May 2012



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

Minnesota Rural Health Conference 2012:
Bringing It All Together

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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 are four remaining regional screenings (link no longer available) around the state, along with the opportunity to host a screening in your area.

Updated Minnesota e-Health Brief and Health Information Exchange (HIE) Brief now online.


Registered Nurses by Age Group, Minnesota 2008 and 2010

national health service corp provider concentration

Source: Minnesota Board of Nursing
In 2010, 34 percent of Registered Nurses (RNs) in Minnesota were 55 years and older compared to 27 percent in 2008, confirming the aging of the nurse work force. Most striking is a 56 percent increase in nurses 65 years and older, which suggests the downturn in the economy may also have prompted some RNs to postpone or come out of retirement and may have contributed to the increasing percentage of older RNs during this time period.

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.



Kristen Tharaldson has been accepted into the Minnesota Department of Health's Everyday Leaders Program.

Chris Ballard and Jo-Ann Champagne conducted Level III Trauma Designation site visits at Children's Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis and St. Paul on April 2; Hutchinson Area Health Care on April 13; Essentia St. Mary's Hospital in Detroit Lakes on April 16, and a Level IV Trauma Designation site visit at Sleepy Eye Medical Center on April 27.

Craig Baarson presented on Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) for Northern Access Dental Care in Bemidji and conducted follow-up technical assistance on April 9.

Chris Ballard and Paul Jansen presented an overview of the state trauma system at the Southwest Regional Trauma Advisory Committee meeting on April 11.

Judy Bergh, Paul Jansen and Anne Schloegel facilitated two Community Forums in northwest Minnesota (Park Rapids on April 16 and Thief River Falls on April 17) and discussed access issues throughout the health care delivery system in that region.

Tim Held participated in the National Rural Health Association Conference in Denver, CO from April 17-20.

Chris Ballard presented on performance improvement at the Northeast Regional Trauma Advisory Committee meeting on April 19.

Chris Ballard participated in the Minnesota Trauma Registrars and State Program Managers' Joint Quarterly Meeting in St. Paul on April 20.

Jo-Ann Champagne conducted a Level III Trauma Designation site visit at Grand Itasca Hospital in Grand Rapids on April 20 and at Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria on April 23.

Mark Schoenbaum and Nitika Moibi participated in the Governor's Health Reform Task Force, the Workforce Work Group on April 20.

Judy Bergh and Tim Held attended the Flex Conference at the National Rural Health Resource Center in Duluth, MN on April 24 & 25.

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.

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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Health information technology funding now available through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program (link no longer available) Scholarships for students pursuing primary care health professions training in exchange for a service commitment in a health professional shortage area (HPSA) selected by NHSC. Application deadline: May 8, 2012.

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.
Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program
(link no longer available) Rural Health and Safety Education for 2012 focuses on individual and family nutrition, farm safety education, and rural health leadership development. Application deadline: May 15, 2012.

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

Community Based Care Transitions 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.


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Fort Hays State University's (Hays, KS) distance learning Grant Writing study at home 8 week certificate course starts May 2, 2012. 

Webinar: The Role of Leadership in the EHR Project: What Rural Leaders Need to Know (link no longer available), Tuesday May 8, 2:00p.m. This webinar, sponsored by the Rural Assistance Center, will provide examples of effective project structure for rural and critical access hospital Electronic Health Record (EHR) projects. Those attending this presentation will be able to use this information to better prepare for their EHR project or improve an existing EHR project.

The National Rural Health Resource Center will be offering an innovative, informative leadership development session for professionals, "Peer Today, Boss Tomorrow," on June 6, 2012 in Duluth, MN.

National Quality Forum webinar: "eMeasure Implementation: Implications in Small Practice Settings" now online.

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 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 (MnHIT) (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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Governor Mark Dayton announced the following appointments to the Rural Health Advisory Committee: Dr. Raymond Christensen – Duluth, MN; Thomas Crowley – Wabasha, MN; Dr. Daron Gersch – Albany, MN; Jacqueline Osterhaus – Paynesville, MN; Millicent Simenson – Bemidji, MN; Nancy Stratman – Cokato, MN.

The White House Rural Council is hosting a Rural Health Stakeholder Meeting and Listening Session with leadership from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on May 1, 2012, in Washington D.C. Mark Schoenbaum, director of the Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, was invited and will participate in this event. The White House Rural Council seeks to coordinate programs across government to encourage public-private partnerships to promote further economic prosperity and quality of life in rural communities nationwide.

Tyler Healthcare Center (THC) Implements eConsult Technology: The public is invited to attend an open house on May 9 between the hours of 2pm and 7pm to tour all of the eCare Services offered at THC. eCare Services available at THC include eConsult, eEmergency, ePharmacy and eICU.Tyler Healthcare Center was able to bring eConsult service to the community with the assistance of a Minnesota Rural Hospital Flex Grant

Stratis Health Releases Profile of Medicare in Minnesota The Stratis Health Profile of Medicare in Minnesota gathers in one place information and resources about the Medicare program in the state. It provides a picture of who is receiving medical services through Medicare, what the 65 and older population in Minnesota looks like, health status and quality of care, and information on the major types of Medicare health care providers in Minnesota.

New Stroke Signs & Symptoms PSA for Minnesota for Stroke Awareness Month in May created by the American Heart Association, Twin Cities Chapter, and co-sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Health.

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.

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Spread of Prescription Pill Abuse Could Increase Efforts to Fight It, Helping Rural Victims
• The Relationship Between Entering Medical Students' Backgrounds and Career Plans and Their Rural Practice Outcomes Three Decades Later (link no longer available)
• Understanding Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Distribution in Urban and Rural Areas of the United States Using National Provider Identifier Data (link no longer available)
Water Fluoridation and Dental Health Indicators in Rural and Urban Areas of the United States (Policy Brief)

Health Disparities
Medicaid and Community Health Centers: The Relationship Between Coverage for Adults and Primary Care Capacity in Medically Underserved Communities
Medicaid Becoming a Rural Program in Many Ways
Designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) Statistics
Community Health Centers: The Challenge of Growing to Meet the Need for Primary Care in Medically Underserved Communities
Where America Needs Doctors, in One Map
State Policy Levers for Addressing Preventive Dental Care Disparities for Rural Children: Medicaid Reimbursement to Non-Dental Clinicians for Fluoride Varnish and Dental Hygiene Supervision in Primary Care Safety Net Settings

Mental Health
Stemming the Mental Health Crisis in Rural America
New Online Program Aimed at Helping Rural Doctors Provide Mental Health Care

Rural Doctors Up Against Size, Cost Disadvantage
Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Approval of the Application by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities for Deeming Authority for Rural Health Clinics
Rural Health Clinic Manual: Medicare Part A

• Critical Access Hospitals and the National Health Service Corps (link no longer available)

Health Information Technology  
Better Rural Broadband Needed for Better Rural Health

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The Minnesota Stroke Conference is June 4 in St Paul.

The Minnesota Cancer Alliance Summit (link no longer available) is June 6-7 in Brooklyn Center.

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

2012 Symposium on Small Towns is June 13-14 at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

The 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.