Congratulations to the 2015 NOSORH Award Winners

SORH award winnersCongratulations to this year’s NOSORH Award Winners

And, the award goes to…

  • The Distinguished Andrew W. Nichols Rural Health Advocate Award
    • Pat Carr, Director, Alaska Office of Rural Health
  • Distinguished Service Award
    • Scott Daniels, Flex Coordinator, Hawaii Office of Rural Health
  • Emerging Leader Award
    • Melinda Merrell, Senior Program Director, South Carolina Office of Rural Health
  • The James D. Bernstein Mentoring Award
    • John Olson, Director, Vermont Office of Rural Health
  • SORH Award of Merit
    • South Carolina Office of Rural Health

Many thanks to the outstanding Awards Committee Chaired by Sharla Allen (WY) and Margaret Brockman (NE) for taking the time to streamline the NOSORH awards nomination process to make it easier for members. Read more.


Rural Health Summit Big Success

SORH 2015 group_4265-1NOSORH joined forces with the National Rural Recruitment and Retention Networks (3RNet) and the National Cooperative of Health Networks (NCHN) this year to offer a joint meeting in Portland, OR on September 1-2.  Over 350 people participated in this year’s meeting and contributed to making this event a tremendous success.  66% of respondents said the meeting completely met the learning objectives. 48% rated the meeting as excellent and 72% would like to have a joint conference again.  Thanks to our sponsors for helping make this meeting a success: AAAASF, AAHHS, AmpliFund Public Sector, FDA, Hall Render Killian Heath and Lyman, Health Services Associates, iVantage Health Analytics, National Association of Rural Health Clinics, National Rural Health Resource Center, North Carolina Foundation for Advanced Health Programs, Stroudwater Associates, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Read more.


Policy Update

policy-news-editedNOSORH continues to remain engaged on new Technical Assistance contract opportunities for State Offices regarding MIPS (Merit Based Incentive Payment System) and APM (Alternative Payment Models). CMS has recently released a Request for Information or RFI soliciting feedback on how they should evaluate the bids for these contracts. NOSORH will be responding to this RFI later in October. The timeline for the finalization of the form and structure of these TA contracts is unknown, but we hope to have more information from CMS before the end of the year. Read more.


National Rural Health Day: Collaborating and Telling the Story of Rural Doc Hollywoods and Other Healers

5thAnniversaryLogo_FNLNOSORH and our partners are moving forward with plans for National Rural Health Day (NRHD) by planning webinars and webcasts to be offered on November 19th.  The Rural Assistance Center (RAC) and FORHP will announce  a RAC  name change.  Additional webcasts and webinars will feature the work of SORH, FORHP and communities on the following topics:

  • Integrated services,
  • Community health needs assessments,
  • Community paramedicine and
  • Innovative rural health projects
  • Delivery system reform

New this year:  NOSORH is collecting the “Real Doc Hollywood and Other Healer” stories to honor health professionals who have made a positive impact on their local community, brought services that may not have been there before, has shown local leadership, or has been a dependable partner that has helped make a change for the better. SORHs, please help us identify individuals in  your state that have made a difference, so that  we may showcase these individuals to promote all of the amazing Real Doc Hollywoods and other Healers around the nation. Please take the time to fill out the form to provide the following information, showing what makes your choice. Read more.


Still Time to Register for the RHC Institute

RHC InstituteThe Rural Health Clinic Institute was developed by NOSORH to help State Offices of Rural Health build their capacity to provide technical assistance to certified Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) in their states.  This is a 9-part webinar series for SORHs to learn about the needs and operations of RHCs and how to provide technical assistance to RHCs to help them navigate health reform. 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 the webinar series.  There are several registration options which include a discounted NARHC membership for SORH. The registration fee just for the Institute is $500.  Click here to register. Read more.


Rural Leaders Receive Rural Grant Writers Certificate

Completion CertificatesCongratulations to the graduates of the 2015 NOSORH Grant Writing Institute (GWI). This year’s class included over 50 people representing SORHs, hospitals, health departments, and universities.  This course covers everything from finding funding opportunities, developing evaluations and connecting with community partners. Each participant can earn a rural health grant writer certificate by completing 4 assignments.  The participants work to complete the assignments provides them with the pieces for a shell grant application, which they can use to begin applying for funds.  It requires dedication to the process but participants tell us it works. Read more.


RAC New Topic Guide: Scholarships, Loans, and Loan Repayment for Rural Health Professions

RAC logoFinancial aid and loan repayment play an important role in creating an adequate rural health workforce. RACs new topic guide, Scholarships, Loans, and Loan Repayment for Rural Health Professions, describes programs available for healthcare students who are from, or intend to practice in, rural areas of the United States. It also provides information and successful models for the development of scholarship, loan repayment, and loan forgiveness programs designed to attract health professionals to rural areas.

This guide was developed by Becca Cruger, RAC Funding Specialist, with assistance from:


New Technical Assistance Toolkit

leading change toolkitLeading Change: Best Practices in Technical Assistance for Rural and Frontier Health-Care Organizations in a Time of Transformation is a toolkit designed to meet the specific needs of rural and frontier health service organizations and the capacity building organizations that offer technical assistance to facilitate change.

The toolkit was developed by the National Network for Rural and Frontier Capacity, consisting of the National Center for Frontier Communities, the University of New Mexico Office of Community Health, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, and the State Offices of Rural Health in Hawaii, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Montana.

The entire toolkit can be downloaded from the National Organization for State Offices of Rural Health and National Center for Frontier Communities websites. Read more.


Rural EMS Survey Assessment Tool

Last year the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health (WI ORH) and many others worked with the Joint Committee on Rural Emergency Care to create a “Rural EMS Survey Tool”, which is a short survey that would both help assess the capacity of rural (and urban) EMS services, while also providing them a mini-roadmap to ‘gold star’ performance in each attribute. By listing examples for each numerical score, the survey creates both a quantitative and qualitative analysis. If services are identified, it allows for the creation of cohorts for technical assistance.  If locations are identified, it allows for geographic analysis. Read more.


The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services

NACRHHSThe National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services (NACRHHS) is a 21-member citizens’ panel of nationally recognized rural health experts that provides recommendations on rural issues to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.  The members represent expertise in the delivery, financing, research, development, and administration of health and human services in rural areas. Several members are involved in training rural health professionals. Others are representatives of state government, provider associations and other rural interest groups.  Each year, the Committee selects one or more topics upon which to focus during the year. Read more.


Committee Updates

Committee NewsBoard of Directors – The September Board meeting included approval of the NOSORH annual budget, a policy update and a discussion of the President-Elect plans for appointing Board Liaisons.  NOSORH is making plans to post Board minutes in the members section of the website beginning in January.

Communication Committee – The most recent meeting included plans for National Rural Health Day webinars to go beyond “tell what you do” to share information on key rural health efforts by communities, SORH and FORHP.  The committee noted that newsletter readership is above 40%, 28% higher than the national average for similar organizations. Read more.


Steal Sheet

New Resources:

1) Leading Change: Best Practices in Technical Assistance for Rural and Frontier Health-Care Organizations in a Time of Transformation Toolkit

2) Rural EMS Survey Assessment Tool

3) Final Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020 Released

Funding Roundup:

1) Kresge Foundation Application for Health Grants

2) Walmart Community Grants Now Available

3) The Rural Outreach Benefits Counseling Program

4) SAMHSA to Award $300 Million-plus for Anti-Drug Programs

Click here for this month’s Steal Sheet.