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Category Archives: Health

Nearly $12 million available for rural broadband grants!

April 26, 2016

USDA seeks applications for rural broadband grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting applications for grants to establish broadband in unserved rural communities through its Community Connect program. Administered by USDA’s Rural Utilities Service, Community Connect helps fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private sector providers to deliver service.

USDA plans to award up to $11.7 million in grants through the program. Eligible applicants include:

  • Most state and local governments
  • Federally-recognized Tribes
  • Non-profit organizations
  • For-profit corporations

The minimum grant for FY16 is $100,000; the maximum award is $3 million. Prior Community Connect grants cannot be renewed, however, existing Community Connect awardees may submit applications for new projects. The deadline to apply is June 17, 2016.

To learn more about the grants and to apply for funding, please click here

The Rural Connection: Winter 2016

April 26, 2016

Generate and Diffuse Knowledge Regarding Rural Veteran Health

This issue of “The Rural Connection” highlights some of the many efforts underway to generate and diffuse knowledge to increase access to care and services for rural Veterans. This issue is the second in a four-part series on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ rural health strategic goals. In case you missed it, last quarter’s issue featured the promotion of health and well-being in the rural Veteran population.

In this issue:

Message from the Director of the VHA Office of Rural Health

Doing More for Veterans Through Strategic Partnerships

Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot Demonstrates Power of Community Partnerships

Telehealth Brings Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy into Veterans’ Homes

Easy as 1-2-3: Lower Your Risk for Diabetes

VA’s Innovators Network Aims to Improve the Way VA Serves Veterans

Providing Interdisciplinary Health Care via Televideo to Veterans with ALS

VA Reaches Indian Health Service and Tribal Health Programs with Rural Interdisciplinary Team Training Program

As you read throughout these articles focused on one of our four strategic goals, keep in mind our ultimate goal remains to improve the health and well-being of rural Veterans by increasing access to care and services.

Gina Capra, MPA
Director, Office of Rural Health


If you have any questions or would like additional information about ORH, contact ORH Communications.

As the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) lead proponent for rural health, the Office of Rural Health (ORH) works to see that America’s Veterans thrive in rural communities. To accomplish this, ORH collaborates to increase rural Veterans’ access to care and services. Learn more at

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

April 22, 2016

What’s New

CMS Announces Its Largest Primary Care Initiative. The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services recently launched the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) Model, which is expected to accommodate more than 20,000 providers and transform the way primary care is delivered. Building on the foundation of the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative, a four-year plan rolled out in October 2012, the CPC+ is a primary care medical home model redesigned with a multi-payer structure (Medicare, commercial and state payer partners).  The five-year initiative, set to start on January 1, 2017, is an opportunity for rural providers to gain access to financial resources and quality improvement efforts.  The five year initiative is set to start on January 1, 2017.  CMS will first solicit payer proposals to partner with Medicare and announce their selections by July 15, 2016.  After that, practices within geographic reach of the selected payers will be able to submit applications up to September 1, 2016.  For questions about the model or the solicitation process, please email

Profile:  San Luis Valley and the Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal Program.  The primary challenge to implementing drug abuse treatment programs for the San Luis Valley (SLV) Area Health Education Center (AHEC) is a misperception that Naloxone, an “opioid antagonist” that reverses the effects of overdose, enables drug addiction. To overcome that challenge, SLV has focused on educating their community about the severity of opioid overdose, particularly among chronically ill patients and not recreational users, and emphasized the lives saved by Naloxone.  Just six months into their funding from FORHP’s Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal Grant, SLV has held numerous  educational sessions and community workshops to bring providers, policymakers, and law enforcement up to speed with the opioid problem, stocked local pharmacies with Naloxone, and trained first-responders in administration of this potentially life-saving drug.  You can learn more about SLV’s Naloxone Education Empowerment Distribution Program (NEED) in the newest addition to Rural Health Models and Innovations at the Rural Health Information Hub.


Upcoming Webinar – PSO: What you should know

April 22, 2016

View the information.

CMS Seeks Rural Input on Unique Payment Model – Webinar Wednesday April 27 3-4pm ET

April 21, 2016

As a follow up to the announcement we shared with you last week regarding the Request for Information (RFI) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center on the regional budget payment concept, FORHP is pleased to announce that Rural Health Value will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday April 27 from 3:00-4:00pm ET.

The Rural Health Value team will provide, from their perspective, an overview of why this RFI is significant, elements of the RFI that are of particular importance to rural, and suggestions on how to frame response to CMS.  There will also be time for discussion and questions from call participants.

Call Details
Date:  April 27th, 2016
Time:  3:00-4:00pm EDT
Phone Number:  800-779-5339
Passcode:  1700131
Adobe Connect URL:

New from RHIhub: Naloxone distribution project; Funding for new health centers, broadband; Reports on ACA & hospital financial performance, REC program; more

April 20, 2016

Rural Health Information Hub

View the 4.20.16 updates.

Complimentary Webinar – HIV Prevention, Testing and Management in Rural Communities

April 20, 2016

What steps can clinicians take to prevent HIV transmission and optimize HIV care in rural communities?

Southern Indiana has experienced an unprecedented outbreak of HIV infection over the past year, driven largely by an epidemic of injection drug use in rural America. Primary care clinicians, mental health professionals, and addiction specialists in this region have an essential role to play in preventing new HIV transmissions among individuals at high risk and providing HIV medical care to those who have been newly diagnosed.

Upon completion, participants should be able to describe effective elements of a comprehensive strategy to prevent HIV transmission among individuals who inject drugs and live in rural communities

HIV Prevention, Testing, and Management in Rural Communities

Date: Tuesday, May 3
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 PM Central Time

Cost: Free

Target Audience: Primary care clinicians (physicians, nurses, NPs, PAs), mental health professionals, addiction specialists, and other clinicians interested in preventing or managing HIV


Diane Janowicz, MD
Medical Director for MATEC-IN
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
Indiana University School of Medicine
Fellowship Program Director-Infectious Diseases
Indianapolis, IN

Matthew Miles, MD
Internal Medicine Chief Resident, Safety and Quality Improvement
Indiana University Internal Medicine Residency Program
Indianapolis, IN