NOSORH offers travel scholarships to encourage educational exchange and mentoring between SORH because SORH have indicated they learn best from other SORH.  Four SORH recently participated in 2 separate Educational Exchanges using NOSORH Mentoring Funds.

Oklahoma – Colorado Educational Exchange

In late October, the Oklahoma SORH traveled to Colorado to visit with the Colorado Center for Rural Health to accomplish the following goals:

  • Improve how they implement MBQIP TA activities to improve measures.
  • Improve and/or modify how they conduct CAH site visits.
  • Improve workforce recruitment and retention efforts.

“We learned a great deal of information and have already followed up by email with additional questions,” says Corie Kaiser, Director of the OK SORH.  Pete Walton joined Corie on the trip and provided the following top 5 take-aways from the exchange:

#1 Utilize the University more to provide services to hospitals. Look internally for partnerships/professionals to work with hospitals.

#2 Look into getting external grants to compliment current grants.

#3 Discussed marketing ideas and are now working with the University to create a brand/logo for the Office of Rural Health, and to produce marketing materials.

#4 Discussed how to utilize 3RNet to better recruit physicians by getting more participation from hospitals. Instead of our office being the “listing agent”, we can open it up for hospitals to be able to be the main contacts, and be able to edit the position announcements.

#5 Start offering ongoing financial workshops.

North Dakota – Michigan Educational Exchange

In December, the Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH) met with hospital representatives from eight hospitals along with three County Health Departments to discuss Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA).  Because the hospitals and health departments are all geographically close (located in the “Thumb” of Michigan), it was decided that it would be beneficial to standardize a CHNA tool and process to compare and analyze the results once finished, to look for opportunities of collaboration and best practice sharing.

MCRH invited the North Dakota Center for Rural Health to discuss the standardized process they use for the CHNAs.  The ND SORH facilitated a one-day training where they shared how they standardized their Survey tool, ran Focus Groups and Key Informant Interviews, collected and analyzed the data. In addition, they shared a newly developed CHNA eToolkit, based on TrueServe, that ND staff intend to use as they provide technical assistance and build local capacity around the CHNA process in 2016.  Sara Wright with the MI Center for Rural Health shares, “We are excited to begin the work, thanks to the help from the North Dakota office!”


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