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Category Archives: Funding

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

February 2, 2018

What’s New

NEMJ: The Challenging Quest to Improve Rural Health CareThe New England Journal of Medicine has a new article (subscription required) in its current edition that reviews the history of federal policy for rural health and examines current challenges that include widening disparities in life expectancy, sustainability of rural hospitals, tackling the opioid epidemic and the shortage of rural health workforce.

Teen Attitudes Toward Alcohol and Drug Use.  Last week was National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, an annual observance promoted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to foster a science-based understanding among teenagers of drugs, alcohol and addiction.  Since 1975, a NIDA-funded survey called Monitoring the Future has asked teens aged 12 to 17 about their attitude and behavior toward substance use.  The most recent survey showed that opioid misuse is at historic lows for teens but that vaping and marijuana use are more popular.  The findings on teen opioid use is similar to an October report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that showed a decline in past-month drug use among teenagers in rural areas.


NOW Open: NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program

January 29, 2018

Loan Repayment


Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

January 18, 2018

What’s New

Two New Policy Briefs from the National Advisory CommitteeThe National Advisory Committee on Rural Health & Human Services is a citizens’ panel of nationally-recognized rural health experts that provides recommendations on rural issues to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services twice each year.  The latest policy briefs were written by the committee after a meeting last fall in Boise, Idaho, where the group focused on the impact of suicide in rural America and enhancing the Rural Health Clinics program to adapt to a value-focused health care environment.  Also, a new website for the rural health advisory committee provides a look back more than two decades into the past with recommendations for health policy issues such as provider payment reform, workforce development, and telehealth implementation.  Beginning in 2003, the committee expanded its focus to include human services and started addressing such issues as homelessness, intimate partner violence and social determinants of health.

CDC Updates Numbers on Opioid Overdose.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System and found that there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2016.  The age-adjusted rate of death was 21 percent higher than it was just one year before.  The highest rates of death were among adults aged 35-44, the age range that also had the greatest percentage increase in overdose death rate, 29 percent higher than in 2015.  Last year, the CDC determined that the drug overdose rate in rural areas is higher than in urban areas.

2020 Census Expected to be a Challenge for Rural Areas. Rural areas and particularly minority populations that live in them are typically considered Hard to Count (HTC) for Census data collection every decade.  But researchers at the University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy predict that the 2020 Census will present an even greater challenge for the population count that’s used to determine federal spending, community planning for schools and hospitals and site selection for new business, among other uses for the data. Seventy-nine percent of HTC counties are in rural areas, where counts are typically conducted via mail and door-to-door canvasing.  Plans for the 2020 Census call for a majority of residents to receive communication that will urge a response via the internet, for which broadband access adds a special challenge for rural areas.


Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

November 9, 2017

What’s New

The Latest on Rural Health from the CDC.  In the latest edition of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Rural Health Series, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examined differences in occupational exposure to vapor-gas, dust, and fumes between a cohort of rural and urban adults in Iowa.  While previous studies have focused exclusively on agricultural workers, this study assessed airborne occupational exposures in other types of jobs in rural settings as well.  COPD is one of the leading causes of death, and the American Thoracic Society estimates that 15% of COPD cases can be attributed to occupational exposures.  The findings of this report, which show that rural workers – including those who have never farmed – are more likely than urban workers to have high occupational exposures, allow for further exploration of interventions needed to reduce respiratory conditions related to work.

New Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program. Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 62% of rural counties do not have a Diabetes Self-Management Education program. For 2018, the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule is expanding the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP), an evidence-based lifestyle change curriculum shown to prevent type 2 diabetes among beneficiaries with prediabetes. Organizations in health care and community settings can implement the CDC-recognized Diabetes Prevention Program and, after enrolling as a MDPP supplier, may receive Medicare reimbursement for their services beginning April 1, 2018.  The National Institutes of Health explains the importance of screening for prediabetes and provides resources and referrals to support patients in this effort.

Help NIH Understand Rural Pregnancy. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) PregSource research project aims to improve national maternity care by getting first-hand accounts of the physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy, labor, delivery, and early parenthood. NIH plans to identify specific challenges facing subgroups of women, such as women with disabilities or those living in rural areas. Women have no hospital obstetric services in as many as 45% of rural counties, and recent research shows the losses continue. More information may help researchers and policymakers better address this access problem. Rural health care providers may also consider implementing model programs to improve their prenatal and obstetric care. Providers and researchers may also be interested in the HRSA Maternal and Child Health Bureau challenge competition offering $375,000 in prizes to innovators who develop low-cost technologies to improve prenatal care in remote and medically underserved areas.

NIH Health Disparities Research Centers. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced five-year funding for 12 centers of excellence focused on research, training, and community engagement to reduce health disparities. Each of these specialized centers will emphasize at least one of several populations facing social disadvantages, including marginalized racial and ethnic groups, people from less privileged socioeconomic situations, and residents of underserved rural communities. The two centers focusing on rural populations are the Arkansas Center for Health Disparities at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, focused on chronic disease risk factors, and the new Transdisciplinary Research, Equity, and Engagement Center for Advancing Behavioral Health at the University of New Mexico, focused on behavioral health.


Application Deadline Extended for Students to Service Program!

October 19, 2017

Students to Service Application Deadline Extended

It’s not too late!

Complete and submit your application before the extended deadline of October 26, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. ET

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP) provides up to $120,000 to medical (MD and DO) or dental (DDS or DMD) students in their final year of school. In return, you will provide primary health care full time for at least 3 years at an approved NHSC site in a Health Professional Shortage Area of greatest need.

Technical Assistance

Recorded Webinar
NHSC S2S Program Application Webinar Recording

If you have questions or would like additional assistance, please contact the Customer Care Center at 1-800-221-9393, Monday – Friday between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET (except federal holidays).
National Health Service Corps Students to Service Loan Repayment Program

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.

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

October 4, 2017

What’s New

Comments Requested: Strategic Plan for HHS – October 27. Every four years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) updates its strategic plan, which describes the objectives and strategies the Department will employ to enhance the health and well-being of Americans. The draft strategic plan for 2018-2022 highlights five goals, two of which include objectives that specifically improve rural health: reducing provider shortages (objective 1.4) and leveraging telehealth to improving access to mental health and substance use disorder services (objective 2.3). HHS seeks comments on the plan. Interested commenters may consider topics addressed by the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services or other areas where HHS can explicitly target improvements in rural health and human services.

USDA Childhood Obesity Study. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) named reducing childhood obesity one of three clinical priorities, and several HHS agencies have taken the lead on funding, guidance and standards.  The Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies economic and policy issues in rural America and finds that obese children tend to live in a disadvantaged household with limited or no access within a 15-mile radius to supermarkets that carry healthful foods (p. 12). This finding suggests improving access to nearby grocery stores may help reduce rates of rural childhood obesity. The HHS Administration for Children & Families Healthy Food Financing Initiative helps bring grocery stores to underserved rural and urban communities. Rural health care providers may also consider additional strategies and efforts to help increase access to healthful foods in their communities.

Assessment for Preventing Medical Errors – December 15.  The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) launched a medication safety self-assessment that may help rural providers in both inpatient and outpatient settings assess and compare their performance to health providers with similar populations as a way to reduce adverse drug events related to high-alert medications. This tool is funded via a contract with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and “focuses on best practices for eleven medication categories,” including insulin, opioids, and chemotherapy. Information submitted by providers to ISMP will be anonymous. Adverse drug events (ADEs) include medication errors and allergic reactions and overdoses, and can be a challenge to identify in small rural hospitals where there is limited pharmacist support.

Funding Opportunities

USDA Delta Health Care Services Program – October 10. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Delta Health Care Services (DHCS) Program provides financial assistance to address continuing unmet health needs in the Delta region. USDA extended the application deadline for 2018 funding from July 24 to October 10. Further, USDA clarified that all members of applicant consortia must have a physical address or headquarters located in one of the eight states served by the Delta Regional Authority. Applicants may revise and resubmit applications by the new deadline. ALERT: DHCS may be an opportunity to extend the impact of organizations in the FORHP Delta States Rural Development Network Grant Program, which supports rural communities in the eight Delta states implement preventive or clinical services for chronic diseases.

Improve Tribal Road Safety – December 11. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration requests grant applications for Tribal Transportation Safety Funds for projects to prevent and reduce serious injuries and deaths in transportation-related crashes on tribal lands. Eligible projects can develop transportation safety plans; assess, improve, or analyze crash reporting data; or complete infrastructure improvements. On average, two American Indians die every day in motor vehicle crashes, predominantly in large, rural states. Staff responsible for roadway safety can find tools to improve safety on rural and tribal roads and guidance for effective tribal crash reporting. Health care providers serving rural and tribal communities can help by implementing proven prevention strategies to help reduce transit injuries and deaths.