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Rural Health Information Hub

RHIhub This Week - March 15, 2023

Updated RHIhub Topic Guides

Rural Healthcare Workforce
This recently updated topic guide highlights the importance of an adequate supply of healthcare professionals in rural areas. See updated statistics as well as new links to policies and programs designed to improve the supply of rural health professionals.

 New in Our Online Library
 Information from around the web

Recent News

Tackling Rural America's 'Hidden' Housing Crisis
Mar 15, 2023 -- The rate of homelessness and housing insecurity rose faster in rural places than the country at large over the past two years. Community-based organizations like the Gary Leif Navigation Center in Roseburg, Oregon and Kentucky River Community Care in eastern Kentucky are in a position to offer solutions.
Source: The Daily Yonder

Black Lung Resurgence Drives Push to Protect Coal Miners Against Silica Dust
Mar 13, 2023 -- Describes how black lung cases have tripled in central Appalachia and progressive massive fibrosis has increased tenfold among long-term miners since 2005. Discusses how regulations allow miners to be exposed to twice as much airborne silica as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration permits for workers in other industries.
Source: The Daily Yonder and Kaiser Health News

Experts: National Physician Shortage Will Hit Rural Areas Harder
Mar 13, 2023 -- Shares the results of a study that found while the entire country is seeing dwindling numbers of physicians, rural areas still remain behind their urban counterparts, risking a deepening healthcare crisis for rural America.
Source: The Daily Yonder

Rural Missouri Schools Report Barriers to Mental Health Treatment
Mar 13, 2023 -- Leaders in the Van Far R1 School District in Audrain County, Missouri are trying to help lessen the mental health crisis by prioritizing students' mental health in the classroom. College students studying counseling complete lab hours at the schools, and telehealth resources are also used.
Source: KOMU

Ensuring Health Care Quality in Rural America
Mar 10, 2023 -- Summarizes a roundtable discussion at the American Hospital Association Rural Health Care Leadership Conference in February focused on "Redefining Quality Essentials." Topics included telemedicine, patient-centered medical homes, sharing patient information electronically, quality and performance improvement initiatives, and improving patient engagement.
Source: American Hospital Association

Mercer's Faith in Rural Health Program Works to Address Health Disparities in Georgia
Mar 10, 2023 -- Mercer University's new Faith in Rural Health initiative, a partnership among the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center, School of Medicine, and McAfee School of Theology, aims to support the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in rural Georgia counties by coordinating efforts of clergy, physicians, and healthcare professionals.
Source: The Den

Rural Communities Want to Tap Federal Funding. But It's Hard to Know Where to Start
Mar 8, 2023 -- Discusses challenges rural communities encounter when searching and applying for federal funds. Highlights the work of the Rural Partners Network in the current communities they serve and how they share information to guide rural communities to federal funding programs.
Source: NPR

Federal Register

CDC: Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the Board of Scientific Counselors, Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases
Mar 15, 2023 -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seeking nominations for membership on the Board of Scientific Counselors, Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases (BSC, DDID). Nominations are being sought for individuals who have the expertise and qualifications in the fields relevant to the issues addressed by CDC's infectious disease national centers and related specialties, including clinical and public health practice, laboratory practice, research, and health policy/communications, among others. Nominations are due by April 14, 2023.
Source: Federal Register

HRSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: HRSA Grantee Customer Satisfaction Survey
Mar 10, 2023 -- The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking comment on revisions to the survey of HRSA grant recipients to gather information on opinions about grant processes in order to improve business interactions with grantees. Comments are due no later than May 9, 2023.
Source: Federal Register

FCC: In the Matter of Schools and Libraries Universal Support Mechanism, Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Changes to the Board of Directors of the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc.
Mar 9, 2023 -- The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comment on ways to improve the E-Rate program rules and encourage greater participation by tribal and small or rural non-tribal applicants. Comments are due by April 24, 2023.
Source: Federal Register

Funding & Opportunities

Utilizing Social Media to Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Across Indian Country
Funding for tribal governments, tribal health departments, and tribal healthcare facilities/health systems to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Awardees will develop and disseminate vaccine hesitancy materials.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Mar 24, 2023
Sponsors: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Indian Health Board

Energy Improvement in Rural or Remote Areas Demonstration Funding
Financial investment, technical assistance, and other resources to advance clean energy demonstrations and energy solutions in rural and remote areas that can be replicated and scaled. One of the program metrics is Improved environmental performance from energy generation to support public health which is measured through positive changes in air quality index (AQI), total dissolved solids (TDS), streamflow, and aquifer hydraulic head as a result of the project.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Letter of Intent (Required): Apr 14, 2023
Application Deadline: Jun 28, 2023
Sponsors: Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), U.S. Department of Energy

Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Program
Grants to develop sustainable, multidisciplinary targeted violence and terrorism prevention capabilities in local communities, to pilot innovative prevention approaches, and to identify prevention best practices that can be replicated in communities across the country. Projects should bring together mental health providers, educators, faith leaders, public health officials, social services, nonprofits, and other stakeholders. Rural communities and other underserved populations are considered a program priority.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Apr 25, 2023
Sponsors: Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Overdose Data to Action: Limiting Overdose through Collaborative Actions in Localities (OD2A: LOCAL)
Funding for health departments to use data to drive actions that reduce overdose morbidity and mortality in communities, with a primary focus on opioids and/or stimulants. Activities should focus on people and groups experiencing a disproportionate burden of substance use disorders, which includes rural communities, among others.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. Territories
Letter of Intent (Optional): Apr 6, 2023
Application Deadline: May 8, 2023
Sponsors: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Tribal Behavioral Health Grant Program
Grants for projects designed to prevent suicidal behavior and substance misuse, reduce the impact of trauma, and promote mental health among American Indian/Alaska Native young people up to the age of 24.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: May 15, 2023
Sponsors: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Economic Development Assistance Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs
Funding to support the implementation of regional economic development, including public works projects and job creation projects. Past projects have included funding for water and wastewater projects in hospitals and healthcare facilities and road infrastructure projects that would support the expansion of healthcare facilities. Rural, tribal, and other underserved communities are a program priority.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsor: Economic Development Administration

New Resources

2023 Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Investments Preview
Webinar recording highlights the upcoming investments by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) for 2023. Discusses FORHP's funding priorities and goals for the 2023 fiscal year, such as rural hospitals and clinics, the substance use epidemic, and rural health disparities, among others.
Sponsoring organization: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
Date: 03/2023

Access to Health Services Across Rural and Urban Minoritized Racial/Ethnic Group Areas
Summarizes results from a series of reports documenting disparities in access to health services nationwide across ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) categorized by rurality and racial and ethnic composition. Presents data on the distance to care from the population center of rural and urban ZCTAs to the nearest provider. Covers first line, higher acuity, and home-based services.
Sponsoring organization: Rural and Minority Health Research Center (formerly the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center)
Date: 03/2023

Assessing Geographic Variability in Key Indicators of Air Quality: A Rural vs. Urban Comparison of Pollution and Socio-Economic Factors
Results of a study to examine rates of air pollution between rural and urban census tracts, using data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Quality System web portal for the years 2000-2020. Features statistics including mean concentrations of fine particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5) and ozone in rural and urban census tracts, and maps showing concentrations of PM2.5 for census tracts by EPA region.
Sponsoring organization: Rural and Minority Health Research Center (formerly the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center)
Date: 03/2023

Implementation of a Women's Reproductive Behavioral Health Telemedicine Program: A Qualitative Study of Barriers and Facilitators In Obstetric and Pediatric Clinics
Results of a study exploring a South Carolina telemedicine program for the treatment of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders and Perinatal Substance Use Disorders in obstetric and pediatric providers in the outpatient community practice setting. Features statistics with breakdowns by urban or rural location.
Author(s): Katherine R. Sterba, Emily E. Johnson, Edie Douglas, et al.
Location: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 23, 167
Date: 03/2023

Inequitable Access to General and Behavioral Healthcare in the US During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Role for Telehealth?
Examines general and behavioral healthcare access and disparities during the first year of the pandemic, using data from the 2019–2020 U.S. National Alcohol Survey and its COVID follow-up survey conducted January 30 to March 28, 2021. Explores the role of telehealth in providing an important bridge to healthcare for certain medically underserved groups during the pandemic. Features statistics with breakdowns by urban and rural location.
Author(s): Nina Mulia, Yu Ye, Thomas K. Greenfield, et al.
Location: Preventive Medicine, 169
Date: 04/2023

Listening to Riders and Providers: A Synthesis Report on NADTC's Focus Groups and Stakeholder Meetings
Summarizes findings from four focus groups exploring how perceptions of transportation users may be impacted by race, ethnicity, culture, or other personal characteristics. Presents findings from older adults, younger adults with disabilities, and caregivers. Also reports on stakeholder meetings with urban/suburban and rural stakeholders. Identifies lessons learned and next steps to inform transportation diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
Sponsoring organization: National Aging and Disability Transportation Center
Date: 02/2023

A Novel Gap Staffing Metric for Primary Care in the Veterans Health Administration and Implications for Rural and Urban Clinics
Highlights a study on the metric for primary care provider staffing used by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) from 2017-2021. Explores the staffing gaps in rural versus urban areas based on the VHA's staffing metric.
Author(s): Amy M. J. O'Shea, Bjarni Haraldsson, Ariana F. Shahnazi, et al.
Location: Journal of Ambulatory Care Management 46(1), 25-33
Date: 01/2023

Parent-Reported Use of Pediatric Primary Care Telemedicine: Survey Study
Highlights a study on the use of telemedicine for primary care visits among children. Explores the role of telemedicine in expanding access to primary care, and discusses some of the barriers to care such as insurance coverage, low health literacy, and slow technology uptake in rural areas.
Author(s): Kristin N. Ray, Samuel R. Wittman, Sarah Burns, et al.
Location: Journal of Medical Internet Research, 25, e42892
Date: 02/2023

Rates of Primary Care and Integrated Mental Health Telemedicine Visits Between Rural and Urban Veterans Affairs Beneficiaries Before and After the Onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Shares the results of a study examining changes over time in rural-urban differences in telemedicine use for primary care and mental health integration services among Veterans Affairs (VA) beneficiaries. Uses data from 138 VA healthcare systems from March 2019 to December 2021. Features demographics and statistics with breakdowns by visit type and rural or urban area.
Author(s): Lucinda B. Leung, Caroline Yoo, Karen Chu, et al.
Location: JAMA Network Open, 6(3)
Date: 03/2023

Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP, March 2023
Reports on four aspects of Medicaid: 1) collecting and reporting Medicaid race and ethnicity data, 2) increasing the transparency and improving the collection of nursing facility payment data, 3) strengthening evidence under Medicaid drug coverage, and 4) reviewing hospital payment policy for the nation's safety-net hospitals. Chapter 4 examines the relationship between disproportionate share hospital (DSH) allotments to states and the number of uninsured individuals, the amounts and sources of hospitals' uncompensated care costs, and the amounts and sources of hospitals' uncompensated care costs. Table 4-1 details DSH spending for urban and rural hospitals and for Critical Access Hospitals.
Sponsoring organization: Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission
Date: 03/2023

RHCs & the Medicare Shared Savings Program - What You Need to Know
Recording of a March 7, 2023, webinar providing an overview of the transition to value-based care, Accountable Care Organizations, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Discusses considerations for Rural Health Clinic participation in the Shared Savings Program. Part of the Rural Health Clinic Technical Assistance Series.
Additional links: Presentation Slides
Sponsoring organization: National Association of Rural Health Clinics
Date: 03/2023

Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program, 2022–2026 Grantee Directory
Provides contact information and a brief overview for 21 initiatives funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy through the Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Grant Program in the 2022-2026 funding cycle. The program supports rural providers implementing quality improvement activities, with the goal of promoting the development of an evidence-based culture and delivery of coordinated care in the primary care setting.
Sponsoring organization: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
Date: 01/2023

Small Rural Hospital Helps Build 'Bridge' to Addiction Services with New Mobile Clinic
A case study that describes a behavioral health program in rural Massachusetts that created a bridge team who provides prevention, treatment, and recovery services outside of hospital facilities for those with opioid used disorder (OUD).
Sponsoring organization: American Hospital Association
Date: 03/2023

Understanding Disabilities in American Indian & Alaska Native Communities Toolkit Guide
Provides an overview of federal laws, initiatives, agencies, and organizations that support work with American Indian and Alaska Native communities and individuals with disabilities. Includes dedicated sections with links to organizations and resources on healthy living, education, independent living, vocational rehabilitation and employment resources, assistive technology, housing and facilities, and transportation.
Sponsoring organizations: National Council on Aging, National Council on Disability
Date: 02/2023

Use of Telemedicine among Office-Based Physicians, 2021
Details the usage of telemedicine by physicians who are office-based, self-employed or employed by a health system, including their specialty, participation in payment models, satisfaction with telemedicine, and continued use post-pandemic. Provides data on rural and urban physician use of telemedicine tools and platforms integrated with electronic health records (EHR).
Sponsoring organization: Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
Location: ONC Data Brief, 65
Date: 03/2023

Open Calls for Contributions

Call for Presenters: 2023 Missouri Rural Health Association Conference
Deadline: Apr 1, 2023
Missouri Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, Missouri Primary Care Association, Missouri Rural Health Association
Event Dates: Aug 8 - 9, 2023
Camdenton, MO
Conference Website

Upcoming Events

2023 NARHC Spring Institute
National Association of Rural Health Clinics
San Antonio, TX
National Advisory Council on the National Health Service Corps Meeting
National Advisory Council on the National Health Service Corps
Prenatal-to-Three Rural Peer Learning Network: Long-Term Strategies for Strengthening the Child Care Workforce in Rural and Smaller Counties
Time: 2:15 - 3:15 p.m. Eastern
National Association of Counties
Rural Mental Health Forum
Texas A&M University–Commerce
Greenville, TX
Safeguarding Farmworker Health Through Flu Vaccination Outreach and Promotion
Time: 1:00 p.m. Central
National Center for Farmworker Health
Unwinding the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
Time: 2:00 - 3:15 p.m. Eastern
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Using the 2023 Rural Population Health Chartbook
Time: 12:00 p.m. Central
Rural Health Research Gateway
Three Years of the COVID-19 Pandemic: What We've Learned, and How It Can Make Us Better at Treating Rural Patients with SUD
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
University of Vermont Center on Rural Addiction
NHSC Loan Repayment Program (LRP) Q&A Session #1
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Eastern
National Health Service Corps
Opioid Use Disorder and Rural Resiliency Symposium
Southeast Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Regional Center (ROTA-RC)
Tallahassee, FL
Advancing Health Equity among Hispanic/Latino Populations Spanish Webinar Series - Session #2
Time: 1:00 p.m. Eastern
Health Resources and Services Administration
2023 TORCH Spring Conference and Trade Show
Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals
Dallas, TX
2023 Annual Colorado Rural Health Center Forum
Colorado Rural Health Center
Aurora, CO
2023 Annual National Rural EMS & Care Conference
National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
2023 Appalachian Health Leadership Forum
West Virginia Center for Rural Health Development
Roanoke, WV
2023 Northwest Tribal Public Health Emergency Preparedness Training & Conference
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, Oregon Health Authority, Washington State Department of Health
Suquamish, WA
2023 Annual National Network of Public Health Institutes Conference
National Network of Public Health Institutes
Washington, DC

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