Happy New Year NOSORH Nation!
First off I want to make sure to thank Mary Sheridan for her service as the 2015 President and to NOSORH in general. Mary will continue to serve as the Past-President and I appreciate this set-up as it provides someone with experience for me to call on as needed. I also want to welcome Sharla Allen as the President-Elect and for being willing to step up after Gloria Vermie had to step down due to taking a new position. I also want to thank Pat Carr, Lisa Davis, and Scott Ekblad for their service on the board.
2015 seemed to fly by, though there were a number of changes that occurred that will make 2016 a busy year. NOSORH has started having meetings with FORHP that have been informative and productive. These meetings have been instrumental in better understanding the issues confronting both organizations and helping to better align our goals. One outcome of these meetings has us focused on the development of support resources for State Offices across a variety of skill levels. While a number of educational resources exist through NOSORH, we are looking at developing additional resources to help ensure the success of State Offices.
Another initiative to come out of 2015 that will be receiving more attention in 2016 are the questions around network adequacy as applied to rural areas. Harvey Licht has been doing some outstanding work in this area and has presented to FORHP on these issues. Data is starting to be developed and gathered in states and NOSORH is situated to be a significant voice in ensuring that rural populations continue to receive access to healthcare in an ever-changing environment.
Last and definitely not least, NOSORH has a new Legislative Liaison in the firm Hall Render. They have already outlined their strategy for reauthorizing the State Offices Program and for increasing the appropriation for that program. It is a very aggressive strategy and I hope that the states that have been identified as key states will help NOSORH in its efforts to make this strategy successful.
Finally, on a more personal note, I started on the board as a regional representative and in many ways I still feel that is one of my roles. However my region has expanded. If there are concerns or issues that you would like to see addressed, please let me know. If you have concerns about the direction that NOSORH is taking, please let me know. I have always felt that this is an open organization and I want to ensure that it remains so.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
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