orhpc loo




















Natl Rural Health Day logo and link

Join the celebration and start planning now for November 15!

Join us in highlighting the unique health care challenges in rural areas and showcasing the many ways rural health providers and communities address those needs.

Learn how to share your story and discover more ways to celebrate National Rural Health Day in your community.

With the support of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding, a new Health Care Provider Retention Toolkit will soon be released to support retention of National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and other health care providers in Minnesota. The National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network (3RNet) and the National Rural Health Resource Center, working in partnership with ORHPC and its state counterparts in Wisconsin and Indiana, developed the multi-part toolkit. Register for a free webinar on October 4 (link no longer available) to learn more about the tools as well as broader health professional retention issues.

State Innovation Grant Application Submitted
On September 24, MDH and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) submitted an application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center under its State Innovation Models Funding Opportunity. The application proposes a Minnesota Accountable Health Model to support integrated, team-based services across the continuum of care (medical, mental health, long-term care and other services). Providers in smaller practices, rural areas and the health care safety net would be prioritized across these activities. CMS is expected to announce states selected for funding in December.


The 2012 Minnesota e-Health Connectivity Grant Program for Health Information Exchange (HIE) is accepting applications. The program provides funding to: a) assist health and health care providers in meeting requirements for federal incentives for meaningful use of an EHR; b) expand health information exchange capability among health care providers and other trading partners to support care and/or public health; and/or c) increase the number of Minnesota pharmacies capable of accepting electronic prescriptions.

Eligible applicants include community HIE Partners (two or more health organizations collaborating to implement HIE for meaningful use transactions) or pharmacies not able to accept electronic prescriptions.

Grant awards range up to $25,000 per HIE partner site or $10,000 per pharmacy. Grant applications will be reviewed and evaluated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visit the Minnesota e- Health Connectivity Grant for Health Information Exchange webpage for more information on this new funding opportunity. Contact Anne Schloegel at with questions.

MHCP Provider Changes Due October 15
In preparation for the Minnesota Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program (MEIP), Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) requires hospitals and clinics to review their professional affiliations with individual providers and report any changes to the MHCP Provider Enrollment unit by October 15. For more information, see the MHCP Provider Update MHP-12-09 Provider Affiliations page or contact the MHCP Provider Call Center at 651-431-2700 or 1-800-366-5411.

Graph - Physician distribution by rural-urban commuting areas

Analysis of mailing addresses of Minnesota licensed physicians in 2011 reflects what is observed nationally; nearly 90 percent of the physician workforce is concentrated in urban areas (MN: 86 percent; US: 89 percent) followed by large rural areas. 

Technical note: Rural Urban Commuting Areas (RUCAs) provide an alternative to analyzing health care workforce data by geography. The RUCA categories are based on the size of the city or town and the daily commuting patterns to identify urban cores and adjacent territory economically integrated with those cores. 

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.


top of page


Application materials for the Community Clinic Grant Program are now available on the ORHPC Grants and Loans page. These grants support clinical capacity to serve people with low incomes, reduce current or future uncompensated care burdens, or improve care delivery infrastructure. Pre-applications are due October 24. If invited, full applications will be due January 23.

Application materials for the Rural Hospital Flex Grant Program are now available on the ORHPC Grants and Loans page. Applications are due October 29.

Application materials for the Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Grant Program will be available October 15 on the ORHPC Grants and Loans page. Pre-applications are due December 17 and final applications (if invited) will be due March 18, 2013.

The Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) Grant Program is accepting 2013 applications from sponsoring institutions on behalf of their eligible clinical medical education programs and clinical training facilities located in Minnesota during fiscal year 2011. Details are available on the MERC website.  Applications are due by October 31.

Application materials 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, are now available on the ORHPC Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs page. Applications are due by January 2, 2013.

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


top of page


Applications for the 2013 Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant Program are due October 15.  This one-year grant from the federal Office of Rural Health Policy is an opportunity for rural communities to bring together key parts of a health care delivery system, particularly those entities that may not have collaborated in the past, to work together to establish or improve local capacity and coordination of care.

Staff Care is soliciting nominations for the Country Doctor of the Year Award. Nominations are due October 15.

As part of its Workforce Initiative (link no longer available), the RCHN Community Health Foundation is accepting applications from Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) or FQHC look-alikes for programs focused on the recruitment, training and retention of entry-level staff. Applications due October 31.

The NBCC Foundation is accepting applications to its Rural Scholarships program, which supports students enrolled in a master's degree counseling program who commit to provide counseling services in a rural area for at least two years after graduation. Applications due November 1.


top of page


The American Indian Health Research Conference will be held October 19 in Grand Forks, ND.

The 2012 Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held October 25-26 in Bloomington. The event will explore ways safety net providers can improve care and reduce health disparities in underserved populations.

Learn more about providing mental health services to veterans in community-based settings. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has developed a new online Community Provider Toolkit to support the delivery and coordination of such services.

Interested in advancing your knowledge of rural health issues and gaining leadership skills? Consider applying to the Leadership Institute (link no longer available) offered by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and the Heartland Center for Leadership Development. Scholarships are available. Applications due December 10.


top of page


The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) will celebrate Corps Community Day on October 11. Minnesota will celebrate the day at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry from 12-1 p.m. with presentations by NHSC scholars, loan repayment recipients and NHSC Ambassadors and an award to the School of Dentistry for its commitment to expanding access to oral health and primary care. To register, contact Meghan Reedy at Also check out the NHSC's 40 Clinicians in 40 Weeks feature, which showcases a new member each week. Week six profiled Ashley Landers, who serves as an outpatient therapist, medical services contractor and clinical supervisor with Central Minnesota Mental Health Center in Buffalo, Minnesota.

Eleven Community Health Centers in Minnesota received supplemental federal grants through the Affordable Care Act to improve quality through improved care coordination and other efforts to become patient-centered medical homes.

Two centers at the University of Minnesota received news of major, multi-year grants: HRSA announced funding for a new Coordinating Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice that will provide national guidance on the best ways to train health care providers to practice collaboratively, and the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center is one of seven rural health research centers nationwide to receive renewed funding from the federal Office of Rural Health Policy for 2012-2016.

The Health Care Innovations Exchange of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) now features the Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance as an example of improving quality and reducing disparities through innovation. The profile highlights the Alliance's work creating a scope of practice, training curriculum, certificate program and reimbursement strategy for CHWs.

top of page


Health Disparities
Study: Nearly 40 percent of rural Americans are obese, compared to a third of urbanites (The Rural Blog).
Rural obesity fight needs non-traditional partners (HealthLeaders Media).
Growing up in a rural area may double your risk of Alzheimer's, study says (Medical Daily).

Minnesota Public Radio's Ground Level series examines pressures and changes in the state's rural health care system, including the increase in hospital mergers, the choice to remain independent, and lessons learned from consolidation.
The Flex Monitoring Team has two new policy briefs focused on Quality Improvement in Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs): Evidence-based acute myocardial infarction (AMI) QI programs/strategies (link no longer available) and Evidence-based surgical care QI programs/strategies for CAHs (link no longer available).
•The Fifth Annual National Rural Emergency Department Study (link no longer available) (2007-2011) finds roughly 60 percent of all low-severity visits in the rural ED are seen during normal business hours - care that could be provided in the primary care setting.

Health Care Homes/Care Coordination
Report outlines success of PCMH model in variety of public, private demonstrations (AAFP News Now).
Expanded access to primary care linked to lower health costs (American Medical Association News).
Brief examines care transitions among sites and new federal initiatives spurring improvement (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation).
Estimating a reasonable patient panel size for primary care physicians with team-based task delegation (Annals of Family Medicine).

Community paramedic ranks begin to grow in Minnesota (Minnesota Public Radio).
•Program dispatches 'CHERPS' to improve rural health (link no longer available) (West Virginia Public Broadcasting).
Luring students into family medicine (New York Times).
Mapping the physician workforce -- new interactive mapping tool shows distribution of primary care physicians by state, county and census tract (Robert Graham Center).

Health Information Technology
ONC director calls on Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and small rural hospitals to accelerate meaningful use of EHR(Health IT Buzz).
Rural health IT initiatives overshadowed by meaningful use (EHR Intelligence).
HRSA webinar focuses on rural health EHR tips (EHR Intelligence).
Telemedicine seen easing shortage in rural U.S. (Bloomberg).
Telemedicine for rural youth health (South Bend Tribune).
Telepharmacy improves patient safety in rural hospitals and suggests potential for urban underserved areas (InformationWeek).

top of page


In September ORHPC welcomed Tammy Peterson as the new Trauma Designation Coordinator for the statewide trauma system. Tammy comes to us from MDH's Office of Emergency Preparedness, where she administered a web-based hospital resource and emergency communication system. She can be reached at 651-201-5981 or

Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger and ORHPC Director Mark Schoenbaum were among "100 Influential Health Leaders" featured in the August issue of Minnesota Physician.

ORHPC Deputy Director Tim Held will be featured in an educational video being created by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) for state legislators about the need for state trauma and EMS systems. Tim was interviewed in his role as chair of the National Trauma Managers Council and board member of the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO).  

In mid-September, ORHPC held three Rural Health Community Forums in northeast Minnesota. Staff members Judy Bergh, Kristen Tharaldson, Paul Jansen and other ORPHC staff heard from a wide range of community members in Ely, Deer River and Aitkin about health issues and priorities in their areas. These regional community forums help ORHPC gather information and make recommendations regarding rural health care in the state.

Jo-Ann Champagne, Tammy Peterson and Chris Ballard conducted multiple trauma designation site visits in September, including a Level III Trauma Designation site visit to Abbott Northwestern Hospital on September 24 and four Level IV designation site visits: Sanford Medical Center Jackson (September 5); Sanford Medical Center Canby (September 6); FirstLight Health System in Mora (September 11); and Ridgeview Emergency Department at Two Twelve in Chaska (September 17).


top of page


National Rural Health Day will be celebrated on November 15. Start planning now for ways you can help highlight the unique health care challenges in rural areas and showcase the many ways rural health providers and communities address those needs. More information will be available soon on the ORHPC and National Rural Health Day websites.

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


top of page

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

We invite you to forward this newsletter to your colleagues. Not already a subscriber? Subscribe to receive the Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care free Monthly and Quarterly e-newsletters.

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.