Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) Announcements

Date: June 2, 2022

TODAY at 2:00 pm ET: White House and HRSA on Test-to-Treat for COVID-19. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) invites you to join a webinar to share the White House’s call to action around Test-to-Treat as a strategy to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The webinar will feature HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson and White House COVID-19 Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha as well as a moderated panel exploring safety-net provider perspectives. If you prefer to join by phone: 833-568-8864; Webinar ID: 161 896 3980.

Clarifying Information: HRSA Community Health Worker Training Program. HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) issued new information for applicants to this funding opportunity. Through the Community Health Worker Training Program, HRSA will provide funding to health professions schools, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and community-based organizations to train 13,000 community health workers for underserved communities. See BHW’s website for more help with applications due on June 14

Rural America Placemaking Toolkit. A collaborative community process to define a town by what it offers the people who live there is the short way to describe the work of placemaking. This digital toolkit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Kentucky’s Community and Economic Development Initiative includes examples of rural placemaking projects along with technical assistance providers, funders, and guides to resources. 

2020 Census: Growing Racial Diversity in Rural America. The most recent Census count revealed that, between 2010 and 2020, rural population declined to just 14 percent of the U.S. total, the smallest percentage of the population to reside in rural areas in U.S. history. At the same time, racial diversity increased with Hispanics representing 9 percent of the rural population, followed by non-Hispanic Black people, representing 7.7 percent. Nearly one-third of all rural children (32.5 percent) come from racial or ethnic minority populations, compared to 28.1 percent in 2010. More about these changes can be found in the report from the University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy. 

New HHS Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) – Comment by June 18. On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced a new office created to  address environmental injustices and health inequities for people of color and disadvantaged, vulnerable, low-income, marginalized, and indigenous populations. The OEJ is seeking public comment on a draft outline for strategy and implementation.

Sign the Health Care Sector Climate Pledge by Friday, June 3. The initiative, launched in April, asks hospitals, health systems, and other industry stakeholders to make efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase their communities’ climate resilience. The pledge is one part of a larger HHS effort to consider the impact that climate change has on the entire country and take steps toward sustainability. A recent article in The Appalachian Voice describes the impact of climate change in rural mountain communities. Watch a video that explains what the health care sector can do and sign the pledge by Friday, June 3.

HRSA News Round-Up for May. Last week, HRSA and leaders across the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services issued a joint letter to states, tribes, and jurisdictions encouraging them to maximize their efforts to strengthen children’s mental health and well-being. Earlier in the month, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau launched a new, toll-free hotline for expecting and new moms experiencing mental health challenges. The Office for the Advancement of Telehealth convened its first National Telehealth Conference. See all News & Announcements on HRSA.gov

Ongoing: HRSA Payment Program for RHC Buprenorphine-Trained Providers. In June 2021, HRSA launched an effort to improve access to substance use disorder treatment by paying for providers who are waivered to prescribe buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder. Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) still have the opportunity to apply for a $3,000 payment on behalf of each provider who trained to obtain the waiver necessary to prescribe buprenorphine after January 1, 2019. Approximately $1.2 million in program funding remains available for RHCs and will be paid on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. Send questions to DATA2000WaiverPayments@hrsa.gov. There is ongoing availability of a free online course for waiver eligibility training from the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine and the Providers Clinical Support System.