Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Updates

October 15, 2020

HRSA Releases 2019-2020 Report on Health Equity. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released a report on health equity across the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health equity is achieved when no one is disadvantaged from achieving their full health potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances. 

CDC: Motor Vehicle Traffic Death Rates Among Adolescents and Young Adults Aged 15–24. A new data brief from the CDC reports that motor vehicle traffic (MVT) deaths generally declined between 2000 and 2018, but rates were about twice as high in rural than urban areas for both males and females.

CDC: Increase in Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Cocaine. In a separate brief, the CDC reports that, between 2009 and 2018, the rate of overdose deaths involving cocaine rose significantly across all age groups, gender identities, and racial/ethnic categories. The overdose death rate in 2018 involving cocaine with concurrent use of opioids was triple the rate of those without any concurrent opioid use. Among all regions of the country—Northeast, Midwest, South, and West—rates were significantly lower in rural counties than in urban counties; however, the rate in Northeastern rural counties was about triple the rates of Midwestern, Southern, and Western rural counties.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

October 8, 2020

HRSA’s National Survey of Children’s Health. Each year the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) collects information from parents and caregivers on the physical, emotional, and behavioral health of children ages 0-17 years old in the United States. The survey is meant to be a tool with reliable data for researchers and policymakers on a wide range of factors that can influence children’s health – from the prevalence and impact of special health care needs, to adverse childhood experiences and mental and behavioral health. HRSA also released a new brief on Rural/Urban Differences in Children’s Health using the combined data of the 2017-2018 surveys.

HHS Announces Phase 3 of Provider Relief Funds. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has allocated $20 billion for a Phase 3 CARES Act Provider Relief Funds (PRF) distribution. Behavioral health care providers and new providers that began practicing in the first quarter of 2020 may submit applications for payment between October 5 and November 6. Providers who previously received, rejected, or accepted a General Distribution PRF payment of two percent of annual revenue from patient care may also apply for this round of funding.

FCC Extends Purchasing Deadline for COVID-19 Telehealth Program. The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau has extended the deadline for recipients of COVID-19 Telehealth Program funding to purchase eligible telehealth devices and implement services to December 31. 

CDC: Rates of Alcohol Induced Deaths Among Adults in Urban and Rural Areas. A new data brief from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, among adults aged 25 and older, deaths caused by alcohol were stable from 2000 to 2006, but then increased 43 percent between 2006 and 2018. During that same time, death rates increased for men and women at all levels of urbanization. For women in rural areas, the death rate was among the lowest in 2000; by 2018, rates for women in noncore areas had more than doubled.

Sleeve Up to Fight Flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a new social media campaign, “#SleeveUp to #FightFlu.” encouraging everyone aged 6 months and older to get the flu vaccine. Widespread vaccination will help reduce the strain on health care systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC’s preliminary estimates for the 2019-2020 flu season include up to 740,000 hospitalizations and up to 62,000 deaths. 

RWJF: National Trends and Demographics in Suicide Deaths. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) reports on the trend of increasing suicide rates in the United States. Data details compare rates by age, race, gender, and urbanization from the years 2000 to 2018;  a companion brief includes state-level trends.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

October 1, 2020

New Research on Child Health. A new report from the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics compares 41 indicators of well-being in children by the type of community they live in. (These are metropolitan, nonmetropolitan, micropolitan, or rural, according to the Office of Management and Budget.) The brief finds that infant mortality rates were highest in rural counties (6.8 per 1,000). During the same time, the mortality rate for Hispanic and American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic infants was also higher for those living in rural counties than those living in micropolitan and metropolitan counties. Separately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Mental Health Treatment Among Children Aged 5-17 years, 2019, finding that as the level of urbanization decreased, the percentage of children who had taken medication for their mental health increased.

GAO: Federal Efforts on COVID-19 Could Be Strengthened. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviews data collection, equipment and testing supplies, and economic payouts, among other issues related to the pandemic and makes 16 recommendations to address them. 

The Impact of Coronavirus on Households Across America. This is the third in a series of reports based on surveys conducted by NPR, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. With a significant section on rural households, the report finds that many challenges cascading from the pandemic are due to long-standing inequities. 

COVID-19 Resources

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, and a Toolkit for Tribal Communities. New this week: the Changing Age Distribution of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

CMS Coronavirus Stakeholder Calls. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosts recurring online sessions to share information related to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the health care community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

HHS Coronavirus Data Hub. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) launched a website in July 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.

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. The online resource now includes Rural Healthcare Surge Readiness, a tool with resources for healthcare systems preparing for and responding to a COVID-19 surge in their communities.

SAMHSA Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created this list of resources, tools, and trainings. 

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements – New Funding Opportunity

September 30, 2020

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy has released the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program (Outreach) (HRSA-21-027).  HRSA plans to award 60 grants to rural communities as part of this funding opportunity.

Review the NOFO at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=326599  

The Outreach Program administered by HRSA’s FORHP focuses on expanding the delivery of health care services to include new and enhanced services exclusively in rural communities. Applicants are required to deliver health care services through a consortium of at least three health care provider organizations, use an evidence-based or promising practice model to inform their approach, and demonstrate health outcomes and sustainability by the end of the four-year performance period.

In addition to funding Outreach programs through the regular Outreach track, in FY 21, FORHP will also afford applicants a unique opportunity to take part in a national effort that targets rural health disparities through a second track called the “Healthy Rural Hometown Initiative.” This initiative was created through the HHS Rural Task Force and driven by findings from report published by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2019 that noted that the number of preventable death from the five leading cause of death in rural areas was higher than those in urban areas. Unfortunately, these findings echo earlier CDC research on the rural disparities in avoidable or excess death in 2017.

The Healthy Rural Hometown Initiative (HRHI) is an effort that seeks to address the underlying factors that are driving growing rural health disparities related to the five leading causes of avoidable death (heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury/substance use, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke). The goal of the HRHI track is to demonstrate the collective impact of projects that better manage conditions, address risk factors and focus on prevention that relate to the leading causes of death in rural communities. This track should be a good fit for applicants who want to identify and bridge the gap between the social determinants of health and other systemic issues that contribute to achieving health equity with regards to excess death in rural communities. Furthermore, this is a rural-specific and community-based approach to addressing these disparities and represents a new and more targeted strategy given the enduring health gaps between rural and urban populations.

Of the successful 60 award recipients, HRSA aims to award approximately 45 to regular Outreach track applicants and at least 15 to HRHI applicants for a ceiling amount of up to $200,000 (Regular Outreach) or $250,000 (HRHI) total cost (includes both direct and indirect, facilities and administrative costs) per year (and final numbers will be subject to how applicants score). 

The HRHI is part of an ongoing multi-year effort by FORHP to highlight how rural community health efforts can improve health at the local level. We are encouraging rural health stakeholders to join us in this broader effort while also taking on the challenge of addressing these long-standing rural health disparities related to the five leading causes of death. 

NOTE: The eligibility criteria for this program has changed and now includes all domestic public and private, nonprofit and for-profit entities with demonstrated experience serving, or the capacity to serve, rural underserved populations. Urban-based organizations applying as the lead applicant should ensure there is a high degree of rural control in the project. The applicant organization must represent a network that includes at least three or more health care provider organizations and, at least 66% (or two-thirds) of consortium members must be located in a HRSA-designated rural area.

Please review the guidance in its entirety for more information about eligibility criteria and specific program requirements. Visit www.grants.gov to review the Outreach NOFO and apply. Learn about the Outreach Program.

A webinar for applicants is scheduled on Tuesday October 13, from 3-4:30 p.m., EST. A recording will be made available for those who cannot attend.

For more information about this funding opportunity, contact the Program Coordinator, Alexa Ofori, at RuralOutreachProgram@hrsa.gov.  

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

September 24, 2020

Tool for Rural Grant Eligibility Updated. The Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer tool has been updated to include the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) revised delineations for metropolitan, micropolitan, and combined statistical areas.

Comments Requested:  Modifications to the Definition of Rural for FORHP Grants – October 23.  The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) proposed modifications to the definition of ‘rural’ used to designate areas to be eligible for its rural health grants. The proposed definitions are based on a data-driven methodology that will allow community organizations serving rural populations within metro areas to be able to apply for grants as well as allow more of the rural populations within metro areas to access services provided using grant funds.

CDC: Urban-Rural Differences in Suicide Rates, 2000-2018. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used data from the National Vital Statistics System to find that suicide rates increased overall for urban and rural areas for the years studied, with the pace of increase greater for rural suicide rates. The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics has released their findings from a survey on Mental Health Treatment Among Adults in 2019. Results show that overall, as the level of urbanization decreased, the percentage of adults who had taken medication for their mental health increased, and the percentage who had received counseling or therapy decreased. 

SAMHSA: National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In its annual report, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) presents data on the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, as well as trends in mental health and access to treatment. Statistics cover a range of demographic and geographic characteristics, including comparison of urban and rural. 

Census Report on Income and Poverty in the United States, 2019. The report from the U.S. Census Bureau presents data based on information collected every month in the Current Population Survey (CPS). Findings show a median household income of $68,703 in 2019, with a 1.3 percent decline in the official poverty rate. 

New Report on Post-Acute Care in Rural America.  The National Rural Health Resource Center released findings from their May 2020 Virtual Summit, which focused on the issues, challenges, and strategies related to the integration of acute and post-acute care in rural areas. The report covers the current state of rural post-acute care, including the impact of COVID-19, and explores strategies and tactics to address key issues, such as payment, workforce, and community care coordination.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

September 17, 2020

HHS Announces Awards for Opioid Response In Rural Communities. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced approximately $25 million in funding for two projects within the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP), a multi-year initiative to reduce morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD) in high-risk rural communities. Of the awards made, approximately $15 million was awarded to 30 organizations to reduce the incidence of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome through the RCORP-NAS Program. An additional $10 million was awarded to 50 recipients to build partnerships and expand capacity for SUD/OUD treatment through the RCORP-Planning Program. The National Health Service Corps is a collaborator on the RCORP initiative to address SUD/OUD provider shortages in rural communities. These investments build upon RCORP awards made in August, reflecting a total fiscal year 2020 investment of nearly $115 million.

HHS Strategy to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccine. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its strategy to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine after one has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration. It focuses on four key tasks necessary to ensure access and the requirements for each. The primary task is to engage with state, tribal, territorial, and local partners, other stakeholders, and the public to communicate public health information, before and after distribution begins.

CDC:  Delay or Avoidance of Medical Care Because of COVID-19-Related Concerns. In its latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) presents findings of a survey conducted in June of this year. Researchers estimate that 41 percent of U.S. adults had delayed or avoided medical care because of concerns about COVID-19. Avoidance of urgent or emergency care was more prevalent among unpaid caregivers for adults, persons with underlying medical conditions, Black adults, Hispanic adults, young adults, and persons with disabilities. The findings indicate missed opportunities for management of chronic conditions, receipt of routine vaccinations, or early detection of new conditions, which might worsen outcomes.

Public Health Leaders’ Testimony on Vaccinations. Two of the nation’s top leaders in public health delivered testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) about the importance of immunizations for children and adults. Written testimony of NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and Surgeon General VADM Jerome Adams is available here on the HELP Committee’s website, and you may watch a recording of the full three-hour session.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

September 10, 2020

HHS Rural Action Plan to Improve Care.  Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Rural Action Plan, outlining existing and upcoming Federal activities to improve care in rural communities.  It examines the key challenges facing rural communities and lays out a four-point strategy to transform rural health and human services:  1) build a sustainable health and human services model for rural communities; 2) leverage technology and innovation; 3) focus on preventing disease and mortality; and 4) increase rural access to care. 

AJPH: A Public Health Lens on Rural Health.  The September issue of the American Journal of Public Health devotes a special section to rural health with free access to articles on challenges and emerging opportunities. 

NCSL on State Strategies to Reverse Suicide Trends.  The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) cites higher rates of suicide in rural areas in its guide covering statistics, risk factors, and effect on specific populations.  The report examines state-level initiatives including Mental Health First Aid Training, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, and the Zero Suicide framework.

HHS Coronavirus Data Hub.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) launched a website in July 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.

CMS Coronavirus Stakeholder Calls.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosts recurring online sessions to share information related to COVID-19.  These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

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, and a Toolkit for Tribal CommunitiesNew this week: MMWR Weekly COVID-19 Briefing is now a podcast series with the latest scientific information published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

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.  Now including Rural Healthcare Surge Readiness, a tool with resources for healthcare systems preparing for and responding to a COVID-19 surge in their communities.

SAMHSA Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created this list of resources, tools, and trainings. 

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

September 3, 2020

Deadline for COVID-Related Provider Relief Fund Extended to September 13.  Providers participating in state programs for Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, Children’s Health Insurance Program, dental providers, and certain Medicare providers may still apply for emergency funding related to the pandemic.

Three Federal Departments Team Up for Rural Health Initiative.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a new effort to collaborate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Federal Communications Commission to promote broadband services and technology to rural areas.

Comments Requested: NAM Framework for Allocating COVID-19 Vaccine – September 4.  Responding to a request from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NAM) have formed a committee to study and help plan for equitable allocation of vaccines against COVID-19.  Input from the public, especially communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic, is needed to develop a discussion draft for the committee.  The comment period opened on September 1 and closed at 11:59 p.m. ET, September 4.

HHS Coronavirus Data Hub.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) launched a website in July 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, and a Toolkit for Tribal CommunitiesNew this week: MMWR Weekly COVID-19 Briefing is now a podcast series with the latest scientific information published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

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.  Now including Rural Healthcare Surge Readiness, a tool with resources for healthcare systems preparing for and responding to a COVID-19 surge in their communities.

SAMHSA Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created this list of resources, tools, and trainings. 

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

August 21, 2020

HHS Awards over $35 Million to Rural Health Programs. Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded over $35 million to more than 50 rural organizations across 33 states as part of a sustained federal effort to increase access to high quality care in rural communities.

Federal Resources to Improve Living at Home in Rural Areas. Three federal departments – the Departments of Health & Human Services, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development –released a joint informational bulletin summarizing the federal resources available to improve home safety for older adults and people with disabilities in rural areas. It describes how states can improve accessibility of home environments through Medicaid, programs that can facilitate home repair and modification, initiatives to reduce and prevent falls, resources to support aging in place, and loan opportunities for mortgages and housing repair.

Catch-Up to Get Ahead on Childhood Immunizations. In support of National Immunization Awareness Month, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recently launched Catch-Up to Get Ahead: A National Immunization Initiative for Children. This campaign aims to increase childhood immunization rates in the wake of significant declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Use messages and graphics in the Catch-Up to Get Ahead Toolkit to help spread awareness to parents and caregivers.

HHS Coronavirus Data Hub. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) launched a website in July 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, and a Toolkit for Tribal Communities. New this week: report on higher rates of mental health issues, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation during the pandemic

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. Now including Rural Healthcare Surge Readiness, a tool with resources for healthcare systems preparing for and responding to a COVID-19 surge in their communities.

NEW: SAMHSA Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created this list of resources, tools, and trainings. 

Funding: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Special Announcement

August 18, 2020

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy has released the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Rural Health Network Development Planning Program (Network Planning) (HRSA-21-021).  HRSA plans to award 20 grants to rural communities as part of this funding opportunity.

Review the NOFO at:  https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=326598

Successful Network Planning award recipients will receive up to $100,000 for a one-year period of performance to promote the development of integrated health care networks in order to (i) achieve efficiencies; (ii) expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of basic health care services; and (iii) strengthen the rural health care system as a whole. This program brings together key parts of a rural health care delivery system, particularly those entities that may not have collaborated in the past, to work together to establish or improve local capacity and coordination of care.

NOTE: The eligibility criteria for this program has been reauthorized  to include all domestic public and private, nonprofit and for-profit entities with demonstrated experience serving, or the capacity to serve, rural underserved populations. Urban-based organizations applying as the lead applicant should ensure there is a high degree of rural control in the project. The applicant organization must represent a network that includes at least three or more health care provider organizations and, at least 66% (or two-thirds) of network members must be located in a HRSA-designated rural area.

Tribes and tribal organizations under the same tribal governance must still meet the consortium criteria of three or more entities, but are only required to have a single Employer Identification Number (EIN) located in a HRSA-designated rural area to be eligible. Applicant organizations that share the same EIN as its parent organization, or organizations with the same network who are proposing different projects, are eligible to apply by requesting an exception request.

Current FY 20 Network Planning grant recipients may not apply for this funding opportunity if they have previously received a Network Planning grant for the same or similar project unless the entity is proposing to expand the scope of the project or the area that will be served through the project.

Visit www.grants.gov to review the Network Planning NOFO and apply. Learn about the Network Planning Program.

A webinar for applicants is scheduled on Wednesday October 7, from 3-4 p.m., EST. A recording will be made available for those who cannot attend.

For more information about this funding opportunity contact the Program Coordinator, Jillian Causey, at JCausey@hrsa.gov.