NOSORH committees are great focal points for engaging in many NOSORH initiatives. Descriptions of all committees and contact information can be found on the NOSORH website.
Awards – The Awards Committee, co-chaired by Margaret Brockman and Cathleen McElligott, will be starting up again soon to plan for the 2016 NOSORH awards program.
Board– The NOSORH board met April 25 to review strategic priorities on policy, RHC work, National Rural Health Day, development and policy and program monitoring. The board approved the grant budget for 2016-17 and learned that three states (Wyoming, Texas and Nevada) are interested in hosting future annual meetings. Earlier in the month, the Board approved revised suggested language for legislation to support reauthorization of the SORH program.
Communications – The Communications Committee is planning for the 2016 National Rural Health Day (NRHD), including crafting a new logo. The NRHD kickoff webinar is schedule for May 25 at 3:00 EDT.
Development – The Development Committee provided final input on promotional materials for the 25th Anniversary of the SORH grant program, including a logo and video template. These materials will be available to interested SORHs in May.
Flex – The Flex Committee kept the conversation brief this month while everyone is working to complete their Flex applications due May 16. Sarah Young announced she is taking the role of FORHP Flex Coordinator.
PPMT – The Team is working with Harvey Licht to review input for a CMS request for information on global budgeting. All SORH were invited to a webinar discussion on PPMT activities last week, including the need to reach out to Medicaid Directors as they are required state plans for monitoring in October. To listen in on the conversation and plans for making comments click here. Watch your email for more information.
RHC – The RHC Committee reviewed the RHC Institute and RHC Virtual Conference evaluations and decided to offer the RHC Institute again next Spring and open the RHC Virtual Conference to RHCs in the Fall. The Committee is also working on a toolkit to engage RHCs in healthcare reform.
NOSORH released two new resources and hosted a successful RHC Virtual Conference last week discussing the 2 new modules from the RHC Committee. You can access the webinar recordings on quality, behavioral health and improving performance and the new modules on the NOSORH website. These modules focus on providing technical assistance to RHCs regarding quality improvement activities and behavioral health integration. Two long-standing corporate partners joined on the third day to discuss assisting RHCs with operational efficiencies.
“We were very happy to have such a great interest in the rural health clinic work. The modules were compiled and the webinars were planned for State Offices of Rural Health. We know rural health clinics need education on these issues and plan to offer similar webinars for State Offices of Rural Health to reach out to rural health clinics in the near future,” said Kassie Clarke, NOSORH Technical Assistance Director.
Back to April Branch
The Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Committee began in 2009 as a task force to assess what types of support SORHs were providing for RHCs. The task forced evolved into the RHC Committee in 2013 to focus on providing education for SORHs that are interested in providing technical assistance to RHCs and safety net providers.
“The RHC Committee is a great place for SORH to learn more about Rural Health Clinics and how they can support them. It’s also a great venue to ask questions about RHCs and voice RHC related concerns,” explains Stephanie Hansen, NOSORH Director of Education Services.
The committee began by surveying SORHs to understand the amount and type of technical assistance that was provided to RHCs. Since then, the Committee has used this information to help produce four modules:
The RHC Committee consists of a broad group of SORHs providing a diverse level of experience. Co-Chair Tammy Norville of the NC SORH describes, “The RHC TA Committee is a sounding board that really understand the intricacies and unique characteristics of working in rural. The amount and expanse of knowledge within the group is amazing. We have folks that work with Rural Health Clinics every day as well as folks that are just developing a Technical Assistance plan. Everyone brings perspective and all members are engaged. Additionally, we are a committee that gets the work completed. From working on RHC TA Tool-kit modules to developing a Rural Health Clinic Institute, we work collaboratively to keep projects moving to completion.”
The Committee is currently working on 3 new toolkit modules for quality, behavioral health, and engagement in RHCs. They helped design the first RHC Institute to begin in October and encouraged the offering of a RHC 101 workshop to be held at the Annual Meeting on September 3rd in Portland, OR. They also suggested the RHC Institute coordinate with the National Association of Rural Health Clinics to increase collaboration.
“The NOSORH RHC Committee is comprised of an engaging and passionate group of individuals who are focusing SORH resources on the certified RHCs within their state. The committee calls consist of state-sharing which is extremely valuable. In addition, three standing items on the agenda include a Policy and Regulatory Update from Bill Finerfrock, updates from the Office of Rural Health Policy, and updates from John Gale regarding RHC research. These updates are excellent opportunities to stay abreast of what is happening in the RHC world,” says Co-Chair Crystal Barter.
The Committee meets every other month on the third Monday at 2:00 Eastern. The next call is scheduled for August 17th at 2 pm ET. Contact Co-Chairs Tammy Norville and Crystal Barter for more information on joining the RHC Committee.
Back to August Branch
The NOSORH Policy Committee is open to any member of NOSORH who has an interest in learning more about national policy issues and being engaged in the policy activities of the organization. The Committee is responsible for tracking policy issues of interest to NOSORH and coordinating policy communication and educational activities for the organization. Co-Chair Lisa Davis summarizes, “The Policy Committee is one of the longest standing NOSORH committees and addresses a wide range of issues at the national level as well as disseminates information to SORHs on policy issues that impact the delivery of rural health care services in the states. The committee also works closely with other national partners to further the collective rural health voice in national policy, legislation, and regulation.”
The Policy Committee typically meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 2pm EST for a Washington update, an FORHP update and to focus on our policy goals. Co-Chair Mark Schoenbaum shares, “The committee includes both new and longtime members, and it’s a good way for members to keep up on policy issues and try their hand at advocacy and policy analysis on behalf of all SORHs.” For more information about the committee or to join the committee, please contact that Policy Committee Chairs Lisa Davis or Mark Schoenbaum.
In February, the committee discussed their participation in the National Rural Health Association’s Policy Institute and lauded the NRHA effort. Several SORH on the call reported about their hill visits and a genuine understanding of the need to stop funding cuts to rural facilities and some interest in supporting increased appropriation for State Offices of Rural Health. NOSORH wants to hear from every SORH or their partners about their ability to reach out to their congressional delegation to continue the efforts that began during the Policy Institute. A survey was sent to SORH directors to gather this information. Please respond by March 6th. Results will be reported in next month’s Branch.
Also discussed on the February Policy Committee call, FORHP provided regulatory updates on CAH/RHC PQRS Participation; CMS 2016 Essential Community Providers List that includes RHCs; CMS updates on State Operations Manual for CAHs, RHCs, FQHCs and other providers; and the need for certification of CAH Necessary Providers. Click here for more information shared during the call.
Back to March Branch
NOSORH’s Educational Exchange Program offers support for SORH staff to meet with another SORH to develop or enhance their expertise or knowledge, leadership skills, adopt a promising practice, or improve effectiveness of program management, strategy planning and implementation. This is an excellent opportunity for SORHs to learn from each other and enhance their ability to better serve their rural constituents. The 3 non-profit SORHs took advantage of this opportunity this past September to share their unique experiences and learn from each other.
The majority of SORHs across the nation are either state government based or university based programs. However, there are three stand-alone non-profit SORHs located in Colorado, Michigan and South Carolina. While they all offer different programs depending on the needs of their state, they all share a common business model that makes them unique. These three SORHs have used this collective learning opportunity several times with the goal to share what is unique to them and learn from each other. They all have similar programming; however, their structure allows for more flexibility in program design so they have implemented programs in various ways each highlighting their own unique strengths.
The primary purpose of the meeting was to:
This meeting focused on three primary topics:
The two-day meeting was considered a valuable success by all three SORHs. Various staff from each SORH were included in the meeting which allowed for a deeper understanding of programs and further opportunities to network. Keith Midberry from ORHP was also in attendance and provided a valuable input on the national perspective. The conversation continued after the face-to-face meeting ended. Tools were shared among them including, RHC tracking spreadsheet, various job descriptions and policy templates, operational plans, marketing materials, etc. Plans for additional Educational Exchange opportunities are already in the works.
Back to February Branch
Thirty-eight states responded to the SORH Technical Assistance Provided to Rural Health Clinics (RHC) Survey that was conducted in May. Survey results indicate 48% of SORH occasionally provide services to RHCs and 37% routinely provide technical assistance to RHCs. The most common form of service is to distribute information to RHCs on a website. We are in the process of analyzing survey results and plan to release a full report of findings in August 2014.
Back to July Branch
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.
Back to July Branch