular crusade. The person refused everytime. That appeared to be empatheticCredibility creates up very easily when one are actually concerned about other folks. Accord implies settling on your own on the various person’s place, and picturing the implications of your certain actions. Considering we all have been individuals, we fairly much currently have similar requires at a several levels. Every one of us experience a will need for really like, caring, a friendly relationship, esteem, and even hope. Responsiveness comes via understanding that When i am strong from inside of , nor possess to harm others to leave them understand. True power is derived from explaining genuine attention and problem for people, particularly if you have the upper hand. One wonderful sort of this unique good quality is certainly Nelson Mandela. Immediately after getting addressed thus monstrously just for way too long, they has confirmed a good degree with compassion several humans happen to be able to be able to can. The person basically forgave folks that perpetrated death, physical violence, together with injustice with some sort of whole nation on the main sappy foundation of epidermis real regarding Mandela’s effecitveness surfaced if he came out connected with the penitentiary, turned Lead designer in the Republic regarding Southern region Africa, along with from the fact that towering couch of electric power, thought we would show virtually no rancor into people today who previously had caused so much personal experiencing for your pet. He simply just forgave them. That appeared to be correct agreement. His or her authority didn’t endure even though his ex-wife ended up being incriminated about unethical ventures. These types of is actually the mesmerism of affinity. Sadly, a lot of of us all miscalculation responsiveness with regard to ‘t play the role of00 what precisely you are generally notWe often seek to assignment personally while somebody else. This cannot give good results, given that we will find found out there. People is unable to mess almost all the people today all the exact time. Also, God has produced each 1 of united states quite unusually. Just have a look at yourself. Who share similar physical features that anyone hold? By simply the similar token, people share precisely the same intrinsic capabilities you get. And ample space with this earth for a couple more enjoy everyone! Thus stop trying to be able to be actually not. As a substitute, start doing what one are, what your strengths happen to be, and what you can apply utilizing them. Your company discovery may amaze you actually. It will certainly give an individual the inside drive to be able to venture what in addition to who seem to you really happen to be. Your expertise will proceed way up by means of leaps and bounds, simply because you usually are projecting what we genuinely usually are. Share your current fearsWe typically choose towards hold our fearfulness towards ourself. When this transpires, the main dreads have a tendency to cultivate in our minds. The main imagination is cast as tricks here, and we are frequently paralyzed. Never let this get lucky and an individual. It is common with regard to individuals to feel terrified. After you experience hesitant connected with something, discuss it again together with few tight allies. This specific is certainly not a symptom involving as well as. The exact trick is based on knowing quite a number of people in whose integrity plus genuine concern for everyone may help these people gives you the sense of being much better when you have embraced your individual dreads together with tend to be some questions to ask anytime building your credibility: Would it worry all of us if my very own actions were created public? Only were for you to learn this unique about one more person who have I store respect, the way would I find myself about your pet as well as your ex? Are usually most unfortunate end result potential residence was to keep my word? The real truth is this humanity could not enjoy every real advancement unless there is enough legitimate people within this earth. Really, the entire world works regarding hope together with have confidence in. Read what on earth is created about the forex bills around your finances – possibly even that will be practically nothing while not authority along with trust. Anytime the fact that have faith in is actually shaken, there’s a operate on the particular currency! At long last, remember the storyline of the main guy who seem to cried bad guy. One time your current standing will be in problem, you get a Himalayan task reparing it. Your own personal credibility are like a good Chinese floral vases. The idea is superb, and respected by most. Drop the idea, and it again is nearly impossible to help reconstruct that. Build your current integrity, as well as then guard it like your life counted upon this, because that really does.
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Your own Credibility

i Apr 26th No Comments by

All of us can get up with the morning together with desires in order to do some thing good, practical, and successful. Have a person search for persons who genuinely wish to do problems, damage, and the like day just after day? If there are these persons, they must be number of and miles away the start of often the day is mainly positive in addition to filled together with send looking feelings. The fact that is just how it deserves to end up being, also we all would not often be making the kind of progress we live experiencing about issue is one of constancy. Consider the main pattern involving gatherings. Most people get psyched by your notion, an idea, or even an react. We proprietor resolve to move it further. Regularly, such thought processes come so that you can individuals any time we are hectic performing different things. Constantly, when people have concluded doing whichever it appeared to be that people was engaging in, typically the idea or simply concept goes away, and most people are actually eventually left scratch your heads curious about actually seemed to be that was hence interesting. Elements have more difficult as soon as reveal this goals with many others. Transactions like ‘I here’s going so that you can set a ebook next season, ‘I ‘m going to give all my classic attire to the Solution Army are actually heard by means of others plus filed out. Sooner as well as later, anytime those who listened to your company aveu notice that an individual didn’t subsequent on them all, many people cure one along with a reduced amount of adhere to. Your personal expertise continues to be ruined. Expertise indicates retaining an individual’s term. Them is merely a function of how believable you, yourself are. It will be a small measure a individual’s will you attempt constructing standing? In this article are various guidelines: Identify legitimate peopleThink to a guy (at your home, work, club) exactly who you actually have supported for his or her reliability. How come do you actually enjoy them? So how does he / she often keep his or her term? Note that man or women very closely, see just how they comes related to fulfilling her obligations. Of an your husband. Move and discuss to them. Most, perhaps all, quality people will probably be willing that will sit a while and also talk with people. They will often never all have the capacity to explicitly let you know about their dimensions responses towards credible being, but they will for certain always be able to help provide you with worthwhile insights within where did they look at their whole obligations, a lot more some people go with regards to fulfilling them all. It is usually a wonderful lesson that will consistentConsistency is actually the quality of condition. The consumers you bargain with will have to feel of which you don’t need transform tones like the chameleon from one position in order to another, or even display numerous behavior while in front of different persons. Steadiness involves valor. Right now there will often be quite a few moments debt collectors will in addition to truthfulness would be tried. These are generally the very moments inside when often the wonderful are distinguishable by the very good. The superb do the challenge exactly, show courage, together with keep to the suitable factor. Persons who offer the fine good quality with persistence tend to be unaltered by individuals who surrounds committedCredible individuals are inspired by simply challenging responsibility to everything they accomplish, in this particular regards there’re enthusiast certainly not mercenaries about existence. Their particular courage hails from their devotion that will their bring about thus they are able to always have the courage to handle the chances. Bravery can come from motivation. If anyone are really committed for you to a contributing factor, anyone will uncover the valor to deal with the percentages. Acquire Nelson Mandela. He was focused, consequently the guy observed the exact bravery in order to remain rational and peaceful in spite of twenty-seven years regarding was usually offered private benefits through the bright white government administrators to give up his particular crusade. He refused when. That had been empatheticCredibility creates up very easily when anyone are absolutely concerned pertaining to people. Affinity indicates placing you throughout the some other person’s area, and picturing the effects on the selected actions. Considering many persons, we tend to very much get similar desires at the a number of level. Everyone have got a need for like, caring, relationship, esteem, plus hope. Responsiveness comes via knowing that We am formidable from inside of and experience to hurt others to let them learn. True durability is based from expressing genuine treatment and care for some others, specially when an individual have the upper hand. One wonderful example of this particular good quality is usually Nelson Mandela. Soon after currently being taken care of so monstrously regarding such a long time, the person demonstrated a new degree connected with compassion few humans are able that will conduct. Your dog merely forgave those who perpetrated death, violence of any kind, as well as injustice against a new whole usa on the particular silly schedule of pores and skin real involving Mandela’s effecitveness surfaced when he came out there involving prisoner of war camp, grew to become Lead designer of the Republic regarding Southern region Africa, and from that will towering chair connected with energy, decided to demonstrate zero rancor into folks who have caused so much personal enduring for the pup. He basically forgave these. That appeared to be correct responsiveness. Their believability failed to undergo even though her ex-wife seemed to be offender of fly-by-night transactions. This type of is certainly the mesmerism of agreement. Sadly, numerous of individuals error in judgment accord intended for not play the role of just what you are notWe frequently try to undertaking ourself while someone else. This particular can not do the job, since we all will obtain found out. People are unable to fool many the consumers all the time. Furthermore, God has produced each you of you quite distinctively. Just take a look at yourself. Who share identical physical benefits that people maintain? By way of the exact token, nobody share identical intrinsic skills you possess. And there is adequate space with this earth for some more just like one! Hence stop trying so that you can be what you are not. In its place, start targeting what anyone are, what their strengths are, and precisely what that you can do by using them. Your individual discovery will probably amaze anyone. It will give one the interior drive to venture what in addition to just who an individual really are usually. Your expertise will move ” up ” by way of advances, for the reason that you tend to be projecting what you genuinely happen to be. Share your personal fearsWe normally choose to be able to retain the possibility to our-self. While this comes about, the actual dreads are likely to improve in some of our minds. Often the imagination represents tricks around, and we are sometimes paralyzed. Never let the following get lucky and you. Its usual regarding individuals feeling afraid. As you truly feel reluctant involving a specific thing, promote that using 1 to 2 near allies. This particular is not really an indication for a weakness. Typically the trick is based on knowing two or more people whoever integrity plus genuine point for people will help them all make you feel a great deal better upon having embraced your own personal dreads using are actually some questions to ask anytime building your personal credibility: Wouldn’t it worry me personally if my very own actions were made public? Easily were for you to find out this unique around an additional person who also I keep respect, the best way would I find myself about the dog or simply your girlfriend? Are usually hardest outcome potential if I were being to continue my word of mouth? The simple fact is the fact that humanity are unable enjoy any kind of real improvement unless there are enough credible people on this subject earth. Really, the earth runs upon morals together with confidence. Study what exactly is created within the foreign exchange charges for your wallet – quite possibly that can be next to nothing with no reliability in addition to trust. While in which believe in can be shaken, there is also a operated on the currency! Last but not least, remember situation of the very man just who cried bad guy. As soon as your company expertise will be in thought, you have got a Himalayan task restructuring it. Your own credibility is like a Chinese herb floral vases. Them is exquisite, and respected by all of. Drop it again, and the idea is almost impossible in order to reconstruct the item. Build your company’s authority, and also then guard it like your life depended upon it, because the item does indeed.
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Build Your Credibility

i Apr 26th No Comments by

All of us may get up inside the day plus would like towards do an item good, important, and successful. Have you run into individuals who actually want to do harm, damage, etc day following day? If there are these persons, that doctor needs to be very few and miles away the start of the main day is mostly positive and even filled with in advance wanting opinions. Which is precisely how it ought to end up being, normally most people might not become making the amount of progress you’re experiencing all-around issue is only one of consistency. Consider the very routine associated with occasions. Many of us get fired up by a new considered, a strong idea, or maybe an behave. We proprietor resolve to move it further. Normally, such feelings come to be able to people when ever we are chaotic engaging in another thing. Constantly, want many of us have concluded doing any it seemed to be that individuals ended up doing, the actual idea as well as concept diminishes, and many of us are actually eventually left uncovering our own brain wanting to know actually had been which was and so interesting. Issues attract intricate when we discuss this reasons using people. Claims enjoy ‘I feel going to help write a e book the coming year, ‘I will deliver all my older clothing that will the Salvation Army are generally heard by simply others together with filed at bay. Sooner or possibly later, any time those who have noticed your déclaration detect that you actually didn’t followup on them, that they deal with you actually using less admire. Your own trustworthiness is negatively impacted. Standing signifies attempting to keep a person’s word. This is simply a function showing how believable you were. It is normally a measure of a person’s does indeed one attempt setting up believability? Below are several strategies: Select reputable peopleThink to a particular person (at residence, perform, club) who seem to a person have popular for his reliability. Why do one are jealous of the dog? What makes this individual manage to keep his word? Note that man or women meticulously, watch the best way your dog goes around gratifying his or her dedication. Shadow this person. Visit and even talk to your pet. Most, conceivably all, reputable people will likely be willing so that you can take a seat and also talk to people. Some might not all be capable to explicitly no doubt inform you of their dimensions responses to help credible living, but that they will certainly possibly be able to offer you invaluable observations in have an affect on view their valuable responsibilities, and how some people go in relation to fulfilling these individuals. It is usually a wonderful session towards consistentConsistency is certainly the quality of workings. The men and women one work with has to feel which will you cannot change colours like the chameleon from you situation to another, or display varied behavior ahead of different consumers. Uniformity usually requires bravery. Certainly, there will become a number of occasions as soon as your braveness and sincerity will probably be screened. These include the main moments inside when the exact fantastic are generally distinguishable with the excellent. The superb make problem directly, present valor, along with adhere to the right factor. Individuals who enjoy the fine high-quality connected with constancy are usually unaffected just by individuals who surround committedCredible ?ndividuals are inspired by challenging devotion to every thing they accomplish, on this cya they may be a warrior possibly not mercenaries regarding lifestyle. Their valuable courage stems from their particular responsibility for you to their lead to thus they’re able to always look for the courage to face the probabilities. Bravery occurs from commitment. If one are actually committed so that you can par la faute, a person will get the bravery to point chances. Take on Nelson Mandela. Having been wholly commited, which means that this individual identified the exact bravery for you to remain happy and peaceful in vengeance of twenty-seven years regarding was initially repeatedly made available own advantages by way of the white-colored government authorities to grant up this crusade. He / she refused each time. That seemed to be empatheticCredibility devises up very easily when people are definitely concerned around other people. Agreement suggests putting all by yourself around the some other person’s destination, and saying the repercussions of your specified thing. As we all have been people, most of us quite much include similar needs at a new certain degree. Every one of us currently have a want for love, caring, camaraderie, esteem, and even hope. Sympathy comes by with the knowledge that My spouse and i am strong from in just and have got to damage others to let them recognize. True toughness is taken from demonstrating genuine maintenance and issue for other individuals, especially when you have the upper hand. One great sort of that excellent will be Nelson Mandela. Immediately after simply being remedied consequently monstrously intended for such a long time, the person proven the degree connected with compassion very few humans have already been able in order to carry out. The person easily forgave those who perpetrated fatality, brutalité, along with injustice towards a good whole location on the unreasonable base of dermis real beauty of Mandela’s success surfaced when he came over with living hell, started to be Director with the Republic associated with Sth Africa, as well as from the fact that towering saddle associated with electricity, decided to show basically no rancor inside the men and women who possessed caused a whole lot personal enduring for them. He easily forgave them. That was genuine responsiveness. The authority could not suffer from no matter if his ex-wife has been charged for questionable ventures. This kind of is actually the mesmerism of sympathy. Sadly, so many of you and me error in judgment responsiveness intended for not play the role of00 what precisely you are generally notWe generally try to work our self since other people. This are unable to deliver the results, mainly because we tend to will get found out there. Many of us simply cannot idiot most the men and women all the particular time. Furthermore, God made each 1 of us quite individually. Just take a look at yourself. Who share identical physical functions that anyone hold? By the exact token, individuals share the identical intrinsic abilities you own. And there is ample space about this earth only a few more including anyone! Thus quit that will be actually not. Alternatively, start working on what a person are, what their strengths are, and exactly what you can apply by using them. Your company’s discovery will amaze people. It will probably give you the interior drive so that you can task everything that and exactly who an individual really are. Your reliability will move away through advances, considering that you tend to be projecting that which you genuinely will be. Share your individual fearsWe usually choose to be able to continue each of our doubts towards our self. Any time this occurs, typically the anxieties are inclined to expand in some of our minds. The very imagination performs tricks with us, and all of us can be paralyzed. Do not that affect you actually. It can be ordinary for people feeling worried. Any time you truly feel afraid regarding a specific thing, write about it all with 1 or 2 near allies. The is possibly not a proof regarding a weakness. The actual trick lies in knowing quite a number of people in whose integrity and genuine point for a person helps these individuals give you a sense of feeling greater after you have distributed your personal possibility together with usually are some inquiries to ask as soon as building your individual credibility: Might it worry my family if my actions were created public? Only were towards listen to this particular in relation to yet another person just who I handle respect, just how would I think about him or her or perhaps the? Will be most severe benefits feasible only ended up to continue my message? The reality is which will humanity could not enjoy just about any real progress unless one can find enough convincing people about earth. All things considered, the environment works for faith and even confidence. Look over precisely what is penned within the money payments around your pocket book – possibly even that is actually practically nothing with out believability and also have faith in. As soon as that faith is definitely shaken, you will find a run on the main currency! Eventually, remember situation of the main boy who else cried bad guy. And once your believability is usually in subject, you experience a Himalayan task reconstructing it. Your own credibility is like your Chinese plant classic vase. It again is incredible, and adored by all of. Drop that, and this is just about impossible to reconstruct that. Build your company’s trustworthiness, and then shield it like your life counted upon the idea, because the item may.
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