National Telehealth Conference

April 29, 2022

Register now for the National Telehealth Conference on May 16 –17.

Join U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) leadership and experts in the field to examine the evolution of telehealth, discuss telehealth best practices, and review the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic to inform the future of telehealth.

Over the course of two days, experts in the field will examine the evolution of telehealth as part of the standard of care and the importance of its continued integration in an overall, integrated care delivery model. Participants will hear from HHS leadership and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Administrator Carole Johnson, along with telehealth experts on a variety of hot topics, including:

  • Achieving health equity through increased access and adoption of telehealth including the improvement of broadband connectivity,
  • The role of telehealth as a tool to improve the quality of care for patients, especially those in and underserved communities,
  • Tele-behavioral health as a model and example of the success of integrating telehealth during the pandemic and beyond,
  • Sharing clinical telehealth best practices and lessons learned, and
  • Identifying health policy implications for telehealth to inform the future of telehealth in an evolving health care environment.

USDA Rural Development Placemaking Conference

Date: April 29, 2022

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is hosting a virtual Rural Development Placemaking Conference on May 23-24, 2022.

Placemaking is a collaborative engagement process that helps leaders from rural communities create quality places where people will want to live, work, visit and learn. By bringing together partners from public, private, philanthropic, community, and technology sectors, placemaking is a wrap-around approach to community and economic development that incorporates creativity, infrastructure initiatives, and vibrant public spaces. This conference will highlight the unique opportunities and challenges that rural communities face in placemaking. Participants in this event will learn from leaders in placemaking, arts and design practitioners, and teams of residents and elected officials from rural communities to shine the spotlight on successful placemaking strategies. Conference attendees will participate in online breakout sessions that will highlight topics such as: Initiating Place, Public Spaces & Gathering Places, Community Cultural Planning & Assessments, Cross-Sector Engagement

Additional information is available on the Rural Development Placemaking Conference website.

Registration is required.


CMS Public Listening Session on CMS Rural Health Strategy

Date: April 28, 2022

Join the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for a Public Listening Session on the CMS Rural Health Strategy “Refresh” for CMS Regions 5, 7 and 8

Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Time: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EDT

Register Here

Review the Current CMS Rural Health Strategy Here. 

The CMS Rural Health Council is hosting a public, virtual listening session for CMS Regions 5, 7, and 8 on May 10, 2022 to hear your feedback on its current Rural Health Strategy.

The CMS Rural Health Strategy was developed in 2018 with input from rural communities, and focuses on five objectives to advance rural health:

  1. Apply a rural lens to CMS programs and policies
  2. Improve access to care through provider engagement and support
  3. Advance telehealth and telemedicine
  4. Empower patients in rural communities to make decisions about their healthcare
  5. Leverage partnerships to achieve the goals of the CMS Rural Health Strategy

To ensure the CMS Rural Health Strategy reflects the needs and priorities of those living and working in rural and frontier communities, including Tribal Nations and U.S. territories, CMS invites you to join a listening session to provide your feedback on its current Rural Health Strategy and help improve CMS’s approach to advancing rural health.

Individuals with lived experience receiving healthcare or supporting healthcare service delivery in rural communities, including Tribal Nations and U.S. territories, are encouraged to attend the listening session for their respective region to provide real-time feedback.

**Prior to the listening session, you are encouraged to review the CMS Rural Health Strategy, and be prepared to speak to the following topic areas during the call:**

  1. What can CMS do to advance health equity for rural and frontier communities, including Tribal Nations and U.S. territories?
  2. Which of the CMS Rural Health Strategy objectives should CMS continue to prioritize?
  3. What is missing from the current CMS Rural Health Strategy objectives?

 The listening session can accommodate up to 500 participants, so register early to guarantee your participation.

If you have any questions about the CMS Rural Health Strategy listening sessions, please send to:

Paying Attention to Hypertension

Date: April 28, 2022

Mid-Year Virtual Convening: Paying Attention to Hypertension

Spotlight on Self Measured Blood Pressure (SMBP) Monitoring 

The National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention announces the Mid-Year Virtual Convening: Paying Attention to Hypertension to be held on May 5, 2022 from 12:30 PM – 3:30 PM EDT.

Please register to attend the National Forum’s Mid-Year Convening.


  • Inform National Forum members and stakeholders of successful strategies and practices to improve self-measure blood pressure monitoring.
  • Motivate participants to carry out effective strategies to improve self-measure blood pressure monitoring in their settings.

Pre-meeting Partner Networking via Zoom Chat



John M. Clymer, Executive Director
The National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention

An Economic Case for Self-Measured Blood Pressure

Michael W. Cropp, MD, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer
Independent Health

Solving Barriers to Self-Measured Blood Pressure in the U.S.

Warren A. Jones, MD, FAAFP, National Forum Chair, Captain, United States Navy Medical Corps (Ret.)
Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center
President, American Academy of Family Physicians, 2001-2002


Hilary K. Wall, MPH, Senior Health Scientist
Million Hearts Science Lead
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Stretch Break

Jen Childress, MS, MCHES, Senior Program Manager
National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention

Self-Measured Blood Pressure in the National Hypertension Control Initiative

Ayanna Williams, MPH, Public Health Analyst
Quality/ Office of Quality Improvement
Bureau of Primary Health Care
Health Resources and Services Administration

Jeanette Guyton-Krishnan, PhD, Public Health Analyst
Office of Health Center Investment Oversight
Bureau of Primary Health Care
Health Resources and Services Administration

Video: Self-Measurement: How Patients and Care Teams Are Bringing Blood Pressure to Control (National Association of Community Health Centers)

Meg Meador, MPH, C-PHI, CPHQ, Director, Clinical Integration & Education
National Association of Community Health Centers

Integrating SMBP into Care Processes & Workflows

Debra McGrath, MSN, FNP, Director of Health Information Technology
Health Federation

The Importance of Using Validated Devices

Nar Ramkissoon, MPH, Senior Manager, Partner Development Strategy
Lead for the US Blood Pressure Validated Device Listing (VDL) initiative
American Medical Association

Call to Share Actions on SMBP (Facilitated Open Forum)

Mayors Prevent Hypertension through Move with the Mayor

Jen Childress, MS, MCHES, Senior Program Manager
National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention


Catching up on Routine Childhood and Adolescent Immunizations

Date: April 28, 2022

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services News Release.

Catching up on routine childhood and adolescent immunizations

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The COVID-19 pandemic has brought disruption to lives in many forms. For many children and families, even routine preventative healthcare has been disrupted. This National Infant Immunization Week, the Missouri Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (MOAAP) and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) highly encourage parents to ensure their children get caught up on or stay on track with routine vaccinations starting at birth to help protect them from serious diseases.

“As a parent, one of the best things you can do to protect your child is ensure that they see their doctor for well-child visits and recommended vaccines,” said Paula Nickelson, DHSS Acting Director. “Many vaccine-preventable diseases can have such devastating impacts, especially on vulnerable children. Assuring your child receives the vaccines can help you keep your child as healthy as possible.”

New CDC data show the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on routine childhood immunization. During the 2020-2021 school year, national vaccination coverage dropped from 95% to below 94%, which amounts to 35,000 more children across the U.S. entering kindergarten without documentation of complete vaccination against common diseases. Moreover, nearly 400,000 fewer children entered kindergarten than expected. Those children, too, might not be up to date on their routine vaccinations— further evidence of how pandemic-related disruptions to healthcare and education could have lingering consequences for school-age children.

Routine, safe and effective vaccinations during childhood help prevent 16 diseases. These diseases can have life-altering and sometimes tragic impacts on families. Severe symptoms can include:

  • Skin infections
  • Pneumonia (serious lung infection)
  • Long-term flu-like symptoms
  • Infections causing cancer
  • Severe dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Intense muscle spasms
  • Brain damage
  • Paralysis
  • Deafness (temporary or permanent)
  • Loss of limbs
  • Meningitis (swelling of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord)
  • Encephalitis (swelling of the brain)
  • Orchitis (swelling of the testicles) in males who have reached puberty
  • Oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) and/or mastitis (swelling of the breasts) in females who have reached puberty

The key is for infants, children and adolescents to keep up on their well-child visits for preventive care. These visits allow the doctor to track the child’s growth and development, provide recommended vaccinations and answer questions about the child’s health.

“Immunizations are a key tool to ensuring children stay healthy,” said Dr. Kristin Sohl, President, Missouri Chapter-American Academy of Pediatrics. “We encourage parents and caregivers to schedule well-child checks to ensure your child’s overall health and wellbeing, as well as getting them up-to-date on important vaccinations..”

Missouri falls just below the national average, ranking 30th among states, for children ages 0-17 completing one or more well-child visits in 2021.

“Childhood vaccines have all been studied in depth to determine the most appropriate time in a child’s life for them to be given,” said Dr. Rachel Orscheln, Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Washington University in St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “We really want to vaccinate children at the earliest possible moment because young children, particularly infants, can be at risk of severe illness from certain infections.”

Among children born from 1994-2018, vaccinations will prevent an estimated 936,000 early deaths, 8 million hospitalizations and 419 million illnesses.

The Vaccines for Children program is funded by the CDC and provides free vaccines to children who qualify. Children 18 and under are eligible to receive free vaccines if they are Medicaid-eligible, do not have health insurance, are American Indian or Alaskan Native or are underinsured. Find the nearest Vaccines for Children program provider.

View the schedule of recommended childhood and adolescent vaccinations.

Media contact is Lisa Cox,

DIY TelePharmacy: How Actually to Do It Webinar

Date: April 27, 2022

TelePharmacy allows health care providers to efficiently address patients’ needs and can integrate pharmacists into direct medical care. Learn from one such pharmacist that staffs the HIV clinics that includes the HIV community at large, and the Department of Corrections. These pharmacists address and order medications, vaccines, and needed clinic visits, along with renewing HIV medications for the next year and independently operating the TelePrEP program.

The topics for this webinar are:

  1. Explaining the components needed to do telepharmacy.
  2. How Dr. York actually conducts his outpatient clinics for the Department of Corrections, TelePrEP.
  3. Explaining plan for in-patient telepharmacy.
  4. Krystal Fimbres explains how to interact with the different electronic medical records to provide seamle3ss linkup with patients.

Date: May 18, 2022

Time: 12:00 PM PDT; 1:00 PM MDT; 2:00 PM CDT; 3:00 PM EDT

For more information and registration instructions, please go to the Arizona Telemedicine Program web site.

New 2022 County Health Rankings

Date: April 27, 2022

The annual 2022 County Health Rankings has been released, complete with new measures, evidence-informed strategies, and guidance on achieving a just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic with economic security and health for all.

For more than a decade, actionable data, evidence, guidance, and stories have broadened the nation’s understanding about the wide range of factors – education, income, housing and more – that shape health.

The pandemic revealed and worsened existing barriers to health and well-being such as racism, discrimination and disinvestment.

This year’s release focuses on a recovery that builds toward a healthier, just and more inclusive future. Below are a few of the exciting new things that you’ll find on our website:

  • National Findings Report explores topics key to advancing a just recovery for economic security and health, including a living wage, equitable pay, childcare affordability and availability, and equitable school funding.
  • Seven new measures to support local data-to-action related to income, education, family and social support, and health outcomes.
  • A new curated list of evidence-informed solutions to support a just recovery and close the racial wealth divide including strategies around baby bonds, publicly funded pre-kindergarten and reparations for descendants of formerly enslaved people.
  • Newly launched podcast, In Solidarity, explores the connections between power, place and health through interviews with some of the country’s brightest minds and biggest thinkers. A six-episode series dives into the racial wealth divide’s connection to health.

Find all of the new resources to support your community’s just recovery on the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps website now.

Telementoring & Training for the Health Workforce

Date: April 26, 2022

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) invites you to a webinar on Telementoring & Training for the Health Workforce.

Date: Monday, May 9, 2022

Time: 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm ET | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm CT | 12:00 pm– 1:00 pm PT

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Explain and describe the Community Health Workers-Opioid Use Disorder (CHW-OUD) Project ECHO Program
  • Discuss the best practices, findings, and results from the CHW-OUD Project ECHO Program.
  • Describe how Oklahoma Dementia Care Network (OkDCN) is using Project ECHO to train nursing homes in age-friendly and dementia-friendly care
  • Describe barriers and facilitators to success in using the Age-Friendly Nursing Home Project ECHO
  • Describe the community-based asynchronous tele-dentistry pilot at New York University College of Dentistry

Featured Speakers:

 Joe Zapata, Jr., MSS, CHW, Manager of Academic Programs | South Texas Area Health Education Center, UT Health San Antonio

Lee A. Jennings, MD, MSHS, Associate Professor and Chief | Reynolds Section of Geriatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Kristin Memoli, RDH, Adjunct Clinical Instructor for Pediatric Outreach and Prevention Programs | New York University College of Dentistry

Registration is available here

This webinar is part of HRSA’s Telehealth Learning Webinar Series.  The series’ goal is to highlight successful projects/best practices as well as resources to promote and further the use of telehealth technologies for health care delivery, education, and health information services.

For more information about the series, contact Kim Shiu at

For more resources and tools about telehealth, visit and

Sliding Fee Scale Discount Guide for Critical Access Hospitals and Rural Health Clinics

Date: April 26, 2022

Sliding Fee Scale Discount Guide Updated

Updated April 2022, the Sliding Fee Scale Discount Guide provides critical access hospital (CAH) and rural health clinic (RHC) executive and management teams with concepts and guidance in developing a Sliding Fee Scale Discount Program. It also assists in gaining an understanding of how sliding fee scale discount programs relate to Internal Revenue Code Section 501(r) compliance and participation in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). In addition, the content includes information about:

  • Reasons to implement a sliding fee scale discount program
  • Setting policies
  • Creating a sliding fee scale discount structure
  • Using a sliding fee scale discount in your organization
  • An example of a sliding fee schedule

What is the sliding fee scale discount program?

A sliding fee scale discount program adjusts the amount an eligible patient owes for health care services based on the patient’s ability to pay. Sliding fee scales are a means of addressing the need for equitable access to health services for all individuals.

While the methodology may vary, sliding fees are typically based upon the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) and patient eligibility is determined by annual income and family size. Schedules are established and implemented to ensure that a non-discriminatory, uniform, and reasonable charge is consistently and evenly applied to all qualifying patients.

View the video for more information.