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.