June 2014



orhpc loo




















Logo for the MN Rural Health Conference
Don't miss out - register now

for the 2014 Minnesota Rural Health Conference coming up June 23-24 in Duluth.

This year's conference will include sessions on partnerships, operational effectiveness, patient engagement, and tools and resources across an array of rural health care topics.

MDH, Minnesota Community Measurement and Stratis Health will hold a public forum to present final quality measure recommendations in connection with the annual update of the Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System. The forum will take place at MDH on June 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Final recommendations for physician clinic and hospital quality measures, forum presentations, and meeting details are available at Health Care Quality Measures–Recommendations.

MDH released results from the 2013 hospital health information technology survey. Minnesota’s hospitals have achieved near-universal adoption of EHRs and have implemented three of four key decision-support functionalities. Hospitals’ exchange of health information technology has improved over time but is still more common with affiliated partners (65 percent) than with unaffiliated partners (56 percent). For more information about e-health assessment and evaluation in Minnesota, contact Karen Soderberg at or 651-201-3576.



Graph - Family medicine residency positions available vs. filled, 
Minnesota 2003-2014.

Source: National Residency Matching Program, Main Residency Match: Match Results by State and Specialty, 2003-2014.

Over the past 11 years, the number of family medicine residency positions available in Minnesota has dropped over 20 percent, from a high of 96 in 2004 to the current 76 in 2014. The number of residents matched into these positions has remained relatively steady over that time, with the gap between available and filled slots narrowing as a result. In 2014, however, six family medicine residencies remained unfilled.

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 Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program (MN SLRP) are now available. The program provides funds for repayment of qualifying educational loans of up to $20,000 annually for full-time primary care providers and up to $10,000 annually for half-time primary care providers. For 2014, an estimated 5-10 loan repayment awards will be available. Applications due by August 20.


top of page


The federal Office of Rural Health (ORHP) is accepting applications to the Evidence-Based Tele-Emergency Network Grant Program. The program supports implementation and evaluation of broad telehealth networks to deliver emergency department consultation services via telehealth to rural and community providers without emergency care specialists. Eligible applicants include rural or urban nonprofit entities that will provide tele-emergency services through a telehealth network. Applications due June 19.

Grant funds are available to community health boards and tribal governments to implement and expand Family Spirit services to American Indian communities. The funding is intended to support evidence-based home visiting with high risk populations. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding is available through an Interagency Agreement between MDH and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). Letters of intent due by June 30.


The Healthier Minnesota Community Clinic Fund has issued a 2014 Request for Proposals seeking applications from safety net primary care providers for projects that improve access to and the quality of primary care clinical services for low-income people, communities of color, and the medically underserved. All eligible projects will be considered, but priority will be given to reproductive, dental and mental health care initiatives. Applications due September 11.


top of page


The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Midwest Affiliate will present a webinar, "Transitioning care for heart failure patients," on June 10 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Participant will hear innovative strategies that have successfully reduced LOS and readmissions for heart failure patients. The webinar is free but please contact or 248-936-5828 to register.

Working with Interpreters, a hybrid (partially online) course offered through the Century College Translating & Interpreting (TRIN) Program, will be presented June 28-August 2. The course is intended for health care and other professionals who have clients with limited English proficiency. For more information, contact Rachel Herring at or 651-779-5780.

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

Stratis Health invites interested organizations to hear the results of the Targeting Resource Use Effectively (TRUE) project, a special one-year project to help eligible patients receive hospice care sooner, and to increase appropriate referrals to and utilization of hospice care. TRUE involved partners in Alexandria, Mora and Waconia and is funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) . The event will take place July 16. For more information, contact Janelle Shearer at or 952-853-8553.

Registration is open for the Rural Quality and Clinical Conference, presented by the National Rural Health Association, to be held July 16-18 in Atlanta.

A four-part, online advanced grantwriting course, Beyond the Basics, is available through the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH). The course is designed for individuals looking for rural health grantwriting education beyond the introductory or beginning level, and will begin July 10.

A variety of quality improvement (QI) tools are available through the MDH Office of Performance Improvement. The QI toolbox contains over 30 quality improvement tools and resources, including run charts, check sheets and data sources. Most tools include links for downloadable templates and/or more information. 


top of page


Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC) is featured in Health IT Impact on Quality: Stories from the Field, a publication from the federal Regional Extension Centers Program. CUHCC's Clinical Services Director, Dr. Christopher Reif, explains how the After Visit Summary provided to patients has enhanced patient engagement and education.

The federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) issued its final notice describing the Frontier and Remote Area (FAR) Codes methodology for designating U.S. frontier areas. The methodology was developed in a collaborative project between ORHP and the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS).

The Nonprofits Assistance Fund (NAF) was profiled in a recent Star Tribune article: Nonprofit lender helps Minnesota communities grow. ORHPC partners with NAF to help provide loans to community clinics and other health providers.

Wilder Research's Minnesota Compass project now includes Geographic Profiles -- including population, income, immigration and health data -- for small towns throughout the state. A Minnesota Public Radio Ground Level piece compared the data for Minneota and Madelia: Look up your town on Wilder's new Minnesota data.

top of page


Poverty drags down rural health rankings (Daily Yonder).

Health reform
The Affordable Care Act and insurance coverage in rural areas (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation).
Narrow provider networks in new health plans (Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms and The Urban Institute).
A guide to understanding the variation in premiums in rural health insurance marketplaces (RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis).
Ready or not? How Community Health Centers view their preparedness to care for newly insured patients (The Commonwealth Fund).
What surge? Nation’s primary care system holding up well so far under Obamacare (Kaiser Health News).
Profile of Minnesota's uninsured: Summary of key findings (SHADAC).

Safety net clinics serving the elderly in rural areas: Rural Health Clinic patients compared to Federally Qualified Health Center patients (North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center).
How Community Health Centers are taking on accountable care for the most vulnerable (Brookings Institution).
Primary care, behavioral health, provider collocation and rurality (Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine).
Public health centers deliver equal or better quality of care (Center for Advancing Health).

Georgia looks to reopen some closed hospitals as ERs (NPR).
Rural hospitals a model for cutting healthcare costs (Mid-Missouri Public Radio).
Collaborative Community Health Needs Assessments: Approaches and benefits for Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Monitoring Team).
Rural health care: efficient, safe and a lot cheaper (HealthcareDive).
Hospital rankings: The more, the murkier (HealthLeaders Media).

Long-term care
Profile of rural residential care facilities: A chartbook (Maine Rural Health Research Center).

Oral health
Dental therapists aim to fill in oral health shortfalls (USA Today).

Mental health
Telepsychiatry brings emergency mental health care to rural areas (Minnesota Public Radio News).
Assessing rural mental health: study looks at regional strengths, barriers and needs (link no longer available) (West Central Blogger).
Implications of rurality and psychiatric status for diabetic preventive care use among adults with diabetes (Maine Rural Health Research Center).


Paramedics branch into home care (Boston Globe).
Should doctors work for hospitals? (The Atlantic).
As dementia spreads, so does geriatrician shortage (HealthLeaders Media).
Non-physician providers: An unexpected route to revenue increases (Healthcare Finance News).
• Some med school grads fail to get residency (link no longer available) (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
Medical school bottleneck worries analysts, who foresee shortage of doctors (Star Tribune).
State variability in supply of office-based primary care providers: United States, 2012 (National Center for Health Statistics, CDC).

Health Information Technology
Impact of an intensive care unit telemedicine program on patient outcomes in an integrated health care system (JAMA Internal Medicine).
Rural hospitals get creative in staffing for IT needs (Modern Healthcare).
The adoption and use of health information technology by Community Health Centers, 2009–2013
(The Commonwealth Fund).

top of page


Kay Herzfeld joins ORHPC as the new Emerging Professions Coordinator, part of the State Innovations Model (SIM) grant project. She will be managing two grant programs, working closely with emerging profession stakeholders, and coordinating with other SIM grant staff in MDH and DHS. Kay joins us from MDH's Compliance Monitoring Division. Contact Kay at or 651-201-3846.

ORHPC director Mark Schoenbaum was honored with a "2014 Friends of EMS" Award, presented by Regions Hospital to community partners who have advocated for pre-hospital care.

In May, Tammy Peterson conducted Level 4 trauma designation site visits to Stevens Community Medical Center in Morris; Minnesota Valley Health Center in Le Sueur; Swift County-Benson Hospital; Buffalo Hospital; Mayo Clinic Health System–St. James; and Mille Lacs Health System in Onamia. She also conducted a Level 3 designation visit to Fairview University Medical Center-Mesabi.


top of page


There's still time to register for the 2014 Minnesota Rural Health Conference taking place June 23-24 in Duluth.

The Annual Meeting and Health IT Forum of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved will take place June 25-27 in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Minnesota Partnership for Adolescent Health will hold a southwest regional community meeting on August 14 in Madison, Minnesota to provide feedback on the state’s vision for adolescent health and to identify barriers and actions needed.

The Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs (MACMHP) 2014 conference, Thriving Through Change, will take place September 16-19 in Duluth.

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA)'s 2014 Rural Health Clinic Conference will be held September 30-October 1 and the 2014 Critical Access Hospital Conference will be held October 1-3, both in Kansas City.

The 2014 Many Faces of Community Health Conference: Community Centered Care and the People We Serve, will be held October 23-24 in Minnetonka.



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

Our mission
To promote access to quality health care for all Minnesotans. We work as partners with policymakers, providers, and rural and underserved urban communities to ensure a continuum of core health services throughout the state.