April 2017
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2017 Minnesota Rural Health Conference

Registration open for 2017 Minnesota Rural Health Conference!

Conference attendees may register online now. Register by May 19 to take advantage of early bird prices. See rates and audience details on the website.

Rural Health Award Nominations
Nominations are now being accepted for the annual Minnesota Rural Health Hero, Team and Lifetime Achievement awards. Nominees for all the awards will have made positive or innovative contribution in the areas of rural health policy, education, legislation, patient care, services, or health care systems within their communities or at a state level. All awards will be presented at the Minnesota Rural Health Conference Awards Breakfast on Tuesday, June 20. Nominate your outstanding individual or team by May 1!

Emerging Health Leader Award Nominations
Nominations are now being accepted for the annual Minnesota Rural Health Association's Emerging Rural Health Leader Award. The award is funded by Stratis Health and recognizes a health professions student who demonstrates leadership in the improvement of rural health on a regional or statewide level. Nominate your emerging leader by May 1!

International Doctors Get 'Matched'
The Minnesota Department of Health's International Medical Graduate Assistance Program helps doctors with medical training outside the U.S. get licensed in America. One of the goals of the program is to ´match´ international doctors with a residency program. Six doctors participating in the program from the Rochester area were 'matched' and another five participating in the Twin Cities area were matched.

We Are Public Health Video Series
As a way of celebrating Public Health Week, check out the Minnesota Department of Health's We Are Public Health video series highlighting stories from our own employees about their jobs.

HPSA Shortage Designations
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is currently developing a new, more automated process to score Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). The first National Shortage Designation Update based on the new process will occur in July 2017. ORHPC staff are continuing to provide data, local context and input to federal staff as these changes are discussed and implemented to ensure that all HPSA designations are accurate and reflect the reality of provider shortage in Minnesota. For more information about the Update, visit our HPSA and MUA/P shortage designation webpage. If you have questions on a HPSA designation in your area, please contact Keisha Shaw at 651-201-3860 or Deb Jahnke at 651-201-3845.

Carfentanil Warning
Recently, there have been deaths in Minnesota due to the powerful narcotic Carfentanil, which is a large animal tranquilizer. This is a new phenomenon in our state. The US DEA issued a warning for law enforcement regarding the drug. Due to its potency, Carfentanil also poses a threat to health care workers and scene responders through incidental exposure. Please inform your staff and coworkers of this potential threat and advise them to exercise increased caution when treating a patient suspected of illicit narcotic use. Carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl. It can exist as powder, blotter paper, tablets or spray; often resembles powdered cocaine or heroin.


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Clinical Dental Education Innovations
The Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) Fund supports innovative clinical training for dental professionals and programs that increase access to dental care for underserved populations through grant funding. Eligible applicants for these grants include sponsoring institutions, training sites or consortia that provide clinical education to dental professionals: dentists, dental therapists, dental hygienists and/or dental assistants. Applicants must be affiliated with an accredited training program. The Clinical Dental Education Innovations Fund operates on an annual funding cycle, with a Request for Proposal (RFP) posted in spring and proposals selected roughly two months later. The application is due 4 p.m. Friday, May 12. For more information, contact at 651-201-3860.

The Hospital Safety Net Grant Program
The Hospital Safety Net Grant program provides grant funding to help defray underpayments to hospitals for high-cost services provided to Emergency Medical Assistance (EMA) enrollees. Up to $1,350,000 is available for Fiscal Year 2017. Eligible applicants are licensed hospitals that provided care to EMA enrollees. The Step 1 Application is due April 14 and the Step 2 Application is due May 26. For more information contact at 651-201-3860.


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OTHER GRANTS And funding

2017 Nurse Corps Scholarship Program
The 2017 Nurse Corps Scholarship Program Application cycle is now open. Applicants may view the 2017 Application and Program Guidance and the on-demand 2017 NURSE Corps Scholarship Technical Assistance Webinar. The webinar provides you with more information on the application process and the service requirements. The application deadline is May 11, 7:30 pm ET.

NHSC Scholarship Program Now Accepting Applications
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program is a competitive federal program that awards scholarships to students pursuing eligible primary care health professions training leading to a degree in medicine or dentistry or other postgraduate degrees or certificates. In return, scholars commit to providing primary care health services in underserved communities. Applications are now being accepted until April 27.


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CMS Open Door Forum Podcasts
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sponsors regularly scheduled “Open Door Forums" providing an opportunity for live dialogue between CMS and the community at large. Recent topics have been: ambulances, rural health, employers, home health, allied health professionals, hospitals, etc. CMS makes Open Door Forums and other presentations available as audio podcasts. The Podcasts are available free of charge. For any questions, please contact PRG at

Emergency Management Compliance Manual, Second Edition
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Joint Commission are placing greater emphasis on emergency management. The Emergency Management Compliance Manual, Second Edition, provides a detailed look at CMS and The Joint Commission’s Emergency Management expectations and standards. This emergency preparedness resource will help you better understand best practices for your facility, staff and patients.

Call for Abstracts for the Many Faces Conference
Many Faces of Community Health, held October 26-27 in Bloomington, showcases ways to improve health equity, prevent and manage chronic diseases, and assure access. The call for abstracts for this year's conference is open until April 12.

National Rural Health Association Partnership Services
Every month, the National Rural Health Association Partnership Services has free webinars. You must register for them.

  • Rural HCAHPS Breakthrough 2017, Thursday, April 20, 2:00 - 3:00 pm CDT.
  • Engage Millennials - Retain Millennials, Thursday, April 27, 2:00 - 3:00 pm CDT.

Opioid State Targeted Response (STR) Request for Proposals A statewide request for proposal (RFP) has been released for the Opioid State Targeted Response grant. Up to 4.29 million dollars through federal fiscal year 2018 will be distributed. This is an expedited timeline to meet the grant requirements from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Please view the request for proposal (RFP) for more information. Contact Dave Rompa if you have questions. Proposals are due by April 28, 4 p.m.

Migrant Clinician Network Webinar
The Migrant Clinician Network (MCN) is hosting a webinar, Community Health Workers and their Role in the Prevention and Control of Hypertension, on April 12, 12 pm CDT.

How Public Health Agencies Can Protect and Support Immigrant and Refugee Communities Webinar
Public health agencies across the country are organizing and taking action to support immigrant and refugee communities. Please join us for this timely webinar held April 11, 12:00 pm CDT, to learn why immigration is a public health and racial equity issue.

Documentation and Coding for Behavioral and Mental Health Services Webinar
The Association of Rural Health Professional Coding (ARHPC) will present a webinar on Documentation and Coding for Behavioral and Mental Health Services April 12th from 12:30 - 11:30 pm EST.


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Staples Doctor is Family Physician of the Year
The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians selected Dr. Julie Mayers Benson of Staples as the 2017 Family Physician of the Year. Read about her accomplishments in the Brainerd Dispatch. Congratulations!

Grand Marais Nurse Earns Bush Fellowship
Kristin Wharton, a registered nurse at the Sawtooth Mountain Clinc in Grand Marais and an advocate for rural health care, is a recipient of one of 24 Bush Foundation Fellowships bestowed among people across Minnesota. Congratulations!

Southwest Minnesota Clears Waiting List for Homeless Veterans
Eighteen counties in southwest Minnesota have cleared their housing waiting list for homeless Veterans becoming the 40th community in the nation to do so. The Southwest Continuum of Care (CoC) is Minnesota’s first region to reach this historic goal. Congratulations to all of the counties and partners in southwest Minnesota for this remarkable accomplishment.

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ORHPC Staff News

LUCAS Grant Coordinator Jodi Millner attended the 2018 SE Emergency Medical Services Conference, "Heroes Among Us," in Rochester.


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Health Equity
A Penn nurse tackles ageism in health care (The Philadephia Inquirer).
Growing population of homeless seniors worries housing advocates (MPR News).
A report on violence against Asian women and children in Minnesota (Rainbow Research).
Differences in health care, family, and community factors associated with mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders among children aged 2–8 years in rural and urban areas — United States, 2011–2012 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Health and urban resilience: Understanding health equity in the city (Harvard University).
Public health students can help physicians improve health equity (The DO).

Closing the digital divide (Federal Telemedicine News).
Online consult program cuts wait times for specialists (HealthLeaders Media).
Anticipating economic returns of rural telehealth (NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association).
Minnesota updating mental health access (Federal Telemedicine News).
Reducing readmissions from the postacute setting (HealthLeaders Media).

Rural Health
• Heitkamp, Klobuchar say change in visa processing could hurt rural healthcare (West Central Tribune).
• It's like pulling teeth: Finding pediatric, rural dentists poses huge challenge (Detroit Lakes Online).
• Minnesota updating mental health access (Federal Telemedicine News).
• In Minnesota, new health rankings show a north-south divide (MinnPost).

• Race and location play a big part in doctor pay (USA Today).
• Beating clinician burnout (HealthLeaders Media).
• Psychiatric services 'crisis' spurs call for reform (HealthLeaders Media).
• Bitter pill: Training for primary care doctors at risk (St. Cloud Times).
• Minnesota House, governor support $14 million to train rural doctors (Alexandria Echo Press).

No opioids, please: A growing movement lets patients refuse prescriptions (STAT).
The air we breathe: The state of Minnesota's air quality 2017 (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency).
Characteristics of initial prescription episodes and likelihood of long-term opioid use — United States, 2006–2015 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
A killer opioid's dark pathway to Minnesota (MPR News).
Patients have insurance but still can't find a dentist (Minneapolis Star Tribune).

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The Minnesota Public Health Association annual conference Moving Health Equity Forward will be held April 19-20 in Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Rural Health conference Shaping Sustainable Solutions will be held June 19-20 in Duluth.

The fourth annual Comprehensive Advanced Life Support on Rural Emergency Care will be held September 29 in St. Paul.


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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.