The Annual Meeting is Next Month!

Keep Calm and See You In PortlandThe deadline for hotel reservation for the Rural Health Summit/NOSORH Annual Meeting is August 10th.  If you still need to make hotel reservations, click here.

Have you registered for the Annual Meeting?  If not, click here.

Sign up for Post-Conference training:

JCREC Learning Session – Thursday, September 3rd from 8 am to noon. Cost $50

For anyone interested in learning more about working with rural Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the learning session will cover current issues and trends. Read more.


Nominations of Outstanding Rural Health Colleagues and Federal Legislators DUE by August 17

2014 Annual Award WinnerThe NOSORH Awards Committee has streamlined the nomination process this year to make it easier for you to nominate a fellow rural health colleague for their dedication.  Nominations are due by August 17thClick here to nominate.  The award descriptions follow:


NOSORH SORH Award of Merit

This award is to be presented to a State Office of Rural Health that has made an outstanding contribution in the field of rural health.  The committee should consider broad benefits to rural health, innovative programs, unusual contributions, or activities that have advanced State Offices of Rural Health. Read more.


Policy Update

policy-news-editedNOSORH is continuing to promote SORHs as eligible entities to provide Technical Assistance on MIPS (Merit Based Incentive Payment System) in rural areas. This is a real opportunity for SORHs to expand their efforts and help rural providers prepare for and adopt the payment models of the future. As a refresher, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act included $20 million dollars a year for the next five years in mandatory spending for Technical Assistance contracts.  This assistance must be provided to “MIPS eligible professionals” in practices with “15 or fewer professionals” with priority given to rural, HPSA, and MUA. The technical assistance is intended to help these small practices improve their MIPS scores or adopt Alternative Payment Models. Read more.


RHC Institute Registration Now Open

RHC InstituteRegister now for the Rural Health Clinic Institute developed by NOSORH to help State Offices of Rural Health build their capacity to provide technical assistance to clinics in their states.  SORH will learn about the needs of RHCs, the compliance issues for RHCs, how to support RHCs to do better billing and collection, help RHCs to become innovative and how to organize their office’s efforts so that they can be effective technical assistance providers for RHCs.  NOSORH will offer an RHC 101 workshop (click here to see the agenda) at the Annual Meeting as a primer for SORHs to get a basic understanding and update on the latest RHC developments to provide a basic background on RHCs.  After that, NOSORH will launch the Institute with a face-to-face meeting on October 26th from 4-6 pm before the start of the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) conference followed by a 9-part webinar series.  Information on the NARHC conference can be found here.  The registration fee is $500.  Click here to register. Read more.


NOSORH Offering Another Beyond the Basics Grant Writing Institute

BTBThe next NOSORH Grant Writing Institute Beyond the Basics series will begin on October 1st.  Four short grants management sessions will be offered the first four Thursdays in October as part of the Grant Writing Institute’s (GWI) advanced course Beyond the Basics.  This course is designed for those who already have some grant writing experience and are looking to build on their existing skills. There is no homework, just an opportunity to hear about techniques for sharpening your approach to funders and grants management skills.  Past participation in NOSORH’s GWI is not required and partners or rural colleagues are invited to attend. Read more.


NOSORH Collecting Real Doc Hollywood Stories for National Rural Health Day

Real Doc HollywoodNOSORH is collecting community success stories for a compilation of our nation’s top rural “Real Doc Hollywoods.” Click here to provide information about someone who exemplifies what it means to be a “Real Doc Hollywood.” Describe how this rural healthcare provider goes above and beyond to make their rural community a better place to live, work, and play. There is no limit to the amount of submissions from each state, so share with your partners and rural healthcare providers to receive their input as well. Read more.


News from Regional Meetings

SORHs from Region E and Region B met in July in Bozeman, Montana and Wilmington, North Carolina. Many thanks to the Montana and North Carolina SORHs for hosting two great meetings. Click here to watch some clips from the meetings, including Dr. Keith Mueller, and Terri Gonzalez.


State Sharing From Region A

IMG_3728Several SORHs in Region A were interested in how Massachusetts shares information from RAC and other resources with their constituents.  Kirby Lecy from the MA SORH provided a brief tutorial on the templates she has set up to easily share rural health news in her state.  Click here to watch a brief web demo on Massachusetts’s listserv efforts.  Read more for a complete compilation on all the state sharing from Region A. Read more about all the states of Region A.


State Sharing From Region E

IMG_5143Several SORHs in Region E were interested in how Colorado collects over 230,000 data points and how they analyze the information to create infographics, community profiles, legislative fact sheets and more.  After the meeting, NOSORH reached out to Melissa Bosworth from the CO SORH to share more information. The Colorado Data Demo that can be seen hereRead more for a complete compilation on all the state sharing from Region E.


Committee Updates

Committee News

Board of Directors – The August Board meeting will include discussion of how to support new SORH staff or SORHs facing major challenges, the Board will also review the 2015-16 budget and NOSORH refreshed strategic plan.

Communication Committee – The Communication Committee discussed the collection of Real Doc Hollywood stories for National Rural Health Day along with the upcoming NRHD webinars with partners and foundations.

Development Committee – The Development Committee discussed moving forward with approaching foundations that participated in the White House Rural Council meeting. A foundation webinar to discuss the role of foundations on National Rural Health Day was held on Tuesday, August 4th.  Foundations expressed an interest to be kept informed of NRHD efforts. Read more about all of the NOSORH committees.

Nevada SORH Uses Public Health Column to Bring Attention to Important Rural Health Issues

PPFrustrated with the lack of media coverage on public health issues, John Packham of the Nevada SORH approached the local Nevada Gazette to establish a bi-monthly column devoted to public health issues.  The newspaper was very interested in this idea since they had recently reduced staff and were eager for anyone to provide local content.  Since 2008, John has written over 100 articles with topics ranging from health reform to tobacco tax.  All the articles can be found here.

John was given wide latitude to write about various topics from local issues to those topics focused more on a statewide level.  The only restriction is to keep the article to under 500 words.  “This has been a very rewarding process,” John explains.  “I am used to writing long reports, so it was tough to distill the information down into 3 to 5 major bullet points.  People don’t want to read dissertations, instead I had to focus on writing something relevant, succinct, timely and of interest to rural.”  Read more.


Rural Assistance Center Update

RAC logoThe Rural Assistance Center is looking for state-level pilot and demonstration programs and would appreciate help from SORHs to identify interesting programs that are occurring in your state.

For several years, RAC has worked with FORHP on the Testing New Approaches section of the RAC website. This section has highlighted federal demonstration projects such as the Frontier Extended Stay Clinic (FESC) program and the Frontier Community Health Integration Program (FCHIP). We are currently examining whether this section could/should be expanded to include state level programs in an effort to show what is happening across the country to address the changing demands of rural healthcare. Read more.


Rural Health Clinic Committee Spotlight

Committee SpotlightThe 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. Read more.



“The Internet Could be a Lifeline for Rural Patients, If They Can Afford It” Submitted by Center for Rural Strategies

Center for Rural StrategiesThe Center for Rural Strategies reached out to NOSORH to find out if SORHs could help identify people who have used Lifeline phones to improve their lives.  These stories will help encourage the FCC and Congress to offer affordable broadband service to low-income Americans.

Most of us are able to pick up a home phone or reach for a cell phone to schedule a doctor’s appointment. But, millions of people across the country are unable to afford telephone service. Thankfully, our government recognized the importance of having a telephone and created the Lifeline Program in 1985 – a federal program that helps low-income individuals pay for landline telephone service. The program was then expanded to include wireless telephone service in 2005. Today, the Internet has revolutionized the way we communicate with each other. From staying in touch with loved ones to paying bills, and from applying for a job to finding a healthcare provider, the Internet is pivotal. Because Internet service has become a basic necessity, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing to expand the Lifeline program to help low-income Americans pay for Internet service.  Read more.


August Steal Sheet

New Resources:

1) HRET study released on “Availability of New Medicaid Patient Appointments and the Role of Rural Health Clinics”

Funding Roundup:

1) Grant Tips Offered by RWJF for ‘Culture of Health’ Competition

2) Grants Now Available for Community Health Center Grants

3) NOSORH Beyond the Basics Grant Writing Institute

4) PCORI Invites LOIs for Patient-Centered Healthcare Research

Click here for this month’s Steal Sheet.