Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

September 19, 2019


 What’s New

Comments Requested: Rural Eligibility for FORHP Funding – November 2.  As part of an ongoing effort by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) to assess the extent to which FORHP-administered grant programs align with the needs of rural communities, HRSA has published a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting public comment.  Respondents are asked to comment on whether and how the eligibility criteria governing FORHP’s community-based grant programs affect rural communities’ ability to leverage grant funding through FORHP.  RFI responses must be provided via email to RFIComments@hrsa.gov and must reference “Rural Health Grants Eligibility RFI” in the title.  Submissions are due no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 2, 2019. HRSA will not accept hard-copy responses or other formats.

The Help End Addiction for Life Initiative. The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in partnership with the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO) released a case study on the rural Kentucky Help End Addiction for Life (HEAL) initiative. This case study provides an in-depth examination of HEAL’s unique features and highlights the voices of local providers and stakeholders. The lessons learned by the HEAL coalition offer strategies for other communities to consider in their own collaborations to reduce opioid use.

Funding Opportunities

Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship – November 6.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will provide up to $165,000 for up to six mid-career professionals with an advanced degree.  Fellows will participate in the policy process at the federal level and will use that leadership experience to improve health, healthcare, and health policy. The experience is designed to prepare individuals with the skills needed to influence the future of public health and healthcare policy, as well as provide a way to advance their own career development. The fellowship requires, at a minimum, a 12-month residential experience in Washington, D.C., with additional support for health policy leadership development activities.  RWJF seeks diversity of background, including rural life and experience. 

Policy Updates

Visit the FORHP Policy page to see all recent updates and send questions to ruralpolicy@hrsa.gov.


See “What’s New” above for details on Comments Requested: Rural Eligibility for FORHP Funding – November 2.

Resources, Learning Events and Technical Assistance

Federal Leaders Discuss Ending HIV in America – Tuesday, September 24 at 9:00 am ET.  The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a 90-minute panel discussion featuring two officials from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Assistant Secretary for Health, ADM Brett Giroir, and Director of the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy, Tammy Beckham, DVM, PhD.  The will join other national leaders and experts to discuss barriers and potential policy solutions.  An initiative titled “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America” was announced earlier this year, with a focus on 48 counties and seven states with a significant rural burden.

Pharmacopeia Chapter Updates Impacting Hospitals – Tuesday, September 24 at 2:00 pm ET.  This one-hour webinar supported by our office and the National Rural Health Association will cover new standards impacting all hospitals with pharmacies: United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Chapter 797, providing standards for preparing compounded sterile medications, and Chapter 800, providing standards for safe handling of hazardous drugs to minimize the risk of exposure to healthcare personnel, patients, and the environment, were released on June 1, 2019 and will become enforceable on December 1, 2019.

HRSA Telehealth Learning Series – Tuesday, September 24 at 4:00 pm ET.  Join the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for this 60-minute webinar that will highlight the work of the HRSA/FORHP-supported Telehealth Centers of Excellence.  Speakers from the Medical University of South Carolina and University of Mississippi Medical Center will review their core telehealth programs to include tele-ICU, tele-stroke, school-based telehealth, tele-emergency, and diabetes remote patient monitoring.  They will also discuss how to develop tiered quality of care metrics and apply population health research approaches to telehealth outcome measures.  For more information, contact Nancy Rios at NRios@hrsa.gov.

3RNet 2019 Annual Conference – September 24-26 in Wichita, KS. The National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network (3RNet) is a nonprofit organization that matches health care professionals to employers in rural and underserved areas.  Attendees of this annual two-day conference will network with 3RNet members and other stakeholders, learn strategies for rural recruitment and retention, and gain insight from experienced leaders in health professions staffing.  Last year, 3RNet made more than 2,500 clinician placements in rural, frontier, and underserved urban communities.

SAMHSA Webinar on Suicide and Opioids – Wednesday, September 25 at 11:00 am ET.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will hold a four-hour webinar on how to identify links between opioids and suicide and how to prevent both through crisis management and suicide prevention models.

3RNet Recruiting for Retention Academy – October 8 through December 17.  The National Rural Recruitment & Retention Network (3RNet) will hold a series of webinars on best practices for recruiting a sustainable health workforce.  The series will feature national experts on rural/underserved recruiting and retention, provide opportunity to ask questions, and give access to resources.  The deadline to register is October 7.

Approaching Deadlines

Senior Corps Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) – September 25

Comments Requested: Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Policy, Payment, and Quality Provisions for CY 2020 – September 27

Comments Requested: Proposed Updates to Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System – September 27

Comments Requested: ESRD and DMEPOS CY 2020 Proposed Rule – September 27

EPA Assistance for Local Foods, Local Places – September 30

USDA Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program – September 30

Become a Sponsoring Agency for AmeriCorps VISTA Program – October 1

Comments Requested:  PTAC Proposal on Remote Specialist Care – October 1

PCORI Research Grants – Improving Healthcare Systems – Letters of Intent, October 1

Comments Requested: Rural Access to Health Care Services – October 9

Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program – October 15

USDA Small Business Innovation Research, Phase I – October 23

Comments Requested:  Proposed Changes to Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records – October 25

Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program – October 28   

Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas – October 31 

USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) – October 31

Comments Requested: Rural Eligibility for FORHP Funding – November 2

Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship – November 6

Rural Health Network Development Program  – November 25

HRSA Rural Health Network Development Planning Program – November 29

Bloomberg Public Health Fellows – December 1

Delta States Rural Development Grant Program  – December 6

Partnership to Promote Local Efforts To Reduce Environmental Exposure – December 15

NIH: Research for Disparities Among Minority/Underserved Children – Cycles thru May 2020

Guaranteed Loans for Rural Rental Housing – Ongoing through 2021

SBA Guaranteed Loans for Small Business – Ongoing

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund – Ongoing

Seeking Nominations: National Advisory Committee on Migrant Health – Ongoing

HUD Hospital Mortgage Insurance Program – Ongoing

RWJF Investigator-Initiated Research to Build a Culture of Health – Ongoing

Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans – Ongoing

Funding for Rural Water and Waste Disposal Projects –  Ongoing

Drinking Water and Waste Disposal for Rural and Native Alaskan Villages – Ongoing

HIT Strategies for Patient-Reported Outcome Measures – Ongoing

HIT to Improve Health Care Quality and Outcomes – Ongoing

Community Facilities Program –  Ongoing

Summer Food Service Program – Ongoing