NOSORH is documenting efforts of SORHs in a Regional Meeting state sharing compilation to increase collaboration between states.

Region D State Sharing

Arkansas — The Arkansas SORH staff are working to engage with the 76 Rural Health Clinics in their state.  Last year, they completed a rural health clinic survey.  They will partner with agencies to follow up on the results.  They are also working with a contractor to do a needs assessment survey of clinic financial and operational issues.

Arizona — The 42nd Annual Rural Health Conference is coming up in Sedona this July.  SORH is working with state coalitions on insurance enrollment of hard-to-reach rural populations.  Medicaid GME to fund inter-professional community based education. Telemedicine bill passed, and United Healthcare will pay for telehealth. They are working on reducing licensing and regulatory barriers and working with governor’s office on licensing barriers.  They started the Western Region Public Health Training Center in collaboration with other states and next year plan to do online CME to teach the appropriate use and prescribing of opioids.

California — The California SORH continues to implement projects but on a smaller scale due to reduced funding. They are partnering with other agencies to address issues such as opiate overdose and harm reduction. There is a new CA state pharmacy board approved regulation for non-prescription naloxone.  They are promoting the Medi-Cal incentives to quit smoking campaign and shared info with rural providers.  They are assisting the bi-national border commission in farmworker health training. They organized veterans’ webinar with great participation, holding follow-up webinar next month to share info on Veterans Choice program and participation. April Freitas is retiring.

Hawaii — The Hawaii SORH is a shifting in emphasis away from the medical model and taking a look at the social context model in 3 parts – public awareness, community engagement, public policy.  Some projects include work on social determinants of health, mental health first aid with Hawaii County and exploring using the Project Echo telehealth & telementoring program.  The FLEX program has been providing Studer training with several CAHs in previous years and they are starting to see positive results this year.  They report issues with some of the Flex small volume measures for hospitals and are trying to focus on the most relevant measures that drive quality and financial performance improvement.  There is also a sequel to the documentary Ola: Health is Everything called Ike: Knowledge is Everywhere, which explores the challenges and triumphs of the education system in Hawaii.

Louisiana — The Louisiana SORH continues in depth work with Rural Health Clinics and is investigating the feasibility to start a Rural Health Clinic Association at the state level.  They are also working on telemedicine, emergency preparedness, and a rural ACO project.

New Mexico — In conjunction with National Rural Health Day, the New Mexico Office of Rural Health is kicking off a new initiative to have EMS and ER staff work together and improve communication between the two groups.  They have a 3-year goal to provide training to both EMS and ER staff.  Gabriel Chavez reported his upcoming retirement and the changing leadership of the Office.

Nevada — The 7th edition of rural health data book was shared with the group.  The data book is used by counties and communities for community health needs assessments.  A data repository is being created to provide a dynamic online resource using Instant Atlas that can pull data out and benchmark against other selected county data.  The Nevada SORH continues to work closely with 3RNet and encourage other SORHs to do so.  Project ECHO was implemented in Nevada several years and the SORH reports it is great program for workforce retention.  Efforts to partner with NM on a national project have been discussed.

Oklahoma — A new staff member, Lara Brooks, Rural Health Analyst, has joined the Oklahoma SORH to conduct community health needs assessments.  They continue to offer financial assessments to struggling hospitals and providing more trainings, most recently on swing beds.

Texas — Texas SORH staff are working to engage RHCs by holding 4 RHC listening sessions across the state in June to present results of a recent survey and get additional feedback from RHC on their needs and priorities. They are also working with TORCH and a 5 hospital network (3 PPS and 2 CAHs) in Southwest Texas that are all in financial distress.  With Flex, they are starting a CAH-QI network with 62 of 73 reporting on MBQIP.

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