Join NOSORH TODAY at 4 pm ET for a Webinar on Preparing for the 5th Annual National Rural Health Day

5thAnniversaryLogo_FNLKaren Madden, director of the New York Office of Rural Health, will join Matt Strycker, NOSORH Special Projects Coordinator, and others to discuss plans for the 5th Annual National Rural Health Day and what states can do to make this year’s celebration memorable and meaningful.  Discussions will include key messages for National Rural Health Day and activities planned throughout the nation. Read more.


Region D States Share Their Work

IMG_3638NOSORH is documenting efforts of SORHs in a Regional Meeting state sharing compilation to increase collaboration between states.

Region D State Sharing

Arkansas — The Arkansas SORH staff are working to engage with the 76 Rural Health Clinics in their state.  Last year, they completed a rural health clinic survey.  They will partner with agencies to follow up on the results.  They are also working with a contractor to do a needs assessment survey of clinic financial and operational issues.

Arizona — The 42nd Annual Rural Health Conference is coming up in Sedona this July.  SORH is working with state coalitions on insurance enrollment of hard-to-reach rural populations.  Medicaid GME to fund inter-professional community based education. Telemedicine bill passed, and United Healthcare will pay for telehealth. They are working on reducing licensing and regulatory barriers and working with governor’s office on licensing barriers.  They started the Western Region Public Health Training Center in collaboration with other states and next year plan to do online CME to teach the appropriate use and prescribing of opioids. Read about the rest of Region D State Sharing


News from the Region A Meeting

Region ASORHs in Region A met in Annapolis, MD on June 16-18.  The Region welcomed new members Virginia and West Virginia.  It was a great event, attended by 41 participants representing 14 states and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, US Department of Justice, National Center for the Analysis of Healthcare Data, US Department of Agriculture, National Association of State EMS Officials, Rural Assistance Center, Veterans Health Administration Office of Rural Health and HRSA.  Many thanks to the Maryland and Delaware State Offices of Rural Health for being such great hosts. The presentations from the meeting are posted on our website. Read more.


See Brad Montgomery at the Rural Health Summit

MontgomeryBrad Montgomery is a keynote speaker who talks to the people side of business. He teaches people and organizations how to harness happiness as a strategy to improve performance and results.

Registration now for the 2015 Rural Health Summit (NOSORH Annual Meeting) in Portland, Oregon, September 1-2, 2015. Read more.



Policy Update

policy-news-editedLast month the NOSORH Policy Committee worked with Capitol Associates to develop a letter to Secretary Burwell to ensure SORHs are included as possible contractors for a $29 million fund that will provide for education of rural providers on alternative payment reform.  NOSORH is continuing its effort to grow the SORH line appropriation. Reports from the House Labor HHS budget mark up are not optimistic. Your help is needed.

The SORH line in the House appropriations draft is $9,511,000 again the same as FY 2015.  According to Bill Finerfrock, NOSORH Legislative Liaison, it is highly likely that the Labor-HHS appropriations bill will be funded via a Continuing Resolution rather than a new appropriations bill. Read more.


Committee Clips

Committee NewsNOSORH committees are great focal points for engaging on many NOSORH initiatives, descriptions of all committees and contact information can be found on the NOSORH website.

Committee News

Awards Committee – NOSORH President Mary Sheridan has appointed Margaret Brockman (NE) to serve as Co-Chair of the Awards committee.  The committee will begin meeting this month and will start with a review of awards categories and make plans for collecting nominations and making awards presentations at the annual meeting.

Board of Directors – The June meeting of the NOSORH Board of Directors included reports on NOSORH’s 5 strategic priorities:  build impact of National Rural Health Day, diversify funding for NOSORH, increase appropriations for SORH, build capacity of SORH to support RHC and offer resources to SORH to improve access to care, quality of care and health of rural Americans.  In addition John Barnas (MI) was elected as interim Treasurer to serve after the departure of Charles Owens (GA) and prior to the election of Treasurer in September.  Reports were also provided from Karen Madden (NY) on the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services. Read more about other NOSORH committees


Save the Date for Upcoming RHC Institute Planned for This Fall

RHC InstituteNOSORH has developed a Rural Health Clinic Institute 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 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 to attend the RHC Institute.  After that, NOSORH will launch the Institute with a face-to-face meeting on October 26th 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. Read more.


The SORH Role in Advancing Telehealth Policy in Arizona

PPArizona is already seeing the benefits of SB 1353 that went into effect this past January.  SB 1353 requires health care insurers to cover services provided through telemedicine, if those services would be covered if provided in-person.  The AZ SORH helped make this bill a reality by providing information and data to underscore the need especially in rural areas.  Dr. Dan Derksen, director of the AZ Center for Rural Health, explained that, “We helped inform the legislative process with workforce studies and identified areas of need.  Several of these studies indicated that reimbursement for telemedicine services was the main obstacle to implementation.”  The AZ SORH worked closely with the Arizona Telemedicine Program with Ronald S. Weinstein, MD at the helm to ensure that Arizona’s small, rural communities would be able to provide more services locally by using telemedicine. Read more.


NOSORH Committee Spotlight – TruServe Advisory Committee

TruServe LogoTruServe is a data reporting tool now used by over 40 rural health agencies across the country, with the majority being SORHs.  It is used for grant reporting, annual reports, monitoring program progress, demonstrating reach/impact and internal communication and planning.  The TruServe Advisory Committee consists of a group of very active users who advise the University of North Dakota on how to make data entry easier and complete.  John Eich, director of the Wisconsin SORH, expounds, “Being on the Advisory Committee allows us to hear the thinking and roadmap behind this critical software for our office.  It’s also a chance to provide input on how we use it to the developers, and weigh in on new feature ideas and help prioritize the to-do list.” Read more.


RAC Update

RAC logoThe Rural Assistance Center has launched a new topic guide, Social Determinants of Health for Rural People.  This web-based resource looks at the factors present in everyday life – economic status, education, race/ethnicity, culture, environment, and access to goods and services – that can impact the health of rural residents.

The guide was developed by RAC Information Resources Manager, Maren Niemeier, with assistance from:

Read more.


The National Sexual Assault TeleNursing Center: Providing Support and Care for Victims in Remote and Challenging Areas written by Kristina Rose, Deputy Director, Office for Victims of Crime

OVC logoThe use of telemedicine to deliver healthcare in remote or challenging sessions is not a new concept.  According to the American Telemedicine Association, this technology has been around for the past 40 years and in that time has grown in popularity and usage.  There are several reasons why; advocates for telemedicine say it can reduce costs, expand the reach for health care providers, and in many cases, improve the quality of interactions with patients.[1] In 2012, OVC began to explore the use of telemedicine to deliver forensic-medical examination support for sexual assault patients in rural, tribal, military, and correctional communities. Read more.


NOSORH Webpage Resources: Webinar Recordings

Featured ResourcesAll NOSORH Webinars are archived on the NOSORH website as a resource for later reference.  Webinars from this year alone include topics on mental health and substance abuse, PCO tracking and reporting, recruitment and retention, improving rural health network adequacy and more. Read more.


A New Wind: 2015 RTT Collaborative Annual Meeting “Moving Forward in the Face of Chaos” written by Kimberly Bruksch, Wisconsin Rural Physician Residency Assistance Program (WRPRAP)

RTT Collaborative Annual MeetingAn energizing event with expert presenters placed this year’s RTT Collaborative Annual Meeting on solid ground.  The May 27-29 conference was hosted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Pyle Center, with lakefront views and an easy rooftop glance to both the university campus and State Capitol.

Rural graduate medical education (GME) advocates and educators, content experts, policy leaders and family medicine program directors all gathered from around the nation to engage in meaningful opportunities to network and collaborate at the three-day annual event. The main draw: developing real-world solutions for the critical shortage of rural physicians throughout the United States. Read more.


Get Your July 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 July Steal Sheet includes information on:

New Resources:

1) The Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital (REACH) Act of 2015

2) The National Sexual Assault TeleNursing Center

3) Opportunity to Comment on AHRQ Draft Cultural Competence Evidence Report

Click here for full Steal Sheet