The Branch Newsletter

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

APRIL 2018


Ambulance Payment Reform, Grant Writing Workshop, Approaches to Community Paramedicine and More at the National Rural EMS & Care Conference 

You don’t want to miss the wide variety of rural EMS topics offered in Tucson later this month! Dr. Chelsea White’s session, Different Approaches to Rural Community Paramedicine Projects: Tribal and Frontier Success Stories, is just one of the topics expected to engage local, regional and national EMS stakeholders gathering in at the National Rural EMS & Care Conference. Dr. White is an emergency physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of New Mexico (UNM), where he also serves as Director of the UNM Center for Rural and Tribal EMS, as well as the Director of UNM EMS Fellowship. Learn from Dr. White about Community Paramedicine in isolated, frontier Native American reservations.  Read More


Rural EMS Sponsorship and Exhibitor Opportunities

Support the work of the Joint Committee on Rural Emergency Care by sponsoring the National Rural EMS & Care Conference in Tucson, AZ, on April 24-25. The conference offers an opportunity for sponsors and exhibitors to meet with local, regional and national EMS stakeholders, and to be recognized for their support. Three levels of support are being offered for the conference Read More

Design and Dissemination Studios: Researcher and Student Opportunity, Stakeholders Welcome! 

NOSORH and the Collaborative for Rural Primary care, Research, Education and Practice (Rural PREP) are looking for researchers to participate in research Design and Dissemination Studios (DDS) to be held in conjunction with two SORH Regional Meetings. Researchers who address topics on rural primary care health profession education OR students in a rural primary care education or training program are sought. Research projects that are proposed, in progress or published are of interest for the DDS. Travel stipends are available. Support for researchers to prepare to participate in this innovative activity to inform research is provided. Read More


Updates to SORH Regional Meetings

State Offices of Rural Health, mark your calendars with these dates and locations for the upcoming SORH Regional Meetings.

The HRSA Office of Regional Operations will be holding a half day, pre-conference meeting on the afternoon of Monday, August 13. All SORH are invited to attend. More information to follow. Read More



Promising Practice: Michigan Center for Rural Health Plays Unique Role in Hospital Quality Improvement

By: Beth Blevins

In the quest for hospital quality improvement, the Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH) is playing a unique role, serving as a liaison between independent Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in the state and the state’s hospital association. “Usually we hear of SORH Flex programs subcontracting work to their local hospital association,” said Crystal Barter, MCRH Director of Performance Improvement. “This is the opposite situation—the hospital association subcontracts with our Flex program. Due to the nature of our work, we have a robust relationship with all 21 of the independent CAHs in the state Read More

ASTHO Support Helps Facilitate Stronger NOSORH, PCO National Committee Partnership

Over the last several months, the collaboration between the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) has enabled a blossoming relationship between NOSORH and the PCO National Committee. NOSORH has been supporting the PCO National Committee with meeting logistics, surveys, and regular check-ins. Beth Kolf, NOSORH Project Coordinator, has been the lead working directly with the PCO National Committee chair and co-chair, Dianne Roberts (IL) and Tom Rauner (NE). Read More



NOSORH Partners with LilyPad – Practice Operations National Database (POND)

NOSORH is working with LilyPad on their Practice Operations National Database (POND) product to support clinics to report and benchmark data. To date, 12 states have enrolled in POND, with 95 clinics reporting data on 336 providers, including physicians and advanced practitioners. Listening sessions will be planned with State Offices of Rural Health and POND users to learn more about the opportunities for improving and reporting on the impact of the work of clinics. Read More


Policy Update

The following update was provided for our members by Hall Render, NOSORH Legislative Liaison:

State Office of Rural Health Bill Nears Finish Line in Senate
During the week of March 19, Senate leadership hotlined the State Offices of Rural Health Reauthorization Act of 2018 (S. 2278) through the Senate. Without any of the 100 members objecting, the SORH bill is now set to pass the Senate. The Senate parliamentary procedure came weeks after the Senate Health, Labor, Education and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted to advance the bill out of committee. The bill advanced after an amendment was agreed to which increases the authorization of appropriations level to $12,500,000 for each of the fiscal years 2018 through 2022. The bill passed the committee unanimously. Read More


Take the TruServe Survey 

Have an idea to make TruServe better? Please take a few minutes to share your opinions on this brief survey.

Join fellow SORH staff from across the country to learn more about maximizing the utility of TruServe at the next TruServe training on Tuesday, April 24th at 2:00pm ET. These monthly training sessions work to answer questions for existing users and provide a broad overview of TruServe for anyone using the system. Read More


 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 Flex Committee reviewed the Funding Extension Progress Report guidance released last month with a focus on provider-based RHC work and EMS services. The group discussed several approaches to meet the newly clarified requirements such as including operational support services to clinics such as coding and billing education. Additionally, the group is developing a list of potential updates for the Flex Program. Read More


RHIhub Spotlight

The RHIhub is excited to announce the launch of Daily & Weekly Custom Alerts! Now you can sign up for email alerts related to specific states and topics, choose how often you get them, and even which types of resources interest you most, so that you’re always up to date on the information that you need. Read More


Steal Sheet

NOSORH offers Steal Sheet articles for SORHs to distribute in emails, in your (or your partners’) newsletter, on websites, Facebook pages, etc. The April 2018 Steal Sheet includes:
  1. HRSA’s Behavioral Health Virtual Job Fair – Connect with Healthcare Organizations Across the Country
  2. USDA Community Connect Grants for Broadband Deployment in Rural Communities
  3. Request a CMS Presentation about the Quality Payment Program
  4. Rural PREP Grand Rounds- You’re Invited to Participate!


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