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RHIhub This Week - July 7, 2021

Call for COVID-19 Vaccination Innovations

vaccination How is your rural area working to get vaccines to community members and support vaccine confidence? Please consider sharing your experiences by emailing your examples to Kristine Sande at with the subject line: COVID-19 Innovations. You can see submissions from RHIhub This Week readers in the Rural COVID-19 Innovations collection under COVID-19 Vaccination.

Upcoming Webinar

RESCHEDULED: Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) Program: Highlights and Lessons Learned from the Planning Year (2019 – 2020)
Join us Wednesday, July 21st for a webinar on the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) Program. Featured speakers, Elizabeth (Ellie) Coombs, MPP; Elizabeth (Liz) Crane, MPH; and Claire Wilson, Ph.D will provide an overview of the RMOMS program and discuss the findings of its first evaluation report.

Updated RHIhub Topic Guide

Doctor measures blood pressure online Telehealth Use in Rural Healthcare
This recently updated topic guide provides information and resources pertaining to telehealth in rural America, including a new FAQ on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 New in Our Online Library
 Information from around the web

Recent News

Rural Ambulance Services Are in Jeopardy as Volunteers Age and Expenses Mount
Jul 6, 2021 -- Describes how difficult it is for rural emergency medical services (EMS) in Montana to respond to emergencies due to a scarcity of young volunteers, financial issues, and far distances to travel. Discusses possible solutions such as having EMS agencies merge with taxpayer-funded fire departments, having hospitals take over the programs, and policy changes.
Source: Kaiser Health News

Rural Vaccination Rate Grows by about 0.6% of the Population
Jul 2, 2021 -- Analyzes rural and urban COVID-19 vaccination rates as of June 28, 2021. Finds that the overall rate of completed vaccinations in rural America increased by 0.6 percentage points to 34 percent, while vaccinations among the urban population increased by 1.1 percentage points to 44.3 percent. Includes an interactive map of all U.S. counties' vaccination rates.
Source: The Daily Yonder

The Devastating Drought Across the West Could Mean an Increase in Farmer Suicides
Jul 2, 2021 -- As drought conditions worsen, farmers and ranchers in Colorado experience increased mental health issues and suicides. Describes the need for more mental healthcare and suicide prevention resources in rural and farming communities.
Source: NPR

'This Isn't a Dying Coal Town,' It's a West Virginia Community Rethinking Health Care and Succeeding
Jul 1, 2021 -- Highlights how a rural community in Williamson, West Virginia is working to reopen the town's 76-bed hospital that closed in April 2020. Describes the health and economic impacts of the closure and shares how the local healthcare providers are focused on addressing the social determinants of health for their patients.
Source: 100 Days in Appalachia

How One Rural Town Without a Pharmacy Is Crowdsourcing to Get Meds
Jul 1, 2021 -- Shares how a geographically isolated town in Colorado has built an informal delivery network where community members pick up and deliver medications from the nearest pharmacy, over an hour drive away, for their neighbors. Describes the challenges of living in a rural town with no pharmacy and the impacts it can have on health. Discusses workforce and reimbursement challenges to staffing and operating a rural community pharmacy.
Source: Kaiser Health News

Underscoring Disparities in Rural Health: Challenges, Solutions for a Long-Standing and Growing National Issue
Jul 1, 2021 -- Summarizes a study that reported the rural-urban disparity in age-adjusted mortality rates grew substantially from 1999 to 2019. Identifies factors impacting this disparity and other challenges to healthcare access rural residents face, especially minority groups, that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes discussion on potential solutions to improve care.
Source: American Journal of Managed Care

Federal Register

EOP, ONDCP: Application of Equity in U.S. National Drug Control Policy
Jul 7, 2021 -- The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is seeking comments on whether and to what extent its policy development process, drug budget review and certification processes, and Grant Administration Programs perpetuate systemic barriers to opportunities for underserved communities and individuals from those communities. ONDCP is also seeking comments on how its future proposed policies, budgets, regulations, grants, or programs might be more effective in advancing equity. Comments are due by August 6, 2021.
Source: Federal Register

HRSA: Lists of Designated Primary Medical Care, Mental Health, and Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas
Jul 7, 2021 -- The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announces the availability of the complete lists of all geographic areas, population groups, and facilities designated as primary care, mental health, and/or dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). Lists are available on the Shortage Areas website and are current as of April 30, 2021.
Source: Federal Register

Public Inspection: CMS: Medicare Program: End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, Payment for Renal Dialysis Services Furnished to Individuals with Acute Kidney Injury, End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program, and End-Stage Renal Disease Treatment Choices Model
Jul 2, 2021 -- Pre-publication notice of a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) making changes related to End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) payments for calendar year 2022 and proposing updates to the payment rate for renal dialysis services furnished by an ESRD facility to individuals with acute kidney injury (AKI). Also includes proposed updated requirements for the Quality Incentive Program (QIP), among other things. Comments on the proposed rule are due August 31, 2021.
Source: Federal Register

HHS: National Advisory Committee on Individuals With Disabilities and Disasters: Establishment; Correction
Jul 1, 2021 -- Notice from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) extending the application period for qualified individuals who wish to be considered for membership on the National Advisory Committee on Individuals with Disabilities and Disasters (NACIDD). NACIDD will advise and consult with the Secretary of HHS regarding the medical, public health, and accessibility needs of individuals with disabilities related to preparation for, response to, and recovery from all-hazards emergencies. Applications are now due by July 12, 2021.
Source: Federal Register

HHS: National Advisory Committee on Seniors and Disasters: Establishment
Jul 1, 2021 -- Notice from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) extending the application period for qualified individuals who wish to be considered for membership on the National Advisory Committee on Seniors and Disasters (NACSD). NACSD will provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of HHS to support and enhance all-hazards public health and medical preparedness, response activities, and recovery aimed at meeting the unique needs of older adults. Applications are now due by July 12, 2021.
Source: Federal Register

Funding & Opportunities

Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-Based Program
Grants to develop, implement, and/or expand comprehensive programs in response to illicit opioids, stimulants, or other substances of abuse. The program provides resources to support state, local, tribal, and territorial efforts to reduce violent crime and drug abuse and enhance public safety while supporting victims.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. territories
Application Deadline: Jul 7, 2021
Sponsors: Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice

Massachusetts General Hospital Fellowship Program in Rural Health Leadership
A full-time fellowship for early-career clinicians who have an interest in partnering with rural communities to improve health. The fellowship includes a Master's Degree in Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and focused clinical time in Rosebud, South Dakota at an Indian Health Service site.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Sep 30, 2021
Sponsors: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Massachusetts General Hospital

DATA 2000 Waiver Training Payment Program
One-time direct payment of $3,000 to Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics for each eligible provider who possesses a DATA 2000 waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsor: Health Resources and Services Administration

New Resources

2021 National Impact Assessment of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Measures Report
Evaluates the quality measures used across 26 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) quality reporting programs. Summarizes these measures' impacts on quality of care, cost efficiency, and burden reduction. Provides statistics concerning participation and performance within Medicare quality reporting programs, including statistics specific to rural populations and facilities.
Additional links: Appendices ZIP file
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Date: 06/2021

Association of the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes Project With Use of Direct-Acting Antiviral Treatment Among US Adults With Hepatitis C
Results of a study of 267,908 patients to examine the association between Project ECHO and use of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Features statistics with breakdowns by urban or rural location.
Author(s): Linh Tran, Roger Feldman, Thomas Riley, Jeah Jung
Location: JAMA Network Open, 4(7)
Date: 07/2021

Clinical Knowledge and Trends in Physicians' Prescribing of Opioids for New Onset Back Pain, 2009-2017
Results of a study of 10,246 physicians to compare the association of clinical knowledge with opioid prescribing from the years 2009-2011 with 2015-2017, when guidelines shifted away from opioid prescribing. Features demographic statistics with breakdowns by rural location.
Author(s): Bradley M. Gray, Jonathan L. Vandergrift, Weifeng Weng, Rebecca S. Lipner, Michael L. Barnett
Location: JAMA Network Open, 4(7)
Date: 07/2021

Community Assessment for Mental and Physical Health Effects After Hurricane Irma — Florida Keys, May 2019
Reports results from the use of Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) to evaluate suicide risk in a micropolitan county with frequent hurricane landfall. Discusses the need to include long-term mental health service delivery as part of emergency preparedness planning for disasters such as hurricanes.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Location: MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), 70(26), 937-941
Date: 07/2021

Contact Tracing and the Challenges of Health Equity in Vulnerable Latino and Native American Communities: Proceedings of a Workshop - In Brief
Presents the proceedings of a July 30, 2020 webinar discussing the role of contact tracing in remedying health disparities around COVID-19 in American Indian (AI) and Latino communities. Highlights challenges involved in conducting contact tracing and offers suggestions to improve public health equity.
Additional links: Read Online
Sponsoring organization: Health and Medicine Division (HMD), National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Date: 07/2021

County Economic Status in Appalachia, FY 2022
Map showing levels of economic distress in Appalachian counties based on unemployment rates, income, and poverty levels. Includes interactive map, downloadable maps and data files, and data report.
Sponsoring organization: Appalachian Regional Commission
Date: 06/2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Intentions and Mistrust in a National Sample of Black Americans
Describes the factors associated with intentions to be vaccinated for COVID-19, based on self-reported data from an internet survey of 207 black Americans, conducted in November-December 2020. Examines issues including socio-demographic and health-related background characteristics, medical mistrust, perceived need for vaccination, confidence in vaccine efficacy and safety, social norms for vaccination, and neighborhood-level social vulnerability. Features statistics including breakdowns by cities with populations above and below 50,000.
Author(s): Laura M. Bogart, Lu Dong, Priya Gandhi, et al.
Location: Journal of the National Medical Association
Date: 06/2021

Healthiest Communities 2021
Presents data and comparative rankings for urban and rural counties describing population health, health equity, education, housing, food and nutrition, and environment, among other indicators. Includes peer group rankings for rural high-performing and up-and-coming counties. Offers searchable county data at the bottom of the page by county name or zip code.
Sponsoring organization: U.S. News & World Report
Date: 2021

Implementing and Sustaining Rural Community Paramedicine
Incorporates proceedings from the February 21-22, 2021 Rural Community Paramedicine (CP) Summit, and key strategies for implementing and sustaining CP in rural communities. Contains resources, information on established CP programs, and information about how state Flex Programs can support rural CP efforts. Describes experiences of established CP providers so that rural ambulance providers and hospitals might be better prepared as they consider similar initiatives in their own communities.
Additional links: Webinar
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Resource Center
Date: 06/2021

QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Aged ≥18 Years with Diagnosed Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, by Urbanization Level and Age Group — National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2019
Bar chart comparing diagnosed COPD for metropolitan and nonmetro areas by age group for ages 18-44, 45-64, and 65 or older.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Location: MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), 70(26), 959
Date: 07/2021

Urban-Rural Differences in Dental Care Use Among Adults Aged 18-64
Reports on dental visits for rural and urban populations in 2019, providing data from the National Health Interview Survey based on gender, race and ethnicity, and income relative to the federal poverty level.
Sponsoring organization: National Center for Health Statistics
Date: 07/2021

Open Calls for Contributions

Call for Presentations: 2021 National Transportation in Indian Country Conference (NTICC)
Deadline: Jul 12, 2021
Center for Tribal Transportation
Event Dates: Sep 27 - 30, 2021
Conference Website

Call for Proposals: 2022 Annual Aging in America Conference
Deadline: Aug 15, 2021
American Society on Aging
Event Dates: Apr 11 - 14, 2022
New Orleans, LA
Conference Website

Upcoming Events

Introduction to the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Reporting Portal: Provider Webcast
Time: 2:00 p.m. Central
Health Resources and Services Administration
2021 Annual NRHA State Rural Health Association (SRHA) Leadership Conference
National Rural Health Association
FY2022 RHC Program Kickoff Webinar
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Central
Universal Service Administrative Company
Increasing Access to the Hard-to-Reach and Underserved Communities Using the Promotor and Faith-Based Outreach Model
Time: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Central
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Extension Service's Healthy Homes Partnership, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes
NIHB COVID-19 Vaccine Listening Session
Time: 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern
National Indian Health Board
Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) Program: Highlights and Lessons Learned from the Planning Year (2019 – 2020)
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Central
Rural Health Information Hub
2021 Rural Policy Summit – A Profile of Rural Pennsylvania
Time: 9:00 a.m. Eastern
Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Pennsylvania Downtown Center, Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, Pennsylvania Rural Development Council, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's Community Development and Regional Outreach Department
Implementing Farm Stress Grab-n-Go Kits in HHS Region 7 and 8 Communities
Time: 9:00 a.m. Mountain
Mid-America MHTTC, Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
Identifying and Addressing Youth Anxiety in School-based Settings; HHS Region 8
Time: 2:00 p.m. Mountain
Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
CDC/ATSDR Tribal Consultation Session
Time: 3:15 - 5:00 p.m. Eastern
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Virtual Native Talking Circles: Staying Connected in Challenging Times
Time: 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Central
National American Indian and Alaska Native Addiction Technology Transfer Center
2021 Annual Texas EMS Evolution
Texas EMS Alliance
Horseshoe Bay, TX
2021 HIMSS Global Conference & Exhibition
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
Las Vegas, NV
2020 Uniform Data System (UDS) Trends Webinar
Time: 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern
Health Resources and Services Administration
2021 Healthy Grants Workshop
Time: 1:00 p.m. Eastern
Health Resources and Services Administration
2021 WPHA Public Health in Practice Conference
Wisconsin Public Health Association
2021 Swing Bed Webinar
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Mountain
Colorado Rural Health Center
Best Practices and Helpful Considerations for Responding to Traumatic Stress in Schools for School Staff; HHS Region 8
Time: 2:00 - 3:15 p.m. Mountain
Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
Resilience: Springing Back to Move Forward
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Central
National Rural Health Resource Center
2021 32nd Annual Illinois Rural Health Association Educational Conference
Illinois Rural Health Association
Champaign, IL
2021 Ohio Rural Health Conference
Ohio Rural Health Association, Ohio State Office of Rural Health, Ohio University, Appalachian Rural Health Institute, Ohio University, Department of Social and Public Health
Telecom Program FY2022 Request for Services Best Practices Webinar
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Central
Universal Service Administrative Company
2021 KEMSA Conference & Expo
Kansas Emergency Medical Services Association
Mulvane, KS

Tell Us How RHIhub Has Impacted You

The Rural Health Information Hub is seeking your comments on how our services have helped you in your efforts to improve healthcare and population health in rural communities. Have the RHIhub services helped you to stay informed, get a grant, find the proper federal agency contact or other expert, or otherwise changed your life?

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.