February 14, 2019
White House Launches High Speed Broadband Initiative. On Wednesday, the White House announced a new effort to increase broadband access, particularly in rural areas where coverage and speeds are insufficient to accommodate needs for health care, education and commerce. With input from a range of federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services and Interior as well the Federal Communications Commission, the American Broadband Initiative Milestones Report offers recommendations grouped into three categories: streamlining federal permitting processes to speed broadband deployment, leveraging federal assets to lower the cost of broadband build-outs, and maximizing the impact of federal funding. See the Funding Opportunities section below for announcements related to broadband access and telecommunications specific to rural areas.
Advancing Tobacco Prevention and Control in Rural America. The National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI), in conjunction with the Maine Public Health Institute and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), announced the release of a new report highlighting the significant toll tobacco has on rural communities. The report – which includes 15 recommendations for advancing rural tobacco control initiatives and suggestions for future research – explores rates and patterns of commercial tobacco use across rural, aspects of the rural context that may affect tobacco control efforts, and current rural tobacco control activities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking disproportionately affects the health of people with lower socioeconomic status, with people living in deprived, rural areas experiencing rates of lung cancer that are 18-20 percent higher than people living in urban areas. Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements”
February 7, 2019
New Report on HIV Burden in the Deep South. Produced by the Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative, the report covers six states – Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina – and indicates that 29 percent of persons living with HIV (PLWH) there live in rural areas and smaller cities. In some cases the rural HIV burden is heavier, such as in Alabama and Mississippi, where more than 60 percent of PLWH live outside a large urban area.
Rural Communities Opioid Response Implementation – Coming Soon. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced a future funding opportunity for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP), part of a multi-year initiative supporting treatment for and prevention of opioid use disorder. Grantees of the RCORP-Implementation funding will receive up to $1 million for a three-year period of performance to enhance and expand service delivery in high-risk rural communities. Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements”
February 21, 2019
Black Lung Clinics Program Turns 40. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the program that provides funding for medical, outreach, and benefits counseling for active, inactive, and disabled coal miners throughout the country. Last year, data reported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health indicated that coal miners in central Appalachia are disproportionately affected with as many as 1 in 5 having evidence of black lung. Administered by HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, the program supports nearly 60 clinic sites across 15 states, serving more than 13,000 coal miners between July 2016 and June 2017.
MCHB Announces Phase 1 Winners of Remote Pregnancy Monitoring Contest. HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) selected ten winners from the first phase of its Remote Pregnancy Monitoring Grand Challenge. The winning innovations are technology-based solutions that help providers remotely monitor the health of pregnant women, and empower them to make informed decisions about their own care. Last year, researchers at the University of Minnesota found that families living in non-urban-adjacent rural counties faced increased risk of out-of-hospital birth, birth in a hospital that does not provide obstetric care, and preterm birth, after losing hospital-based obstetric services. Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements”
February 22, 2019
New Federal Funding Opportunity for Small Rural Health Care Providers
On Wednesday, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) published a new Notice of Funding Opportunity. The Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Grant Program will support up to 32 public or private nonprofit health care providers located in rural areas to improve patient care in their communities. HRSA expects to invest approximately $6.4 million for this program that aims to improve the quality of rural health care through an evidence-based approach to primary care that has proven effective in rural areas. Previously funded organizations under this program designed and carried out projects focused on coordinated care for patients, chronic disease management, integrated care delivery systems, and reduced admissions for emergency rooms and hospitals, among other issues for rural providers. Objectives for this program, that’s competitive every three years, include improved health outcomes, better engagement of patients and their caregivers, and continuous improvement to chronic disease management. Grantees are also encouraged to implement quality improvement activities that measure value by outcomes, establish and maintain patient-centered medical homes, and integrate behavioral health into the primary care setting.
Full details of the program and requirements for applicants are available at Grants.gov.
Applications will be accepted until April 22, 2019.