MARCH 2012



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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.

Minnesota Rural Health Conference 2012:
Bringing it all Together

conference logo

The Health Care Reform Task Force — Workforce Work Group asks for ideas to address workforce-related issues.

Statewide Health Improvement Program website remodel includes resources, results and success stories from the community.

Minnesota: A shining star for health IT. Marty LaVenture, director of the Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Health Information Technology, is interviewed about Minnesota's progress toward adoption and use of health information technology and health information exchange.

Health information exchange (HIE) guidance for Minnesota providers (link no longer available) is a new resource to help providers assess their readiness for HIE.

Physicians by Region and Primary Care Specialty – 2010

physicians by region and specialty

The availability of primary care providers is an indicator of access to primary care. The seven-county Minneapolis-St. Paul area has the largest concentration of physicians specializing in all four specialties of primary care. A majority of primary care physicians are certified in family medicine (45 percent) and appear to be more dispersed regionally.

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.


Chris Ballard
was promoted to Trauma System Coordinator for the Minnesota Statewide Trauma System.

Judy Bergh is participating in a panel presentation February 24 at the Northeast Minnesota Health Care Forum in Mountain Iron: Building a Healthy Community: Community Health Assessments and Planning.

Tim Held accompanied Judy Bergh as she conducted a mock survey at Minnesota Valley Health Center in Le Sueur. Critical Access Hospitals may request a mock survey to help prepare for the Medicare resurvey.

Paul Jansen is presenting to the Southwest Minnesota Regional Trauma Advisory Committee (SMRTAC) on February 29 at Avera Marshall (Marshall).

Paul Jansen and Kristen Tharaldson met with a group of first-year medical students at the University of Minnesota-Duluth for a round table discussion as part of the Rural Health Advisory Committee Obstetrics Workgroup.

Leslie Nordgren participated in the Dental Therapist Impact Check In at the University of Minnesota.

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

Mohamed Samaha joined ORHPC in February to manage the Loan Forgiveness Programs. He can be reached at 651-201-3870 or

Mark Schoenbaum will participate in the annual Minnesota Rural Health Association Day at the Capitol February 29. Contact for complete information.

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Clinical Dental Education Innovations applications will be available 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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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.

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

Preconception Health in Minnesota Grant Program is requesting proposals 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.


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Openings listed in the Secretary of State's February press release include the Council on Disability, Minnesota Board of Nursing, Minnesota Board on Aging, and Subcommittee on Children's Mental Health. Six positions on the Rural Health Advisory Committee are described in the Secretary of State's November press release.

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

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John Baerg has been appointed chairman of the Rural Health Advisory Committee.

Lakewood Health Systems was recognized in Where to work: Best hospital IT departments.

The College of St. Scholastica will begin building a physician assistant program.

Gunderson Lutheran Health Plan Minnesota intends to operate an HMO in Fillmore, Houston, Olmsted and Winona counties.

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  • Water fluoridation and dental health indicators in rural and urban U.S. (link no longer available)
  • Services for Rural Veterans covered in the current Rural Monitor

  • Quality of life in rural and urban adults 65 and older
  • End of Participation in Assisted Housing: What can we learn about aging in place?

Medical Home
  • Tool assessing community health center medical home care may be flawed

  • State-run hospital needs upgrades, training, Dayton says  

Health Information Technology
  • Partnership helps rural hospitals move fast on EHRs
  • Transforming Health Care: the Role of Health IT
  • Telehealth program reaches rural kidney patients in northern Wisconsin

  • Primary care workforce facts and stats
  • Rural Residency Training for Family Medicine Physicians: Graduate Early-Career Outcomes (PDF: 619KB/5pgs)
  • Ambulatory setting expected to provide more job growth than hospitals
  • Agencies plan to train students for rural health IT positions

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Medical Homes Implementation in Fosston and Thief River Falls, MN cyber conference is 12-1p.m., March 6. Contact Judy Neppel at or 218-281-8323 for information and to register.

Privacy and Security Bootcamp: HITECH, Meaningful Use and Beyond is March 15 in St. Cloud.

Minnesota Stroke System Development webinar is 12-1 p.m., March 16. Contact Judy Neppel at or 218-281-8323 for information.

Rural Palliative Care Networking Group is meeting March 22 in Chisago City.

AgriSafe Training: Occupational and Environmental Health for Rural Health Professionals is March 22-24 in Marshfield, Wisconsin.

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.