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Category Archives: Webinar

Kansas ALS Telemedicine Clinic making patient lives easier

May 1, 2018

HTRC’s monthly telehealth bulletin

An innovative ALS telemedicine clinic is making a difference for Kansas patients

“It hits in prime of life,” said Sally Dwyer, director of programs and services for the Mid-America Chapter of The ALS Association. “We have young people with their whole lives ahead of them and people who are looking forward to retirement. It is a punch in the stomach” said Dwyer when describing the devastation of an ALS diagnosis.

The diagnosis signals a difficult journey ahead and can take a psychological toll on patients and families. For the best care, patients will need to see multiple specialists, including neurologists, mental health professionals, respiratory therapists and physical therapists, to name just a few. Shuffling from office to office can be a tremendous burden on families and accessing a neurologist can sometimes mean a day-long journey. But a new ALS clinic in Wichita is helping to relieve some of the burden by bringing coordinated care to the patient, all in one setting.

The Wichita ALS Telemedicine Clinic is a combination of a telehealth visit, and a comprehensive in-person care team. In-person team meetings are followed by a telehealth appointment with Dr. Richard Barohn, a neurologist in Kansas City who has been integral to starting the ALS clinic. For patients and families navigating so many changes, this “one stop shop” is a welcome relief that means less travel time and better care.

Jack Wilson, a Wichita resident who has been battling ALS for more than seven years, put it this way: “Oh boy, what a wonderful ALS clinic visit. I saw the whole team today. They all showed up for just little old me. Even through ice and snow, it was so much easier and quicker than going to Kansas City. I liked how we met with the doctor via [videoconference] and having the whole team present during the interview.”

Not only does the ALS clinic get high marks from patients, it is being hailed by peers as an innovative program. The ALS Mid-America Chapter was recently awarded The ALS Association’s Chapter Innovation Award, which recognizes “trailblazing chapters” that are actively developing and implementing new ideas and delivery strategies, with an emphasis on collaboration.


Cybersecurity Guide for Rural Hospitals and Clinics

May 1, 2018

In coordination with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), the Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC), a program of the National Rural Health Resource Center, is pleased to release the Cybersecurity Toolkit for Rural Hospitals and Clinics.

Ransomware and cybercrime are growing threats to all healthcare facilities – big or small. Protecting a facility from cyber threats can be a daunting task. However, failure to do so can result in fines, litigation, media stories, mistrust and decreased market capture. The toolkit is organized into four steps to guide rural hospitals and clinics in developing and fostering a well-rounded cybersecurity program, including awareness, assessment, implementation & remediation, and education. This toolkit includes a survey of available resources from various governmental and non-profit organizations. It includes checklists and tools that are appropriate for all audiences, including hospitals and clinics in rural settings.

Link to more information:

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

April 26, 2018

What’s New

New USDA State Fact Sheets on Rural Economy.  The Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently updated its state-by-state report on population, income, poverty, food security, and education.  The interactive map gives state-level data on these and other economic indicators, along with metro/non-metro breakouts within states.  Links to county-level data are provided where available.

Funding Opportunities

Improve Rural Youth Literacy – May 18. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) supports innovative literacy programs for youth from birth through high school in high-needs schools and districts in the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program.  ED will give priority points to applications proposing high-quality literacy programs to students in rural school districts.  Eligible applicants include school districts serving populations at least 20% from low-income families, national not-for-profit organizations, or consortia of these.  Research has shown that education has a life-long impact on health and well-being, even reducing risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity that are prevalent in rural communities.

Relatives as Parents Program – June 13.  The Brookdale Foundation Group will provide $15,000 seed money for state and local programs that support grandparents and other relatives raising children outside of a foster care system.  Recipients must establish a collaborative network with other support systems such as family services, child care, aging, education, legal, health care, mental health and extension services.  Public state agencies that receive the grant must match the funds 100 percent in cash or in-kind.  Many of the services considered important for positive child welfare outcomes are limited in rural communities, and there are reports that the opioid crisis is overwhelming foster care.  Earlier this year, the Agency for Children and Families issued a brief exploring special considerations for rural practice, including caseworker skills and availability, confidentiality and ethical practice, and the importance of cultural competency.

Resources for Tribal Self Governance Negotiation – June 17.  The Indian Health Service (IHS) will award $48,000 each for five cooperative agreements to offset the cost of negotiating participation in the Tribal Self Governance Program (TSGP). The TSGP allows tribes to tailor health care programs and services to meet the needs of their communities.  Negotiations are a tribally-driven process that requires careful planning and preparation.  The IHS will also make awards up to $120,000 to five organizations for Tribal Self Governance Planning.  The planning phase must include legal and budgetary research and internal Tribal government planning and organizational preparation relating to the administration of health care programs.  Applications for planning are also due on June 17.

Coordinating Research for Rural Opioid HIV Initiative – July 16 and August 15.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will select one public or private entity to provide scientific and technical support to its initiative on rural opioid use and infectious disease comorbidities. This interdisciplinary Coordinating Center will work with NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to analyze community-level datasets from NIDA’s rural opioid initiative and develop evidence-based practices.  The application deadline is August 15; letters of intent are due on July 16.


Show-Me ECHO Rural Veterans Behavioral Health Webinar

April 25, 2018



Noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 26, 2018
By Grant O’Neal, PhD, Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator,
PTSD Clinical Team Leader
Harry S. Truman VA Medical Center

How to connect:

  • Meeting ID: 9224230585
  • Zoom:
  • Audio: +1-646-558-8656 or +1-408-638-0968
  • Video: IP address – (West), (East)

For assistance, please call 573-884-7958.

This is the second webinar in the rural veterans behavioral health webinar series hosted by the University of Missouri’s Show-Me ECHO program. The series will address topics that are pertinent to understanding and treating behavioral health problems among Missouri’s veterans, including military culture, common mental health problems and resources available to veterans. Webinars will be offered Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. Follow for future webinar schedules.

The webinar series precedes the launch of a new ECHO program for Rural Veterans Behavioral Health. ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) uses videoconferencing to connect an interdisciplinary team of experts with primary care providers. They collaborate in case-based learning sessions to help primary care providers develop advanced skills and best practices, which in turn increases the availability and quality of patient care.

Registration for all Show-Me ECHOs – including opioid use disorder, chronic pain management, dermatology, Hepatitis C, child psychology, asthma, autism, healthcare ethics and community health workers – is available at The state-funded programs are provided at no cost to participants, including no cost continuing education credits for health care professionals.

University of Missouri Show-Me ECHO is designated as an international SuperHub, meaning the founding ECHO program at the University of New Mexico has certified MU to train other organizations wanting to adopt the ECHO model. Show-Me ECHO immersion trainings and orientations have been provided to health professionals from California, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Iowa, Nebraska, Tennessee and West Virginia, as well as Kenya, Thailand and Vietnam.

Rural Health Research & Policy Centers

April 23, 2018

Free Webinar this Thursday: Diminishing Access to Rural Maternity Care and Associated Changes in Birth Location and Outcomes

Date: Thursday, April 26, 2018
Time: 10:00 am Pacific, 11:00 am Mountain, 12:00 pm Central, 1:00 pm Eastern
Duration: Approximately 60 minutes

This webinar, presented by Carrie Henning-Smith, PhD, MPH, MSW, Deputy Director of the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, will describe recent work from the Center on loss of hospital-based obstetric care in rural areas, including the overall change in availability of care and the county-level socio-demographic correlates of losing services. It will also include information from a study published in JAMA in March 2018, describing changes in birth location and outcomes following obstetric services loss in rural areas.

Connection Information

The webinar is free, no registration is required, but participation is limited to the first 200 to log-on that day. If the webinar reaches capacity, you will be able to access the recording, archived on the Gateway website.

Questions? Contact:
Brenda Haugen
Rural Health Research Gateway

Additional Resources of Interest:

State Variations in the Rural Obstetric Workforce

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

April 12, 2018

What’s New

Rural Communities Opioid Response Funding Opportunity – Coming Soon.  HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy plans to award up to 75 grants to rural communities as part of a new Rural Communities Opioid Response initiative that will support treatment for, and prevention of, substance use disorder with a focus on the 220 counties identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being at risk, as well as other high risk rural communities.  Successful awardees will receive $200,000 for one year to partner with at least three other entities and develop plans to implement opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions designed to reduce opioid overdoses among rural populations.  It is anticipated the Notice of Funding Opportunity will be available on later this Spring 2018.  Please note that the process for registering for federal grants can take up to 30 days to complete. Learn more about how HRSA is addressing the opioid crisis with funding, resources and technical assistance.


Public Sector Telehealth Reimbursement: “Beg Forgiveness or Ask Permission”

April 10, 2018

Public Sector Telehealth Reimbursement: “Beg Forgiveness or Ask Permission”
Thursday April 19, 2018 – 11:00 am PDT

View more information and registration instructions.