APRIL 2012



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Participant and exhibitor registration now open for the 2012 Rural Health Conference June 25-26 in Duluth.

Rural health professionals deserve recognition for going "above and beyond."
Nominations for the 2012 Minnesota Rural Health Awards are due April 20. One individual and one team will be honored at the Minnesota Rural Health Conference.

Minnesota Rural Health Conference 2012:
Bringing It All Together

conference logo

Northwest Minnesota Rural Health Community Forums
Join your community at a rural health forum to gather information and make recommendations regarding rural health care in Minnesota. Your input will help guide Minnesota health care development activities and shape state and national health care access policies. Hospital administrators and staff, rural emergency medical services personnel, rural health care providers, community organizers and leaders, and interested citizens are encouraged to participate in one of the forums listed here:

Monday, April 16, 2012, at St. Joseph’s Area Health Services, Park Rapids, MN
Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at Sanford Thief River Falls Medical Center, Thief River Falls, MN

For more information or to register:

Watch the upcoming local documentary, Farm to School: Growing our Future. This 30-minute documentary explores the economic advantages and remaining challenges for businesses, farms, schools and communities as we work together to improve our children’s health and education. There will be ten regional screenings (link no longer available) around the state in April and May, along with the opportunity to host a screening in your area.

The Nursing Home EHR Adoption and Use and Health Information Exchange survey, fact sheet and report are online.

Health information exchange (HIE) guidance for Minnesota providers is a new resource to help providers assess their readiness for HIE.


National Health Service Corp Provider Concentration by Urban - Rural Health Professional Shortage Area in Minnesota & Bordering States - 2012

national health service corp provider concentration

Source: National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Current Provider FTE Summary by State Report
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is a federal program awarding primary care, dental, and mental health care professionals with funds to help repay student loans in return for serving in communities with limited access to health care. NHSC participants are present in every state providing health care in a rural and/or urban Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA). The larger percentage of participants in rural rather than urban areas may be due to the rural character of most HPSAs in the upper Midwestern states, with the exception of Wisconsin, where 59 percent of NHSC providers serve in urban areas.

For more information and data on Minnesota's health workforce, visit the ORHPC Health Care Workforce Analysis Program site or contact Angie Sechler at or 651-201-3862.



JoAnn Champagne joined ORHPC in March to work with the Trauma Program. She will assist with coordinating trauma hospital site visits and reporting to the State Trauma Advisory Council.

Kristen Tharaldson
helped organize the Rural Health Advisory Committee Obstetrics Workgroup on February 27.

Doug Benson presented to the Community Health Worker Consortium on March 7.

Doug Benson conducted a site visit at First Light Health System.

Mark Schoenbaum and Chris Ballard participated in the State Trauma Advisory Council meeting on March 13.

Chris Ballard conducted a Level III Trauma Designation site visit at Children's Hospitals on March 19.

Mark Schoenbaum and Nitika Moibi participated in the Governor's Health Reform Task Force, the Workforce work group on March 21.

Kristen Tharaldson, Paul Jansen , and Mark Schoenbaum will participate in the Rural Health Advisory Committee on March 30.

Mary Ann Radigan
has retired. In the interim Rebecca Johnson, from the MDH Office of Health Information Technology, is helping our office with communications.

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Loan Forgiveness Program update: Due to a delay in the review process, selections for all professions will be made in early May 2012.

Clinical Dental Education Innovations applications were posted on March 5 and due April 23.

The Minnesota Primary Care Loan Fund offers loans to clinics, hospitals, networks and others for equipment, working capital, expansion, startup and other needs.

Be an ORHPC grant reviewer. Please contact Doug Benson at or 651-201-3842 or Cindy LaMere at or 651-201-3852 with your name, profession, place of employment and contact information.


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Preconception Health in Minnesota Grant Program is requesting proposals, due April 12, to improve preconception health and care for non-pregnant, reproductive age women in Minnesota. Grant awards will be for the time period beginning June 15, 2012 and ending June 30, 2014.

Community Based Care Transition Program
applications are being accepted for pilot projects to reduce hospital readmissions, test sustainable funding streams for care transition services, maintain or improve quality of care, and document savings to Medicare.

Community Collaborative Pilot Grants from the University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute applications are due April 16. Pilot research grants include health disparities, systems for health improvement and rural health.

USDA accepting applications for Rural Community Development Initiative grants: Applications are being accepted for the traditional Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program and the RCDI Rural Jobs Accelerator (RJA). More information can be found in the Federal Register. Applications are due May 9, 2012. In Minnesota, application must be submitted to Terry Louwagie in the USDA state office (375 Jackson Street, Suite 410, St Paul, MN 55101.

National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program applications are being accepted until May 15.

CMS announced a Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration project reimbursing hospitals for costs of providing clinical training to APRN students. Applications due May 21, 2012. 


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The National Rural Health Association is accepting presentation submissions for the 2012 Rural Health Clinic and Critical Access Hospital Conferences March 1-April 27.

The Regional Extension Assistance Center for Health IT (REACH) for Minnesota and North Dakota will host a live webinar on Meaningful Use Stage 2 Proposed Requirements, Tuesday, April 17 at 12:00 pm CDT. The webinar is free for REACH clients  and $50 for non-REACH clients.

The MN Department of Human Services’ Minnesota Community Application Agent (MNCAA) program is now accepting proposals from qualified organizations to provide application assistance for Minnesotans interested in applying for Minnesota Health Care Programs. Qualifying organizations should have ongoing contact to an uninsured population and not already receive state or federal funding for performing application assistance in Minnesota. The RFP can be viewed by visiting the Minnesota Department of Human Services RFP website

Need help assessing, planning, implementing, project managing or researching best practices for your health IT systems? Normandale Community College MN Health IT (link no longer available) students are earning certificates as Implementation Support Specialists, Health IT Trainers, Clinician/Practitioner Consultants and Workflow Redesign Specialists. The students already have six to eight years of health care experience and/or IT experience. To set up an internship with one of these students, contact Sunny Ainley at 952-358-8806 or

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Minnesota Hospice Programs Working With the VA to Serve Rural Veterans Veterans in rural Minnesota have increased access to hospice and palliative care thanks to the We Honor Veterans Campaign. This collaborative effort by the national Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is a pioneering program focused on respectfully meeting the end-of-life needs of veterans. For more information, contact Michele Fedderly, Minnesota Network of Hospice & Palliative Care, or 1-800- 214-9597.

Therese Zink was selected as the National Rural Health Association's Distinguished Educator of the Year. The award will be presented at the NRHA's Annual Conference on April 19, 2012, in Denver, Colorado.

Luna Cooper, R.N., is now Interim Chief Executive Officer/Chief Operating Officer replacing Dorii Gbolo at the Open Cities Health Center.

College of Saint Scholastica Nursing Students Learn Digital Ways to Treat Patients (link no longer available). Nursing students at CSS are learning one of the newest ways to effectively treat patients in rural parts of the country.

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  • Health Wanted: The State of Unmet Need for Primary Health Care in America
  • Rural Health: S.D. Volunteer Group Fights Mental Illness Stigmas
  • Journal of Rural Social Sciences: Issue on Rural Veterans
  • Health Reform: What's in It?: Medicaid and Rural America
  • Guiding Transformation: How Medical Practices Can Become Patient-Centered Medical Homes

  • Dental Crisis in America: The Need to Expand Access
  • Dentist Shortages in Rural Places Contribute to Rise in Emergency-Room Visits for Tooth Trouble
  • State Policy Levers for Addressing Preventive Dental Care Disparities for Rural Children

Health Disparities
  • New data available from Minnesota Compass on health care coverage by race and ethnicity
  • Study finds health risks are greater for those living near natural-gas wells

  • National Rural Health Association Alerts CMS to Negative Rural Consequence, CMS Makes Change
  • Small Hospital Groups Will Likely be Absorbed by Larger Groups at a Faster Pace
  • Critical Access Hospital Ethics Committee Resource Guide
  • Communities Served by Rural Medicare Dependent Hospitals
  • 4 Tech Success Strategies for Hospitals
  • Critical Access Hospital: Rural Health Fact Sheet Series

Health Information Technology
  • Telehealth Services: Rural Health Fact Sheet Series

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The Minnesota e-Health Summit is June 13-14 in Brooklyn Park.

The 2012 Minnesota Rural Health Conference is June 25-26 in Duluth.


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View online all previous issues of the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care publications.

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Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care
P. O. Box 64882
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0882
Phone 651-201-3838
Toll free in Minnesota 800-366-5424
Fax: 651-201-3830
TDD: 651-201-5797

Our mission
to promote access to quality health care for rural and underserved urban Minnesotans. From our unique position within state government, we work as partners with communities, providers, policymakers and other organizations. Together, we develop innovative approaches and tailor our tools and resources to the diverse populations we serve.