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Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

March 6, 2014

Funding Opportunities

Open funding opportunities through HRSA programs include:

  1. Reaching Practicing MCH Professionals in Underserved Areas Through Education and Training Program:  The Maternal and Child Health Bureau recently released a Practicing MCH Professionals in Underserved Areas Through Education and Training Program.  This funding opportunity targets MCH public health professionals in underserved, rural and  isolated geographic areas of the country.   Eligible entities include public and state institutions of higher education that are committed to working with public health professionals that are not able to pursue graduate degrees or otherwise have access to pursuing further education.  This program will enable recipients to assist MCH public health professionals serving rural, underserved and isolated individuals address specific challenges these communities face. 

    Apply by:  Friday, March 21, 2014

  2. State Loan Repayment Program

    Apply by:  Tuesday, April 29, 2014

  3. Healthy Start Initiative:  As noted last week up to 36 rural communities could be awarded up to $30 million to improve perinatal care outcomes through this opportunity.
  1. Black Lung/Coal Miner Clinics Program

    Apply by: EXTENDED Friday, March 28, 2014

  2. Black Lung Centers of Excellence

    Apply by: EXTENDED Friday, March 28, 2014

  3. National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program

    Apply by:  Thursday, March 20, 2014
    2014 National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program Application

  4. Poison Center Support and Enhancement

    Apply by: Monday, March 17, 2014

Webinars and Technical Assistance

  1. On March 28th the Texas/Oklahoma AIDS Education and Training Center will be hosting an online webinar series honoring, “National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.”  Please visit Texas/Oklahoma AIDS Education & Training Center website for more information about the webinar.

The Affordable Care Act

  1. As we move into the last 8 weeks of enrollment, we will be changing our office hours schedule to maximize your time to help rural residents enroll.  The calls will now be every other week through the end of enrollment.  The following is a schedule of upcoming calls:

    March 12, 2014, 3-4pm. ET  TBD—stay tuned!
    March 26, 2014, 3-4pm. ET  TBD—stay tuned! Call Information:

    3-4 p.m. EST
    Call-in Number: (800) 857-3749
    Passcode: ORHPACA
    Adobe Connect Session:

    Recordings of past calls can be found here.  And remember, these calls are open to any that are interested to feel free to pass this information along!

Other Useful Information and Resources

  1. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) supports broadband connectivity and broadband networks for eligible healthcare providers through the new Healthcare Connect Fund. This fund increases access to broadband for health care provider, especially those serving rural areas.  Rural healthcare providers and networks are encouraged to take advantage of these available funds that are targeted for rural areas. In summary, the Healthcare Connect Fund provides 65% discount on broadband services, equipment, connections to research and education networks, and requires a 35% healthcare provider contribution. The funding begins on January 1, 2014 (July 1, 2013 for existing Pilot projects). Eligible applicants include: public or not-for-profit hospitals, rural health clinics, community health centers, health centers serving migrants, community mental health centers, local health departments or agencies, post-secondary education institutions/teaching hospitals/medical schools, or consortia of the above. Non-rural health care providers may participate if they belong to a consortium that has a majority rural health care providers. The cap on total funding for the Healthcare Connect Fund is $400 million annually. Cap for upfront payments in Healthcare Connect Fund is $150 million annually. a subsequent proposed rule, the FCC seeks comment on a number of discrete issues relating to the rural broadband experiments and on the appropriate budget and funding to support initiatives for the ongoing need for research into the future of telephone numbering. The purpose of these experiments is to speed market-driven technological transitions and innovations by preserving the core statutory vales that exist today. Comments are due March 31, 2014.

    In a subsequent final rule, the FCC adopts an experiment to test how tailored economic incentives can advance the deployment of next generation networks, both wireline and wireless, in rural, high-cost areas of the country, including Tribal lands. In this experiment, Connect America funding will be available to entities to deploy high-speed, scalable, IP-based networks.

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