The Branch, December 2014

i Dec 1st No Comments by

A Special Message from our NOSORH President

Druzba, AlisaDear SORH Colleagues,

The end of 2014 brings an end to my term as President of NOSORH and honestly that makes me a little sad. But this time of year is also a time to show gratitude and reach out to and support others. I want to thank you for all of your service this year to your rural communities. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to attend additional meetings that brought me to your states. And this year more than ever, National Rural Health Day really accentuated how much your fellowship means to me. I also want to thank you for all of the times over the year that you stepped up to the call from NOSORH. This was evidenced by how many of you participated in webinars, learning communities, committees, meetings, and other opportunities. I ask that you please continue to be our eyes and ears across the country, to let us know what you see on the horizon so we can rise up to meet it. I will remain interested in hearing from you about how to support SORHs and how NOSORH can serve you better. Read more.


Fourth Annual National Rural Health Day Celebrated Nationwide

NRHD LogoNOSORH wants to thank everyone who helped to make the fourth annual National Rural Health Day a huge success! Six webinars, 29 governors’ proclamations, events at Critical Access Hospitals and FQHCs, and photo contests were just a few of the events that were held around the country.

National Rural Health Day was better than ever before. #powerofrural was a big trender on NRHD as it reached a total audience of at least 3000 organizations and people.  This is great news for NRHD, it means that year-by-year we are reaching a larger audience and more people are becoming more aware of the great work being done by the SORHs. We had a number of Representatives and Senators taking the floor and passed Senate Resolution 588 recognizing that access to hospitals and other health care providers for patients in rural areas of the United States is essential to the survival and success of communities in the United States. Read more.


Time to Recognize a Federal Legislator of the Year

Al Franken (Legislator of the Year)Each year NOSORH recognizes a federal Legislator of the Year. The award recognizes an outstanding federal legislator for her/his work and support of rural health initiatives that address national rural health care needs. We hope you will think about your legislators who meet the criteria listed below and consider the making a nomination.

  • Introduced or supported an existing piece of significant legislation that addresses an identified rural health need or issue;
  • Made a special effort to effect change in rural health policy and/or legislation that benefits rural health outcomes;
  • Demonstrated leadership that benefits rural communities in America. Read more.


NOSORH Development Committee: Focus on Building Capacity and Services

hands and plants imageThe NOSORH Development Committee led by Graham Adams (SC) and Charles Owens (GA) works to identify and obtain resources; develop and implement programs and activities that strengthen NOSORH’s capacity to support the technical assistance needs of State Offices of Rural Health.  “It is a small committee of people who have a commitment to growing what they get from NOSORH.  They meet less than monthly but provide great feedback and ideas to improve the work of NOSORH” says Teryl Eisinger, Executive Director.  Successful programs established by the Development Committee include the Grant Writing Basics, Grant Writing Beyond the Basics, the Leadership Institute and supported the development of TruServe. Read more.


NOSORH Website Spotlight: Oral Health Resources for SORHs

Educational Resources by Topic Screen ShotThe growing awareness of the importance of oral health on a person’s overall health juxtaposed with the decreasing number of oral health providers especially in rural areas was spotlighted in 2000 with the release of Oral Health in America: A Report of the U.S. Surgeon General.  Since then, many SORHs and rural health organizations have been trying to provide necessary resources to rural health providers to help them combat this growing need.  While great strides have been made in this area, the pervasive need continues to exist and will likely continue for some time to come. Read more.


New Guide on Research, Assessment, and Evaluation

RACA new RAC topic guide, Conducting Rural Health Research, Needs Assessment, and Program Evaluation, is now available to SORHs as a resource to help organizations in their state learn about:

  • The importance of community-based participatory research to rural communities
  • Why a needs assessment should be conducted before you select a program intervention
  • Tools for conducting Community Health Needs Assessments
  • How hospitals and public health agencies can work together on CHNAs
  • Tips for efficient and practical program evaluations
  • And much more Read more.


Thanks to Board Volunteers for Service and for Stepping Up

NOSORH Board of DirectorsThe NOSORH Board of Directors includes 26 hard working volunteers.  This month is the last month Bob Pannell (FL) will serve on the Board of Directors, thanks to Bob for his service to the region and the Board.  “Over the years Bob has served as a Regional Representative, a member of the NOSORH Finance committee and chaired a regional meeting committee.  He’s provided interesting suggestions for speakers and common sense approach to serving the SORH.” according to Teryl Eisinger, Executive Director of NOSORH.

Other 2015 Board volunteers taking on new positions are listed below.

Melinda Merrell (SC) – will replace Bob Pannell as Regional Representative for Region B and will step down from chairing the Educational Exchange Committee.

Ernie Scott (KY) – will replace Charles Owens as Regional Representative for Region B. Read more.


Promising Practice: West Virginia Uses CAH Rural Health Network to Drive Performance Improvement for Rural Hospitals

WV Drhr logo 1d colorThe West Virginia Flex Program partners closely with the West Virginia Hospital Association Critical Access Hospital Network (WVHA CAH Network) to help improve quality and financial performance for all 20 CAHs throughout West Virginia.  The Network developed ten years ago through a HRSA Network Development Grant and has continued to thrive ever since.  According to Shawn Balleydier, Assistant Director of the West Virginia Office of Rural Health, “this is the best thing that has happened to the Flex Program in


WV CAH Network LogoWest Virginia.”  Balleydier works closely with Network Director Dianna Iobst to ensure that the quality and financial improvement needs of CAHs are met.

Communication is key to ensure the continued success of the Network.  Balleydier and Iobst meet regularly to discuss progress and next steps.  They also meet monthly with CAHs by phone and make sure they conduct at least one on-site visit each year to provide technical assistance for any of the program areas.  CAHs are truly engaged with the direction of the Network.
Read more.


RWJF Data for Health Initiatives

RWJF logoThe Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has launched a Data for Health initiative to understand how data on health can be used to help people lead healthier lives.  Rural health data is sometimes difficult to come by.  This is a great opportunity to let RWJF know what data is needed to improve rural health outcomes.  RWJF will host a series of “Learning What Works” events in five cities across the country including Philadelphia, Phoenix, Des Moines, San Francisco and Charleston, South Carolina.  NOSORH wants to provide the rural voice for this initiative.  Ultimately, RWJF wants to understand how communities are using and want to use the data, and what systems need to be in place so that it can be easily accessed and shared. Read more.


Rural Training Track Collaborative

RTT CollaborativeSave the Date for the Rural Training Track Collaborative Annual Meeting, Moving Forward in the Face of Chaos, will be held May 27-29, 2015 in Madison and Baraboo WI. Read more.



Partnership to Build Technical Assistance Capacity of SORH and Partners for Rural Service Providers

NCFC_short logoThe National Network for Rural and Frontier Capacity was formed in 2013 with support from a Network Development Planning Grant from the Office of Rural Health Policy to assist rural and frontier health service organizations to be more accountable, adaptable, innovative and collaborative. The Network’s focus is to develop a toolkit and resources to assist State Offices of Rural Health and other state and local “capacity builders” to enhance their capacity to provide technical assistance and consultation services to rural and frontier health service organizations. The plans for the content of the toolkit were based upon surveys of SORH and health services organizations conducted earlier this year.  The toolkit will use creative approaches designed to broaden the scope of technical assistance offerings and specific tools and examples for how to develop and implement these services so they are financially viable and valued by customers. Read more.


Get Your Steal Sheet!

NOSORH offers Steal Sheet articles for SORHs to distribute in emails, in your (or your partners’) newsletter, on web sites, Facebook pages, etc.  The December Steal Sheet includes:

  • AHRQ Using Health IT to Measure Practice Transformation Webinar
  • AHRQ TeamSTEPPS in Primary Care Webinar
  • RAC Resources
  • Some CAHs Must Reclassify as Rural
  • HRSA Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant

Click here for this month’s Steal Sheet.

Categories: The Branch


Leave a reply