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.