Call for Examples of Emergency Preparedness Planning, Response, and Recovery in Rural Communities

Date: December 15, 2021

Call for Examples of Emergency Preparedness Planning, Response, and Recovery in Rural Communities

Share Your Experiences on Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response

The Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) wants to hear about how rural communities, healthcare facilities, public health departments, first responders, tribes, rural serving organizations, and others have had to adapt, collaborate, and innovate in the face of disasters and public health emergencies. RHIhub is looking for examples of lessons learned, successes, challenges, or other helpful information to highlight related to emergency preparedness, response, and recovery for a variety of disasters. Examples will be shared in an emergency preparedness toolkit on the RHIhub website.

Grassroots Advocacy Forum : 2022 NHSC Loan Repayment Programs!

Date: December 15, 2021

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) wanted to share with you an advisory from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) that the application for National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Programs have been extended until February 3, 2022. Please find detailed information below: 

The deadline to submit an application for one of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Programs is extended until Thursday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Last year, HRSA was able to award every eligible applicant thanks to additional funding through the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan (ARP). Even more ARP-funded awards are planned for this year. Eligible clinicians shouldn’t miss out and are encouraged to apply today!

Get specific details on eligibility and how to apply on the NHSC website.


Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program: Preparing Your Loan Information

Date: December 15, 2021

The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP) application deadline is January 13, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Your application must include information on your unpaid student loans to support undergraduate or graduate education and training for your nursing degree. Loan information is covered on pages 13-14 of the Application and Program Guidance.

Acceptable loans include those:

  • Obtained by the applicant to cover school tuition and reasonable educational and living expenses associated with prerequisite and in-program course completion of their nursing degree.

Unacceptable loans include those which are:

  • Repaid in full
  • Obtained for non-nursing degrees or obtained for training in vocational or practical nursing.
  • Not obtained from a government entity or private commercial student lending institution. (Note: Most loans made by private foundations to individuals are not eligible for repayment.)
  • Primary Care Loans
  • Parent PLUS Loans, which are under a parent’s name.
  • Obtained from entities not subject to federal of state examination as lenders (e.g. family members and private institutions or lenders)
  • Subject to cancellation
  • Perkins loans
  • Credit card debt

Apply Now

Loan Documentation

Applicants may submit loan information either electronically (for federal loans only) or manually. It may take some time to obtain documentation from your lenders, so you are encouraged to start early!

If you have federal loans, you can import them electronically using the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) where you can access your Aid Summary Report and pre-populate the loan fields. First, you must register and receive a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID), which you can do here.

Application Help

NC LRP Application Virtual Technical Assistance webinar (Zoom link)

  • Thursday, January 6 2022                    
  • 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET

NEW! NC LRP Webinar Recording

NC LRP Application & Program Guidance

NC LRP Online Application

Customer Care Center

For additional application questions, call the Customer Care Center at 1-800-221-9393 (TTY: 1-877-897-9910), Monday through Friday (except federal holidays), 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

REGISTRATION OPEN: Addressing Meth Use in the Midwest: A Brief Overview

Date: December 14, 2021

Addressing Meth Use in the Midwest:  A Brief Overview

Use of methamphetamine impacts people across the Midwest in many ways. Join the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Region 7 Harm Reduction Workgroup for a series of brief, 30-minute webinars to explore strategies to address meth use, ranging from prevention to treatment. The first webinar will provide an overview of meth use in the Midwest, laying the groundwork for future conversations.

Webinar Date: January 21, 2022

Time: 10:30 AM  – 11:00 AM CT

Register for the webinar here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the session. 

For questions, please contact Catherine Satterwhite at

The Addressing Meth Use in the Midwest webinar series is hosted by the HHS Region 7 Harm Reduction Workgroup: the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA), Administration on Community Living (ACL), and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

Rural Health Clinic COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Program

Date: December 14, 2021

Vaccines in Rural America: A Cornerstone of Patient Care

Thanks to vaccines, we no longer worry about diseases like polio, measles, tetanus, and rubella—illnesses that plagued generations. Today, COVID-19 vaccines are saving lives in rural America, and globally.

Join Wanda Filer, MD, MBA, FAAFP, who will present proven and new strategies to overcome hesitancy in vaccines and ensure communities are fully protected against all vaccine-preventable illnesses. With deep experience serving rural health populations, Dr. Filer will address successful ways to approach patients, staff and the broader community, with many approaches tailored specifically for America’s rural audiences.

Webinar Date: December 15, 2021

Time: 3:00P-4:00P ET

Register Here.

Updated! Value Based Care Assessment Tool

Date: December 13, 2021

The Rural Health Value team has released a revised Value-Based Care Strategic Planning Tool (VBC Tool).  The web-based tool is designed for rural health care leaders to assess organizational capacities or capabilities (e.g., resources, processes, infrastructure) to deliver value-based care as part of their strategic planning process. Upon completion of the on-line tool, a report is provided that can be used to support strategic planning and prioritize action plans that are responsive to a changing health care payment and delivery environment. Supplemental resources, including an action planning tool and a brief guide to assist leaders in preparing their organization for value-based care are also available.

Value-Based Care Assessment Tool (updated December 2021)
This online tool helps the organization assess readiness for the shift of healthcare payments from volume to value. The resulting report may be used to guide the development of action plans. Supplemental resources, including an action planning tool and a brief guide to assist leaders in preparing their organization for value-based care are also available.

Value-Based Care Assessment Tool | (

Related resources on the Rural Health Value website:

  • Physician Engagement – Score current engagement and build effective relationships to create a shared vision for a successful future.
  • Board and Community Engagement – Hold value-based care discussions as part of strategic planning and performance measurement.
  • Social Determinants of Health – Learn and encourage rural leaders/care teams to address issues to improve their community’s health.

Contact information:

Clint MacKinney, MD, MS

Co-Principal Investigator

NOFO Announcement: Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention-Mobile Health Training Program (NEPQR-MHTP)

Date: December 13, 2021

New Funding Opportunity Available!

Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention-Mobile Health Training Program (NEPQR-MHTP): HRSA-22-056

The application deadline is February 22, 2022

The Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention-Mobile Health Training Program (NEPQR-MHTP) aims to strengthen the capacity of nursing students to address and manage Social Determinants of Health and improve health equity for vulnerable populations in rural and underserved areas. The NEPQR-MHTP aims to expand on the nursing education provided by emphasizing leadership and effective communication skills as well as innovative technological methods (i.e. telehealth) to deliver quality care in a rural or underserved environment. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released this new Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) announcement to increase and strengthen the diversity, education, and training of the nursing workforce to provide culturally aligned quality care in rural and underserved areas where there are health care disparities related to access and delivery of care. This program will provide enhanced education and training opportunities within collaborative, reciprocal partnerships, utilizing community-based, nurse-led mobile units.

HRSA anticipates awarding approximately $35 million to 35 award recipients.

Have questions?

Join the technical assistance webinar:

Webinar Date: January 20, 2022

Time: 2:00 – 4:00 PM ET

This webinar will provide information about the application and requirements.

For dial-in only:

  • Phone Number: 833-568-8864
  • Meeting ID: 161 012 9082
  • Passcode: 05628758

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

Date: December 9, 2021

Three More Weeks for RHCs to Spend COVID-19 Testing Funds. Participating Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) have until December 31 to spend RHC COVID-19 Testing Program funds.  RHCs will continue reporting program data through January 2022. Please note that the RHC COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation Program and program reporting will continue until January 2023.  HRSA funded the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) to provide technical assistance to RHCs on these two programs. Contact for more information.

Medicare Telehealth Visits Skyrocketed in 2020. In a new research report from HHS, analysts examined changes in Medicare telehealth usage in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and found a 63-fold increase in the number of Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiary telehealth visits in 2020, from approximately 840,000 in 2019 to nearly 52.7 million in 2020. With the public health emergency declaration, Medicare expanded the type of telehealth services allowed and permitted both rural and urban providers to deliver telehealth services. The emergency actions also allowed for services to be delivered wherever a Medicare beneficiary was located, including in their home or temporary health sites. While HHS’s analysis found lower rates of overall telehealth use among rural beneficiaries, the use of telecommunications services (i.e., virtual check-ins and e-visits) increased most for rural beneficiaries – from 1 percent of telehealth visits in 2019 to 12 percent in 2020. The report cites limitations in broadband access and challenges with internet availability and affordability as likely barriers in rural areas. For some rural providers, namely Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers, telehealth visits increased substantially – a nearly 100-fold increase from a total of 9,000 telehealth visits in 2019 to more than 830,000 telehealth visits in 2020.

CDC Seeking Public Input on Work-Related Stress for Health Workers – Comment Deadline Extended to January 25. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) seeks information on best and promising practices for the positive mental health and well-being of health workers. The feedback will be used to inform interventions under development by the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 

Ongoing: HRSA Payment Program for RHC Buprenorphine-Trained Providers. In June 2021, HRSA launched an effort to improve access to substance use disorder treatment by paying for providers who are waivered to prescribe buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder. Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) still have the opportunity to apply for a $3,000 payment on behalf of each provider who trained to obtain the waiver necessary to prescribe buprenorphine after January 1, 2019. Approximately $1.5 million in program funding remains available for RHCs and will be paid on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. Send questions to There is ongoing availability of a free online course for waiver eligibility training from the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine and the Providers Clinical Support System.