orhpc logo


•MDH & ORHPC news
•MDH & ORHPC grants & loans
•Other grants & funding
•News of our partners
•Staff news
•Now read this
•Save the date

twitter logo   FOLLOW US ON TWITTER!

orhpc leaf graphic


MDH and ORHPC news

ORHPC's Tammy Peterson receives Award of Excellence

Tammy Peterson receiving Award of Excellence

Minnesota Statewide Trauma System staff member Tammy Peterson received an Award of Excellence from the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB) in grateful appreciation of her talent, time and assistance as an Advanced Level National Registry Exam Administrator representing the EMSRB and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). Tammy, a former EMSRB employee, went above and beyond by stepping in to assist her former agency administer the paramedic exams while still continuing her duties at the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care.

Thanks for your commitment to the Emergency Medical Services community, Tammy!

Minnesota recognized by HRSA

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recognized ten states, including Minnesota, for outstanding quality performance of their Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in achieving the highest reporting rates and levels of improvement over the past year. States built on their previous successes by investing Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) funds into quality improvement projects and developing technical assistance resources that improve high-quality care in their communities. States also work collaboratively with every CAH and their respective partners to share best practices and utilize data to drive quality improvement in their hospitals. MN FLEX Program receives Award

Minnesota Ambulance Association Leader Development Course

The Minnesota Ambulance Association, in partnership with the EMS Regulatory Board and funded by ORHPC, is offering a Leader Development Course Saturday, September 23, in Mankato. The course is intended to provide tools necessary to lead EMS in your community and is designed for managers, supervisors, coaches, mentors, visionaries, planners, communicators and decision makers. Register by August 18.

Snapshot from Workforce Data and Analysis Unit

Physical therapy (PT) is a relatively young and stable profession with 73 percent of physical therapists saying they plan to remain in the field for more than ten years. Just 11 percent indicated they plan to leave the field within five years. The majority of those planning to leave the field (87 percent) indicated they would retire. The less common reasons of note to leave the PT field include burnout, dissatisfaction or to pursue a different career.

Dental Therapist by Minnesota Region

Source: MDH Physical Therapist Workforce Survey, 2016. The chart is based on 3,585 valid survey responses.

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 was supposed to occur in July but is now delayed until November. 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.

Top of page

MDH and ORHPC grants and loans

Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program

Minnesota's State Loan Repayment Program (MN SLRP) was created to improve access to primary care by assisting underserved communities with recruitment and retention of primary care providers. Applications are due August 17. For more information contact Deb Jahnke at 651-201-3845.

Top of page

Other grants and funding

Telehealth Center of Excellence

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is soliciting applications to support a Telehealth Center of Excellence. The primary purpose of this program is to examine the efficacy of telehealth services in rural and urban areas. The Telehealth Center of Excellence will be located in a public academic medical center that: has a successful telehealth program with a high annual volume of telehealth visits; has an established reimbursement structure that allows telehealth services to be financially self-sustaining; and has established programs that provide telehealth services in medically underserved areas with high chronic disease prevalence and high poverty rates. The Telehealth Center of Excellence will serve as a national clearinghouse for telehealth research and resources, including technical assistance. The deadline for application is August 21.

Top of page


State Health Facts

Search state health facts on the The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation website. Choose from several categories such as: demographics and the economy; health costs & budgets; and health coverage & uninsured.

#LandOfHealthyKids: Data driven communications campaign

On July 18, MDH launched a month–long communications campaign called the Land of Healthy Kids that features Minnesota specific data about asthma, oral health, immunizations, pesticide poisonings, secondhand smoke and the WIC program. Check it out!

Workforce Grand Rounds webinar series

Health Resources and Services Administration's Workforce Grand Round webinar—"Strengthening the Health Workforce Education Pipeline: Tools, Resources and Outcomes"— will be held August 15, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. EST. This webinar will increase awareness of health workforce education pipeline programs and share innovative, best practices regarding the need to recruit and retain students from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented minorities to strengthen the health workforce. Register to participate.

Climate & Health Program webinar series

The MDH Climate and Health Program will host a Climate Change, Health & Extreme Heat Events webinar on August 16 from 12:00 noon - 1 p.m. This is the second webinar in a new, six-part series focused on climate and health issues in Minnesota.

Support for providers who treat veterans

The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)’s PTSD Consultation Program aims to support providers, including those practicing in rural communities, who treat veterans with PTSD. The program offers access to psychologists, psychiatrists, pharmacists and other mental health professionals to discuss PTSD-related assessments, treatments, medications and referral questions. The services are free and available to any provider treating a U.S. veteran. Consultation is consistent with evidence-based practices for PTSD and consensus statements such as the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD.

Grant writing trainings

The Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Office of Regional Operations is hosting another Rural Health Grants Webinar Series, "Understanding the How, the Where, the Resources," on Monday August 28, 11 a.m. - 12:00 noon. Register here. The next one is September 19, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon.

Driving population health with analytics webinar

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) is partnering with the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation and New Ulm Medical Center, an NRHA member, to present a three–part webinar series on rural health care transformation. The second webinar of the series takes place on Thursday, August 10, 2 p.m. CDT and focuses on using a hospital’s data to drive strategy, systems change, risk assessment and improve healthcare outcomes in rural communities.

National Rural Health Association webinars

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

  • Training and Development to Deliver Measurable Results, Wednesday, August 9, 2:00 - 3:00 PM CDT.
  • Achieving Project Management Zen, Tuesday, August 15, 2:00 - 3:00 PM CDT.
  • Chronic Care Management: Embrace it!, Tuesday, August 22, 2:00 - 3:00 PM CDT.

Top of page

News of our partners

Minnesota medical groups awarded for patient care

For the last 12 years, Minnesota Bridges to Excellence and the Minnesota Health Action Group have been honoring medical groups for their commitment to closing health care quality gaps. Here is the list of groups honored this year for their optimal care of patients with chronic conditions.

North Shore Health announces community open house

North Shore Health hosted a "Sneak Peek" Open House to share the incredible construction progress and Care Center transformation. "We are very excited to show off our newly renovated space," said Kimber Wraalstad, CEO at North Shore Health. "It looks absolutely amazing and greatly improves our facilities and services. With these smart updates, we can continue to provide our patients with exceptional care right here in Grand Marais." When the full renovation is complete early next year, North Shore Health will invite the community in to see the completed project. View the Boldt Construction Blog for photos and construction updates.

Top of page

ORHPC staff news

Reimbursement Fiscal Analyst Craig Baarson, Flex Program Coordinator Judy Bergh, and Rural Health Policy Researcher Emma Distel attended Leading Transitions to Value, the annual Flex Program Reverse Site Visit in Bethesda, MD. It is an opportunity for state Flex Program grantees to meet and share information about the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). This program is supported by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Flex Program Coordinator Judy Bergh, Rural Health Policy Researcher Emma Distel, Grants Manager Lina Jau and student worker with the Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) Roon Makhtal visited Mille Lacs Health Care System in Onamia and Riverwood Healthcare in Aitkin. They were given grand tours of both hospitals and even visited the roof of the Mille Lacs facility to look at the two new compressors that were purchased in part with grant dollars from the ORHPC Rural Hospital Capital Improvement grant program.

Emma Distel, Roon Makhtal and Lina Jau, stopping for a rest in Garrison on the way to Aitkin after visiting Mille Lacs Health System in Onamia.

Flex Program Coordinator Judy Bergh and Rural Health Policy Researcher Emma Distel participated in the groundbreaking of the expanded clinic at Bigfork Valley. Judy was handed a hard hat and shovel and the 2017 Rural Health Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Dr. George Rounds, said a few words as well.

Bigfork Valley Groundbreaking

Policy Planner Darcy Dungan-Seaver attended the Marshall Area Minnesota Oral Health Coalition Meeting that featured multiple approaches to broadening rural access to oral health care in that part of the state. 

Health Workforce Analysis Unit Supervisor Nitika Moibi presented on the supply and demand of the health care workforce to the biannual Minnesota Hospital Association Trustee Conference in Alexandria.

Shortage Designation Coordinator & Grant Program Manager Keisha Shaw visited the Open Door Health Center in Mankato for one of the School Dental Outreach events.

Open Door Dental Outreach

Top of page

Now read this

Health equity

A new way to fulfill the single biggest need of poor patients: Teeth (The Washington Post).
Doctors have the power to help their patients thrive financially (STAT).
When health law isn't enough, the desperate line up at tents (The New York Times).
UW Health to screen for hunger, provide free meals for children (Wisconsin State Journal).

Health care

Safety net clinics in Minnesota face loss of federal funds (Minneapolis Star Tribune).
Hospital-community partnerships improve rural health care and health outcomes (Business Wire).
Fraser's new east-metro mental health facility will help expand treatment options for Minnesota children (MinnPost).
Site-based clinics: Do it better or else (HealthLeaders Media).
Baby deliveries to end at St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul (Minneapolis Star Tribune).
Tim Walsh: Minnesota mental health and addiction care relies heavily on Medical Assistance (MinnPost).
What can urban areas learn from rural hospitals? (Healthcare Informatics).

Rural health

Iowa telehealth program bolsters state´s rural healthcare access (mHealth Intelligence).
Knowledge of health insurance concepts and the Affordable Care Act among rural residents (Maine Rural Health Research Center).
The financial importance of Medicare post-acute and hospice care to rural hospitals (North Carolina Rural Health Research Program).
Mental health services in Greater Minnesota (Center for Rural Policy and Development).
Rural wait times for EMS more than twice that for urban, suburban areas (Healthcare Dive).
To survive, rural hospitals need to grow - but the demographics don't add up (St. Louis Public Radio).
Penn State is helping sexual assault victims in rural areas – here's how (Becker's Hospital Review).
Making Minnesota a leader in rural health (The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Rural Health).


How a Rochester program is helping nontraditional students overcome obstacles to health-care jobs (MinnPost).
Economy needs workers, but drug tests take a toll (New York Times).
At Northwest Clinic, patients see a (rare) Marshallese M.D., hear a hearty 'lakwe!' (Arkansas Public Media).
Grant focuses on expanding rural health care with nurse practitioners (The Globe).
Immigrant physicians: Why are they vital for U.S. healthcare? (Medical News Today).
Branding Matters When It Comes to Nurse Recruitment (HealthLeaders Media).
Why primary care physicians leave rural healthcare: 5 things to know (Becker's Hospital Review).


How a low-key pharmacy could help ease the opioid epidemic (The IndyStar).
Public and individual health insurance trends in rural Minnesota (Minnesota Department of Health).
GE Healthcare launches 'Heroines of Health' documentary (Healthcare IT News).

Top of page

Save the date


The 1st annual Minnesota Alliance of Rural Addiction Treatment Programs Late Summer Conference is 23-24 August in Willmar.

The 7th Integrative Medicine for the Underserved Conference Equity and Healing: Integrative Approaches to Bridging Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Care will be held August 24-26 in Chicago.

The Health Care Education & Training´s (HCET) Minnesota Adolescent Sexual Health Summit will be held September 9 in St. Paul.

The 2017 3RNet Annual Conference will be held September 12-14 in Scottsdale, AZ.

The National Rural Health Association's (NRHA) Rural Health Clinic and Critical Access Hospital conferences will be held September 26-29 in Kansas City, MO.

The 2017 Community Health Conference Be Part of the Conversation: Our Stories, Our Communities, Our Health will be held September 27-29 in Breezy Point.

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

The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held October 26-27 in Bloomington.

Top of page



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

Comments? Contact or call 651-201-3863.


Not already a subscriber?

Subscribe to receive the Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care News Publications.


ORHPC 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.
Updated Wednesday, 14-Nov-2018 10:40:12 CST bgcolor=#78be21