Recording for CMS OMH Building COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Webinar Now Available

May 25, 2021

On May 13, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) hosted a Building COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence webinar to provide information and resources to help partners address vaccine hesitancy in their communities. Guest speakers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) joined and shared their insights.

The webinar recording and slide deck are now available on the CMS OMH Webinars & Events webpage.

Trends in Network Focus Areas Among Network Development Planning Grantees, 2003-2020

May 26, 2021

Click here to view the policy brief!

In this policy brief, researchers examine the focus areas of the networks funded by the Network Planning Grant program in order to determine if there are trends in the scope and substance of rural health networks. Researchers examined these network focus areas retrospectively in order to see how they have changed over time.

Contact Information:

Katie Rydberg, MPH
University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Phone: 612.626.8401

DRCHSD Program Introduction and Application Process Webinar

Date: June 24, 2021

Time: 11:00 -12:00 PM CST

Click here to Register!

The National Rural Health Resource Center is hosting the 2021 Delta Region Community Health System Development (DRCHSD) Program Introduction and Application Process Webinar for eligible rural hospitals, rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers.

This webinar will discuss:

The DRCHSD Program works with rural eligible communities located in the Delta Region to address health care needs and strengthen the local health care system through comprehensive technical assistance.

Learn about the DRCHSD program in the new About Delta video.


Webinar: Let’s Discuss Front Line Perspectives Regarding The Blue Bag Initiative

Date: May 20,2021

Time: 11:30 AM CST

Click Here to Register!

The Blue Bag Initiative (BBI) is growing among HQIN participants. Using pharmacists to conduct a comprehensive medication review within physician practice settings, upon hospital discharge, within community pharmacies and in various community-based settings is proving to be a very effective intervention for multiple patient care and safety outcomes. Register for this session to learn more about the BBI and join our conversation with pharmacists who work closely with physicians and other clinicians to implement this program.

Webinar: Attracting the Next Generation of Patients

Date: June 16, 2021

Time: 2:00 PM CST

Click Here to Register!

In this webinar, Legato Healthcare Marketing will take a look at the next generation of patients, focusing on the key behaviors and purchasing decisions of the 25–45-year-old demographic who are starting to settle down and start families. With this demographic, there’s strong potential to boost your organization’s revenue through the development of new service lines and programs since they require a completely different healthcare experience than preceding generations.

Presented in partnership with the National Rural Health Association, Mike Milligan, President, Legato Healthcare Marketing, will share practical tips and proven recommendations Legato has used with clients to help them grow their next generation of patients. Specific learning objectives include:

  • Recognizing how this younger generation is transforming healthcare
  • Gaining an understanding of this generation, their decision-making process, and how they believe their healthcare needs should be met
  • Reviewing the marketing planning process to use it as a tool to addresses—and meet—your customers wants and needs

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Community-Based Workforce to Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Access

May 25, 2021

On May 4, 2021, the White House announced $250 million to support two funding opportunities for community-based organizations to hire and mobilize community outreach workers. Today, HRSA is pleased to announce the availability of the second notice of funding opportunity announcement (NOFO) titled Community-Based Workforce to Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Access.

The purpose of the program is to support communities as they establish, expand, and sustain a public health workforce to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. This includes the hiring of community outreach workers, which includes community health workers, patients navigators, and social support specialists, to educate and assist individuals in accessing and receiving COVID-19 vaccinations.

Eligible applicants for this NOFO include nonprofit private or public organizations, including local and/or regional community-based organizations (CBOs) with demonstrated experience in implementing public health programs, particularly in medically underserved areas. This includes Tribes and Tribal organizations.

HRSA will hold a technical assistance webinar for applicants on Tuesday May 25th, 2021, from 4:00-5:00pm EST.

For further information on the NOFO, please visit View Opportunity | GRANTS.GOV

NARHC Webinar – Are You Information Blocking?

Date: May 26, 2021

Time: 2:00 PM CST

Click here to Register!

Topics will include:

  • What is Information
  • Exception to Information Blocking
  • How HIPAA and Information Blocking work together

We have an expert speaker presenting:

Sarah Badahman is CEO and founder of HIPAAtrek. She has spent over a decade in the Healthcare Administration field and particularly, the past ten years mastering the field of HIPAA Compliance and Risk Management. She holds a Bachelor’s in Applied Mathematics and a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology and Policy. As an expert in HIPAA compliance, Sarah has developed and administered HIPAA compliance training programs for numerous health care organizations.


Success Among Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant Awardees: Barriers and Facilitators

May 25, 2021

Success among Rural Health Development

In this policy brief, researchers identify the barriers to and facilitators of success for rural organizations implementing the Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant. As the U.S. healthcare landscape looks increasingly at different ways of funding services, and focus shifts toward value-based payment systems and an emphasis on preventive care, the need for strong networks has become even more apparent. Understanding the challenges and opportunities grantees have faced in forming health networks will have implications for both future grant offerings, as well as other policies and programs that support health care and health in rural areas at the local level.

Contact Information:

Mariana Story Tuttle, MPH
University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Phone: 612.626.8401

Study: Long Term Care Arrangements among rural and urban older adults

May 21, 2021

Click here to view the study!

As the population ages, information is urgently needed about how best to provide long-term care for older adults who develop functional limitations. Such information should incorporate the preferences of older adults themselves for care setting. This study describes care preferences by rural and urban location and by demographic characteristics among rural residents.

Contact Information:

Carrie Henning-Smith, PhD, MPH, MSW
University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Phone: 612.626.4512

NRHA Today

May 21, 2021

Rural Communities, families, divided over COVID vaccination:

Daily COVID-19 vaccination rates are falling nationwide, and gaps in uptake are starting to show in rural America. According to a CDC report, coverage was lower in rural counties (38.9 percent) than urban counties (45.7 percent. This is problematic because many rural residents are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID. “The moment we’re in right now is overcoming vaccine hesitancy in a rural context,” says NRHA CEO Alan Morgan. “That’s the battle at hand.” Morgan adds that vaccine “messaging to date has simply been wrong, at a national level, for rural America.” The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) believes our members, stakeholders, and leaders in rural communities can provide crucial perspective on the benefits of vaccination. A recent Cleveland Clinic study showed that 99.75 percent of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between Jan. 1 and April 13 were not fully vaccinated. To reinforce the association’s dedication to health equity, NRHA has joined several national coalitions aimed at communicating vaccine safety and efficacy.

NRHA to host webinar on RHC access to $1B in COVID funding:

NRHA is hosting a webinar at 2:30 p.m. CDT May 24 on how rural health clinics can take advantage of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) nearly $1 billion in rural COVID-19 response funds. Speakers from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will outline the opportunities and provide direction on how to apply. Additionally, HRSA’s forthcoming Rural Health Clinic Vaccine Confidence Program will support vaccine outreach in rural communities, including working to improve vaccine confidence and counter vaccine hesitancy. HRSA’s Rural Health Clinic COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation Program also supports 4,600 Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) across the country in their testing and mitigation efforts. NRHA can’t wait to see you in person for conversations on rebuilding our rural communities and keeping residents safe Sept. 21-22 at NRHA’s 19th Rural Health Clinic Conference in Kansas City, Mo. Submit presentation proposals for this event through June 2.

HRSA determines pharma companies in violation of 340B statue:

HRSA recently directed six drug manufacturers to comply with 340B pricing requirements or risk financial penalties. HRSA took action in response to recent requests by stakeholders to take enforcement action against drug manufacturers that fail to comply with 340B program requirements. NRHA recently sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra urging him to uphold the integrity of the 340B Drug Pricing Program. Since last summer, large pharmaceutical manufacturers have waged attacks against the program targeting contract pharmacies and covered entities, and NRHA is pleased with HRSA’s recent actions to uphold 340B for the rural patients and providers who rely on the program. NRHA can’t wait to see you in person to continue the fight to uphold 340B with sessions at NRHA’s Rural Health Clinic and Critical Access Hospital Conferences Sept. 21-24 in Kansas City, Mo. Submit presentation proposals for these events through June 2.

Two weeks to speak at NRHA’s clinic, Critical Access Hospital (CAH) events this fall:

NRHA is accepting session proposals through June 2 for our 2021 Rural Health Clinic and Critical Access Hospital Conferences, which will be held in person Sept. 21-24 in Kansas City, Mo. This is your chance to share effective models, policies, research, and information and provide attendees with insights and best practices addressing many of the access, quality, and patient safety issues confronted by CAHs and RHCs. NRHA urges members to contribute a session abstract for consideration. We look forward to seeing you this fall to share strategies to survive the changing landscape for rural hospitals.

NRHA to host oral health training for Community Health Workers (CHWs):

In partnership with the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health, NRHA is hosting a virtual community health worker training on oral health at 10 a.m. CDT May 25. The training is open to all community health workers working with rural patients and communities. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. Additionally, meaningful legislation addressing health care inequities in the U.S. requires studies examining health disparities due to geographic location or economic status. According to recent research, rural children are less likely to receive preventive dental care than urban children, which can have serious consequences for oral health and overall health. The findings of this study are important to informing legislative change, as preparations for the surgeon general’s report on oral health are currently underway.

Telehealth bill addresses barriers “cooked in ” to state law:

The use of telehealth has increased during the pandemic, allowing patients to be seen right away and facilitating regular tracking of chronic conditions. Digital care may be the new model for health care – but certain reimbursement structures for rural health clinics and community health centers mean they don’t get paid for virtual visits. According to Charles James of the Illinois Rural Health Association, an NRHA member, these problems are “cooked in” to existing payment structures – but in Illinois, a new bill aims to remove barriers to telehealth services. Broadband assistance for rural residents is available through the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which provides a temporary discount on broadband bills for low-income households. We can’t wait to see you in person to navigate the changing landscape of telehealth Sept. 21-24 at NRHA’s Rural Health Clinic and Critical Access Hospital Conferences in Kansas City, Mo. Submit presentation proposals for these events through June 2.