Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

July 30, 2020

National Advisory Group on Rural Health Meets Virtually TodayThe public is invited to join the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services online from noon until 5:00 pm ET July 30, 2020.  The committee of more than 20 rural health experts from across the country convenes twice each year to examine rural health issues and make recommendations to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.  Past meetings have covered topics such as Adverse Childhood Experiences, the impact of suicide, and challenges to maternal and obstetric care. 

HHS Coronavirus Data Hub.  Last week, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) launched a website with data on the COVID-19 response at federal, state, and local levels.  The hub includes estimated and reported hospital capacity by state, with numbers updated daily.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FAQs for COVID-19.  A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from our grantees and stakeholders, updated regularly. 

COVID-19 FAQs and Funding for HRSA Programs.  Find all funding and frequently asked questions for programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

CDC COVID-19 Updates.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides daily updates and guidance, including a section specific to rural health care providers, patients, and community-based organizations.  New this week:  COVID-19 Toolkit for Tribal CommunitiesAnd, in its latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC estimates that more rural counties have a higher prevalence of five underlying medical conditions – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and obesity – associated with increased risk of severe COVID-19-associated illness. 

GHPC’s Collection of Rural Health Strategies for COVID-19.  With support from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), the Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) provides reports, guidance, and innovative strategies gleaned from their technical assistance and peer learning sessions with FORHP grantees.

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Counties.  The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis provides up-to-date data and maps on rural and urban confirmed cases throughout the United States.  An animated map shows the progression of cases beginning January 21.

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019.  The Rural Health Information Hub posted a guide to help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19.  New this week:  Rural Healthcare Surge Readiness a tool developed by the COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Working Group that helps rural healthcare facilities prepare for and respond to a COVID-19 surge.  The tool provides the most up-to-date resources for rural healthcare systems preparing for and responding to a COVID-19 surge in a range of healthcare settings (EMS, inpatient and hospital care, ambulatory care, and long-term care) and covers a range of topics including behavioral health, healthcare operations to telehealth, and more.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

July 27, 2020

National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services Virtual Meeting

Thursday, July 30

11:00 AM – 5:00 PM CT

Register Online

The next meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services (the Committee) will convene online this Thursday, July 30 at 12:00 pm ET.  The public is invited to attend the proceedings lasting until 5:00 pm, though registration is required.  Public comments will be accepted and become part of the official Committee record.  Requests to provide written comments must be submitted by 5:00 pm July 29th.

Also known as the NACRHHS, the Committee was formed in 1987 as an independent advisory group focused on provision of health care and human services in rural areas.  Joining the chair for two meetings each year are 20 committee members who include hospital CEOs, educators, experts on aging, physicians, certified registered nurse anesthetists, physician assistants, researchers, community health center directors and state office of rural health directors.  For each meeting, two areas of focus are selected; committee members conduct site visits and follow up with a policy brief and recommendations for the HHS Secretary.

Past meetings have covered topics such as Adverse Childhood Experiences, the impact of suicide, improving oral health care services, and modernizing Rural Health Clinic provisions.  Visit the NACRHHS website for more details, including the Committee’s recommendations on each of these topics.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

July 23, 2020

New Awards for the Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program (RESEP).  Last week, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy announced nearly $1.6M awarded to eight organizations in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah.  RESEP is a three-year grant program designed to inform and educate the public about radiogenic diseases and provide screening services.  The grantees will also provide referrals for medical treatment and assist eligible individuals with documentation under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act or RECA.

Advance Care Planning: New Realities in Times of COVID-19.  Advance care planning (ACP) is decision-making between a care provider and a patient (or their loved ones) about treatment in a sudden medical crisis.  A new article in The Rural Monitor provides an inside look at the challenges rural clinicians face when ACP is more urgent due to COVID-19.

Rural Philanthropy Response to COVID-19.  In a free-access blog post, the publication Health Affairs highlights rural-focused philanthropies responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by quickly providing funding specific to rural communities and organizations.

Challenges to Rural Harm Reduction During COVID-19.  A new commentary in The Journal of Rural Health examines the relationship between substance use and coronavirus in the Southern Mountains region of Appalachia.  Authors cite recent data showing greater and faster-increasing COVID-19 rates in Appalachia and the South and rural-specific challenges to programs for overdose prevention and infection control.

CDC Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) counts the number of overdose deaths in the 12 months prior to July 5, 2020, based on mortality surveillance data in the National Vital Statistics System.

PCORI Research on Rural Transitions from Hospital to Home.  The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is a non-profit organization that funds projects that in patients and other healthcare stakeholders throughout the research process.  Patients, doctors, and hospital staff from rural Montana helped design this study comparing standard hospital transition support with a new program.  Watch a brief video from PCORI on the importance of including rural populations in research

How Alabama Lowered Its Infant Mortality Rate. The Milbank Foundation examines the strategy that state officials took to bring Alabama’s rate for infant mortality drop to 7.0 deaths per 1000 live births in 2018.  Part of the strategy incorporated a Collaborative Innovation Improvement Network supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at the Health Resources and Services Administration. 

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FAQs for COVID-19.  A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from our grantees and stakeholders, updated regularly.  New this week: Updated FAQs on COVID-19 Testing Funds for Rural Health Clinics.

COVID-19 FAQs and Funding for HRSA ProgramsFind all funding and frequently asked questions for programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

CDC COVID-19 Updates.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides daily updates and guidance, and ongoing Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA)New this week: rural-specific guidance for health care providers, patients, and community-based organizations.   

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Counties.  The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis provides up-to-date data and maps on rural and urban confirmed cases throughout the United States.  An animated map shows the progression of cases beginning January 21.

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019.  The Rural Health Information Hub has created a guide to help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

July 16, 2020

HHS Announces $1 Billion to Certain Rural Providers and Other Providers from Small Metropolitan AreasOn July 10, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced an additional $1 billion in Provider Relief Funds to certain special rural Medicare designation hospitals in urban areas as well as others who provide care in smaller non-rural communities. HHS estimates the funding will provide relief of over $1 billion to 500 of these hospitals with payments ranging from $100,000 to $4,500,000 for rural-designated providers and $100,000 to $2,000,000 for the other providers. This is in addition to the $10 billion in funding to almost 4,000 rural health care providers including hospitals, health clinics, and health centers, announced by HHS in May. 

Telehealth Information for Patients Now Available in Spanish. The recently-created website for telehealth launched by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in April now provides information in Spanish to help patients understand what types of care are available, how to prepare for a telehealth visit, and tips on finding telehealth options. Information in Spanish that’s geared toward providers will be available in the future. 

USPSTF Requesting Comment on Plan for COPD – July 29. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has posted a draft research plan on screening for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Request for Information: Seeking Stakeholder Input on Scientific Gaps and Research Needs Related to Delivery of Cancer-related Care via Telehealth July 30. The National Cancer Institute is seeking information on scientific gaps and research needs related to the delivery of cancer-related care via telehealth. This request for information is part of a planning effort designed to identify promising opportunities and set priorities for research in this area.

CDC Requesting Information on ACEs and Opioid Misuse in Tribal Communities – August 31. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) seeks public comment on an information collection project related to research to identify community-level protective factors and primary prevention strategies.

AJPH Examines the Rural-Urban Gap in Health and Social Services. In a special issue released this week, the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) features a collection of 15 new studies demonstrating the connection between health and social services.  The  publication makes the case that these cross-sector connections have been slower to develop in rural communities than in urban.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FAQs for COVID-19. A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from our grantees and stakeholders, updated regularly. 

COVID-19 FAQs and Funding for HRSA Programs. Find all funding and frequently asked questions for programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

CDC COVID-19 Updates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides daily updates and guidance, and ongoing Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA). New this week:  guidance for transferring patients from overwhelmed local health care facilities

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Counties. The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis provides up-to-date data and maps on rural and urban confirmed cases throughout the United States.  An animated map shows the progression of cases beginning January 21.

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019. The Rural Health Information Hub has created a guide to help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

July 9, 2020

HRSA Makes Awards for the Rural Health Network Development Planning Program.  The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $2 million for this one-year, community-driven program designed to assist in the planning and development of an integrated health care network at the local level. By emphasizing the role of networks, the program creates a platform for medical care providers, social service providers, and community organizations to coalesce key elements of a rural health care delivery system to improve local capacity and coordination of care. Administered by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) at HRSA, the Network Planning program is an opportunity for rural health care and social service providers to implement new and innovative approaches to care that may in turn serve as a model for other rural communities. Visit the Rural Health Information Hub online to learn more about successful program models and evidence-based toolkits that have come from the work of FORHP-funded projects.

Request for Information: Seeking Stakeholder Input on Scientific Gaps and Research Needs Related to Delivery of Cancer-related Care via Telehealth – July 30.  The National Cancer Institute is seeking information on scientific gaps and research needs related to the delivery of cancer-related care via telehealth. This request for information is part of a planning effort designed to identify promising opportunities and set priorities for research in this area.

NIH Request for Information: Clinical Experience in Suicide Prevention in Primary Care Settings – August 7.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) seeks information from the public to better understand the opportunities and barriers in the primary care community regarding efforts to care for individuals with suicide risk. Relevant topics include how suicide screening is deployed, cultural/linguistic needs of patients, reaching disparity populations, and telehealth adaptations.

How One Hospital Transitioned a HRSA-Funded Program to Address COVID-19A new feature article in The Rural Monitor profiles a Pennsylvania hospital that credits its previous award of the HRSA Outreach Program grant for 2015-2018 for their quick transition from in-person visits to telehealth under quarantine. Butler Memorial Hospital received the grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy for a three-year program to help patients access resources for managing chronic disease.

USDA Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America.  The Economic Research Service (ERS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has updated its atlas to include county population estimates and annual unemployment/employment data for 2019. Researchers at the ERS use data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, an ongoing function of the Census that keeps track of changes in demographics, employment trends, household incomes, veterans’ status, and other factors that help determine how federal and state funds are distributed.

ONC: Health Information Management at Substance Abuse Treatment Centers.  The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) leads the federal effort to support health information technology systems nationwide. For this report, ONC reviewed a survey conducted in 2017 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in which 13,585 U.S. substance abuse treatment centers were queried about their use of computers or electronic resources to store and exchange treatment records.

Telehealth Availability in US Hospitals in the Face of the COVID‐19 PandemicThe Journal of Rural Health grants free access to this research policy brief that examines telehealth availability and readiness in U.S. hospitals. The variables examined include organizational factors, county population, geography, and census divisions.

GAO: FCC Needs Comprehensive Strategic Planning for 5G Deployment.  The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that plans by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deploy the next generation of wireless communication technology, called 5G, do not have specific and measurable performance goals and may widen the digital divide for rural areas.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FAQs for COVID-19.  A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from our grantees and stakeholders, updated regularly.

COVID-19 FAQs and Funding for HRSA Programs Find all funding and frequently asked questions for programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

CDC COVID-19 Updates.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides daily updates and guidance, and ongoing Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA).

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Counties.  The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis provides up-to-date data and maps on rural and urban confirmed cases throughout the United States. An animated map shows the progression of cases beginning January 21.

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019.  The Rural Health Information Hub has created a guide to help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

July 2, 2020

FORHP Awards Rural Health Network Development ProgramThe Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) has recently announced that 44 rural health networks were awarded approximately $13 million for the new competitive funding cycle of the Rural Health Network Development (RHND) Program.  The RHND Program is a three-year grant program designed to provide support to integrated health care networks who address the health care needs of their rural communities. Recipients are expected to achieve efficiencies, expand access to and improve the quality of essential health care services, and strengthen the rural health care system as a whole. Awarded applications range in a variety of focus areas including care coordination, value based care, chronic disease management, and behavioral health services. As FORHP continues to focus on sharing program outcomes, the identification and dissemination of rural evidence-based models maintains a priority. The Rural Health Information Hub (RHI hub) consists of a number of resources, including successful program models and evidence-based toolkits.

COVID-Related Provider Relief Funds for Medicaid and CHIP Providers – July 20.  Providers participating in state programs for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) may still apply for emergency funding related to the pandemic distributed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to support the health care safety net. The initial Medicare-targeted General Distribution of funds through the CARES Act and the Payment Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provided payments to nearly 320,000 providers who bill for Medicare fee-for-service. The Medicaid and CHIP Targeted distribution will make the Provider Relief Fund available to an additional 800,000 providers. The payment to each provider will be at least two percent of reported gross revenue from patient care; the final amount each provider receives will be determined after the data is submitted. Applicants must submit their data in the online portal created for this purpose by July 20. 

ONDCP Rural Community Toolbox.  The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) developed this resource to serve as a clearinghouse for funding, technical assistance, and other information from 16 Federal departments and agencies to support local action against opioid use disorder (OUD) in rural America. The toolbox also houses a Community Assessment Tool, which gives county-specific data about overdose deaths and factors that may make a community more vulnerable to OUD, and a Rural Community Action Guide, providing rural leaders with recommended action steps to address OUD in their communities.

NACo: Nursing Homes & COVID-19The National Association of Counties (NACo) gives an overview of COVID-19 cases in nursing home facilities across the U.S., many of which are county-owned and operated. The brief is a resource for counties on federal guidance, policies, and data and includes a case study on expanding testing in rural Linn County, Oregon.

Request for Information: NIH Seeking Input on Health Disparities in Neurological Disease and Care – July 15.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) seeks input from scientists, clinicians, patients, families, caregivers, advocates, and the broader community on the most important knowledge gaps, health and research needs, and promising opportunities to help guide the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s (NINDS) research. These disparities and inequities may exist across several demographic factors, including race/ethnicity, food/housing insecurity, socioeconomic status, geographic location, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, educational attainment, age, disability, etc. Responses are encouraged from all interested stakeholders.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FAQs for COVID-19.  A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from our grantees and stakeholders, updated regularly. 

COVID-19 FAQs and Funding for HRSA Programs.  Find all funding and frequently asked questions for programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

CDC COVID-19 Updates.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides daily updates and guidance, and ongoing Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA). New this week: a COVID data tracker map includes county-level data on cases and deaths

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Counties.  The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis provides up-to-date data and maps on rural and urban confirmed cases throughout the United States.  An animated map shows the progression of cases beginning January 21.

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019.  The Rural Health Information Hub has created a guide to help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19.

Rural Health Network Development Program

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) has awarded approximately $13 million to 44 rural health networks for the Rural Health Network Development (RHND) Program. This is a three-year opportunity designed to support integrated rural health care networks address the health care needs of their rural communities. 

Recipients will receive up to $300,000 per year and are expected to achieve efficiencies, expand access to and improve the quality of essential health care services, and strengthen the rural health care system as a whole. Awarded applications range in a variety of focus areas including care coordination, value based care, chronic disease management, and behavioral health services.

Historically, grantees have been successful in leveraging finances by using FORHP grants to sustain their efforts; they have been able to combine federal funds with local and foundation dollars to support the continuation and development of health care services in rural areas. Organizations have innovatively expanded their programs to serve different populations and regions while ensuring that their programs align with the current health care landscape. Any opportunities you may find to engage and collaborate with the new cohort of RHND grantees would be greatly appreciated.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

June 25, 2020

HHS Announces Partnership with Morehouse School of Medicine to Fight COVID-19 in Vulnerable Communities. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced the selection of the Morehouse School of Medicine as the awardee for a new $40 million initiative to fight COVID-19 in racial and ethnic minority, rural, and socially vulnerable communities. The initiative – the National Infrastructure for Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 within Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities (NIMIC) – is a three-year project designed to work with community-based organizations across the nation to deliver education, information, and resources.

HHS Makes Awards to Grow and Train the Health Workforce. Last week, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced $107.2 million awarded to 310 recipients to increase the health workforce in rural and underserved communities. Recipients across 45 states and U.S. territories will receive funding to improve the quality, distribution, and diversity of health professionals serving across the country. These grant programs will help create a modern health workforce and place skilled health care professionals in high-need areas nationwide.

State Rural Hospital and Community COVID-19 Vulnerability. Researchers at the University of North Carolina Rural Health Research Program created a chart that shows the number of rural hospitals in each state and measures community vulnerability using the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index

NIH National COVID Cohort Collaborative. As part of an effort to help scientists understand COVID and develop treatments, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched a centralized, secure enclave to store and study clinical record data from people who have been diagnosed.  The collaborative aims to transform clinical information into knowledge urgently needed to study COVID-19, including health risk factors that indicate better or worse outcomes of the disease, and identify potentially effective treatments.

Experts Talk About the Rural Aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease. A new feature article in the Rural Monitor looks extensively at data, challenges, and resources Alzheimer’s in rural areas. 

AHRQ: Characteristics and Costs of Potentially Preventable Inpatient Stays. The Agency for Healthcare Research Quality (AHRQ) examines the costs of potentially preventable hospitalizations, with a comparison of metropolitan and rural hospitals.  The report is part of AHRQs Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, a collection of data and analyzation tools to enable research on a broad range of health policy issues.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FAQs for COVID-19. A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from our grantees and stakeholders, updated regularly. 

COVID-19 FAQs and Funding for HRSA Programs. Find all funding and frequently asked questions for programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

CDC COVID-19 Updates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides daily updates and guidance, and ongoing Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA).

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Counties. The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis provides up-to-date data and maps on rural and urban confirmed cases throughout the United States.  An animated map shows the progression of cases beginning January 21.

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019. The Rural Health Information Hub has created a guide to help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

June 18, 2020

New Funding Opportunity: Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (RCORP-NAS) – July 20.  The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) will be making a $15 million investment, over three years, for approximately 30 grants to reduce the incidence and impact of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).  Over a three-year project period, grant recipients will conduct a combination of prevention, treatment, and recovery activities to improve systems of care, family supports, and social determinants of health. While the focus of RCORP-NAS is primarily opioid use disorder (OUD), applicants may also choose to address additional substances of concern or substance use disorders (SUDs) among pregnant women, mothers, and women of childbearing age who have a history of, or who are at risk for, SUD/OUD and their children, families, and caregivers who reside in rural areas.  Applicant organizations may be located in an urban or rural area; however, all activities supported by the program must exclusively occur in HRSA-designated rural areas.  See the Events section below for an upcoming webinar for applicants. 

The Hidden Pandemic Behind COVID-19.  Cases of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual exploitation in the time of COVID-19 appear to have risen in emergency rooms and health clinics across the country since March. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has published a 4-page document entitled Intimate Partner Violence and Child Abuse Considerations During COVID-19 with hyperlinks to relevant SAMHSA and non-SAMHSA resources.   If you would like to view the HRSA webinar on this subject, access the recording by registering with this link. This will redirect you to the recording where you can watch the full session and download the slide presentation and resources shared. For audio replay, please use the line 866-360-7719, with passcode 52020.  

HRSA on Child Poverty and Mental Health.  A new study published in the Journal of Children and Poverty finds an association between family economic hardship and child mental health conditions.  Researchers at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) based the study on data from the 2016 and 2017 National Surveys of Children’s Health, which is a nationally representative survey of U.S. Children ages 0 to 17. 

#WellChildWednesdays @HRSAgov.  Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assessed the impact of the pandemic on pediatric vaccinations and found a noticeable decline beginning in the week after the national emergency declaration.  To help remind parents and caregivers of the need to protect children from preventable disease such as measles, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will be releasing social media messages with the hashtag #WellChildWednesdays.  Message will address well visits, immunizations, adolescent and young adult care, and nutrition, safety, and mental health as topics to be discussed with pediatric providers.

CDC: Trends in Occupational Lung Diseases.  In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examined deaths due to pneumoconiosis – preventable occupational lung disease caused by inhaling dust particles such as coal or mineral dust.  From 1968 to 2000, death rates for all pneumoconioses decreased, though preventable deaths continue to occur.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FAQs for COVID-19.  A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from our grantees and stakeholders, updated regularly. 

COVID-19 FAQs and Funding for HRSA Programs. Find all funding and frequently asked questions for programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

CDC COVID-19 Updates.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides daily updates and guidance, and ongoing Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA).

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Counties.  The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis provides up-to-date data and maps on rural and urban confirmed cases throughout the United States.  An animated map shows the progression of cases beginning January 21.

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019.  The Rural Health Information Hub has created a guide to help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

June 11, 2020

New Black Lung Clinics Grants Awarded. Last week, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy announced $11.2 million awarded to 15 recipients for the new competitive cycle of the Black Lung Clinics Program (BLCP).  The purpose of this program is to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with occupationally-related coal mine dust lung disease through the provision of quality medical, outreach, educational, and benefits counseling services for active, inactive, retired, and disabled US coal miners.  In an effort to address current disease trends, the program includes an emphasis on Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis & Progressive Massive Fibrosis.  Additionally, the University of Illinois at Chicago received funding for the Black Lung Data and Resource Center. The program aims to strengthen the operations of BLCP recipients through programmatic assistance and improved data collection and analysis related to the health status and needs of U.S. coal miners.

SAMHSA Reports on COVID-19 and Behavioral Health Disparities in Black and Latino Communities.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides data on social and economic factors that contribute to poor health outcomes in communities of color.  A separate issue brief from SAMHSA presents recent data on the prevalence of opioid misuse and death in the Black/African American population.

RWJF: Health Equity Principles for Re-opening and Recovering from COVID-19.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) released a brief for state and local leaders with considerations for health equity in the public health response to the pandemic. 

Housing Assistance Council: Half of Rural Households Have Responded to Census. The national non-profit reports on the way long-established challenges and the pandemic have slowed the response from rural households.

2020 National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Assessment.  The report from the National Association of State EMS Officials describes emergency medical services at the state and national levels and includes sources and amounts of federal funding, including the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. 

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FAQs for COVID-19.  A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from our grantees and stakeholders, updated regularly. 

COVID-19 FAQs and Funding for HRSA Programs. Find all funding and frequently asked questions for programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

CDC COVID-19 Updates.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides daily updates and guidance, and ongoing Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA).

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Counties.  The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis provides up-to-date data and maps on rural and urban confirmed cases throughout the United States.  An animated map shows the progression of cases beginning January 21.

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019.  The Rural Health Information Hub has created a guide to help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19.