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Celebrate in your community on November 20!

Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed November 20 Rural Health Day across Minnesota. 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

ORHPC has launched a new electronic grant management system, WebGrants@MDH. Beginning this Fall, grants in most programs will be solicited, awarded and managed electronically using WebGrants@MDH. In most cases, the eligibility, application requirements, and funding amounts will not change, but the grant management process will be improved through an easy-to use, online interface. WebGrants@MDH will be used for the entire lifecycle of a grant: Request for Proposals (RFP), application, review and selection, contracting, invoices and grant reporting. Review the Instructions for Using WebGrants@MDH to learn more. Questions about WebGrants@MDH should be directed to the ORHPC grant manager listed on an RFP.


Graph - Social Workers' Future Plans for Practicing in Minnesota, 2012-2013

Source: MDH Social Worker Workforce Survey, 2012-2013.

As Minnesota’s baby boomer generation ages, a majority will be permanently leaving the labor force to retire. Among 6,788 social workers (all license types) in Minnesota responding to a 2012-2013 workforce survey, 15 percent said they were planning to continue practicing for five years or less. Of those, a majority (74 percent) will be exiting the workforce due to retirements, 9 percent expect to change jobs, 9 percent plan to work in another state, and 5 percent expect to stop practicing for other reasons.

For more information and data on Minnesota's health workforce, visit the ORHPC Health Care Workforce Analysis Program or contact Angie Sechler at or 651-201-3862.


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Application materials are available for the Family Medicine Residency Grant Program, which supports Family Medicine Residency programs outside the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Step 1 applications are due November 24. If invited, Step 2 applications will be due December 17.

ORHPC requests proposals under the Minnesota Emerging Professions Toolkit Program to develop resources that will assist employers in integrating three emerging health professions into the workforce: community health workers, community paramedics and dental therapists/advanced dental therapists. An informational call will take place November 4, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST), call-in number: 1-888-742-5095, passcode: 6353794742. Proposals are due December 5.

Application materials are available for the Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Grant Program. This grant program helps small rural hospitals make needed facility and equipment improvements. Step 1 applications are due December 12. If invited, Step 2 applications will be due March 13, 2015.

Applications for the Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Program are now being accepted for Fiscal Year 2016. Applications are due January 2, 2015.


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The federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) is accepting applications to the FY15 Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant Program to improve outreach and service delivery in local and regional rural communities. The lead applicant must be a rural non-profit or rural public entity representing a consortium of at least three health care providers. Applications due November 14.

MDH seeks proposals under two grant programs in support of the Minnesota Accountable Health Model. More information about both programs is on the Request for Proposals page of the State Innovation Model (SIM) program.

  • The Privacy, Security and Consent Management for Electronic Health Information Exchange grant program seeks to support health care professionals, hospitals and health-related settings in using e-health to improve health, increase patient satisfaction, reduce health care costs, and improve access to the information necessary for individuals and communities to make the best possible health decisions. Required, non-binding Letters of Intent to Respond are due November 3. Full proposals due December 5.

  • The Practice Transformation grant program will support a range of providers and teams in primary care, social services, and behavioral health to allow team members to participate in transformation activities that advance the goals of patient centered, coordinated and accountable care. Proposals due December 5.


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The Minnesota Community Health Worker (CHW) Alliance will host four events in November and December. To learn more and register, visit the Alliance's Events page.

  • CHW Strategies & Asthma Care: A Webinar for Providers and Home Visiting Programs, November 6.

  • Learning Session for Asthma Care Providers and Home Visiting Programs on Integrating CHW Services into Pediatric Asthma Care, November 21.

  • CHW Enrollment, Coverage and Payment under Minnesota Health Care Programs, December 3.

  • The CHW Role and Mental Health: Current Practice and Future Opportunities, December 4.

The National Telehealth Webinar Series will present Choosing a Telehealth Service Provider on November 20 at 1:00 p.m.


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The Center for Rural Policy & Development released its State of Rural Minnesota Report 2014, a presentation of demographic and economic statistics on rural Minnesota, including maps with county-level data.

Rural Health Innovations, a subsidiary of the National Rural Health Resource Center, announced it received a federal grant to provide onsite technical assistance (TA) to assist small rural hospitals in bridging the gaps between the current health care system and newly emerging systems of health care delivery and payment. For more information or questions about Rural Health Innovations, contact Sally Buck at 218-727-9390 ext 225 or

The Nonprofits Assistance Fund (NAF) released a video, 150 Million Reasons to Celebrate, marking NAF's $150 million in cumulative lending to nonprofits. That amount includes $21.5 million in financing to safety net health and social service providers. ORHPC thanks NAF for its support of these nonprofits and many more.

The Minnesota Network of Hospice & Palliative Care (MNHPC) launched a palliative care video as part of its initiative to increase awareness and accessibility of palliative care for all Minnesotans. The video was produced with Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) and in collaboration with the Center to Advance Palliative Care.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the ACO Investment Model, an initiative designed to encourage new ACOs to form in rural and underserved areas and current Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs to transition to arrangements with greater financial risk.

The Institute of Medicine announced newly elected members, including two based in Minnesota: Harry T. Orr, director of the Institute of Translational Neuroscience and professor at the University of Minnesota and George Isham, senior fellow at the HealthPartners Institute for Education & Research.

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Differences in case-mix between rural and urban recipients of home health care (South Carolina Rural Health Research Center).

Health reform
Few ACOs pursue innovative models that integrate care for mental illness and substance abuse with primary care (The Commonwealth Fund).
The road to accountable care: Building systems for population health management (The Commonwealth Fund).
The Safety Net Medical Home Initiative: Transforming care for vulnerable populations (Medical Care).
Even with insurance, language barriers could undermine Asian Americans’ access to care (Kaiser Health News).
Debate over consolidation’s effect on cost rages on (HealthLeaders Media).
A benefit for rural vets: Getting health care close to home (National Public Radio).

Health equity
The state of health equity research: Closing knowledge gaps to address inequities (Academy Health).
‘The Health Care System Falls Apart When You’re A Complex Patient’ (Kaiser Health News).
Health equity infographics (Health Equity Institute, San Francisco State University).

Primary care
Speakers emphasize need to build bridges between primary care, mental health (AAFP News).
Integrating mental health and primary care
(HealthLeaders Media).
Trauma toolbox for primary care (American Academy of Pediatrics).
Identifying the risks of Health Center failure: A guide for Health Centers and summary infographic (Capital Link and Community Health Center Capital Fund).
Finding FQHC funding: Foundation grantseeking for Community Health Centers (FundRaising Success).

OIG again calls for review of Critical Access Hospital status (HealthLeaders Media).
Rural research alert: Observation care services (University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center).
In the hospital, a bad translation can destroy a life (National Public Radio).
Life Link III: “When minutes matter…” (Hometown Focus).


To become a doctor (New York Times).
When doctors and nurses work together (New York Times).
Building health workforce capacity through community-based health professional education: workshop summary (Institute of Medicine).

Health information technology
Digital medical records become common, but sharing remains challenging (New York Times).

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On October 20 and 21, ORHPC held two Rural Health Community Forums. Staff members Judy Bergh, Kristen Tharaldson, Angie Sechler and Katie Schleiss heard from a wide range of community members in Benson and Tracy 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.


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The 20th annual Rural Multiracial and Multicultural Health Conference will be held April 14, 2015 in Philadelphia.

The 2015 Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held June 29-30, 2015 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

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.