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Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

October 12, 2017

What’s New

Tackling Domestic Violence. October is National Violence Awareness Month and our agency, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has just released a strategy for collaboration at federal, state, and local levels to address Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).  Widely regarded as a private issue, IPV has an enormous impact on the broader public: raising incidence of chronic disease, reducing worker productivity and driving up health care costs – more than $8 billion in clinical, physical and mental health care services.  While rates of reported violence in rural areas is on par with the national average, victims in rural communities face significant barriers, including social isolation and stigma, limited access to health and community services, and too few referrals and protocols for providers.  FORHP’s role in the HRSA Strategy to Address Intimate Partner Violence will be to make the IPV Health Partners Toolkit relevant to rural providers and communities, increase the number of evidence-based programs in the Rural Community Health Gateway, and encourage rural-specific research and programs through funding opportunities.

CDC: New Facts on Obesity and Cancer.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new fact sheet in their Vital Signs series showing that overweight and obesity are associated with 13 types of cancer.  More than half of Americans don’t know that overweight can increase their risk for cancer, and rural areas experience higher rates of obesity and overweight than the nation as a whole.  The guide outlines interventions taken at the federal, state and local levels and steps individuals can take to reach and maintain a healthy weight.  See the Funding Opportunities section below for a federal program addressing obesity at the community level.

What to Know about Alcohol Treatment. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has created an online tool to help patients understand options for treatment, what questions to ask to ensure quality, and a zip code-based directory of facilities.  Rates of substance abuse in rural areas is comparable to urban/suburban areas, but it’s more difficult to combat in rural communities because of limited resources for prevention, treatment and recovery.

Read more

Rural Health Information Hub

October 11, 2017

View the Rural Health Information Hub updates.

FY18 Outreach Program NOFO announcement

October 10, 2017

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is pleased to announce the release of the notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) HRSA-18-030 for the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program (Outreach Program). The fundamental goal of the program is to support the expansion of health care service delivery to rural populations by encouraging consortia of health providers to innovatively address their community’s health concerns. Approximately $5 million will be awarded annually for up to 25 awardees during the 2018 – 2021 project period.  Applications are due December 6, 2017.

The Outreach Program’s all-encompassing nature allows communities to determine their most pressing health need and, accordingly, the best approach for addressing their identified barriers to health. During this competitive cycle, applicants will have the opportunity to apply for one of two tracks: (1) through the regular Outreach Program track in which the applicant will address any specified health need or focus area, or (2) through a newly created track within the Outreach Program called the Health Improvement Special Project (HISP) which focuses on cardiovascular disease risk. HISP applicants will be required to meet certain requisites as outlined in the NOFO and, if awarded, will utilize the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Heart Age Calculator in order to assess cardiovascular disease risk among their community members by tracking the same subset of individuals throughout the 3-year project period.

Historically, awardees have used funding to establish telehealth services, combat substance abuse, address shortages of mental health services, and prevent lapses in care through care coordination efforts. You can read more about the work of previous awardees on the Rural Health Innovation Hub  or by using the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Data Warehouse. You can also learn more about the pioneering work of our current awardees.

For additional information regarding the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program, please join us for a technical assistance webinar on November 14, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. ET.  Additional information about this webinar can be found in the NOFO available through

If you have any questions about the program or have opportunities for FORHP to present information regarding this funding opportunity, please contact Meriam Mikre: or 301-945-3110.

MoCAP Funding Opportunity: HRSA Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program

October 10, 2017

The Missouri Foundation for Health’s MoCAP program is an effort to provide technical assistance and consultation to organizations applying for grant funding—federal and nationally competed private funding.  The MoCAP FAQ page provides an overview of the program and its intent.

Your organization may be interested in these funding opportunities. Or please forward it to a potentially interested colleague.

Title: Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program
Funder: HRSA
Application Deadline: December 6, 2017
Award Amount: $200,000
Estimated Number of Awards: 25
Matching Requirement: N/A
Letter of Intent: N/A

Program Scope/Description: The program is designed to promote rural health care services through the enhancement and integration of healthcare delivery within rural communities.  Projects will focus on increasing access, developing adaptive strategies within a rapidly changing environment, and enrichment of community health.  Key areas of concern include: mental illness, childhood obesity, and substance abuse.

Eligibility: The applicant organization must be a rural nonprofit or rural public entity representing a consortium/network of three or more healthcare providers.  Additionally, the organization must be located in a non-metropolitan county or within a rural census tract of a metropolitan county.

Previously Funded Organizations: Northeast Missouri Health Council, Inc., Ozarks Medical Center, and Washington County Memorial Hospital

Link to Full Program Announcement:

After reviewing the links, consider:

  1. Is your organization ready to apply for federal funding? (The process is complicated.)
  2. Do you have an existing program or a developed concept for a new activity that would fit within the guidelines?

If your answer to both questions is yes, consider asking MFH for MoCAP assistance with this or other funding applications that would secure new funds for Missouri (federal or private). Send an email to Include all your contact information and ideally a draft concept paper or project outline in your correspondence.

Rural Health Research & Policy Centers

October 10, 2017

View the Research Alert.

Section 502 Direct Certified Loan Application Packaging Process Updates

October 6, 2017

As part of the certified packaging process, Rural Development (RD) partners with the Housing Assistance Council (HAC), NeighborWorks America, and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) to provide Section 502 direct loan application packaging training.  The training is open to individuals working for housing nonprofits and public agencies who have at least one year of affordable housing loan origination and/or affordable housing counseling experience and are interested in packaging Rural Housing Service direct loan applications.

The following certified loan application packaging courses will be offered this calendar year:

These courses and other upcoming trainings are listed under the “Forms and Resources” for Single Family Housing Direct Home Loans.

Completion of a three-day course is required for a loan application packaging certification and provides:

  • A review of the Section 502 direct loan program and the regulations/laws that govern the program.
  • A detailed discussion of the program’s application process and borrower/property eligibility requirements.
  • An examination of the Agency’s loan underwriting process, which includes the use of payment subsidies, and the roles and responsibilities of a certified loan application packager, their qualified employer, an intermediary (as determined necessary by a RD State Director), and the Agency staff.  Course participants should take the corresponding test within 30 days of completing the course.  Additional information regarding the certified packaging process and course requirements, can be found in Handbook-1-3550, Chapter 3 “Application Processing”, Attachment 3-A.

Webinar Invitation: Connecting Health Insurance and Agricultural Viability – 10/10/17 at 1:30 p.m. ET

October 6, 2017

Please join NORC for the following webinar and share with the stakeholders in your state.

Webinar: Connecting Health Insurance and Agricultural Viability—Helping farmers and ranchers address health-related risks.

Day: October 10, 2017
Time: 1:30-3:30 ET
Free. Register online:

Health, access to care and health insurance affect the vitality of agricultural enterprises and farm and ranch families, according to results from a national research project funded by the USDA. Designed for Extension, tax, loan, health and other agricultural advisors, this webinar will provide an overview of the research findings and introduce some practical tools educators and advisors can use to help farmers and ranchers make informed decisions for their businesses and households.

Participants will leave the webinar with:

  • An understanding of the intersection of health and agricultural business viability, grounded in 2016-2017 national research findings;
  • Tools they can use in their work farmers, including worksheets, videos and other informational resources.
  • Questions to ask farmers and ranchers to help incorporate health costs into farm enterprise planning.

Hosted by Scott Loveridge (North Central Regional Center for Rural Development); the webinar will include presentations from Shoshanah Inwood (The Ohio State University), Bonnie Braun (University of Maryland Extension), Adam Kantrovich (Clemson University), Maria Peppidas (University of Delaware Extension) and Bob Parsons and Jake Jacobs (University of Vermont Extension).

For more information, please email

The project was supported by the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative Competitive Program of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), grant number 2015-2014-05623