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News by Topic: Health occupations

Jun 2, 2023 - Describes the impact of a mobile integrated health program in an Indiana community. The program recently hired a registered nurse with an obstetrics background to fill a gap in maternal and infant healthcare after the local labor and delivery unit closed. Discusses lack of consistent funding as a challenge to sustainability.
Source: Indiana Capital Chronicle
May 31, 2023 - Describes the experiences of counseling interns working in rural schools. Notes that the students benefit from access to care not usually easily available, but the interns also learn about the specific needs of rural communities. The program will expand in the fall to include telehealth mental healthcare.
Source: Nevada Today
May 25, 2023 - Highlights a Project ECHO line focusing on athletic training access at schools in Oklahoma. The goal is to reduce injury and improve health outcomes, particularly in rural regions. More than half of Oklahoma counties have no athletic trainer or sports medicine professional. Meeting twice a month, anyone providing care to student-athletes is invited to participate.
Source: OSU Headlines: News and Media
May 24, 2023 - Doctors offered ideas for improving health care in remote areas of Pennsylvania during a meeting of the Pennsylvania House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee on May 18 in Pittsburgh. Suggestions included increasing incentives, bolstering Medicaid, expanding use of community health workers, finding uses for disused hospitals, and enhancing broadband access.
Source: Lancaster Farming
May 24, 2023 - Explains an emergency rule change in the state of Missouri that will address nursing aide workforce shortages. Unlicensed nursing aides will have 180 days to receive licensing training, up from 90 days. The rule change is expected to have an impact in rural areas where the workforce shortages are greater.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 23, 2023 - Executives from Dartmouth Heath, MaineHealth, and The University of Vermont Health Network participated in a panel discussion about rural hospitals and their difficulties. Challenges include workforce shortages, hospital closures, housing costs, and the need for creative scheduling.
Source: Chief Healthcare Executive
May 19, 2023 - Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Catherine Cortez-Masto of Nevada introduced legislation to ensure all communities, regardless of population, have access to adequate emergency medical services. The Protecting Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act allows ambulance providers to be properly reimbursed by Medicare for the costs of providing emergency services, while also ensuring that existing EMT services, particularly in rural locations, remain operational, with sufficient staff and supplies.
Source: Office of Senator Susan Collins
May 19, 2023 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is allowing an additional 30 day comment period during the Office of Management and Budget's review of previous comments received on forms related to the Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery (STAR) Loan Repayment Program (LRP) and the Pediatric Specialty LRP. The forms will be used to assess an applicant's eligibility and qualifications for the loan repayment programs and to obtain information for eligible facilities or sites. Comments are due by June 20, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 19, 2023 - The Swinomish Dental Clinic in Skagit County, Washington has emerged as a state leader in access to dental hygiene, gaining attention a few years ago for becoming the first in Washington to add a dental therapist to their team. In Washington and some other parts of the country, dental therapists have worked to expand access to oral hygiene, particularly in rural, underserved communities.
Source: The Seattle Times
May 12, 2023 - Notice of amendment from the Department of Health and Human Services updating the determination of a public health emergency to state that COVID-19 presents a credible risk of a future public health emergency. This notice adds new limitations on distribution that provides coverage under this PREP Act Declaration through December 31, 2024, for the manufacturing, distribution, administration, and use of Covered Countermeasures while they are authorized for emergency use (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and COVID-19 vaccines licensed by FDA, and any FDA approved or cleared in vitro diagnostic product or other device used to treat, diagnose, cure, prevent, or mitigate COVID-19. Among other things, this amendment also extends the authority for certain qualified pharmacy technicians to prescribe, dispense, and administer COVID-19 vaccines, seasonal influenza vaccines, and COVID-19 tests through December 31, 2024. This amendment is effective May 11, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 12, 2023 - Highlights the lack of facility schools in rural Colorado. Facility schools provide specialized services for children with disabilities and/or mental health issues. Small population sizes and a shortage of trained teachers and behavioral professionals has led to closures of the few schools that existed. Rural Colorado children in need of their services either do not get them or must travel to other parts of the state to residential facilities.
Source: KFF Health News
May 11, 2023 - Highlights a bill signed by Iowa Governor to address workforce shortages in the state. The bill allows Physician Assistants (PA) to practice without the supervision of a doctor. The goal of the bill is to recruit PAs not just to Iowa generally but to rural clinics in the state. The bill also expands the scope of practice for PAs to include more mental healthcare.
Source: KWWL
May 11, 2023 - The U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of more than $78 million to help grant recipients improve diversity in the healthcare workforce and address the health equity gap in America's underserved communities by embedding diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility strategies into their programs. By doing so, the programs will ensure people from historically marginalized and underrepresented communities have pathways to good jobs and careers in nursing.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
May 8, 2023 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) is accepting applications for the Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) Tribal Assessment and Planning (TAP) program. The national CHAP will increase access to direct health services, including inpatient and outpatient visits, by providing a network of health aides trained to support licensed health professionals while providing direct health care, health promotion, and disease prevention services. The purpose of the TAP program is to support the assessment and planning of Tribes and Tribal Organizations (T/TO) in determining the feasibility of implementing CHAP in their respective communities. Applications are due by August 7, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 8, 2023 - Describes the Wilson Area School Health Centers (WASH) in North Carolina, school-based health clinics with the aim of increasing access to healthcare for students. A nurse practitioner can screen for diseases, write prescriptions, provide primary care, and more. Students can meet with the nurse practitioner virtually if they are at a different site. Clinic sites were chosen to accommodate high-poverty areas. WASH is working to expand services to include mental and behavioral health.
Source: Public Radio East
May 5, 2023 - Highlights the work of a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) in Montana. Notes that 80% of U.S. hospitals do not have SANEs, leading to long travel times to see a SANE for sexual assault survivors. Rural residents in particular may be hundreds of miles from the nearest SANE. Highlights recent and proposed legislation in states around the country to increase access to sexual assault healthcare.
Source: NPR, KFF Health News
May 5, 2023 - Notice from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) seeking comments on a proposed information collection regarding three programs authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that aim to promote resiliency and mental health in the health workforce: 1) the Health and Public Safety Workforce Resiliency Training Program; 2) the Promoting Resilience and Mental Health among Health Professional Workforce Program; and 3) the Health and Public Safety Workforce Resiliency Technical Assistance Center. The information collected will inform HRSA leadership about the progress, costs and benefits, and impact of these efforts to support the delivery of healthcare.
Source: Federal Register
May 3, 2023 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) is accepting applications for the Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) Tribal Assessment and Planning (TAP) program. The national CHAP will increase access to direct health services, including inpatient and outpatient visits, by providing a network of health aides trained to support licensed health professionals while providing direct health care, health promotion, and disease prevention services. The purpose of the TPI program is to support the planning and implementation for Tribes and Tribal Organizations (T/TO) positioned to begin operating a CHAP or support a growing CHAP in the contiguous 48 states. Applications are due by August 1, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 1, 2023 - Describes the oral healthcare shortages in Florida where 66 of the 67 counties do not have enough dentists to treat all patients. Workforce distribution problems stem from the challenge to recruit dentists to rural areas as well as low Medicaid reimbursement rates. Discusses proposed legislation to improve access to oral healthcare.
Source: KFF Health News, Tampa Bay Times
Apr 30, 2023 - Highlights the expansion of community paramedicine programs while focusing on a particular program in Wyoming. Notes that 55% of community paramedicine programs are located in rural areas. Programs increase access to healthcare by doing home visits, transportation to appointments, and more. Early data show that these programs can increase positive health outcomes and reduce costs for patients. Discusses funding challenges for programs, including coverage by Medicaid and private insurance.
Source: Louisiana Illuminator, KFF Health News
Apr 28, 2023 - Describes a Minnesota residency program that increases the competency of rural sexual assault nurse examiners. The residency is housed at an urban Minnesota hospital where the volume of sexual assault victims is higher than in rural hospitals. Program participants are able to take the skills learned back to their rural communities. The program is a partnership with the University of Minnesota and is part of a three year grant covering participant costs, mentorship, and training. Training focuses on trauma-informed questioning.
Source: Star Tribune
Apr 27, 2023 - Announcement of a needs assessment survey from the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention to update the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Survey is targeted at suicide prevention professionals in the U.S. Deadline for the survey is May 12th, 2023.
Source: Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
Apr 26, 2023 - Describes the shortage of doctors in rural communities, noting that 99% of medical residency programs are in non-rural places and doctors are more likely to work where they trained. At West Virginia University, the rural medicine track recruits rural students and trains them in rural hospitals in an attempt to address shortages.
Source: PBS NewsHour
Apr 25, 2023 - Notice from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) announcing that it will no longer publish new or updated Compliance Program Guidances (CPGs) in the Federal Register. All current, updated, and new CPGs will be available on the OIG website.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 25, 2023 - Discusses the role of psychiatric nurse practitioners in filling gaps due to mental healthcare shortages. 80% of rural counties do not have a psychiatrist. Psychiatric nurse practitioners can diagnose and treat some illnesses. Yale University has started an online program for psychiatric nurse practitioners with the goal of training nurses in rural areas to reduce the shortages nationwide.
Source: NewsChannel 5
Apr 25, 2023 - Discusses the shortage of oral healthcare in Oregon and efforts by the state legislature to fix it with licensed dental therapists, who can perform some procedures like filling minor cavities and pulling teeth. Lack of oral healthcare is particularly noticeable in remote areas of Oregon and especially in tribal communities. Discusses issues with licensure and lack of accredited training in the state as barriers to increasing the dental therapist workforce.
Source: The Lund Report
Apr 21, 2023 - Describes the creation of the North Mason Regional Fire Authority Mobile Integrated Health Program in Belfair, Washington, a collaboration between the local fire department and a local Physician Associate to provide access to non-emergency health care and other wraparound services in a rural community.
Source: Kitsap Sun
Apr 15, 2023 - Explores the workforce challenges faced by rural school-based counseling services' ability to address mental health issues for rural children in Wisconsin.
Source: Wisconsin Public Radio
Apr 13, 2023 - Alabama is in need of roughly 3,000 doctors right now, and a new bill working its way through the 2023 state legislature aims to address that shortage. The Physician Workforce Act introduces immediate, mid-range, and long-term solutions for filling the gap of licensed medical doctors in Alabama.
Source: WVUA
Apr 11, 2023 - Highlights the closure of a residency training program in rural northeastern Nevada, and describes common barriers to establishing and sustaining training programs for doctors throughout rural America.
Source: Kaiser Health News
Apr 10, 2023 - The University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health has three new programs that will impact future healthcare workers in the Appalachian mountains. The programs are the Appalachian Center for Assistive Technology, the Kentucky Homeplace Community Health Worker Training Center, and the Systems Integrated Modeling and Simulation Lab.
Source: WYMT
Apr 5, 2023 - A severe shortage of pediatric psychiatrists in Hawaii, combined with growing demand for mental health services, has made many Hawaii families desperate to find whatever help they can get. Efforts are underway to ease some of the strain by getting more people trained as mental health providers, including master's-level community therapists, advanced nurse practitioners, and psychiatrists.
Source: Honolulu Civil Beat
Apr 5, 2023 - The University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation is planning to offer undergraduate and graduate rural health certification programs by spring 2024 to prepare students for challenges unique to health care professionals in rural areas. Classes are expected to cover rural health issues, policies, barriers, and solutions.
Source: The Shorthorn