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.