December 2017


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

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MDH and ORHPC news

At our official retirement party, we said our goodbyes to ORHPC Director Mark Schoenbaum and thanked him for his inspired leadership and his many years of service. His last day is Tuesday, January 2. Our hiring committee is doing the good work of sorting through candidates and we hope to announce our new director in the new year.

Mark's retirement cake

Call for proposals for the 2018 Minnesota Rural Health Conference

Are you interested in presenting a 60–minute breakout session or facilitating a roundtable/peer–learning discussion at our annual conference? Proposals are only accepted electronically. The deadline for submission is January 5, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. Central Time. Vendors may not apply without rural health representation. Presentations that include a rural health care provider, student or a person working at a rural facility are preferred. Speakers listed as "to be determined" will not be considered. Please work with co–speakers to fully complete the request for proposal by the due date.

How foreign–trained doctors are filling the health care gap in Greater Minnesota

Our International Medical Graduate Assistance Program Coordinator Yende Anderson is quoted in this MinnPost´s article on new Americans in Greater Minnesota. More than 2,000 doctors trained in foreign countries practice in Minnesota.

Snapshot from Workforce Data and Analysis Unit

The Health Workforce Planning and Analysis Unit collects and analyzes Minnesota-specific data on nearly 20 different licensed health care professions. Our team of researchers develop reports and fact sheets for individual professions and a wide range of health care specialties, such as mental health, oral health and primary care. Their newest fact sheet is the Minnesota´s Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) Workforce, 2017.

The following chart shows the distribution of LMFTs across the six planning areas around Minnesota. As shown, the vast majority of LMFTs (74.8 percent) are practicing in the Twin Cities metro area, with significantly smaller shares practicing everywhere else in the state. For reference, the Twin Cities metro area houses approximately 54 percent of the state´s population, and the remainder of the state regions are home to between 6 and 13 percent of the state´s population. This suggests that the location of LMFTs–and therefore the accessibility of their services–is heavily concentrated in the Twin Cities metro area, even relative to the large population there. There is a dearth of LMFTs in most other areas of the state.

Source: Minnesota´s Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) Workforce, 2017. The chart is based on 3,585 valid survey responses.


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MDH and ORHPC grants and loans

The Minnesota Health Care Loan Forgiveness Program (LFP) is open for applications until January 4, 2018 at 5 p.m. The purpose of this program is to recruit and retain health care professionals to needed areas and facilities in Minnesota. Loan forgiveness is an important benefit for health care professionals as well as health care facilities and communities experiencing a shortage of access to primary care services. The Minnesota LFP provides funds for repayment of qualified educational loans.

The Community Clinic Grant Program provides funding to plan, establish or operate services to improve the ongoing viability of Minnesota’s clinic–based safety net providers. Grants support clinical capacity to serve people with low incomes, reduce current or future uncompensated care burdens, or improve care delivery infrastructure. The revised deadline is February 15, 2018.

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Other grants and funding

Preventive Medicine Residency Program

The purpose of the Preventive Medicine Residency Program is to increase the number and quality of preventive medicine residents and physicians in order to support access to preventive medicine. Applications are due January 26, 2018.

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Oral Health Program positions available

The Minnesota Department of Health´s Oral Health Program promotes, protects, maintains and improves oral health because it is integral to the health of all Minnesotans. Click on the positions below to learn more and apply.

Adapting medical–legal partnership to your health center and community webinar

The federal Health Resources & Services Administration´s (HRSA) Office of Regional Operations, Region 9, will present a webinar to help participants understand: (1) the medical–legal partnership approach; and (2) the opportunities for engagement between health centers and civil legal aid offices with a focus on population health strategies. The target audience includes HRSA grantees, health care providers, public health officials, community–based organizations and legal aid staff wanting to learn more about how this intervention could work in their community. Free registration in advance is required and space is limited. It will be held on Tuesday, January 9, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

HRSA Health Workforce Connector

The federal Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has created the Health Workforce Connector so that health care workers can search online for thousands of healthcare jobs in underserved communities across the nation. You can create a personal profile so site recruiters can find you to fill open positions.

Clinician Consultation Center´s Substance Use Warmline

The San Francisco´s Clinician Consultation Center at the University of California has created the Substance Use Warmline consultation support service for health centers. This Warmline is a free, real–time clinician–to–clinician telephone consultation, addressing the difficult issues of substance use disorder, chronic pain, and behavioral health for primary care clinicians. The Clinician Consultation Center Substance Use Warmline can be accessed toll-free at: (855) 300-3595; Monday–Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. EST. More information is available from the Clinician Consultation Center

HRSA Virtual Behavioral Health Conference resources online

The federal Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has posted the sessions from their Virtual Behavioral Health Conference online.

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News of our partners

Steve Gottwalt resigned as Executive Director of the Minnesota Rural Health Association (MRHA) and will be the executive director of the Minnesota Association of County Health Plans (MACHP). We thank him for all the work he's done at MRHA and wish him well as he begins his new job!

Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers (MNACHC) Board of Directors voted to award MNACHC Executive Director Rhonda Degelau the Community Health Champion Award at this year's Many Face Conference. In addition, Ms. Degelau has announced her retirement from the position of Executive Director. We wish her well!

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ORHPC staff news

Flex Program Coordinator Judy Bergh and Rural Health Policy Researcher Emma Distel went to Essentia Health in Sandstone to do a mock Critical Access Hospital survey.

Workforce Grants Administrator Darwin Flores Trujillo has left the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care to work as a health equity analyst in the Center for Health Equity at the Minnesota Department of Health. We wish him well!

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Now read this

Health equity

From stories to actions: A rural Latino vision to strengthen communities for a thriving Minnesota (Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs).
Report finds big disparities in mental health payments, high out–of–network usage (HealthLeaders Media).
This D–FW ´rock star´ considers it her duty to help Vietnamese immigrants get insurance (Dallas News).
Health risks to farmworkers increase as workforce ages (NPR).
These annual checkups help seniors not only survive but thrive (HealthLeaders Media).

Health care

Beyond health care: Why we get sick and what to do about it (Humphrey School of Public Affairs).
Native Americans feel invisible in U.S. health care system (KGOU, NPR source in Oklahoma).

Rural health

Rural unintentional injuries: They´re not accidents – they´re preventable (Rural Health Information Hub).
Rural–urban enrollment in Part D prescription drug plans: June 2017 update (RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis).


Supply and demand projections of the nursing workforce: 2014–2030 (National Center for Health Workforce Analysis).
Sex, race, and ethnic diversity of U.S. health occupations (2011–2015) (National Center for Health Workforce Analysis).
2017 state physician workforce data report (The Association of American Medical Colleges).


• ESRD facility characteristics by rurality and risk of closure (South Carolina Rural Health Research Center).
• Characteristics of communities served by hospitals at high risk of financial distress (NC Rural Health Research Program).
• Surgeons try prescribing fewer opioids to lower addiction risk (NPR).

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Save the date

The 2018 MDH Health Care Homes annual Learning Days Coming Together: Cultivating Health for All will be held April 3-4 in St. Paul.


The 4th annual National Rural EMS and Care Conference will be April 24-25 in Tucson, Arizona.

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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

Comments? Contact or call 651-201-3863.


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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 Tuesday, 04-Sep-2018 10:47:08 CDT bgcolor=#78be21