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.


EMS Quality Improvement Partnership: Reducing Lights-and-Siren Use in EMS

November 17, 2021

The National EMS Quality Alliance is recruiting EMS agencies from around the country to participate in a project on the use of lights and sirens.  This project is voluntary and is limited to 50 EMS agencies/system.

There will be an informational webinar on Dec 16th  from 3:00-4:00 pm ET.  Registration can be found here:

Further information, including how to sign-up can be found below.

National EMS Quality Improvement Partnership Reduce Lights-and-Siren Use in EMS

Navigating Rural EMS Change

Date: October 20, 2021

Sustainable Rural EMS: Navigating Change

An Introduction and Guide

For more than five decades, rural ambulance services across the U.S. have been primarily staffed by volunteers. As volunteerism declines and rural ambulance staffing becomes more unpredictable, it would be prudent to ask if your community has an emergency medical services (EMS) problem.

 The Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC), the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), and our many EMS partners are steadfast in helping communities navigate changes occurring within rural healthcare.

The Sustainable Rural EMS: Navigating Change An Introduction and Guide is designed to assist rural communities in navigating a change from unsustainable volunteer EMS and ambulance service models to sustainable ones. This guide is intended to direct community leaders through change based on a stepped process that has been used in rural communities throughout the U.S. It includes information on assessing if a community has an EMS problem, the needed ingredients to change, and a six-step process to implement change to a more sustainable model of rural EMS.

Recognizing early indicators of a problem helps ensure there is never a time when emergency medical help is needed, and no one responds. This potential situation is not hypothetical. Increasingly, rural ambulance services are being called and are unable to respond. In a survey of rural ambulance services in South Dakota in 2016, one-third reported not being able to respond because of a shortage of volunteers, and another one-third reported delays due to insufficient staffing


Portal Opens for Provider Relief Funding Applications, Awards for ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S., and Primary Health Care Infrastructure

Latest Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Data Highlight Children’s Mental Health Needs

A letter from Dr. Michael D. Warren, Pediatrician and Associate Administrator for the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) at HRSA

The health and well-being of our children will determine the future of our nation.  As we recognized Child Health Day on Monday, I reflected on the nation’s journey through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the barriers children faced to growing and developing physically, socially, and emotionally this past year and a half.

Read Dr. Warren’s letter.

HHS Awards $2.21 Billion in Fiscal Year 2021 to Help Americans Access HIV Care, Support Services, and Medication

October 5 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced approximately $2.21 billion in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funding for cities, counties, states, and local community-based organizations in fiscal year (FY) 2021. This funding, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), supports a comprehensive system of HIV primary medical care, medication, and essential support services critical to improving the health outcomes of nearly 560,000 people with HIV in the United States.

Read the release.

Biden-Harris Administration Provides Nearly $1 Billion in American Rescue Plan Funds to Modernize Health Centers and Support Underserved Communities

September 28 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded nearly $1 billion in American Rescue Plan funding to nearly 1,300 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program-funded health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to support major health care construction and renovation projects. These awards will strengthen our primary health care infrastructure and advance health equity and health outcomes in medically underserved communities, including through projects that support COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination. The awards were made through the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Read the release.

HHS Announces $350 Million to Strengthen Maternal and Child Health Across the Nation

Health care providers can apply for $25.5 billion in provider relief funds. The package includes $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) resources for those who serve rural patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It also includes $17 billion for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 for a broad range of providers experiencing changes in operating revenues and expenses.

Providers may apply for both programs with a single application. HHS is hosting technical assistance webinars for applicants. 

Application Due Date: Tuesday, October 26, 11:59 p.m. ET.

HIV and Aging Webinar: Enhancing Support Services for Older Adults with HIV

Join the HIV/AIDS Bureau and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) on Friday, October 22, 1 p.m. ET for a national HIV and aging webinar.

Presentations will include:

  • ACL and its network of programs and services
  • Area Agencies on Aging from USAging
  • ACL’s Evidence Based Chronic Disease Self-Management Education program
  • Healthcare Information and Counseling Programs’ support of older adults with HIV who are aging in the RWHAP

Presenters will offer examples of how state and local aging agencies have collaborated successfully with RWHAP providers. The target audience includes RWHAP providers and people with HIV.

Register for the webinar.

New Workforce Projections Dashboard and Primary Care Data Available

Will there be a shortage or surplus of primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants in the coming years?

The new health workforce projections dashboard allows users to view projections of supply and demand for health care workers by occupation, geographic area, and year, including the newest set of primary care projections. Policymakers can use this data to help limit shortages and surpluses. 

In the calculations, HHS factored in:

  • Changing population size, demographics, and location
  • New and exiting providers across the occupation
  • Differences in levels of access to care

Join the webinar on Thursday, October 14, 2 – 3:30 p.m. ET to learn more about this new tool. 

NIH Pathways to Prevention Workshop

Join the Associate Administrator for Rural Health Policy, Tom Morris, on Tuesday, October 12, as he and other speakers kick off the 3-day NIH Pathways to Prevention (P2P) Workshop.

The workshop will discuss how telehealth can help providers collaborate to improve care for rural patients. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions and comments during discussion periods.

Register for the workshop

Three-Part HIV Primary Care Webinar Series

Register for a three-part HIV primary care webinar series that the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA) Region 2 office is hosting in collaboration with Mount Sinai Institute for Advanced Medicine and the HIV Primary Care and the Prevention Center of Excellence. The series aims to provide medical providers updates to HIV primary care in New York State.

  • Part 1, Tuesday, October 12, 12 – 1 p.m. ET 
    Primary Care for Adults Living with HIV will explore the key concepts and best practices when providing primary care services to adults with living with HIV. 
  • Part 2, Tuesday, October 19, 12 – 1 p.m. ET
    HIV Prevention Updates will focus on PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) efficacy and use, New York State PrEP guidelines, and evidence and guidelines for PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).
  • Part 3, Tuesday, October 26, 12 -1 p.m. ET
    Antiretroviral Therapy Updates with Protocol for Rapid Initiation will be a deep dive in antiretroviral therapy updates with protocol for rapid initiation. 

All providers are welcome. Free CME, CNE & CPE are only available for New York State medical providers (1 CE per session).​

DATA 2000 Waiver Training Payments Still Available for Rural Health Clinics

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) continues to accept applications for payment from Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) employing buprenorphine-waivered providers under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) Waiver Training Payment Program. 

The program gives RHCs the opportunity to apply for a $3,000 payment for each eligible employed provider who attained a DATA 2000 waiver on or 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.

HRSA is collaborating with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to process these applications. For more information, the program provides a video and FAQs.

New Results on the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on Children

New results about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the health of children under 18 years of age are available from our Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). MCHB partners with the U.S. Census Bureau on the Household Pulse Survey to gather data about children’s telemedicine appointments, missed and delayed preventive check-ups, and disruptions in childcare.

Results are available from Phase 3.1 of the survey (April-July, 2021). Phase 3.2 data collection continues July-October, 2021.

Primary Care Case Management

State Medicaid agencies have operated primary care case management (PCCM) programs for 40 years. In recent years, states leveraged these programs to improve primary care. Compared to other states, most states that operate PCCM programs have a greater portion of their population living in rural areas, where there are often shortages of primary care and other providers. As a result, these states’ efforts to leverage their PCCM programs to improve primary care can produce significant benefits for rural residents. The National Academy for State Health Policy report examines the efforts of five states to leverage their PCCM programs to strengthen primary care.

HRSA’s National Organizations of State and Local Officials Cooperative Agreement provided support for this resource.

AHRQ Toolkit Now Available to Help Engage Patients and Family Members in the Diagnostic Process

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released a new toolkit to engage patients and family members in the diagnostic process. The toolkit is for patients and clinicians and includes:

  • Two evidence-based strategies to promote meaningful engagement and communication to improve diagnostic safety
  • A patient note sheet to help patients share their symptoms
  • Several practice orientation and training tools to help clinicians foster deep listening and “presence” in the encounter

Rural Minnesota Path to Value Podcast Series

Through the Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care’s work with rural hospitals, a need has emerged for education directed towards critical access hospital (CAH) staff and mid-level leaders (MLLs) on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of value-based care and population health.

Explore the Podcast Series:

Mini-Podcasts for Hospital Staff | Three 10-minute Podcasts

The basics of population health and social determinants of health are applicable to everyone that works in a hospital. Use these 10-minute podcasts during departmental/staff meetings.

Podcasts for Mid-Level Leaders | Five 30-minute Podcasts

Learn best practices from experts and CAH mid-level leaders as they address social determinants of health and shift towards population health.

With the support of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and through a grant from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, this podcast series was developed by the Minnesota Path to Value Project.

RHC Reimbursement Change Panel Discussion

Date: May 18, 2021

Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM CT

Register Here!

FLYER – RHC Reimbursement Change Panel Discussion 5-18-2021

Session Description:
With the ever-changing rural health care landscape, sometimes it’s difficult to keep up. The Beatles said it best… “Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends.” This session takes that approach to the next level! Our friends from the Maine Rural Health Research Center, Lilypad, National Association of Rural Health Clinics and Stroudwater Associates will combine their vast expertise and knowledge providing “a little help” for participants to better understand the Rural Health Clinic (RHC) reimbursement change that went into effect April 1, 2021. This panel discussion format web session will provide ample time for questions and answers!

Following the session, participants will be able to:
•Summarize the new RHC reimbursement changes that went into effect April 1, 2021
•Describe how the changes might impact Independent RHCs
•Describe how the changes might impact RHC affiliated with hospitals with fewer than 50 beds
•Describe how the changes might impact RHCs affiliated with hospitals with greater than 50 beds

Gregory Wolf – Lilypad
John Gale – Maine Rural Health Research Center (MRHCR)
Bill Finerfrock – National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC)
Nathan Baugh – National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC)
Jonathan Pantenburg – Stroudwater Associates

FREE Webinar Series: Missouri Rural Health Clinic Financial/Operational/Strategic Improvement

The Missouri Office of Rural Health and Primary Care has partnered with Stroudwater Associates to provide a 10-week webinar series for Missouri’s Rural Health Clinics, focusing on financial, operational, and strategic improvement. The one-hour webinars will be offered once a week, starting the week of April 12, 2021. All sessions will be recorded. Slides and recordings will be available on the Missouri Office of Rural Health, Rural Health Clinic webpage.

Click here to view flyer and register!

HRSA: Now Open! 2021 Nurse Corps Scholarship Program Application Cycle

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has opened the 2021 Nurse Corps Scholarship Program (SP) application cycle.

Nurse Corps SP provides financial support to students enrolled in nursing degree programs in exchange for a commitment to serve in high-need areas across the country. Scholarship support includes payment of tuition, required fees, other reasonable educational costs, as well as a monthly living stipend. After graduation, scholarship recipients fulfill their service commitment at an approved health care facility with a critical shortage of nurses.

HRSA has received a historic increase in funding this year under the American Rescue Plan. With this additional funding, Nurse Corps anticipates making significantly more awards overall, including in the following areas:

  • Up to 20 percent of total awards to nurse practitioners (NP) specializing in psychiatric mental health
  • Up to $5 million to women’s health NPs and certified nurse midwife advanced practice nurses and registered nurses (RNs) who wish to pursue a career in women’s health
  • Up to $2 million for career pathway/entry-level health professionals such as certified nursing assistants, home health aides, medical assistants, and licensed practical (vocational) nurses seeking degrees to become RNs
  • Visit the Nurse Corps Scholarship Program and Nurse Corps Facebook pages to learn more.Before applying, review the Application and Program Guidance (APG) for information on eligibility and requirements.

    The application cycle closes on May 6.

    Click here to Apply 

New Publications Addressing HIV and Hepatitis C in Rural Areas

The Maine Rural Health Research Center released a policy brief examining the ability of rural areas of the U.S. to handle an HIV or hepatitis C outbreak and a chartbook looking at HIV prevalence and services to help these patients in the rural U.S.

Contact Information:

Erika Ziller, PhD
Maine Rural Health Research Center
Phone: 207.780.4615