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Committee Clips

i Jan 14th No Comments by

NOSORH committees are great focal points for engaging in many NOSORH initiatives.  Descriptions of all committees and contact information can be found on the NOSORH website.

 Board of Directors – The NOSORH Board met last week to begin its work on a 3-year strategic plan and a review of a framework of SORH and rural stakeholder needs. The Board’s early direction are for NOSORH to focus its partnership infrastructure for the future of the rural health landscape, population health and build capacity for data driven decisions and programs. 

Executive-The Executive Committee met in December to review a policy on a new employee benefit, the Board’s 2019 meeting schedule and to provide input regarding the Board’s strategic planning effort.

JCREC- Be looking for the EMS Tactical Agenda for the Future to be released for comment soon.

PPMT– The Policy and Program Monitoring Team reviewed comments on CMS Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) Managed Care and Rural Healthy People 2030. The next PPMT meeting will be held January 23 at 3:00 pm ET.

Educational Exchange- The EE committee met in December to discuss the experiences of the committee members with the SORH Proficiencies, begin strategizing on the development of the Benchmarking report and discuss the future mentoring program. The committee will reconvene on January 28th, 2019 – a week later than normal due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

RHC Committee – The RHC Committee met with eight states represented along with our partners. Nathan Baugh (NARHC) and Kerri Conejo (FORHP) spoke regarding the newly proposed, soon to be final Physician Fee Schedule changes. One change provides opportunity for RHCs to take advantage of new Tele-Communication Codes that are reimbursed outside their All-Inclusive Rate (AIR). The Committee also discussed the newly proposed Value Based Project that is an opportunity for SORH and their RHCs to tap additional technical assistance resources coordinated by NOSORH in partnership with LilyPad and John Gale. The Committee is currently reviewing the RHC Education Modules #1 and #2. A re-release effort will be announced as the committee moves through the revision process. The next RHC Committee meeting is scheduled for February 18 at 2 PM ET.

Development Committee – The Development Committee discussed committee engagement and participation over the last eight months as well as current projects. The Committee will release the SORH Compensation Survey results shortly. The January 2019 meeting has been cancelled due to the Board Planning Meeting. The next Development Committee is scheduled for February 12 at 2 PM ET.


Back to January Branch

SORH Bill Signed Into Law

i Jan 14th No Comments by

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.


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Save the Date! National Rural EMS & Care Conference 2019

i Jan 14th No Comments by

NOSORH, The Joint Committee on Rural Emergency Care (JCREC), and the South Carolina Office of Rural Health are happy to announce that the 2019 National Rural EMS & Care Conference will take place in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 17-18. Invited attendees include rural EMS directors, medical directors and officers, rural health care providers, state EMS officials, state rural health officials, hospital administrators, elected officials, federal agency officials, and other EMS partners. This will be an amazing opportunity to engage with partners from all over the country and at different levels of EMS care. Last year, the conference saw almost 120 attendees in Tucson, Arizona, and this year even more are anticipated.

Now in its 5th year, the National Rural EMS & Care Conference has grown in scope and content. Joyce Hospodar, JCREC Co-Chair and host of the 2018 conference states, “The growth in attendance and breadth of topics covered at last year’s conference lends testimony to the need to continue to bring together rural EMS providers and other national and regional partners to share issues and create solutions. Targeting rural issues related to EMS needs around workforce, collaboration, policy, and systems thinking are essential components for serving the country’s rural communities.” Other past attendees have stated, “The networking with colleagues from around the country and in our region is the biggest benefit. Hearing ideas and learning from others about successes provides insight into how to model similar processes in our community.”

This meeting truly is an exceptional resource and we look forward to you joining us in Charleston this April. More details to be released soon.


Back to January Branch

Resources Available for 2019 NRHA Policy Institute

i Jan 14th No Comments by

The 2019 National Rural Health Association Policy Institute is in Washington, D.C. on February 5-8, and NOSORH has resources to help you prepare for the conference. NOSORH will be hosting the webinar “Preparing to Engage with Legislators & Policymakers” on January 17th at 1:00 pm ET. This webinar will focus on understanding the environment on Capitol Hill, SORH legislative priorities for the new Congress, and how to “orient” new congressional members (and resources available) and conduct a Hill visit with state partners. Click here to register for the webinar.

In addition, one-page state profiles, like this one from South Carolina, are available to help SORH document the impact of their work. For help in completing your state’s profile, please contact Donna Pfaendtner at donnap@nosorh.org no later than Friday, January 22, 2019. A SORH factsheet will be provided for your use at the Policy Institute and Hall Render staff will be available to join you on Hill visits.

While in D.C., be sure to attend the NOSORH Members Meeting on Tuesday, February 5th at 6:00 pm ET in the Capitol Room. Stay tuned for more details about this meeting.

For more information, please contact Matt Strycker at stryckerm@nosorh.org


Back to January Branch

New SORH Orientation a Success, Updated New SORH Manual Now Available

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Ten new key SORH staff recently attended the 2018 New SORH Orientation on December 5-6, 2018, in Bethesda, MD. Thank you to Corie Kaiser (OK) and Lynette Dickson (ND) who provided attendees with SORH leadership and management “tips and tricks”. Attendees were also introduced to the divisions of FORHP along with the Bureau of Health Workforce, Bureau of Primary Health Care, and met with their grant management specialist all within one day. Congratulations to Chris Salyers, NOSORH Education and Services Director, and Suzanne Stack, FORHP Public Health Analyst, for a successful meeting.

A newly updated manual for new SORH staff is now available for download on the NOSORH website. The manual serves as a great primer to help understand rural health, acronyms and key rural health organizations.


Back to January Branch

Rural Clinicians Honored for Efforts to Prevent Cancers Caused by HPV

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Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) announced the 2018 HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion Award winners for outstanding efforts to protect adolescents from cancers caused by HPV. The award recognizes clinicians, clinics, practices, groups, and health systems that are going above and beyond to foster HPV vaccination in their community by achieving high HPV vaccination rates.

Every year, the award honors up to one champion from all 50 U.S. states, eight U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States, and the District of Columbia. Of the 32 state champions honored this year, nine of them practice in rural communities. These champions came from Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wyoming.

Every year in the United States, more than 33,000 women and men are diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV infection. HPV vaccination could prevent more than 90% of these cancers—about 31,000—from occurring. CDC recommends two doses of the HPV vaccine at ages 11-12. However, only five out of ten adolescents have received all the recommended doses of the HPV vaccine.

While HPV vaccination rates have been increasing in recent years nationally, recent CDC data show that fewer adolescents in rural areas are getting the HPV vaccine compared to adolescents in urban areas. In 2017, the percentage of adolescents who received the first dose of the HPV vaccine was 11 percentage points lower in rural areas compared to urban areas.

This year’s Champions are being honored for their leadership, collaboration, innovation and commitment to the adolescent patients in their communities by implementing strategies to increase their HPV vaccination rates. To learn more about the 2018 HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion award winners and how they achieved high HPV vaccination rates, visit https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/champions/index.html.

CDC also has resources designed to help clinicians in rural communities effectively recommend HPV vaccine, answer parents’ questions, and implement strategies to increase HPV vaccination rates in their office. To find these resources and to learn more about the latest data on HPV vaccination rates, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/ruralhealth/vaccines/index.html.


Back to January Branch

RHIhub Spotlight

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The RHIhub ended the year with a recap of the Top 10 Rural Monitor Articles of 2018, featuring stories on young rural healthcare leaders, rural EMS recruitment and retention, social determinants of health, death certificates as important public health documents, rural general surgeons, and more.

Other new articles in the Rural Monitor include:

RHIhub has several other new Models and Innovations:

The topic guide on Rural Long-Term Care Facilities has been updated with new information throughout. Also, two new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on quality initiatives and oral healthcare were added.


Back to January Branch

Grant Budget Options for SORH

i Dec 13th No Comments by

The Grant Budget Options document was updated to support budget development for the State Office of Rural Health (SORH) grant, Small Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) grant, Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex) grant and other grant applications. The list is organized by budget justification category for ease of use and includes a wide range of possibilities, plus a few new options for consideration. 

SORH Resources Available for NRHA Policy Institute

i Dec 6th No Comments by

NOSORH has resources to help you and your state partners prepare for the National Rural Health Association Policy Institute being held February 4-7, 2019, in Washington, D.C. One-page state profiles, like this one from South Carolina, are available to help State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) document the impact of their work. . For help in completing your state’s profile, please contact Donna Pfaendtner at donnap@nosorh.org no later than Friday, January 11, 2019. A SORH factsheet will be provided for your use at the Policy Institute and Hall Render staff will be available to join you on Hill visits. While in D.C., be sure to attend the NOSORH Members Meeting on Monday, February 4th at 6:00 pm ET. We do not have a room assignment yet but be looking for more information to come next month. Lastly, NOSORH will be hosting the webinar “Preparing to Engage with Legislators & Policymakers” on January 17th at 3:00 pm ET to help you get ready. Stay tuned for more details.

For more information, please contact Matt Strycker at stryckerm@nosorh.org


Back to December Branch

NRHD 2018 Schedule of Events

i Nov 15th No Comments by

NOSORH Webinar- Policy and the Power of Rural from
11:00-11:30 am ET
This conversation will focus on the current and future work of rural health policy, how rural citizens can communicate with policymakers and their communities to make an impact on rural health, and the impact of a changing Congress. Click  here to join the webinar.

RHI Hub Twitter Chat on Access
12:00-1:00 pm ET
Join the RHIhub and NOSORH on National Rural Health Day to discuss access to health care in rural areas and the impact of a lack of access for rural people. Discussion will also focus on specific barriers to access, solutions to those barriers, and celebrating rural communities that have tackled this problem in meaningful ways. Everyone is welcome to follow along and jump in with comments, questions, and any information on Rural Access to Healthcare that they would like to share. Use the hashtag #RuralHealthChat to join. Click for more information

FORHP Webinar on HIN Network with CMS
1:00-2:00 pm ET
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will host a webinar to highlight examples of Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) projects that address access to care and harm reduction in critical access and rural hospitals. Click here to join the webinar: CMS Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) Efforts in Rural Health

HRSA Telehealth Twitter Chat
2:00-3:00 pm ET
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is hosting a National Rural Health Day Twitter chat on the role of Telehealth. The chat will focus on how the use of telehealth can help health care and accessibility in rural areas across the nation. Join by using the hashtag #TalkTelehealth!

NOSORH Webinar- Rural Networks: Making a Difference in the Opioid Epidemic
3:00-3:30pm ET
During this conversation participants will learn how small rural networks are collaborating and innovating with their communities to address the opioid crisis in rural New York. Click here to join the webinar.

NOSORH Webinar- A Conversation on Rural EMS
4:00-4:30pm ET
This conversation will focus on the current state of rural EMS and how leaders are educating and bringing innovation to their states. Click here to join the webinar.

For more National Rural Health Day events, please visit www.powerofrural.org!