NRHA’s strength and success is largely the result of leaders, members and staff working together with a common purpose to ensure the broadest range and highest quality of health care services for rural America.

Act by 11:59 p.m. CDT Sept. 24 to nominate NRHA member volunteers for leadership positions within its Board of Trustees and Rural Health Congress in 2021 and beyond.

All nomination forms must be submitted by the Sept. 24 deadline. The election will take place in November and positions begin Jan. 1.

All nominees must be NRHA members, so spread the word and become an NRHA member today.

NRHA encourages you to take the time to nominate colleagues, or yourself, to help ensure NRHA’s governance remains strong.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office of Regional Operations is now the HRSA Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (OIEA), as part of a reorganization effective August 25, 2021. HRSA IEA serves as the principal agency lead on intergovernmental and external affairs, regional operations, and tribal partnerships. This transition leverages both national and regional engagement to meet the needs of communities across the nation.

In addition to this news about the transition, your attention is called to the Heartland Telehealth Resource Center’s new Telehealth Collaborative for FQHCs, Tribal Health Organizations, Rural Health Clinics and Rural Health Practices. Organizations must be located in Kansas, Missouri or Oklahoma. Organization staff will participate by attending Missouri Telehealth Network/ HTRC Telemedicine ECHO sessions (starting monthly on October 12) and learn from telehealth experts and alongside a cohort of organizations. ECHO topics include assessment, technology, billing, community engagement and more.

Organizations will also receive 2 hours of individualized technical assistance and a stipend to assist with costs related to implementation of your telehealth program. Please contact for additional information. Registration is limited to 15 organizations total, so sign up today!

Date: September 23, 2021

HHS and USDA Launch Resource Guide for Child Care in Rural Areas. The U.S Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health & Human Services (HHS) released a new federal guide to strengthen and expand child care facilities in rural communities. The USDA-RD HHS-ACF Joint Facilities Resource Guide (pdf) includes best practices, innovative approaches, success stories and a list of federal resources available.  The Administration of Children and Families (ACF) is the HHS agency administering federal programs for child care; Rural Development (RD) at the USDA focuses on improving the economy and quality of life in rural America. 

Open Enrollment for Extended. Usually, the annual period for buying or changing health insurance plans for the next calendar year begins in November and runs until December 15. Starting this year, the federal government is extending the open enrollment period to January 15 for states that use, the federal website for health insurance. State Marketplaces not using the federal eligibility and enrollment platform ( can decide their own end date, provided that it is no earlier than December 15. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services made this and other changes to the Health Insurance Marketplace in the final rule for Benefits and Payment Parameters (pdf), further detailed in the Policy Updates section below. It is estimated that 65 percent of uninsured rural adults could have access to a health plan with a $0 premium on 

HRSA Releases New Projections for the Health Workforce. According to data collected by the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis (NCHWA), the supply of primary care physicians in the U.S. will see a shortage by the year 2030; a surplus of nurse practitioners and physician assistants is projected for the same time span. The forecast shows the largest shortages in Nevada, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Arizona. The NCHWA is part of the Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) at the Health Resources and Services Administration. Last week, BHW announced funding for a new federal program to increase the number of physician assistants in rural areas. Accredited training programs that can demonstrate a high rate of rural placement for graduates may apply for the HRSA Physician Assistant Rural Training Program through December 9. 

CDC: Overdose Deaths Up by a Third. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the latest data on reported deaths due to overdose within the 50 states and the District of Columbia. While final counts are not yet complete, 90,133 deaths occurred between February 2020 and February 2021, an increase of more than 30 percent over the previous year.

ONC: Challenges to Interoperability. The ability to exchange electronic health data between facilities, known as interoperability, is essential to the long-term goals of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). This report examines the challenges for acute care hospitals – including rural hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals – exchanging electronic health information with public health agencies. The report uses data collected in 2019 and identifies ongoing barriers that may have been exacerbated by the pandemic. 

RAND Weighs in on Vaccine Hesitancy. The RAND Corporation is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization that researches and analyzes public policy. Their recommendations promote the World Health Organization’s “three Cs” model: 1) boosting confidence in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, 2) combating complacency about the pandemic, and 3) increasing the convenience of getting vaccinated. Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited data showing lower COVID-19 vaccination coverage in rural areas.

Household Food Security in the U.S. Last Year. The Economic Research Service (ERS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its annual report on access to adequate food for households in the U.S.  The survey data collected in December 2020 showed an estimated 89.5 percent of households had food access throughout the year, a number not significantly different from the same survey taken at the end of 2019. The prevalence of very low food security for rural areas, 4.5 percent, was slightly higher than the national average of 3.9 percent.

The RHPTP team would like to acknowledge the difficult conditions that healthcare organizations across the country are currently operating under, as well as understand the overwhelming notion that completing one more task right now may feel unobtainable. With that in mind, we have extended the RHPTP application deadline to 11:59 PM CST on Friday, October 01, 2021.

Technical Assistance provided by the RHPTP consultants provides a deeper dive into quality improvement and financial risk assessments providing your organization with tools to continue to support efforts in moving forward during challenging times.

Although the application deadline is October 1st, the technical assistance for this project will not begin until January 2022, therefore, if selected, project participation will not be time-intensive until after the first of the year.

The RHPTP team also understands that if selected, there may circumstances during the project year that are out of your control, i.e. pandemic surges, staff illness, and turnover, etc. With that in mind, it is the RHPTP team’s commitment to meet each participating rural health clinic and small rural hospital where they are at throughout the length of the project in order to help position your organization to be effective participants in a future health system focused on value.

Please reach out to the RHPTP team with any questions regarding the RHPTP project, eligibility, expectations, and/or application process.

Please contact the RHPTP Team at with any questions.


Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project is designed to help strengthen value-based care (VBC) for health care organizations by building the recipient’s foundation for VBC in efficiency, quality, patient experience, and safety of care. The support of the project is available at no cost to you. Please view the 3-minute video below for a quick overview of this project.

Looking for more information?

The RHPTP team encourages you to visit the RHPTP website for additional project information, RHPTP eligibility requirements and application process, upcoming TA opportunities, HELP webinar playbacks, FAQs, and more!

Visit RHPTP Website


MHPPS and the Missouri Office of Rural Health and Primary Care have partnered to offer this at no charge!


  • Access to six live 90 minute webinars featuring national experts on rural/underserved retention
  • Password protected portal to gain access to the webinar recordings, session materials, & more
  • Ability to ask questions to other Academy attendees and 3RNET members via the Academy listserv
  • A certificate of completion
  • Supporting 3RNET’s mission to ensure quality healthcare access to the nation’s rural & undeserved communities


  • October 5
    • Setting the Foundation of Retention through Recruitment
    • What’s the Data Say? 30 Years of Retention Data
  • October 19
    • Embedding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to Recruitment and Retention Practices
    • Special session put on by 3RNET partner Integrated Work (two hour session 1pm-3pm)
  • November 2
    • Starting Retention through Behavioral Interviewing and Other Successful Hiring Practices
    • What’s the Data Say? From Obligation to Retention
  • November 16
    • On boarding, Stay interviews, Administrative Structures
    • What’s the Data Say? Strong Leaders, Strong Retention
  • November 30
    • Strengthening Employee Engagement through Ongoing Performance Management, Coaching and Accountability
    • What’s the Data Say? Techniques for Implementing a Successful (and Affordable) Employee Satisfaction Survey
  • December 14
    • Clinician Well Being and Resilience
    • What’s the Data Say? Compensation Strategies and Retention Hot Topics

Register Now To Attend
Enter coupon code: MO3RNET21


Joni Adamson

Vaccinating rural communities starts with trust.

You know better than anyone that vaccine hesitancy among rural Americans means COVID-19 will linger in smaller communities for the foreseeable future – unless more is done to increase vaccination rates.

That’s why NRHA is proud to announce the association’s Rural Vaccine Confidence Initiative, a vital vaccine education toolkit that helps rural leaders build vaccine confidence at the local level, and HRSA’s recent $1 million award to NRHA and in partnership with the CDC for further development and support.

In partnership with Legato Healthcare Marketing, NRHA has developed a collection of rural-specific vaccine education materials designed to be customized by health care workers, community members, employers, and other leaders to communicate real vaccine facts in their own words.

Browse materials

During can’t-miss sessions at NRHA’s virtual Critical Access Hospital Conference, NRHA and Legato Healthcare Marketing will introduce and discuss the Rural Vaccine Confidence Initiative and provide technical assistance to attendees.

NRHA looks forward to working with you to help protect all of the “whys” behind the choice to get vaccinated – along with everything that makes rural America so special.

Date: September 24, 2021

Time: 1:00PM ET


Register Now

Join Brian Werfel and Asbel Montes as they bring you the most up-to-date information about why ALL ambulance service providers should apply for Phase 4 provider relief funding. This is even more critical for those that provide care in underserved communities and rural areas.

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) and The National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center) would like to congratulate four outstanding organizations that participated in the first year of RHPTP!

  • Lincoln County Medical Center, New Mexico
  • Guadalupe County Hospital, New Mexico
  • Lawrence County Health Department, Illinois
  • Sudan Medical Clinic, Texas

All four organizations received focused technical assistance which included:

  • An individualized quality improvement (QI) project to impact either patient experience, coordination of care, patient safety, or building infrastructure that embeds QI into practice
  • A financial risk assessment and action planning designed to determine financial risk, identify strategies, and develop tactics to address operational cost-efficiency opportunities in preparation to participate in value-based care
  • A peer to peer learning collaborative specifically designed to meet the needs of the four organizations

Watch for future updates sharing their successes!

2021-2022 RHPTP Application Deadline Extended

Watch the short RHPTP Nutshell to learn more!

Begin Your Application Today!

Apply today to participate in the next project year (November 2021 – August 2022). Applications must be completed by 11:59 PM CST on September 17, 2021.

RHPTP is designed to help strengthen value-based care (VBC) for health care organizations by building recipients’ foundation for VBC in efficiency, quality, patient experience, and safety of care.

RHPTP HELP Webinar Playbacks

Access Webinar Playbacks on Demand

Using Telehealth to Support Value-Based Care | Candy Hanson, BSN, PHN, LHIT-HP, Stratis Health

Resilience: Springing Back to Move Forward | Dr. Jane Pederson and Betsy Jeppesen, Stratis Health

The Role of Social Determinants of Health in Value-Based Payment Models: A Rural Perspective | Alana Knudson, NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis

NOSORH Value-Based Health Care 3-part Series

  1. First Steps and Next Steps in the Transition from Volume to Value
  2. Services to Jumpstart and Assist in the Transition from Volume to Value
  3. Building a Strong Foundation for the Transition to Value

Should my health organization accept a value-based payment opportunity? | Dr. Clint McKinney, Rural Health Value

Financial Update: Preparing for and Succeeding Under Value-Based Reimbursement Models | Ralph Llewellyn, Eide Baily

Plus more – view the extensive library of previous HELP Webinar playbacks!

Leadership Training Podcasts and Video Series

For Mid-Level Leaders

For Hospital Board of Directors

Visionary Board Leadership and the Transition to Value (Video Series)