By Beth Blevins
Rural migrants and other immigrant Latinos in California are becoming better informed on issues that affect their health thanks to a partnership between the California State Office of Rural Health (CalSORH) and the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Binational Border Health (OBBH).
Since the partnership offered its first workshop in March 2015, community health workers (CHWs), also known as promotores, have been trained on emerging health issues that impact migrant, seasonal, and agricultural workers.
“Each year, we look at emerging health issues, listen to what the CHWs/promotores are hearing in their communities, and tailor our training with up-to-the-moment information,” said Jalaunda Granville*, former Rural Health Project Coordinator at CalSORH. “The goals of the training vary from year to year.”
The project uses a “train-the-trainer model”—trainings are held for the CHWs/promotores who then spread the information to the community, said Corinne Chavez, CalSORH Health Program Manager. “The goal of all of these trainings is to provide education and tools for participants to share in their communities. It’s an outreach and education model that offers relevant and reliable health education and resources to California’s rural population.” Chavez added, “OBBH has utilized this model for over a decade.”
Past trainings have been on pesticide illness and safety, Zika awareness and prevention, and mental health and opioid use disorder (OUD). Trainings take place in four regions of the state, with participants drawn from rural parts of those areas, Granville said. More than 300 CHWs/promotores have been trained so far, Chavez said.
“The CHWs/promotores are carefully selected,” Chavez said. “And OBBH’s strong relationships with community-based organizations and community leaders aid in their selection.” A workgroup, composed of OBBH staff, medical professionals, and community leaders and members, develop culturally appropriate curriculum and implement trainings, she said.
After each workshop, participants are given educational manuals and materials, copies of presentations, resource links, and/or contact information for the local resources involved in the workshops, Chavez said.
The CalSORH/OBBH partnership also utilizes additional partnerships with other state and federal agencies. For its workshop on pesticides, OBBH collaborated with CalSORH, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, Chavez said. OBBH and Vision y Compromiso, a leading promotores organization, facilitated its four Zika Awareness workshops in targeted regions of California in 2017, she said.
The partnership provided training and outreach mental health on the dangers of OUD in 2018. It targeted rural areas of the state based on the number of opioid-related deaths found on the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard, Chavez said. “California rural communities have the highest rates of OUD in the State,” she said. “OBBH wanted to provide training in a culturally and linguistically appropriate setting because they believe CHWs are uniquely positioned for early intervention and to assist in increasing access to services.”
This year, the partnership is offering training on increasing awareness of antibiotic overuse and misuse in rural communities, with the goal of training 120 promotores/CHWs by 2020. That topic was chosen, Chavez said, “because of the current public health threat it poses throughout the world—we want to provide these trainings as a tool to expand access to healthy practices and services.” If each CHW who is trained on this topic delivers a short presentation to at least 20 community members, she said, the hope is that it will eventually reach at least 500 people in the state.
CalSORH currently is in a five-year intragovernmental agency agreement with OBBH for their services through CalSORH funds, Granville said, “but they also provide services above and beyond their agreement amount.” Funding for the partnership comes from CalSORH’s Federal Office of Rural Healthy Policy SORH grant.
The partnership has allowed CalSORH to reach communities and populations they might not otherwise have, Chavez concluded.
“Early on we recognized that partnering with OBBH was the best way to deliver information and services,” she said. “Working with OBBH was a natural choice in terms of trying to address our rural migrants and Latino populations that may or may not be exposed to this information. We identified their expertise, and knew that they have access to communities and resources. It was a natural link for us to partner with them.”
* Granville has recently accepted a promotion in the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, California’s federally designated Primary Care Office
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2019 NOSORH Awards! These awards are a special way to celebrate and recognize the hard work and leadership of individuals and organizations dedicated to rural health.
Awards will be presented during a ceremony at the NOSORH Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, NM.
Click here to learn more and submit a nomination!
(Nominations will be accepted until Friday, August 30 at 5:00 pm EDT)
NOSORH is excited to announce the relaunch of the NOSORH Mentoring Program and the newly designed Peer-Driven Resources webpage! The Mentoring Program builds upon the mentoring philosophy of Jim Bernstein, providing an opportunity for SORH Directors and equivalents to be paired with veteran SORH Directors or equivalents. The Mentoring Program requires that the Mentor and Mentee meet via phone at least two hours per month and is expected to last about 6 months. Mentees are also required to participate in a “NOSORH 101” webinar and attend the FORHP New SORH Orientation at FORHP offices. The Educational Exchange Scholarship may also be used in conjunction with the Mentoring Program to support a site visit between the Mentor and Mentee as pairs see fit.
With this launch, the NOSORH webpage for the Educational Exchange scholarships has been moved to a single Peer-Driven Resources page. This new comprehensive webpage features information on the Jim Bernstein mentoring philosophy, along with documents, applications and resources for the Mentoring and Educational Exchange scholarship programs. These guides and resources help ensure the mentoring experience is beneficial for all parties involved. If you’re looking for other opportunities for professional development, be sure to check out the Rural Health Leadership Institute and the SORH Proficiencies framework.
For more information or with questions, contact Chris Salyers, Education and Services Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your connection to NOSORH partnership opportunities awaits in the 2019 NOSORH Partnership Invitation. As you’ll see, NOSORH is exploring new ways to build collaborative partnerships to improve the future of rural health. Each level of support offers many ways to “plug in” to the Power of Rural and NOSORH’s mission, increasing your reach and visibility on the rural stage. In addition to recognition at the NOSORH Annual Meeting, you will become a valued partner in National Rural Health Day on November 21 and gain recognition through the Power of Rural campaign.
All NOSORH partners are encouraged to submit a speaker proposal for the 2019 NOSORH Annual Meeting! The meeting will take place October 16-17 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with all 50 State Offices of Rural Health in attendance. To submit a proposal, simply fill out this speaker form and click “submit” at the end. Proposals are due by Friday, June 7, 2019 at 5:00 pm ET.
Thank you in advance for your interest in supporting NOSORH’s mission. Contact Ashley Muninger at email@example.com for more information.
The following update was provided by Hall Render, NOSORH Policy Liaison:
Thanks to the efforts of many, President Trump signed into law the State Offices of Rural Health Reauthorization Act of 2018 in the final hours of the 115th Congress. The bill signing was a culmination of two years of hard work by State Offices of Rural Health, their partners and Hall Render in educating members of Congress and Congressional Committees on the importance of SORHs to our nation’s rural health care. Special acknowledgement to Senator Roberts (KS) for introducing the bill, Representative Mullin (OK) and Representative Schrader (OR) and their staff for supporting SORH.
The bill (S. 2278), which is now public law, reauthorizes the SORH grant program for the first time since its creation in the early 1990s. It also authorizes $12.5 million in federal funding for the SORH grant program between fiscal years 2018 and 2022.
The bill passed the House on December 19 by a roll call vote of 357-4 and was sent to the President on December 27. The New Year’s Eve bill signing was one of the final Presidential actions of 2018.
NOSORH’s Grant Writing Institute—Beyond the Basics is now on-demand! This course is designed for individuals looking for education beyond the introductory or beginning level. This is the only grant education of its kind focused on rural health grant writers. Topics will include learning communication strategies to connect with funders, using work plans to meet basic grant reporting, understanding how to create meaningful evaluation tools, and how to use data. Past participation in NOSORH’s Grant Writing Institute is not required.
To view the brochure, please click here.
To register, click here.
For more information, contact Tammy Norville at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health has partnered with Lilypad, LLC to implement the Practice Operations National Database (POND™) program, a web-based data collection, reporting and benchmarking application for rural primary care providers. POND is a unique benchmarking program which focuses on rural-relevant financial, operational, productivity and compensation measures. POND provides a vehicle for rural practices to selectively share blinded operational and productivity data and to use peer benchmark information to guide improvements in performance and inform recruitment/retention and hospital-physician alignment activities.
POND will benefit SORHs wishing to:
POND provides an easy, consistent approach to engage RHCs and other primary care providers. It can also be used to promote community between rural primary care providers through data-based discussions and can establish the SORH as a source of relevant and unique resources.
Annual fees for SORHs are $2500 for states with fewer than 90 RHCs and $3500 for states with more than 90 RHCs. This annual fee enables all rural primary care practices in your state to participate in POND.
If you have any additional questions, contact Kassie Clarke.