When Minnesota Public Radio reported that there are fewer family physicians in Bemidji now than five years ago, the article referred to loan forgiveness programs. Information on Office of Rural Health and Primary Care administered loan forgiveness programs is online or contact Amy Vallery at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Midwestern Office of The Council of State Governments published an article on state efforts on improving access to health care in Midwest's rural areas (PDF:4pgs/375KB), using data from the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care (ORHPC). More data on Minnesota health professionals is on the ORHPC Web site or contact Jay Fonkert at email@example.com or (651) 201-3846.
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) has received additional resources through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and will be offering more loan repayment opportunities for health care providers. If your site is located in a Health Professional Shortage Area, you may be eligible to apply for recruitment assistance from the NHSC. Primary care physicians (family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology), nurse practitioners, physician assistants, certifed nurse midwives, dentists and dental hygienists, and mental or behavioral health providers are eligible to apply for NHSC loan repayment. Information on clinic and provider eligibility is online at NHSC or contact Deb Jahnke at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 201-3845.
Participating clinics and providers must be located in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). HPSAs are federal designations to identify areas of greatest need, so that limited resources can be prioritized and directed to the people in those areas. The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care analyzes areas throughout Minnesota to determine shortage areas of primary care, dental or mental health providers. HPSA information is online or contact Lee Schutz at email@example.com
or (651) 201-3860.
Last month Gov. Pawlenty signed Emergency Medical Trauma Transport Modifications into the EMS trauma transport requirements with an effective date of July 1, 2010.
More information is in the May 14 issue of Minnesota Statewide Trauma System's e-trauma Update. Subscribe online.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported: "The State of Minnesota is perhaps the most aggressive in promoting the adoption of standards-based electronic health records to support statewide electronic health information infrastructure. Minnesota has done this through a combination of legislative mandates and grants and loans programs." Although all funds have been awarded in the e-Health Grant Program and Electronic Health Record Loan Program, background information is online or contact Anne Schloegel at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 201-3850.
The Minnesota Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Advisory Committee met last month and discussed health reform and electronic health record
implementation in Minnesota, along with an update on Stratis Health's rural activity. Flex coordinator Judy Bergh visited sites in Cass Lake and International Falls in May and will be in Litchfield, Paynesville and Wabasha in June. The Flex Program was created to improve access and quality and relieve some of the financial pressures on rural hospitals and emergency medical services. Flex information and committee meeting minutes are online or contact Judy Bergh at email@example.com or (651) 201-3843.
Congratulations to Jill Myers and Kristen Tharaldson of the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care! Jill is one of 10 people selected to participate in the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health Leadership Institute. Kristen was elected secretary of the Northern Lights Chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals. The Rural Health Advisory Committee, a statewide forum for rural health issues, is one of the projects that Jill and Kristen work on together at ORHPC.
Craig Baarson, Mary Ann Radigan, Kristen Tharaldson and Amy Vallery joined other Minnesota Department of Health colleagues to work the H1N1 flu hotline.