The Louisiana Office of Rural Health gets together with rural health partners every quarter for an informal luncheon to discuss the latest issues and to identify areas of collaboration.  Tracie Ingram, SORH Director, says, “We communicate so often anyway that we decided we needed a day set on the calendar to all get together.”  Invited are those with a statewide rural interest.  The key attendees are the SORH, the Primary Care Association, Hospital Association, Rural Health Association and QIO.  They discuss policy implications, grant opportunities, and hot topics to see how they can partner with each other or help one another.

Each quarter, the hospital association sends a doodle calendar poll to pick a date.  They select a different restaurant each time and 5-7 people pay for their own lunch.  Beth Millet, Health Systems Development Unit Director for the SORH says, “This is a laid back meeting without an agenda.”  The sole purpose is to get together face-to-face at the same time to share obstacles to overcome to achieve successes for the rural communities they serve.  The setting is very casual and social. There are no agendas, no minutes, and no motions. Instead, the environment provides an opportunity for partners to let each other know what they are working on and the causes they support

Ingram explains, “We started these monthly small group luncheons a couple of years ago and they have been extremely well received.  This has allowed the leadership to learn more about member needs and how we may better serve in our development, advocacy, and development efforts.

“This is a great example of a SORH being a good convener and identifying issues ahead of time with no impact on budget.  Sometimes these are difficult conversations to have with PCOs and other state partners and we laud their efforts to work together on important issues impacting their state,” says Teryl Eisinger, Executive Director of NOSORH

Does your SORH have a “Promising Practice”? We’re interested in the innovative, effective and valuable work that SORHs are doing. Contact Kassie Clarke, NOSORH’s Communication and Development Coordinator to set up a short email or phone interview in which you can tell your story.


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