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Rural Health Information Center

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

December 9, 2016

What’s New

Rural IMPACT – The First Year.  Last year, HHS and the White House announced 10 rural and tribal communities from across the country participating in the “Rural Integration Models for Parents and Children to Thrive” (Rural IMPACT) demonstration.  Through public-private partnership and a federal effort spanning several agencies, the project tries to help communities help vulnerable families by increasing parents’ education and employment prospects and improving the health and well-being of their children.  At the one-year anniversary of the demonstration, HHS examined the work of Rural IMPACT in these 10 communities and issued a report on lessons learned.

Counties Join the Challenge.  As a way to expand the mission of Rural IMPACT, the National Association of Counties (NACo) launched its own Rural Impact County Challenge in April. Participating counties that pass a resolution to take concrete steps toward eliminating poverty receive technical assistance from multiple agencies and join a peer-to-peer network of counties sharing research-based solutions and best practices.  This week, 104 counties from 33 states have been invited to convene in Tallahassee, FL for a three-day symposium where they will discuss the future of economic, environmental and social development in rural America.

Rural America at a Glance. According to a statement from Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, “many rural communities were ill-positioned to bounce back quickly” from the economic downturn, dubbed the Great Recession, that began in 2008.  With support from the White House Rural Council and targeted investments from public and private sectors, USDA led an effort to put Rural America Back in Business.  In its annual report on economic trends in rural areas, USDA’s Economic Research Service reports that, for the first time since the Great Recession began, population loss has leveled off, poverty rates are falling, and unemployment dropped below six percent.

Roadmap For Working with Vulnerable Hospitals.  The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) released a guide that identifies the signs of a hospital in trouble, outlines the decisions communities need to make, and provides an array of resources and tools, including a planning template for developing a course of action.  NOSORH is the collective organization for the 50 SORHs that support rural providers with resources, technical assistance, news and data that helps them better serve their communities.

Veterans Affairs Awards $219 Million to Increase Access. Last month, the VA made an investment to increase access to health services for the 2.9 million Veterans living in rural areas. The funding supports efforts at the local level to bring proven solutions for veterans’ care closer to home.  The VA’s Office of Rural Health (ORH) estimates these initiatives – including free transportation to or from medical appointments, physical rehabilitation at home, and support for health providers and caregivers – will impact more than 570,000 rural Veterans.  Learn more about the five categories for these initiatives and their funding amounts on page 14 of ORH’s Rural Connection Newsletter for Winter 2016.

Proposals Wanted.  The National Rural Health Association’s is seeking proposals by Thursday, December 15 for its annual Rural Quality and Clinical Conference. The theme for the 2017 meeting is “Working Together for Rural Access to Quality Care” and will be held in Nashville, TN, July 12-14.  This conference brings together rural clinicians practicing on the front lines of rural health care, quality and performance improvement organizations, and other rural stakeholders.  NRHA is looking for session proposals that highlight best practices and research, educational models, innovative approaches, and social determinants of health in topic areas such as quality management, access to care, population health, and a number of others.

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Rural Health Information Hub

December 7, 2016

View the Rural Health Information Hub updates.

Read “The Rural Connection” Winter 2016 Issue

December 7, 2016

View the issue.

Discuss comprehensive care for patients with hepatitis C with national experts

December 7, 2016

Discuss comprehensive care for patients with hepatitis C with national experts

In this webinar, the final in a series of three, Drs. Joseph Lim and Rajender Reddy will discuss the critical aspects of comprehensive care for patients with hepatitis C infection, including transmission risks, treatment among persons who inject drugs, and important practical aspects of caring for these patients in a non-specialty practice.

Comprehensive Care for Patients with HCV

Date: Tuesday, December 20
Time: 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM Central Time

Cost: Free
Target Audience: This activity is intended for US-based primary care clinicians who care for patients living in rural areas.


Joseph Lim, MD
K. Rajender Reddy, MD


This activity was developed by Med-IQ in collaboration with the National Rural Health Association Services Corporation.


December 6, 2016

Purpose: The purpose of the Network Planning program is to assist in the development of an integrated health care network, specifically for entities that do not have a history of formal collaborative efforts, in order to: (i) achieve efficiencies; (ii) expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services; and (iii) strengthen the rural health care system as a whole..

Project Period: June 1, 2017 – May31, 2018

Application Due Date: January 3, 2017

Eligibility: The applicant organization must be a rural nonprofit or rural public entity that represents a consortium/network of three or more health care providers. Federally-recognized tribal entities are eligible to apply as long as they are located in a rural area. The applicant organization must be located in a non-metropolitan county or in a rural census tract of a metropolitan county, and all services must be provided in a non-metropolitan county or rural census tract.

Network Composition: The networks must be composed of at least three separately owned health care providers that may be nonprofit or for-profit entities. The applicant organization along with each network member who will be receiving any of the grant funds must have separate and different Employer Identification Numbers (EIN). Networks may include a wide range of community partners providing health care including social service agencies, faith-based organizations, mental health agencies, charitable organizations, educational institutions, employers, local government agencies or other entities with an interest in a community’s health care system.

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Rural Health Research & Policy Centers

December 1, 2016

View the Research Alert.

USDA Rural Development Partners with Lenders to Provide Homes in Missouri

December 1, 2016

COLUMBIA, MO, November 30, 2016 –USDA Rural Development Missouri State Director Janie Dunning today acknowledged the importance of lender partnerships to the success of the Guaranteed Rural Housing Loan Program. In Fiscal Year 2016, 4,927 Missouri families purchased homes through the program, resulting in an investment of $573,979,543 in rural communities throughout the state.

“Partnerships with local lenders are essential to our ability to help Missourians achieve their homeownership dreams,” said Dunning. “These lenders have made a valuable contribution to the development of rural areas. Without their willingness to participate in the GRH Program, many people may have not been able to purchase a home. We appreciate the many lenders utilizing our Guaranteed Loans across all programs”

USDA Rural Development partners with local lenders to extend 100% financing opportunities to rural individuals and families. The federal government agrees to “guarantee” the loan, therefore reducing lender risk when making mortgage loans. The end result is more buyers achieving the dream of homeownership with affordable and attractive terms with assistance from Rural Development.

Over 70 lenders participate in the Guaranteed Rural Housing Loan Program in Missouri. These lenders work closely with applicants in rural communities to purchase homes to shelter their families. To celebrate the hard work of our lender partners, we recognize those lenders closing over 100 loans during the fiscal year. Lenders reaching this milestone during the fiscal year include:

These lenders closed 1,638 loans in Missouri with total loan amounts exceeding $192 million, making up 33% of total guaranteed loans for the year. Their efforts, along with all our partner lenders, are recognized for helping foster rural homeownership in the state.

Further information on rural programs is available by visiting the USDA Missouri Rural Development web site at or by contacting your local Rural Development office.

President Obama’s historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $214 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).