OCTOber 2014



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Natl Rural Health Day logo and link

Start planning now for November 20!

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

Join ORHPC in gathering information and making recommendations about rural health care in Minnesota. Interested citizens, hospital administrators and staff, emergency medical services personnel, health care providers, and community organizers and leaders are encouraged to attend one of two upcoming regional forums: in Benson on October 20 at ACMC/Swift County Benson Hospital and in Tracy on October 21 at the Fitness Depot Wellness Center. Your input will help shape state and national health care policies and activities. To attend, please register online. For more information, contact Judy Bergh at 651-201-3843 or

MDH announced a new initiative to place life-saving equipment in ambulances and emergency rooms across the state, funded by a $4 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The grant will be used to place an automated chest compression device, called Physio-Control LUCAS® 2 Chest Compression System, into ambulance services and hospitals across the state. MDH will reach out to all EMS and hospital providers in early 2015 to coordinate training activities and distribution of the devices. This equipment program will target licensed rural ambulance services and hospitals that currently do not have a LUCAS device; First Responder units will not be eligible. For more information, contact Tim Held at 651-201-3868 or

MDH invites public comment on proposed amendments to the Minnesota Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System. The proposed changes are posted at Health Care Quality Measures – Proposed Rule Amendment. Comments or questions must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on October 15 to Denise McCabe, Minnesota Department of Health, P.O. Box 64882, St. Paul, MN  55164-0882, 651-201-5530 or


Graph - Physicians licensed in Minnesota, by state/country of medical education

Source: Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, May 2014. Includes all physicians with active Minnesota licenses. Note: Medical school data not available for 86 physicians (0.4 percent).

Among the 21,669 physicians licensed in Minnesota, roughly one third graduated from a medical school in Minnesota and 12 percent went to school in a state bordering Minnesota. The remaining 57 percent trained in a state not bordering Minnesota or in a foreign country. It is important to note that the data do not reflect where physicians completed their post-graduate (residency) training, only where they went to medical school.

For more information and data on Minnesota's health workforce, visit the ORHPC Health Care Workforce Analysis Program site.


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Application materials are available for the Rural Hospital Planning and Transition Grant Program, which helps small rural hospitals preserve access or respond to changing conditions. Applications due October 10.

ORHPC announces two new grant programs: the Dental Safety Net Grant Program and the Mental Health Safety Net Grant Program. Both provide support for treating the uninsured, with funds distributed based on the number of individual uninsured patients under the age of 21 served by the applicant. Learn more on the ORHPC Grants and Loan page. Step 1 applications due October 31.

The Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) Fund program is accepting grant applications from sponsoring institutions with accredited teaching programs providing clinical training in fiscal year 2013 for advanced practice nursing, clinical social workers, community health workers, community paramedics, dental students/residents, dental therapists/advanced dental therapists, chiropractic students, medical students/residents, pharmacy students/residents, physician assistants and psychologists. Programs must submit their application through their sponsoring institution. Find more details on the MERC Grant Application Information page. Applications due October 31.


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The Blandin Foundation is seeking up to 10 new communities for the 2015-16 cohort of the Blandin Broadband Communities Program. Selected teams receive planning and organizing support, and the opportunity to apply for grant funding for locally developed projects. Applications due October 17.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is accepting applications to its Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program. Grants will be used to deploy broadband infrastructure and expand access of broadband service to unserved and underserved areas of the state. Applications due October 28.

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.


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Regional Extension Assistance Center for Health Information Technology (REACH) will hold a Data Analytics Boot Camp on October 10 in Bloomington. The event aims to help health care organizations gain maximum value from their EHR data for meaningful use, quality improvement and more. Register on the Key Health Alliance website.

The Family Medicine Midwest 2014 Conference will be held October 10-12 in Minneapolis.

The 2014 Many Faces of Community Health Conference: Community Centered Care and the People We Serve takes place October 23-24 in Minnetonka.

A Community Paramedicine Conference will be held October 23-24 in Bloomington. The conference will showcase expert speakers and practitioners from across the country sharing information on community paramedicine legislation, implementation and education.

The 6th Annual Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference will be held in Morris on October 24. The conference theme is “Integrated Care in Rural Practice.” The conference will also be available via group webcast sites or by individual webcast. 

The 2014 annual conference of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Nonprofits in Motion: Momentum for a New Minnesota, will take place November 6-7 in St. Paul.


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The Rural Assistance Center (RAC) has issued two new topic guides: Recruitment and Retention for Rural Health Facilities and Shortage Designations. RAC also updated its Rural Health Workforce guide.

Dr. Ken Carter and Dr. Darrell Carter, brothers and longtime family physicians based in Granite Falls, received the Community Service Award for 2014 from the Minnesota Medical Association and its foundation at the association's annual conference in September. Read about the Carters in a Granite Falls Advocate Tribune article, and learn more about other award winners on the MMA website.

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Panel urges overhauling health care at end of life (New York Times).
Minnesotans show how to create ‘dementia-friendly’ communities (New America Media).
Public health, pharmacy joining forces for community health: Growing health role for pharmacists (The Nation's Health).

Health reform
Rural enrollment presents continuing health law challenges (Kaiser Health News).
Rural implications of the blueprints for state-based health insurance marketplaces (RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis).
Governors push to expand role of PAs, telemedicine (HealthLeaders Media).
Geographic variation in premiums in health insurance marketplaces (RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis).

Primary care
Community Health Centers: A 2012 profile and spotlight on implications of state Medicaid expansion decisions (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation).
Small primary care practices shine in national study (AAFP News).
Facilitating care integration in Community Health Centers (Center for Care Innovations).
Primary care funding flows to health centers, but more needed (Healthcare Finance News).
Full-service schools aim to focus on students' health and scores (Minnesota Public Radio News).
Integrating primary care practices and community-based resources to manage obesity (Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality).
Advancing primary care: Practical, proven and scalable approaches (UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization).

When the tiny hospital can't survive: Free-standing EDs with primary care seen as new rural model (Modern Healthcare) (requires registration).
Hospital consolidation: Is it raising costs? (Politico).
When a hospital closes (Kaiser Health News).
Webinar recording: Change in profitability and financial distress of Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) from loss of cost-based reimbursement (North Carolina Rural Health Research Center).


FutureDocs workforce model factors in ’plasticity’ (HealthLeaders Media).
Cargill Foundation grant takes aim at rural nursing shortage (Star Tribune).
Why I'm becoming a primary-care doctor (The Atlantic).
Congress mulls primary care doc ’re-entry’ plan bill
(HealthLeaders Media).

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ORHPC welcomed a new student worker in September: Anandi Somasundaram, an economics and public health major at Macalester College. Anandi will be assisting with the Task Force on Immigrant Physicians, as well as other projects in the Health Workforce Planning and Analysis unit.


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


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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.