I hope your 2015 National Rural Health Day was inspiring, informative, and, maybe best of all, a fun celebration of the power of rural! It’s amazing how much the day has grown in five short years – a true demonstration of your dedication and passion for improving healthcare in our rural communities.
My term as NOSORH president is coming to a close and I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to serve. It provided a unique opportunity to connect with many SORH directors, staff, and partners, and learn about your ideas, efforts, and challenges. This year, NOSORH continued to provide an array of educational opportunities and successfully established two new significant efforts, including the Rural Health Clinic Institute and Federal Office of Rural Health Policy leadership meetings. These projects offer unique opportunities to increase SORH expertise, build capacity, and strengthen our partnership. Read more.
The 5th Annual National Rural Health Day was a complete success. Governors Proclamations, Congressional recognition, nationwide events, community engagement, live webcasts and a slew of webinars dominated the day. NOSORH wants to thank the State Offices of Rural Health who planned and celebrated in a myriad of ways and truly showed just what it means to celebrate the power of rural. A special thanks also goes out to the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy for pulling together a broad array of speakers and topics including Acting HHS Deputy Secretary, Dr. Mary Wakefield and Jim Macrae, the Acting Administrator at the Health Resources and Services Administration. Also joining NOSORH from the Administration was Chad Maisel with the White House Rural Caucus. Chad discussed the Integration Models for Parents and Children to Thrive Demonstration project. Read more.
Last month the NOSORH Board of Directors voted to take action to contract with a new Legislative Liaison, Hall Render Associates, to provide guidance and support to the NOSORH Policy Committee and to work to increase appropriation for the State Office of Rural Health line and to seek reauthorization for the SORH line. “We look forward to Hall Render leadership to help us accomplish our strategic priorities and appreciate the great expertise they bring to NOSORH,” according to Teryl Eisinger, Executive Director of NOSORH. Hall Render will provide a policy update article each month.
Appropriations Debate Intensifies as Deadline Nears:
Prior to the Thanksgiving break, House appropriators held listening sessions with various lawmakers on the fiscal 2016 Labor-HHS spending bill (H.R. 3020). The House bill, along with its Senate counterpart (S. 1696), are annually the most contentious of the 12 spending appropriation spending bills, as they tend to be loaded up with partisan amendments. The listening sessions are part of a broader effort by new House Speaker Paul Ryan to open up the process for developing agency spending measures ahead of the December 11 deadline to fund the federal government. Read more.
Nomination Committee – The Nomination Committee chaired by Past-President (NH) was reconvened last month to take action to elect a President-Elect candidate to fill the position vacated by Gloria Vermie (IA) last month. Sharla Allen has agreed to accept the nomination. A special e-election will be conducted later this month. SORH Directors will receive an email with the e-ballot. Read more.
Each month, NOSORH identifies and shares a Promising Practice showcasing the innovative and collaborative work being done at the SORHs. The collection of these stories can be found on NOSORH’s website. Stories from this year include:
The former Rural Assistance Center is now the Rural Health Information Hub. The website has also moved; you can find it at ruralhealthinfo.org. All raconline.org pages will be forwarded to the new domain, but we encourage you to update your links and bookmarks to the site.
Please help us inform your rural health colleagues of the name change. With your help, we can ensure that rural stakeholders continue to take advantage of these free resources, which are funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. You can find resources to help share the news — such as new videos, a downloadable flyer, a PowerPoint slide, and articles — and request RHIhub promotional products in our Spread the Word section. Read more.
Another Grant Writing Institute (GWI) Beyond the Basics grant writing webinar series concluded in October with 25 graduates from 16 states. This 4-part in-depth training focuses on connecting with funders in the 21st Century, grant management, measuring investment and avoiding deadline fatigue. Attendees sharpened their grantsmanship skills and expanded their rural health grant writing credentials. Congratulations graduates! Click here for the full list and more information on upcoming Grant Writing Institutes.
NOSORH joined with the Rural Health Information HUB and the Rural Health Research Gateway last month to share rural resources and information on State Offices of Rural Health with American Public Health Association members. “There was a lot of interest in finding State Offices of Rural Health contact information,” according to Matt Strycker who attended the conference. For information on sessions which included rural topics click here. Read more.
1) RAC Name Changing to Rural Health Information Hub
1) FY16 Rural Health Network Development Planning Program