The Branch Newsletter

A monthly update for State Offices of Rural Health and NOSORH Partners.

December 2018

National Rural Health Day a Nationwide Success

National Rural Health Day (NRHD) was celebrated on November 15, 2018, with a record number of nationwide events held by State Offices of Rural Health, rural communities, providers and stakeholders. Activities this year included Walk with a Doc walks, Twitter chats, and a call to action to use the #PowerofRural on social media to create a coast-to-coast conversation on rural health. The #PowerofRural generated over 7 million impressions and over 2,200 tweets on November 15, surpassing 2017’s impressions by over 3 million!  Read more

Promising Practice: Loan Repayment Programs in Nebraska Yielding Huge Payoffs

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.” Read more


SORH Resources Available for NRHA Policy Institute

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 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 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. Read More


New Partners Introduce Work of SORH and the Power of Rural to Elder Justice Stakeholders

Have you (or someone you know) received a phone call from your grandchild saying they’ve been arrested and need your help? What about someone calling claiming to be from the IRS and there was a problem with your taxes? These are a just two examples of fraud discussed at the Department of Justice (DOJ) Rural and Tribal Elder Justice Summit, the first meeting of this type hosted by the DOJ Elder Justice Initiative. Through a developing partnership with the DOJ, NOSORH was able to introduce National Rural Health Day (NRHD), the Power of Rural movement, the work of NOSORH and State Offices of Rural Health to the participants of this two-day event. Read More


NOSORH and SORH Represented at 2018 APHA Annual Meeting

During the 2018 American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, NOSORH presented Addressing the Social Determinants of Health in Rural Communities: Identified challenges, opportunities and available resources. This work was done in partnership with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) with funding from HRSA. Participants learned about challenges to multi-sector rural Networks, were introduced to joint ASTHO/NOSORH resources, and discovered ways that their State Office of Rural Health (SORH) and State Health Official (SHO) could assist in their efforts. Read More


Policy Update

Last month, State Rural Health Associations were invited to join the NOSORH Policy Committee. The committee heard about the election results, an FORHP regulatory update and a preview of the work of the Policy and Program Monitoring Team. For more information or to join the Policy committee, please contact Matt Strycker.

The following update was provided by Hall Render, NOSORH Policy Liaison:
The Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives following the recent midterm elections will significantly change the political landscape for healthcare issues when lawmakers return for the 116th Session of Congress next year. Overall, the election results will mean divided government and a return to the era when Read More


New TruServe Features Coming in 2019

2019 will be a big year for TruServe! New features are being developed that will dramatically improve what can be tracked in TruServe, giving State Offices of Rural Health much more flexibility to tailor their TruServe system. Stay tuned throughout the course of 2019 as these features are released.

The next TruServe Training will be held on Wednesday, December 19th at 2:00 PM Eastern. Webinar link: Dial: 1-415-655-0002, passcode: 921 776 408#


Committee Clips

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.

The NOSORH Board of Directors met last month to make plans for the annual board planning meeting in January. The Board member roster for 2019 was approved, and the Board reviewed and approved recommendations from the governance and structure task force. Read more

RHIhub Spotlight

The RHIhub recently hosted a #RuralHealthChat with NOSORH for National Rural Health Day on Access to Healthcare in Rural Communities to celebrate the #PowerofRural. Read the tweets in order and catch up on what you missed! Kristine Sande, RHIhub Director, also spoke with Rural Health Leadership Radio about National Rural Health Day, the RHIhub, rural health challenges and strengths, and more! Read More