The precursor to today’s Rural Health Clinics Committee began as a task force in 2009 as the NOSORH funded and organized RHC TA Team (Rural Health Clinics Technical Assistance Team). The group began by assessing what SORH across the nation were doing to support RHC. As they evolved; the team realized that SORHs needed resources and TA as well “so they could become a more valuable partner and resource person for the RHCs in their state,
“NOSORH is fortunate to have SORHS that are well-versed on RHCs. Several take an active role in TA, and some deliver services to the RHCs.” Gloria Vermie, IA SORH Director, credits those SORHs along , consultant Rita Salain (former SORH Director) and the NARHC with shaping the NOSORH effort. The group developed the first RHC Toolkit with distinct modules. As RHCs grew in number nationally, their value and potential became evident.
Citing “the growing interest in RHC nationally”, Vermie proposed the NOSORH Board approve the RHC TA task force, become a committee. Since September 2013, group has been meeting as a NOSORH committee. Some of the committee actions are to continue SORH education, develop RHC resources, and support efforts to obtain funding that will better assist SORHs in their efforts and involvement with the RHCs. The RHC committee will host a pre-conference at NOSORH’s annual meeting in October to educate state offices about RHCs. “Everyone is invited and our goal is to have as many people as possible come out to learn about RHCs.” Vermie said.
“Not all SORHS have RHCs in their state and the level of involvement with RHCs varies from state to state,” Vermie said. “However, SORHs are a resource and a partner to any rural clinic not just RHCs”. “There is opportunity to enhance access to quality health care through supporting RHCs as they travel the health care transformation highway,” she added, “the potential for RHC to collect valuable date and to help integrated and expand health primary care are just the beginning. Without duplicating efforts SORHs can take a role that assist capacity building for RHCs, similar to how the FLEX program assists CAHs.
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