JULY 2012



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Thank you!
Over 450 participants gathered in Duluth on June 25-26 for the 2012 Minnesota Rural Health Conference.

Presentations from the wide-ranging conference are available online.

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Citizen Solutions Forums have been held throughout the state to gather input about the future of health and healthcare. In August, the Bush Foundation and Citizens League will deliver a report to the Health Care Reform Task Force on the values and priorities heard from these sessions.

The Minnesota e-Health program has extensively updated its Practical Guide to Understanding HIE, Assessing Your Readiness and Selecting HIE Options in Minnesota.

New assessment data on local health departments in Minnesota is now available on the Minnesota e-Health Assessment webpage. The 72 local health departments that completed the survey provide information on status and challenges to adoption of EHRs and health information exchange.


Registered Nurses by Primary Work Setting, Minnesota 2009-2010

Graph of Minnesota registered nurses by primary work setting, 2009-2010

Source: Minnesota Board of Nursing
In 2010, 57 percent of Registered Nurses (RNs) in Minnesota worked in hospitals. Hospital employment ranked highest for RNs in both urban (59 percent) and rural areas (50 percent). Clinic/provider offices were the second most frequent work setting for RNs in urban areas (13 percent), while long-term care facilities were second among RNs in rural areas (13 percent). Most RNs reported spending some portion of their work providing patient care (59 percent). Supervising patient care was the next most frequently reported activity (24 percent), followed by teaching/research (13 percent). On average, 77 percent of an RN’s time was spent providing patient care.

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.



Doug Benson retired on July 7 after seven years with the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care. Doug has been our master of grantmaking, and he’s kept the office's many grant programs functioning smoothly, to the benefit of Minnesota’s health care safety net. Congratulations, Doug!

ORHPC welcomes two student workers this summer: Rachel Gunsalus, a Macalester College student supporting Rural Health Advisory Committee (RHAC) activities, and Laura Grangaard, from the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, who is assisting with oral workforce research and Health Professions Shortage Area (HPSA) mapping.

Jo-Ann Champagne conducted Level IV trauma designation site visits at Mayo Clinic System - Lake City and Mayo Clinic System - Albert Lea on June 4 and 7. Chris Ballard conducted a Level III site visit at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park on June 5.

Tim Held and Judy Bergh participated in the Minnesota Stroke Conference on June 4 in St. Paul. Presentations from the conference are available online through the Minnesota Stroke Partnership.

Anne Schloegel, Mark Schoenbaum, Kristen Tharaldson, Tim Held and Judy Bergh participated in the 8th Annual Minnesota e-Health Summit on June 14. Presentations from the conference are available online through the Office of Health Information Technology.

Judy Bergh presented at a Rural Health Care Forum hosted by the Minnesota Rural Health Cooperative and MediSota on June 12 in Granite Falls. Judy facilitated a breakout session on ORHPC's Health Status of Rural Minnesotans report and facilitated a discussion gathering input for the forthcoming Rural Health Plan.

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Application materials for the Rural Hospital Planning and Transition Grant Program, which helps small rural hospitals preserve access or respond to changing conditions, will be posted on the ORHPC Grants and Loans page on August 6.

The application window for the Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Program, which supports recruitment and retention of health care professionals in communities experiencing a shortage of primary health care providers, has changed: It is now September 1 through January 2. Applications will be available on the ORHPC Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs page starting September 1.

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 Cindy LaMere at or 651-201-3852 with your name, profession, place of employment and contact information.


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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced the availability of Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) initiatives grant opportunities.  Funding will focus on engaging community partners to reduce obesity and hypertension in populations experiencing health disparities. Letters of intent are due July 11.

The University of Minnesota Regional Partnerships and U of M Extension are hiring five full-time Community Food Systems positions in Greater Minnesota. The positions, which require a Master's degree, will lead civic-engaged, evidence-based work to address the social, economic and environmental challenges of community food systems. Application information is available for positions to be located in Mankato, St Cloud, Grand Rapids, Moorhead and Willmar.


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Nominate a colleague for a 2012 Community Health Award. These annual awards recognize and acknowledge individuals or groups who make significant contributions to public health in Minnesota. The State Community Health Services Advisory Committee (SCHSAC) is accepting nominations through July 27.

The 2012-2013 Health Center Salary and Benefits Report is now available through the National Association of Community Health Centers. The report is uniquely focused on community-based health centers and includes compensation data organized by budget and staff size, geographic location and other factors.

The Minnesota Department of Health’s Sage Programs, together with the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, are recruiting medical groups to take part in a learning collaborative to increase screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer among appropriate populations.  To join the collaborative or get more information, contact Melissa Marshall at or Louie Kaeter at

The Minnesota 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 with 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. 

A Rural Guide to Health Professions Funding is now available through the U.S. Office of Rural Health Policy. The manual provides a road map for rural communities on how HRSA-based programs can assist in the recruitment and retention of health care professionals.

The Rural Health Fellows Program, a year-long, intensive leadership program of the National Rural Health Association, is accepting applications through August 31.

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Congratulations to this year's Rural Health Award winners! O. J. Doyle, a longtime advocate for emergency medical services (EMS), received the Rural Health Care Hero Award. The Violence Prevention Council of Morrison County, a collaborative effort among St. Gabriel’s Hospital, Hands of Hope Resource Center and a broad spectrum of individuals from throughout central Minnesota, received the Rural Health Team award. The awards are presented each year at the Minnesota Rural Health Conference to recognize outstanding contributions to rural health.

Three Community Health Centers in Minnesota have received federal grants to expand their services. Scenic Rivers Health Services will open a new clinic site in Tower. Open Door Health Center will expand the area served by its mobile clinic to include Cottonwood and Murray counties (it currently visits Sibley, Lyon and Dodge counties). And in St. Paul, United Family Medicine will become a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) after serving as a Look-Alike FQHC since 2004 and will expand its services, including dental care. These New Access Point grants are made possible through the Affordable Care Act and went to 219 health centers across the U.S. to expand access to care for more than 1.25 million additional patients and create approximately 5,640 jobs by establishing new health center service delivery sites.

The second and final round of CMS Health Care Innovation grants, also made possible through the Affordable Care Act, encompass several projects in Minnesota. Grantees include Sanford Health for its enhanced medical home model and primary care-behavioral health integration and the YMCA for community-based preventive services to pre-diabetic Medicare beneficiaries.

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Medicare Payment Advisory Commission issues report to Congress that includes rural chapter, and rural health advocates object to key conclusions.
Report: Data for tracking the performance of rural health care under the Affordable Care Act.

Health Disparities
Asthma report finds racial/ethnic disparities in Minnesota's asthma prevalence and geographic disparities in its rates of asthma-related ED visits and hospitalizations.
Report examines mental health disparities among Latinos and suggests strategies for improving access and expanding community-based services, including school-based programs.

Oral Health
Study: Share of adults receiving dental care drops nationally (link no longer available).
Community flouridation rate grows to 74 percent in U.S.

Preliminary findings from the 5th annual national survey of rural Emergency Departments (link no longer available).

GAO analyzes HRSA's New Access Point grant process and levels of collaboration and competition among Health Centers.
Facilitating improvement in primary care: The promise of practice coaching.

Study describes two components of the rural primary care workforce: rural osteopathic (DO) and international medical graduate (IMG) primary care providers.

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The 2012 Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held October 25-26, 2012. The event will explore ways safety net providers can improve care and reduce health disparities in underserved populations. This year's theme is "Stepping Up to Transform Health Care."

The 2013 Minnesota Rural Health Conference is tentatively scheduled for June 24-25, 2013 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.