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Category Archives: Current Affairs

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

March 22, 2018

What’s New

2018 County Health Rankings.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute released their annual report on the place-based factors influencing health outcomes.  Among the key findings: rural counties continue to have the highest child poverty rates, and teen birth rates are nearly twice the rate for teens in suburban counties.  RWJF will host a webinar on Tuesday, March 27 at 3:00 pm ET to discuss how these factors impact population health outcomes and evidence-based actions that can be taken.

Funding Opportunities

Grants and Loans for Renewable Energy in Rural America – April 30.  Agriculture producers and rural small businesses are eligible to apply for grants and guaranteed loans for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency upgrades.  The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) funds may be used for systems of hydrogen, wind or solar generation, and for energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, lighting, insulation and replacement doors and windows.  Note that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has its own definition of eligibility for rural development programs and that each state has a Rural Development Energy Coordinator to answer questions and assist with the application process.

Farmers Market Promotion Program – May 7.  The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers grants to projects that assist in the development, improvement, and expansion of domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community‐supported agriculture (CSA) programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer‐to‐consumer market opportunities.  Eligible applicants are public and private entities, including tribal governments, agriculture cooperatives and businesses, and economic development corporations.  For rural communities with limited grocery options, farmers markets increase access to fresh, local food.

USDA Community Connect Grants – May 14.  Public, private and non-profit entities, including Federally-recognized tribal organizations, are eligible to apply for grants funding broadband deployment in rural communities lacking existing broadband service with speed of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. Grant funds may be used for construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities, spectrum, land or buildings used to deploy broadband service for all residents, businesses and community facilities within the proposed funding service area.  Matching funds of at least 15% from non-federal sources are required.

CDC Funding for Opioid Overdose Prevention Research – May 15.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will make awards of up to $750,000 each to public and/or private organizations, including tribal governments and entities to find interventions that will work to prevent opioid overdose.  The funding is intended to encourage collaboration of scientists from a spectrum of disciplines including public health, epidemiology, law enforcement, social work, economics, and criminal justice to perform research that can identify ways to prevent opioid overdose more effectively. Interventions can be strategies, programs, or policies.  Because the opioid epidemic continues to pose a high burden on rural communities and providers, a challenge exacerbated by lack of prevention and treatment resources, it is important to ensure that this research includes and will have a focus on rural communities. Click the “Related Documents” tab to see the full Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), and note that Letters of Intent are due on Thursday, April 12.

Tribal Colleges Extension Grant Program – June 6.  The National Institute of Food and Agriculture at the U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide total funding of $4.3 million to tribal colleges designated as (mostly rural) 1994 Land Grant Institutions to enhance community-focused research, education and outreach.  Awards will be made to support one or more of the following Extension base program areas: agriculture; community resources and economic development; family development and resource management; 4-H and youth development; leadership and volunteer development; natural resources and environmental management; and nutrition, diet and health.


Available Recruitment & Retention Training

March 20, 2018

Available Recruitment & Retention Training
May 2, 2018,  from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The MO Primary Care Association
3325 Emerald Lane in Jefferson City, MO
Click for Registration/Session Information

Registration is limited so enroll now.  If you have questions, contact the MO Primary Care Association at:  (573) 636-4222.

USDA Offers Webinars in Regards to the Community Connect Grant Program (FY2018)

March 19, 2018

April 5th from 1:00 to 2:00 pm EDT
April 10th from 1:00 to 2:00 pm EDT

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will host webinars focused on the Community Connect Grant Program. These webinars will inform participants about the major eligibility and regulatory requirements of the program and will provide detailed guidance on how to submit a successful application. There will also be time for participants to ask the speakers specific questions about putting together an application.

On March 15th, the Community Connect Grant Program’s Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) was published in the Federal Register.  A copy can be found here.

You can register for the April 5th session here and the April 10th session here. We recommend you do this registration early and run a system check to ensure quick access on the day of the webinar.

If the above registration link does not work, please copy & paste into your browser for the April 5th session or for the April 10th session.

Questions? Please contact the RUS at or or call (202) 720-0800 with any questions about these events.

Further details can be found in the attached flyer.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

Behavioral Health Virtual Job Fair – April 11th!

March 19, 2018

HRSA Behavioral Health Virtual Job Fair
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
6:45-10:15 p.m. ET


The Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) is hosting a Behavioral Health Virtual Job Fair with more than 100 healthcare organizations representing hundreds of job opportunities. Please encourage behavioral health students and practicing clinicians to participate in this Virtual Job Fair and have the unique opportunity to get real-time answers to their employment questions.

This Virtual Job Fair will have job opportunities for:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers
  • Licensed Professional Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Nursing professionals*
  • and Physician Assistants*

*specializing in psychiatry, mental health, or behavioral health

After registering, participants can prepare for the Virtual Job Fair by going to the Health Workforce Connector to build a searchable professional profile. In this professional profile, they can highlight and share their professional experience, education, and employment preferences with organizations searching for qualified candidates like them! With nearly 5,000 job opportunities throughout nearly 22,000 organizations, the Connector helps future and current health professionals find careers in underserved communities. Click here to set up a new account.

Please share this information with behavioral health professionals. Space is limited. For more information, visit the Behavioral Health Virtual Job Fair website.

Thank you for helping to spread the word about this opportunity!

No Cost | THREE LOCATIONS | MAT Waiver Training | 2018

March 19, 2018

Available MAT Waiver Training

No-Cost Half & Half | THREE LOCATIONS

Opioid STR, in partnership with the Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare, is providing an 8-hour MAT Waiver Course. This course is different from the traditional 8-hour live course, as the first 4 hours will be in person and second 4 hours will be individual online work. 

Once you complete the first 4-hour live training, you will receive an email from AAAP with a link for the other 4 hours of individual work. Once that work is completed, they will send you a certificate of completion.

Note that while medical residents can take the waiver training, they will not be able to apply until they have a personal DEA number and an unrestricted medical license. 

If you obtain your buprenorphine waiver following this course, you (or your agency) are likely eligible to receive $500 reimbursement for your time. 

Scheduled Trainings (all trainings are 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.):

  1. May 12, 2018 | Columbia, MO | Register online now:
  2. June 2, 2018 | St. Louis, MO | Register online now:
  3. September 29, 2018 | Kansas City, MO | Register online now:

NP & PA’s – this coursework will go toward your 24 hours of training. If you complete this, you can go online and finish the other 16 hours of work to get your certificate. The link below will take you directly to the registration page for the other 16 hours of training

After completion of the required training:

  • Participants must submit a Notice of Intent form (NOI; link provided after training)
  • Participants must submit their certificate of completion (provided after completing the training, verifies coursework completion)
  • Once participants receive their waiver, upload to to receive $500 reimbursement, if applicable, and connect with clinics in Missouri in need of your services

Ongoing mentorship and support:

  • PCSS-MAT has a comprehensive library of materials with continuing education, available at no cost for healthcare providers. PCSS-MAT also has a no-cost clinical coaching/mentoring program to provide one-on-one clinical expertise for primary care providers. You can post a question to a listserv with an addiction specialist and be matched with an addiction specialist.
  • Additionally, the Missouri STR team has local buprenorphine-waivered and experienced physician and NP consultants available to meet individually or respond to queries by phone or online. Email Philip Horn (, STR Project Manager, to connect with someone.

For questions or additional information please contact:

Katie Horstman
Training & Event Manager
Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare
221 Metro Drive | Jefferson City, MO 65109
Phone: 573.634.4626, ext. 110

Grants 101 Workshop

March 16, 2018

April 24, 2018
9:00 am – 5:00 pm CST
Jesus Was Homeless – 310 Gretna Road, Branson, MO

View the Registration Flyer.

Proposed Changes to Eligibility of Certain Rural Areas

March 15, 2018

Determining Property Eligibility by Application Date

On March 16, 2018, the proposed ineligible area maps for the Rural Development Single Family Housing (SFH) and Multi-Family Housing programs were posted to the USDA Income and Property Eligibility Site at  Users will need to select the “Proposed Ineligible Areas” tab after choosing the appropriate program (e.g. Single Family Housing Guaranteed) to view the new ineligible area maps.  The “Proposed Ineligible Areas” maps show all ineligible, non-rural areas and not only the new non-rural areas.  In some cases, previously ineligible areas will now become eligible rural areas.

The new ineligible areas will become effective on June 4, 2018.

Loan Guarantee Processing

On June 4, 2018, all properties for new applications must be located in an eligible rural area based on the new maps.  However, a property that is located in an area being changed from rural to non-rural may be approved if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The application is dated and received by the lender prior to June 4, 2018 and the Loan Estimate was issued by the lender within 3 days of application receipt.
  2. The applicant has a signed/ratified sales contract on a property that is dated prior to June 4, 2018.
  3. Applicant meets all other loan eligibility requirements.

If the property is located in an area being changed from rural to non-rural, lenders must provide Rural Development all of the following information in addition to all other required documentation.  For loans submitted via the Guaranteed Underwriting System (GUS), the documentation must be uploaded into the system.

  • Copy of the signed/ratified and dated sales contract.
  • Copy of the Loan Estimate issued to the applicant.
  • Verification that the property was located in an eligible rural area prior to June 4, 2018.  Note: Maps of the “Previous Eligible Areas” will be available on the Eligibility site beginning June 4, 2018.  A printout of the map indicating the property address was previously eligible is acceptable.

GUS underwriting recommendations will display an INELIGIBLE property determination for property that is no longer located in an eligible rural area.  The INELIGIBLE property determination is the second half of the GUS underwriting recommendation.  For example, an ACCEPT/INELIGIBLE underwriting recommendation will apply to a request where the applicant’s credit and capacity assessment is an ACCEPT (first part of the underwriting recommendation) however the property is located in an INELIGIBLE area (second part of the underwriting recommendation).  This does not prevent the lender from completing the final submission to Rural Development.  The Rural Development reviewer will be able to override the property eligibility determination when the lender has uploaded the required documentation noted above.

To assist Rural Development in processing your loan guarantee request expeditiously, lenders should ensure the documentation noted above is submitted to Rural Development for review when requesting the guarantee.