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  • 22 Feb 2019 9:26 AM | Mary Reuter (Administrator)

    Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program Grants 
    Grants to improve telemedicine and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of telemedicine, computer networks, and related advanced technologies.
    Geographic coverage: Nationwide 
    Application Deadline: May 15, 2019 
    Sponsors: U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Development, USDA Rural Utilities Service 

  • 06 Feb 2019 5:02 PM | Mary Reuter (Administrator)

    Proposed Rural-Specific Objectives for Healthy People 2030 
    Supports adding a category for rural health to Healthy People 2030 along with specific objectives related to mortality, obesity, healthcare access, and more. Identifies rural/urban disparities for each objective, rationales for including them, possible measures for them, and data sources.

  • 23 Jan 2019 9:28 AM | Mary Reuter (Administrator)

    Addressing the Burden of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in Rural America 
    Discusses the burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and its impact on rural America. Covers rural risk factors for COPD and healthcare disparities influencing rural COPD patients' ability to access care. Discusses ongoing federal COPD programs and offers policy recommendations and considerations to improve access to COPD care and treatments for individuals living in rural areas.

  • 26 Dec 2018 1:25 PM | Mary Reuter (Administrator)

    Dec 21, 2018 -- Pre-publication notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding final rules for the Medicare Shared Savings Program participation options to encourage Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to transition to two-sided models. Discusses issues specific to rural throughout, addresses the impact on small rural hospitals starting on PDF page 857, and offers some options for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and hospitals with swing bed agreements. The rule takes effect 45 days after the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, which is scheduled for December 31, 2018. Read more.

  • 08 Nov 2018 10:43 AM | Mary Reuter (Administrator)

    Federal Resource Guide for Substance Use Disorder in Rural Communities. This comprehensive guide was created specifically for rural communities facing substance use disorder and opioid misuse.  It organizes federal grant programs and resources by 26 categories that include prevention, treatment and recovery, but also include social services, employment, economic development, transportation and justice.  The guide was created by the Rural Opioid Federal Interagency Working Group to help address the opioid crisis by improving coordination of and reducing potential overlap among the Federal responses in the nation’s rural communities.  Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued data showing that the rate of drug overdose deaths in rural areas surpassed the rate in urban areas

  • 19 Oct 2018 1:17 PM | Mary Reuter (Administrator)

    Rural stakeholders have until Monday, November 5th to offer comment on the Surgeon General’s efforts focusing on how local investments have the potential to improve the health and prosperity of communities.  This opportunity for public comment provides a way to ensure that the broader national effort includes a specific focus on rural issues.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working with the Surgeon General’s Office on this effort and the goal is to use the information from the public to help guide this effort.  Rural stakeholders are encouraged to submit written views, recommendations, and data about how investing in communities can improve health and prosperity and unique characteristics of rural communities that need to be taken into account in the larger effort by the Surgeon General.


  • 25 Jun 2018 2:06 PM | Mary Reuter (Administrator)
    Suicide Rates Increasing Nationwide
    Increasingly, suicide is being viewed not only as a mental health problem but a public health one. Nearly 45,000 suicides occurred in the United States in 2016 — more than twice the number of homicides — making it the 10th-leading cause of death. Among people ages 15 to 34, suicide is the second-leading cause of death. The Washington Post recently covered the CDC's recent report on suicide rates, which showed a 43.2 percent increase in Idaho from 1999 to 2016. 

    WICHE Suicide Prevention Toolkit
    This Web-based Toolkit contains information and tools to implement state of the art suicide prevention practices and overcome the significant hurdles this life-saving work faces in primary care practices. The Toolkit offers the support necessary to establish the primary care provider as one member of a team, fully equipped to reduce suicide risk among their patients.

    The Toolkit is a collaborative project of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education (WICHE), Mental Health Program. Although the tools are designed with the rural practice in mind, most are quite suitable for use in non-rural settings, as well. The materials offered may be reproduced for use within your practice. Further distribution without the express consent of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center is prohibited.

    To download a free copy, visit SPRC's website

  • 11 Jun 2018 11:34 AM | Mary Reuter (Administrator)

    Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a learning and guided practice model that revolutionizes medical education and exponentially increased workforce capacity to provide best-practice specialty care and reduce health disparities. The heart of the ECHO model is its hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing networks, led by expert teams (hubs) who use multi-point video conferencing to conduct virtual clinics with community providers (spokes.) In this way, primary care doctors, nurses and other clinicians learn to provide excellent specialty care to patients in their own communities.

    ECHO uses a “learning by doing model” in bi-weekly one hour video conferences, where primary care providers present de-identified cases to their colleagues and specialists at the hub site. They then receive treatment suggestions from the entire community of practice. Each session lasts one hour, and includes a short presentation on a specific clinical topic. ECHO Idaho’s current Opioid Abuse and Treatment Clinic continues through September 2018. Enroll in the Opioid ECHO Clinic to receive emails with agendas, announcements, resources, and information needed to connect to clinic sessions and receive no-cost continuing education credit.

  • 21 Jan 2018 10:14 PM | Mary Reuter (Administrator)

    Two New Policy Briefs from the National Advisory CommitteeThe National Advisory Committee on Rural Health & Human Services is a citizens’ panel of nationally-recognized rural health experts that provides recommendations on rural issues to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services twice each year.  The latest policy briefs were written by the committee after a meeting last fall in Boise, Idaho, where the group focused on the impact of suicide in rural America and enhancing the Rural Health Clinics program to adapt to a value-focused health care environment.  Also, a new website for the rural health advisory committee provides a look back more than two decades into the past with recommendations for health policy issues such as provider payment reform, workforce development, and telehealth implementation.  Beginning in 2003, the committee expanded its focus to include human services and started addressing such issues as homelessness, intimate partner violence and social determinants of health.  

  • 16 Oct 2017 3:11 PM | Mary Reuter (Administrator)

    The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) is pleased to announce the release of its 2017 Compendium of Rural Oral Health Best Practices.

    Part of the National Rural Oral Health Initiative, a collaboration between the NRHA and the DentaQuest Foundation, the compendium’s specific purpose is to provide leadership with the intent to establish oral health care as part of primary care.

    This initiative is designed to enhance access to quality oral health care, a pressing need in rural communities, and is a crucial step in improving health care access for rural Americans.

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