Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

May 17, 2018

What’s New

Seeking Participants from Every Background: All of Us Research Program. On May 6, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched their All of Us Research Program to advance precision medicine. Precision medicine is health care that is based on you as an individual. It takes into account factors like where you live, what you do, and your family health history. By participating, rural Americans can help precision medicine bring about advances in medical science and health care that work for them.

Funding Opportunities

DOJ Funding for Opioid Crisis – June 7. The Department of Justice (DOJ) will make total funding of $34 million for approximately 45 grants to state and local governments to support needs of first responders, crime victims, and non-violent individuals who come into contact with the justice system as a result of opioid use.  The programs for this funding fall under several categories, each with differing objectives and eligibility.  See the Approaching Deadlines section below for other DOJ funding related to federal opioid response.

Evidence-Based Tele-Behavioral Health Network Program – June 25.  HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy recently announced a funding opportunity for up to 14 awards, each up to $350,000 per year, to support the use of telehealth networks to increase access to behavioral health care services in rural and frontier communities. A primary goal of this funding opportunity is to significantly contribute to the evidence base for assessing the effectiveness of tele-behavioral health care services for patients, providers, and payers. A one-hour technical assistance webinar will be held for interested applicants on Thursday, May 24 at 3:00 pm ET.  For more information and to get the dial-in number, write to Kerri Cornejo at

CDC – Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) – August 15.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will make 32 awards of up to $900,000 each for a five year initiative to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic populations with the highest risk, or burden, of chronic disease.  The   funding will support culturally tailored interventions to address preventable health behaviors of tobacco use, poor nutrition and physical inactivity, specifically for African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Alaska Natives.  Recent research shows that rural areas are becoming more diverse, and that racial and ethnic minorities fare worse in health outcomes.

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Share Your Picture of Rural Health

May 18, 2018

Help Us Increase Power of Rural Exposure!

A picture really is worth a thousand words and nothing says Power of Rural like an image of a person or place where the practice of good health is happening.

To help promote 2018 National Rural Health Day (NRHD), we’re asking rural health collaborators, communicators, innovators, educators, providers, and community stakeholders to share their pictures of rural health!

We want to showcase happy faces and great places where healthy is happening in rural communities across the country.

All submitted photos will be evaluated for use in our 2018 NRHD promotional campaign, including on the website and toolkits (posters, flyers, display advertisements, etc.) developed to celebrate the Power of Rural!

Share your picture of rural health

Telebehavioral Health Strategies for Rural Hospitals & Clinics

May 14, 2018

You’re Invited to Our Next Webinar

May 17th, 2018
9:00am HST, 10:00am AKST, 11:00am PST, 12:00pm MST, 1:00pm CST, 2:00pm EST

Jonathan Neufeld, PhD, gpTRAC Program Director

Register here

Telebehavioral Health Strategies for Rural Hospitals & Clinics
This session will outline the basic conceptual and regulatory framework surrounding the provision of behavioral health services via live interactive video, and will present several models for integrating telebehavioral health into primary care and hospital services. These models include both clinical and sustainability aspects. Major points of value, as well as common challenges faced by organizations in implementing these programs, will be addressed.

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

May 10, 2018

What’s New

CMS Announces Rural Health Strategy.  On Tuesday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the agency’s first strategy aimed directly at rural populations, with five objectives for health equity.  Among these, empowering patients to make decisions about their health care is one that CMS has endorsed for all beneficiaries.  But others, such as advancing telehealth and viewing CMS policy through a rural lens, acknowledge a more significant challenge specific to rural areas.

Funding Opportunities

Community Building for Rural and Native Americans, Letters of Interest – May 29.  Rural community development corporations and Tribal housing authorities are among those eligible to apply for funding from Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit for affordable housing.  The application is a two-step process: Letters of Interest (LOI) must be submitted by May 29 and will be evaluated to select applicants who may submit a full proposal due on August 6. For more information, register to attend the Rural and Native American LOI Webinar – Thursday, May 10 (TODAY) at 2:00 pm ET.

DOJ Funding for Drug Courts – June 5.  The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will make approximately 40 grants with an award ceiling of $2 million to develop and improve adult drug courts with evidence-based treatment for substance use disorder and other practices proven to reduce obstacles to recovery. Eligible applicants include city, county and state governments, and Native American tribal governments.  Opioid Use Disorder has had a proportionally larger impact on rural areas, but abuse of alcohol and other substances has also contributed to low education attainment, poverty and high risk behaviors.

NURSE Corps Scholarship Program – June 14. Students enrolled – or accepted for enrollment – in a professional degree program at an accredited school of nursing in the U.S. are eligible to apply for tuition, related costs and a monthly stipend in exchange for work at a facility in rural and medically-underserved areas upon graduation.

Director Training for Rural Residency Programs – June 15.  The National Institute for Program Director Development (NIPDD) helps physician faculty and directors of rural residency programs. This funding from the Rural Training Track (RTT) Collaborative provides full scholarship for the $5,500 tuition fee.  Those accepted for an NIPDD fellowship will engage with and learn from seasoned program directors, family medicine educators and other family medicine leaders about effective rural residency training.

Tribal Behavioral Health Grant Program – June 22. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will award up to 30 grants to fund promising community-based approaches that reduce suicide and substance use, address trauma, and promote the mental health and resiliency of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth. AI/AN tribes, tribal organizations, and consortia of tribes and tribal organizations are eligible to apply for this five-year grant program.

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What if a Woman Misusing Opioids Gets Pregnant?

May 5, 2018

How to Help a Woman Who is Misusing Opioids and Becomes Pregnant
by Steven H. Chapman M.D., General Academic Pediatrics Director, Boyle Community Pediatrics Program, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

Two of the hardest human experiences I can think of are having a baby and getting into recovery. For a pregnant woman struggling with an opioid use disorder, doing both at the same time is not only remarkable, but actually very possible.

As a pediatrician, I have seen many women work hard during pregnancy to achieve recovery, and make strong commitments to parenting at the same time. These are some of the most amazing and heroic people I have encountered in my professional career. Pregnancy gives a specific and strong motivation to achieve recovery, and recovery can make possible attentive and supportive parenting — with the right supports!

This new PDF guide on Pregnancy & Opioids is meant to help you be a key part of those supports. The sections on helping the mother-to-be get to appointments as well as to support breastfeeding and newborn health are particularly useful, but perhaps the section to read most closely would be “Understand the Stigma, Discrimination and Prejudice.” One of the most important things you can do is recognize and support this woman when she is being an attentive and loving mother, and help her develop a sense of pride in both her recovery and parenting.

The section on Medication-Assisted Treatment represents the best and most up-to-date understanding of recovery care. Medications such as buprenorphine are standard care, and widely recognized as good for recovery and good for parenting.

I hope you find this guide useful. Remember, addiction is sometimes considered a disease of isolation, so the connection and support you provide are a key part of the solution.

Download the Pregnancy & Opioids PDF Guide

2018 NURSE Corps Scholarship Program

May 5, 2018

Accepting applications through Thursday, June 14, 7:30 p.m. ET

Apply Here!

Apply today for the 2018 NURSE CORPS Scholarship Program!

The NURSE Corps Scholarship Program awards funds to students enrolled in a diploma, associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree nursing program in exchange for their commitment to serve in high-need, underserved communities. Scholarship support includes payment of tuition, required fees, other reasonable educational costs, and a monthly living stipend.

After completion of graduation/training, recipients can fulfill their service commitment at a number of approved health care facilities currently experiencing a critical shortage of nurses. Each scholar serves for a minimum of two years and receives one year of financial support (up to four years) for each additional year of service.

All awards are subject to federal taxes. Learn more on how the NURSE Corps SP award is taxed by visiting our FAQs or watching our helpful NURSE Corps SP tax withholding webinar

Before you Apply

Before you apply, read the annually updated Application and Program Guidance. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the NURSE Corps contract, which outlines the requirement for fulfilling your minimum two years of service at an eligible Critical Shortage Facility.


To be eligible for a scholarship, all applicants must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen (born or naturalized), a national, or a lawful permanent resident;
  2. Be enrolled—or accepted for enrollment—in a professional nursing degree program at an accredited school of nursing in the U.S.;
  3. begin classes no later than September 30, 2018;
  4. Be free from any federal judgment liens;
  5. Be free from any other existing service commitment;
  6. Not be overdue on a federal debt.

Application Help

Learn more about the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program and application process.

Join one of our NURSE Corps Scholarship Application Technical Assistance Calls:

  1. Thursday, May 17, 3-4:30 p.m. ET
    Dial-in: 1-888-790-1720
    Passcode: 5823271
  2. Thursday, May 31, 3-4:30 p.m. ET
    Dial-in: 1-888-790-1720
    Passcode: 5823271

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

May 3, 2018

Funding Opportunities

Wellness and Resilience for AI/AN Children – June 4.  Education agencies serving children in federally-recognized American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes, tribal organizations, and consortia of tribes or tribal organizations are eligible to apply for 2018 funding for Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education (Project AWARE).  This five-year program is meant to increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth, provide training for school personnel and other adults to detect and respond to mental health issues, and to connect school-aged children and their families to mental health services.

State Initiative for Child Abuse and Neglect – June 18.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make five awards of up to $311,000 to state governments for multisector partnerships to reduce child abuse and neglect and to develop evidence-based approaches that can be replicated.  At its meeting in April, the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services examined Adverse Childhood Experiences which, research has shown, can lead to poor health and social outcomes – chronic disease, substance abuse, unemployment and poverty.

Preventing Rural Teen Pregnancy – June 29.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Adolescent Health announced two funding opportunities to address teen pregnancy.  Teen birth rates have declined across the country but remain higher in rural counties than in urban or suburban areas, regardless of race or ethnicity.  One grant (AH-TP1-18-001) will provide up to $500,000 annually for two years to scale up programs support the protective factors shown to prevent risky behaviors, including teen pregnancy.  The other grant (AH-TP2-18-001) will provide up to $375,000 annually for two years to develop and test new and innovative strategies to prevent teen pregnancy.  For both opportunities, letters of intent are due May 21 and applications are due June 29.  Interested rural health providers can find more information on relevant teen pregnancy prevention efforts from HHS, CDC, and RHIHub.

Invest in Rural Transportation – July 19.  The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will provide no less than $450 million to state, local, and tribal governments for projects to improve transportation infrastructure in rural communities in the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program.  DOT funded 27 rural projects in 2017, such as the complete streets improvements in Collier County, Florida, and pedestrian pathways in Gallatin County, Montana.  For 2018, DOT will consider the extent to which proposed projects increase individuals’ transportation choices and improve residents’ connections to jobs, health care, and other essential services, particularly for rural communities.  Consider contributing to BUILD projects by helping eligible applicants describe how better transportation choices in rural communities can improve health and quality of life.

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