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RHIhub This Week - February 17, 2021

Call for Innovations

vaccination Share Your Community's COVID-19 Innovations Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy
RHIhub has received requests for examples of how rural communities and healthcare providers are addressing vaccine hesitancy and distribution. Please consider sharing your experiences. You can see recent submissions from RHIhub This Week readers in the Rural COVID-19 Innovations collection under COVID-19 Vaccination. We will also be featuring more in-depth information in the new COVID-19 Innovations section of the Rural Monitor. Email your examples to Kristine Sande at with the subject line: COVID-19 Innovations.

 New in Our Online Library
 Information from around the web

Recent News

Rural Hospital Remains Entrenched in COVID 'War' Even Amid Vaccine Rollout
Feb 17, 2021 -- While the nation's focus shifted to rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, a rural hospital in Louisiana struggled to handle a surge of COVID patients after the holidays. Examines health disparities present in rural communities and describes the burnout healthcare workers are experiencing after months of pandemic stress.
Source: Kaiser Health News

Rural Transit Systems Must Balance the Safety of Passengers and Drivers
Feb 17, 2021 -- Rural transit systems reported over a 50 percent decrease in ridership since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and experience difficulties restoring ridership. Describes how public transit drivers are often part of high-risk groups and that they should be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine as it is a high-exposure job.
Source: The Daily Yonder

Expanding Testing on Reservations
Feb 16, 2021 -- Highlights researchers who are working on reducing transmission of the COVID-19 virus and increasing COVID-19 testing on the Navajo Nation. Details the study, which is part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Underserved Populations (RADxSM-UP) program and explores two different ways of encouraging people to get COVID-19 testing.
Source: National Institutes of Health

2021 Special Enrollment Period for Marketplace Coverage Starts on Monday, February 15
Feb 15, 2021 -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for the Health Insurance Marketplace is available for consumers of 36 states from February 15-May 15, 2021. This announcement is in accordance with the Executive Order signed by President Biden to allow those impacted by the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency to enroll in health insurance.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Rural Health System Part of Operation Warp Speed Trials for COVID-19 Treatments
Feb 15, 2021 -- Features a rural health system in Upstate New York that is participating in clinical trials for Operation Warp Speed to test treatments for COVID-19. Describes how having clinical trials in rural hospitals helps to reduce disparities between rural and urban hospitals and increase trust in rural communities.
Source: The Daily Yonder

Veterans in Rural Montana Receive COVID-19 Vaccine via Airplane Delivery
Feb 11, 2021 -- The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) organized a private charter plane to deliver 400 COVID-19 vaccines for high-risk veterans in remote Montana. VA staff from four different locations helped to plan the mass vaccination event and distribute the vaccines to rural veterans.
Source: U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

In the Rural Race to Distribute COVID Vaccines, a Piecemeal Approach
Feb 10, 2021 -- Highlights efforts by rural providers to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to isolated seniors across rural North Carolina, including organizing drive-thru vaccine clinics and utilizing phone trees to inform residents of vaccination events. Addresses challenges in vaccine distribution, such as lack of supply, storage requirements, and transportation barriers.
Source: North Carolina Health News

Specialist Care for Alzheimer's Is Tough to Find for Poorer, Rural Americans
Feb 9, 2021 -- Provides an overview of a study that suggests poor patients living in rural areas may not have access to specialized care for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Discusses the need for more research to identify the barriers to access and recommends scholarship and loan forgiveness programs to increase the number of dementia care specialists in rural areas.
Source: Health Day

Federal Register

FCC: Promoting Telehealth in Rural America
Feb 12, 2021 -- Notice from the Federal Communications Commission announcing the amended operational date of certain rules introduced in the FCC's Promoting Telehealth in Rural America Report and Order (FCC 19-78). Affected rules include updated site and service substitution rules, corrective and operational Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) change rules, service delivery deadline extension rules, and invoicing deadline extension rules. This order is effective March 15, 2021.
Source: Federal Register

HHS: Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity Supporting Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native Populations
Feb 12, 2021 -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health is seeking comments from Federally-recognized Indian Tribes/American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Tribes, Tribal organizations, Tribal-serving organizations, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and AI/AN-serving institutions of higher education to inform and guide the development of a new Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity. The Center will support research, education, service, and policy development efforts related to advancing Indigenous solutions to decrease health disparities in AI/AN and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations. Comments are due by March 15, 2021. A separate request for information is available for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities and NHPI serving organizations.
Source: Federal Register

Funding & Opportunities

Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program
Grants to support new or existing edible gardens at K-12 schools and nonprofit organizations.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Mar 31, 2021
Sponsor: Whole Kids Foundation

Indian Highway Safety Occupant Protection Grant
Grants to federally recognized tribes for implementing traffic safety programs and projects designed to reduce the number of traffic crashes, deaths, injuries, and property damage. The 2021 funding round is focused on Child Passenger Safety Seat Grants.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: May 3, 2021
Sponsors: Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior

Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Telehealth Strategies for Individuals with HIV and Substance Use Disorders
Notice of Special Interest for research to explore and develop telehealth methods and strategies for diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and population analysis in individuals living with HIV and substance use disorder.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. Territories
Application Deadline: Sep 7, 2024
Sponsors: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health

Angel Flight East COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment and Vaccine Transport
A volunteer pilot network that transports personal protective equipment and COVID-19 vaccines for distribution to areas in need.
Geographic coverage: Available in the northeastern United States.
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsor: Angel Flight East

New Resources

Bringing Broadband to Rural America
Explores the economic impacts of broadband access in rural areas, including telemedicine opportunities and local business benefits. Discusses challenges related to the broadband infrastructure cost-funding gap and initiatives to expand broadband access.
Sponsoring organization: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Location: Community Scope, 8(1), 1-10
Date: 12/2020

Emergency Medical Services Personnel as Vaccinators: Status by State
Information from all states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and American Samoa, showing scope of practice by level of licensure for paramedics, advanced-emergency medical technicians, emergency medical technicians, emergency medical responders, and other intermediate levels. Features maps with shadings showing whether vaccination administration is always allowed, currently or temporarily allowed, never allowed, or under consideration for administrative or executive action. Information is current as of the first week of February 2021.
Sponsoring organization: National Association of State EMS Officials
Date: 02/2021

Indian Health Service Child and Sexual Abuse Hotline
Hotline for reporting suspected child or sexual abuse by an Indian Health Service (IHS) staff member and/or within an IHS facility. Call 1-855-SAFE-IHS (855 723-3447) or submit an online complaint. Hotline is staffed Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Sponsoring organization: Indian Health Service

Papás Activos: Associations between Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior and Personal Networks among Fathers Living in Texas Colonias
Study of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and social networks for Latino fathers living in rural Texas colonia communities on the U.S.-Mexico border. Presents data from 48 families using a community-based promotora research model, addressing physical activity effectiveness, social relationships, and physical activity measurements using accelerometers.
Author(s): Tyler Prochnow, M. Renee Umstattd Meyer, Megan S. Patterson, et al.
Location: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(24), 9243
Date: 12/2020

Preliminary Evaluation of Nonresponse Bias Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic on National Health Interview Survey Estimates, April-June 2020
Examines potential nonresponse bias for the National Health Interview Survey associated with a shift to telephone-only interviewing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes data on changes in response rates for metropolitan and nonmetro areas.
Sponsoring organization: National Center for Health Statistics
Date: 02/2021

Virtual Communication Services in RHCs and FQHCs Frequently Asked Questions
Provides information for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) regarding billing and payment for virtual communication services as established in the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Date: 02/2021

Open Calls for Contributions

Call for Proposals: 2021 Annual Association of Clinicians for the Underserved Conference
Deadline: Feb 26, 2021
Association of Clinicians for the Underserved
Event Dates: Aug 1 - 4, 2021
Washington, DC
Conference Website

Upcoming Events

Appalachian Food for Health: Diabetes Prevention Virtual Convening
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Eastern
Community Farm Alliance, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, Shaping Our Appalachian Region
CDFI Rapid Response Program Pre-Application Webinar
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern
Call-in: 888.468.5127
Conference Number: RWXW2008039
Passcode: 2558301
Community Development Financial Institutions Fund
Building Vaccine Confidence for COVID-19 Vaccines
Time: 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Eastern
Kentucky Primary Care Association
IHA Small and Rural Constituency Meeting
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Central
Illinois Health and Hospital Association
2021 28th Annual Health Provider Retreat - VIRTUAL
Time: 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
New Mexico Health Resources, Inc.
COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Meeting
Time: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Eastern
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health
2021 Mississippi Telehealth Expo - VIRTUAL
Time: 12:15 p.m. Central (Wednesday) - 4:15 p.m. Central (Thursday)
Mississippi Telehealth Association
Questions About School-Based Telehealth?
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Eastern
Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center
2021 Virtual Forum for Migrant and Community Health
Virtual sessions held from March 22 - 26, 2021.
National Center for Farmworker Health, North Carolina Community Health Center Association, Northwest Regional Primary Care Association
2021 North American Agricultural Safety Summit - VIRTUAL
Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America
2021 The Hospice and Palliative Care Leadership and Advocacy Conference (LAC) - VIRTUAL
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
2021 Annual Northwest Regional Rural Health Conference - VIRTUAL
Rural Health Clinic Association of Washington, University of Washington School of Medicine, Washington Rural Health Association, Washington State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care Office
2021 Rural Child Hunger Summit - VIRTUAL
Time: 10:30 a.m. Eastern (23rd) - 3:00 p.m. Eastern (24th)
No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practices
2021 NALBOH Spring Symposium - VIRTUAL
National Association of Local Boards of Health
2021 Annual North Dakota Mind Matters Conference - VIRTUAL
North Dakota Brain Injury Network
2021 17th Annual American Indian Disability Summit - VIRTUAL
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Telehealth 101: Intro and Q&A
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Central
South Central Telehealth Resource Center

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Please send an email telling how RHIhub has impacted you to Your stories may be used in testimony, budget documents and presentations concerning the Rural Health Information Hub.