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RFPs for Health Care Home Minnesota Transitions in Health Care Project are due January 17.

MDH awarded 18 Statewide Health Improvement Program grants to help reduce tobacco use and obesity.

The new Minnesota Health Care Reform Task Force website is a clearinghouse for health reform efforts.

Applications for the CMS Advance Payment Model (link no longer available) will be accepted beginning January 3 for Accountable Care Organizations intending to participate in the Shared Saving Program on April 1.

The Clinical Lab Readiness and Needs for Electronic Health Information Exchange survey, fact sheet and report is online.


pharmacies e-prescribing in MN

Electronic prescribing is increasing rapidly.

In 2010, approximately 80 percent of Minnesota community pharmacies could fill electronic prescriptions.

By October 2011, 89 percent of rural community pharmacies and 87 percent of urban community pharmacies were filling electronic prescriptions.

Of the 11 percent of rural community pharmacies not filling electronic prescriptions, approximately 70 percent are independent, not chain, pharmacies.

Rural defined as outside the seven county metropolitan area. Urban defined as seven county metro area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington).
*Source: Surescripts 2011. Minnesota pharmacies identified as actively filling electronic prescriptions. National data from Surescripts accessed December 20, 2011.

Minnesota e‐Health Assessment Data, Statistics and Summaries describes the adoption and use of EHRs and other HIT and the exchange of health information in Minnesota. For more information, contact Kari Guida, MDH Office of Health Information Technology, or 651-201-4136.


MINNESOTA RURAL HEALTH CONFERENCE is June 25-26 in Duluth. Presentation proposals are due February 3.

Doug Benson is representing MDH on the Minnesota Council on Transportation Access.

Nitika Moibi joins ORHPC this month as supervisor of the Health Workforce Analysis Program. Nitika brings education and experience in health economics, public policy and data analysis.

The Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) program moves to the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care January 10. MERC provides $31 million in medical education funding to hospitals, clinics and other sites that train medical residents and other health professionals. The program will be a good fit with ORHPC’s loan forgiveness, workforce analysis and other workforce activities. ORHPC also welcomes MERC program administrator Diane Reger to our staff.

Mark Schoenbaum and Merry Jo Thoele, director of the MDH Oral Disease Prevention Program, attended the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry graduation for the inaugural class of dental therapy students.

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Review Community Clinic Grant applications. Reviewers will receive less than 10 applications to read and score prior to the one-day review session. The review is scheduled for the end of January in St. Paul. Reviewers are reimbursed for mileage and parking. If you are interested, please contact Debra Jahnke at or 651-201-3845 or 800-366-5424.


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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.

Minority Nurse Scholarship Program applications (link no longer available) are due February 1.

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


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Openings listed in the Secretary of State's January press release include the Minnesota Board of Aging, State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind. The December release included openings for the e-Health Advisory Committee and the State Quality Assurance Council.

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 June 25-26 in Duluth.

A six-week course to share basic knowledge about community health workers is on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site.

Submit presentations to the Minnesota e-Health Summit by January 16.

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Mdewakanton Emergency Services received the National Native American EMS of the Year award.

Johnson Memorial Hospital attests for meaningful use incentives

REACH recognized Christopher Wenner, M.D. for his leadership in the nationwide transition to electronic health records. He is one of the first providers in Minnesota to attest to meaningful use. Dr. Wenner is a solo family physician in Cold Spring, where he operates a comprehensive family medicine clinic, which is certified as a medical home.

Southside Health Services and the University of Minnesota Medical School's Program in Health Disparities Research and their partners are bringing free health care into the community at barbershops and beauty salons. Fremont Clinic, NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center and Medica provided additional support at the first Clipper Clinic event: Wilson's Image Barbers in North Minneapolis.

Alexandria Technical and Community College is using a donated electronic health record system to train students enrolled in health care programs.

Sanford Health received a USDA grant to install mobile medical carts equipped with cameras, digital stethoscopes and teleconferencing tools at 39 rural clinics and hospitals in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The National Rural Health Resource Center conducted and released the Greater Minnesota Health Care Professional Salary Survey.

Allina Hospitals and Clinics, Fairview Health Services and Park Nicollet Health Services are among 32 organizations participating in the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Pioneer Accountable Care Organization Model.

Broadway Medical Center in Alexandria and Sanford Health complete merger (link no longer available).

Community health workers at Hennepin County Medical Centers clinics (link no longer available).

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  • The CMS Innovation Center at one year
  • Health Care Access and Use Among the Rural Uninsured (link no longer available)
  • House and Senate passed a two-month extension to prevent a cut in Medicare payments

Primary Care
  • Community Health Centers Face Growing Demand from Newly Uninsured Patients (PDF: 1MB/8pgs)

Mental/Behavioral Health
  • Depression literacy: rates and relation to perceived need and mental health service utilization in a rural American sample

Medical Home
  • Building Medical Homes: Lessons from Eight States with Emerging Programs (Commonwealth Fund report includes Minnesota)

  • When 'critical access' hospitals are not so critical
  • New heart monitors in rural ambulances help save lives   

Health Information Technology
  • Health IT leaders launch info-sharing website
  • Nine ways health IT—beyond EHRs—helps patients
  • Grant to provide rural women access to digital mammography

  • Concern growing over shortage of native physicians (link no longer available)
  • How does health reform affect the health care workforce? Lessons from Massachusetts
 • Shaping the Future of Nursing Education, American Association of Colleges of Nursing Annual Report (PDF: 11MB/48pgs)
  • Implementing the IOM Future of Nursing Report: The Potential of Interprofessional Collaborative Care to Improve Safety and Quality (link no longer available) (PDF: 2MB/8pgs)
  • Geographic immobility of RNs calls for new strategies to augment workforce

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The Rural Hospital Flexibility Committee videoconference is January 10, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

The Rural Health Advisory Committee videoconference is January 13, 9-11:30 a.m.

Pediatric Trauma Simulation Training is January 28 in Owatonna, April 14 in Marshall and April 28 in Thief River Falls.

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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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.