Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

What’s New

Friday is World AIDS Day.  This commemoration that takes place on the 1st of December each year comes at a turning point in the ongoing narrative of HIV/AIDS.  In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that, for the first time in the four-decade history of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), individuals who take daily medication to suppress the virus have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting to an HIV-negative partner.   Advocates believe this will bring a change in the perception of what it means to be HIV-positive and reduce barriers to getting tested and treated.  Early stage HIV can be asymptomatic, and about 40% of new HIV infections come from people who don’t know they have HIV, including heterosexual men and women at increased risk and people who inject drugs.  In rural areas, persons living with HIV/AIDS face additional barriers that limit access to testing, treatment and ongoing care.  Earlier this year, the CDC issued a map showing that, while the majority of HIV diagnoses in the U.S. are in urban areas, there are parts of the country where the rates are surprisingly high for suburban and rural areas.  These include the South, where 23% of new HIV diagnoses are suburban/rural, and the Midwest where 20% are urban/rural.

This week’s Funding section covers previously mentioned opportunities that are still open and may help providers with HIV/AIDS care in rural communities.

Funding Opportunities

Public Health Crisis Response – December 11.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seeking applications from public health departments in tribal, state and local governments for cooperative agreements meant to enhance their ability to rapidly mobilize and respond to specific public health emergencies.  These emergencies may include infectious disease outbreaks, pandemics, and other public health emergencies that exceed jurisdictional capacity and resources.  Awardees would be approved but unfunded until a crisis occurs, enabling them to plan for emergency activation activities.  Eligible applicants must have an existing capacity and infrastructure to provide the CDC’s 10 essential public health services, which include a process and protocol to reach rural or isolated populations.

New Geographic Service Areas for HIV Intervention – January 2.  Current grantees and new organizations proposing services for People Living With HIV (PLWH) may apply for funding through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Part C Early Intervention Services (EIS) Program. The purpose of the EIS program is to provide comprehensive primary health care and support services in an outpatient setting for low income, uninsured, and underserved PLWH.  Eligibility includes Rural Health Clinics and community-based organizations. Successful applicants will provide HIV testing, medical evaluation, counseling and treatment, among other services.  For more information, contact Hanna Endale at

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USDA Invests more than $1 Million to Improve Health Care in Rural Missouri

November 29, 2017

COLUMBIA, MO, November 17, 2017 – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that USDA provided more than $1 billion in Fiscal Year 2017 to help improve access to health care services in rural communities. Of that amount, more than $1 million was invested in Missouri.

“USDA invests in a wide range of health care facilities – such as hospitals, clinics and treatment centers – to help ensure that rural residents have access to the same state-of-the art care available in urban and metropolitan areas,” Perdue said. “I understand that building a prosperous rural America begins with healthy people. Ensuring that rural communities have access to quality medical care is a top priority for USDA.”

USDA made these investments through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The loans can be used to construct, expand or improve health care facilities such as hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics and assisted-living facilities, as well as to purchase equipment. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and federally recognized tribes in rural areas and towns with up to 20,000 people are eligible for these loans.

“Access to health care is important for rural Americans. Often, health care professionals and facilities in rural areas may not be able to provide certain services as extensive as larger communities,” said Missouri State Director Jeff Case. “To ensure our rural Missourians are getting the medical care they need, we are working with hospitals, medical centers, assisted-living facilities, and emergency responders to provide more resources for individuals living in those areas.”

The following are a few examples of rural health care projects that USDA funded during FY 2017 in Missouri:

  • Livingston County received a $17,400 loan for construction of a 14-bed assisted living wing. This project is expected to increase future revenues as it will allow the facility to modernize and meet the needs and demands of the growing population of retirees in the community.
  • Crawford County received a $12,900 loan to purchase a power stretcher and equipment to assist the Steelville Ambulance District with lifting patients while responding to emergency calls.

Funding from USDA’s Community Facilities Direct Loan program is playing a major role in Kirksville, Missouri. The Adair County Nursing Home District received $1 million, in addition to prior RD funding, to construct a new nursing home facility which will replace their current 50-year-old building. The new one-story 45,000 square foot building will offer the modern concept of ‘neighborhoods’ for the residents giving a more home-like experience. The 90-bed facility will also have a unique rehab environment for inpatient and outpatient use.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; homeownership; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit

Grant Writing Training with Rural Health Focus

November 27, 2017

Registration is now open for the 2018 NOSORH Grant Writing Institute (GWI). GWI features a series of nine online learning sessions covering every aspect of grant writing with a unique rural health focus. The series is intended for beginners seeking to gain the skills to research and draft winning proposals from various agencies.  Participants will also learn how to form a consortium, develop collaborative proposals, and replicate evidence based models in their communities.

Class size is limited, so click here to REGISTER NOW!

Click here for a flyer with detailed information on each session.

Please share this information with anyone interested in pursuing grant writing.

If you have any additional questions, contact Kassie Clarke at

Don’t miss out on this customized training opportunity!

Kassie Clarke
Technical Assistance Director
National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

November 27, 2017

What’s New

The Underestimated Cost of the Opioid Crisis.  In a new report out this week, the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) says that previous cost estimates focused mainly on healthcare costs and underestimated losses from overdose fatalities.  The CEA reports that a recent study found opioid-related deaths in 2014 were 24% higher than officially reported and cost more than $431 billion in fatality costs.  In a separate and unrelated report, the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services named curbing the opioid epidemic the third Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing HHS.  Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report showing that rural areas experience a higher rate of death from drug overdose.

Funding Opportunities

Training Nurses for Primary Care – January 29.  This four-year training program from HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) will prepare nursing students and current registered nurses (RNs) to practice in community-based primary care teams, with an emphasis on chronic disease prevention and control and including mental health and substance use conditions.  Eligible applicants include accredited schools of nursing, health care facilities such as Critical Access Hospitals, or a school-facility partnership.  Recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals is particularly challenging in rural areas, but training in a rural area makes staying there more likely. BHW will hold a webinar for applicants on Tuesday, November 28 at 2:00 pm ET.  See link for more information.

Training and Enhancement – Primary Care Physicians and PAs – January 30.  Public or nonprofit hospitals, community-based and tribal organizations join schools of medicine and physician-assistant training programs in eligibility for fellowship in Primary Care Training and Enhancement programs for community-based primary care physicians and/or physician assistants.  This opportunity encourages applicants to work with National Health Service Corps (NHSC) sites and would allow graduates of the program to receive priority status for the NHSC Loan Repayment Program.  HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce will hold a webinar for applicants on Tuesday, November 28 from 2:00 to 3:30 pm ET.  See link for more information.

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