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News by Topic: Health workforce

May 25, 2023 - Describes the Arizona Area Health Education Center (AzHEC) Program and the 6 Regional Centers, a program working to recruit, retain, and train healthcare professionals in rural and medically underserved communities. The AzHEC Program focuses on interprofessional, community based experiential training and providing culturally appropriate care for the federal tribes in Arizona. Highlights AzHEC outcomes from fiscal year 2021-2022.
Source: University of Arizona Health Sciences
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 - Rural Mississippi hospitals are increasingly endangered, as poverty, declining populations, and dwindling inpatient revenue chip away at profits. Federal aid appropriated during the pandemic seemed to slow the rate of closures, but now some are in worse shape than before, as they struggle with ongoing staff shortages and rising costs.
Source: Roll Call
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 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) is seeking comments on a modified system of records called the Indian Health Service Medical Staff Credentials and Privileges Records. This system of records covers information about individuals who request credentials and privileges to serve as IHS medical or health care professionals. Comments are due by June 22, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
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 - Explores healthcare issues facing disparate rural North Carolina counties, including hospital closures, drug overdose deaths, workforce shortages, and high rates of uninsured patients.
Source: North Carolina Health News
May 19, 2023 - The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded over $65 million in funds to implement innovative approaches to improve maternal health outcomes and reduce disparities for patients at highest risk. This will help ensure healthier pregnancy and postpartum outcomes and address health disparities among women of color and women in rural and medically underserved areas.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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 17, 2023 - Describes challenges faced by St. Luke's Health – Memorial San Augustine, a rural, one-story hospital in East Texas. The hospital recently eliminated inpatient services as part of its conversion from Critical Access Hospital status to Rural Emergency Hospital.
Source: Marketplace
May 16, 2023 - A group of industry leaders, advocates, and state officials gathered at the University of Connecticut in Storrs to discuss barriers to care in rural areas. Discussion topics included transportation, workforce, and reimbursement rates.
Source: Journal Inquirer
May 16, 2023 - Highlights changes and challenges in rural health care access, including hospital closures, transportation issues, lack of obstetric services and mental health services, poor outcomes among Black or Native American populations, and lack of services for veterans.
Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office
May 15, 2023 - A collaborative effort coordinated by MCD Global Health now gives school students and staff in Washington County, Maine access to virtual behavioral health services and other needed resources. A $500,000 matching grant from Point32Health Foundation helped the Baileyville, Maine community get started on the initiative.
Source: The Daily Yonder
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 - Notice from the Indian Health Service (IHS) seeking comment on proposed revisions to the information collection titled "Indian Health Service Medical Staff Credentials Application." The information collected is used to evaluate IHS medical and healthcare professionals, including licensed practitioners (LP) applying for medical staff membership, credentialing and privileges at IHS healthcare facilities. Comments are due by July 10, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
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 10, 2023 - Describes challenges with providing healthcare in rural locations with focus on workforce shortages. Notes that rural medical students are 5 times more likely to practice rural than urban students. A partnership between CentraCare and the University of Minnesota Medical School led to the creation of a rural campus for undergraduate and graduate medical education. Also discusses the need to attract rural residents into healthcare careers beginning in elementary school. 5% of medical school enrollees are rural and fewer than 0.5% of enrollees are rural students of color.
Source: West Central Tribune
May 10, 2023 - Notice from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issuing a temporary rule to extend certain exceptions to existing DEA regulations implemented in March 2020 because of the COVID–19 Public Health Emergency (COVID–19 PHE). The full set of telemedicine flexibilities regarding the prescription of controlled medications that were in place during the COVID–19 PHE will remain in place through November 11, 2023. In addition, if a patient and a practitioner have established a telemedicine relationship on or before November 11, 2023, the same telemedicine flexibilities that have governed the relationship to that point are permitted until November 11, 2024. This rule is effective May 11, 2023, through November 11, 2024.
Source: Federal Register
May 10, 2023 - An HHS fact sheet outlining what is and is not changing around telehealth as the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ends, including information on coverage of services. Provides guidance around licensure portability, a measure intended to increase access to healthcare for rural and underserved communities. Also outlines broadband initiatives that increase access to healthcare and reduce disparities.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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 7, 2023 - Discusses the rollout of a new Alzheimer's treatment currently before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Notes that shortages of neurologists nationwide means if treatment is approved, long wait times to see a doctor and distance to care will be a barrier for many. In addition, testing and treatment may not be covered by insurance and may be labor intensive, leading some rural health systems to wait to offer the treatment at their clinics. May require a subscription to read full article.
Source: Wall Street Journal
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 5, 2023 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to serve as members of the Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary, Community-Based Linkages (ACICBL). The ACICBL provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) concerning policy and program development related to activities under the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, including Area Health Education Centers, geriatrics, mental and behavioral health, social work, graduate psychology, rural health, and pharmacy. Nominations are due by June 30, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 3, 2023 - Notice from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) seeking comments on applications and other forms used by the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program (SP), the NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP), and the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP). The information from these documents is used to collect necessary information from applicants and schools that enable HRSA to make selection determinations for the competitive awards and monitor compliance with program requirements. Comments are due by June 2, 2023.
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 - Notice of proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding changes to the hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) for operating and capital-related costs of acute care hospitals for fiscal year 2024. Contains details of changes impacting Medicare graduate medical education (GME) for teaching hospitals and inpatient hospital services provided by long-term care hospitals, among other things. This proposed rule also includes information and updates on the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designation. Comments are due by June 9, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 1, 2023 - Discusses healthcare workforce challenges as well as recruitment and retention strategies to ensure an adequate workforce for a health system in Maine.
Source: Xtelligent Healthcare Media
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 the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act, proposed legislation to address physician shortages. Legislation would remove the cap on Medicare-funded graduate medical education positions and increase the number of available positions over 7 years. The increase in positions includes prioritization for rural areas and Health Professional Shortage Areas.
Source: Office of Senator Susan Collins
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 - Describes the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine (WARM), a track in the Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health that aims to reduce health disparities for rural people in Wisconsin. Students and alumni of the program describe their experiences. Of the 252 graduates between 2011 and 2018, 49% are practicing in rural Wisconsin.
Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison News
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 23, 2023 - Describes a program between the Champaign County Farm Bureau and the Carle Illinois School of Medicine in Urbana to incorporate agriculture specific health and safety issues into the curriculum. Students take field trips to farms and then present on issues and potential solutions. Discusses broadband problems, physical injuries, mental health, and access to healthcare.
Source: Jacksonville Journal-Courier
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 20, 2023 - A call for papers for BMC Medical Education. Submissions can include original research and case studies and should address rural health professions education, defined as "education, training, and development of healthcare workers in and/or for rural communities." Topics may include recruitment and retention, educational models and pathways, community engagement and/or culturally responsive training, collaboration, and more. Submission deadline is January 19, 2024.
Source: BMC Medical Education
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 - The closure of Madera Community Hospital and three associated clinics earlier this year has left Madera County's 160,000 residents with no general hospital and only a small handful of clinics operated by other providers. According to a Farmworker Health Study, between one-third and one-half of California farmworkers surveyed suffer from chronic diseases, including diabetes and hypertension, and the vast majority are considered either overweight or obese.
Source: PBS News Hour
Apr 11, 2023 - Chiropractors and chiropractic residents who are working, teaching, and training at the Fort Dodge Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Iowa are providing access to more interprofessional care for rural veterans while training future health professionals.
Source: VA News
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 11, 2023 - A series of recommendations from an advisory committee to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the expansion of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) could enable elderly residents in rural communities to age in place. Recommendations include expanding telehealth, supporting a program focused on Medicare beneficiaries, allowing PACE sites to be eligible for student loan repayment, and encouraging students trained through the Indian Health Service to rotate to PACE sites.
Source: HealthLeaders Media
Apr 10, 2023 - Dr. Vida Passero is spearheading ground-breaking National TeleOncology services such as National Virtual Tumor Boards, and is helping veterans at smaller or rural facilities receive the same standard of care as patients of larger VA medical centers. According to a report by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 66 percent of rural counties have no oncologist.
Source: VA 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 7, 2023 - New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed into law 5 healthcare-related bills that will support and strengthen the state's healthcare workforce and make healthcare more affordable and accessible across the state.
Source: Office of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
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
Apr 5, 2023 - Notice from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) seeking comments on an information collection regarding National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and the Nurse Corps Interest Capture Form. The purpose of this form is to enable individuals and clinical sites to ask questions about the NHSC and/or Nurse Corps Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs, and to provide their contact information so that HRSA may provide them with periodic program updates and other general information. Comments are due by May 5, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 4, 2023 - A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service found that personal and professional relationships were crucial to recruiting and retaining healthcare professionals in rural areas. The study examined 150 small rural towns with a population between 2,500-20,000 in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Mar 31, 2023 - Discusses the closure of Rumford Hospital's delivery and obstetrics unit in rural Maine as a result of declining birth rates and staffing shortages. Five hospitals in rural Maine have closed their OB services since 2015.
Source: WMTW
Mar 31, 2023 - The Department of Health and Human Services awarded nearly $23 million to 46 grantees to plan and develop Teaching Health Center residency programs. These programs prioritize training residents in community-based outpatient settings, such as Federally Qualified Health Centers or community mental health centers, which primarily serve people in rural and high-need areas.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Mar 31, 2023 - Illinois Senator Dick Durbin spoke on the U.S. Senate floor about the importance of supporting rural fire and emergency medical services (EMS) agencies. Durbin spoke about the SIREN Act, which was passed in the 2018 Farm Bill to provide grant funding for public, tribal, and private nonprofit fire and EMS agencies in rural communities nationwide.
Source: National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians
Mar 31, 2023 - Highlights key points shared by healthcare leaders during the American Hospital Association's Rural Health Care Leadership Conference in February regarding their experiences in crisis management. Topics included cyberattacks, on-site hospital violence, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: American Hospital Association
Mar 31, 2023 - The University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health will launch ELEVATE CHWs, a new program to increase the number of community health workers in Kentucky by providing training for new CHWs and offering additional training for existing ones. The center received nearly $2.6 million in grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Source: University of Kentucky News
Mar 30, 2023 - The U.S. Department of Labor is seeking your input and ideas about the ways in which states and cities can ensure equity in mental and behavioral health policies and reduce barriers to care for rural communities. Join the Mental Health Matters: Targeting Underserved Rural, Racial and Ethnic Communities National Online Dialogue to post ideas, as well as comment and vote on ideas posted by others. This conversation is one of four in a series. Submissions are due by April 7, 2023. View the MentalHealthMatters website to learn more about the entire online event.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
Mar 30, 2023 - Oklahoma health officials and city leaders across the state discussed ways the state could help rural communities maintain access to healthcare. They suggested that the state offer more incentives to physicians, and advised offering telehealth and adopting a new model combining both online and in-person healthcare visits for those living in rural areas.
Source: KOCO