January 2017
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Logo for the MN Rural Health Conference


2017 Minnesota Rural Health Conference
Shaping Sustainable Solutions

JUNE 19 AND 20

Community Paramedic Toolkit
The Minnesota Department of Health has published a Community Paramedic (CP) Toolkit for prospective employers. The purpose of the toolkit is to assist employers and organizations who are planning to hire Community Paramedics. The CP role leverages the medical and community expertise of paramedics and, through additional training, applies their skills to primary care settings. CPs are able to:

  • reduce overall health care costs by helping patients avoid more acute care such as hospital readmissions,
  • improve health outcomes for specific populations, and
  • improve patient experience

The toolkit and background resources are available on our Toolkit webpage. Funding for the creation of the toolkit was provided by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Improvement via the Minnesota State Innovation Model (SIM) grant.

Legislative Health Care Workforce Commission Final Report
The Minnesota Legislative Health Care Workforce Commission was established by the 2014 legislature to study and make recommendations to the legislature on how to achieve the goal of strengthening the workforce in health care. The Commission consisted of five members of the Senate and five members of the House of Representatives. ORHPC helped staff the Commission. In 2016, the Commission completed its third and final year of hearings and deliberations on Minnesota’s health workforce situation and needs. It reviewed the health professions education and workforce developments landscape, collected data on state spending of health professions education and workforce development and sought testimony on health workforce topics of interest. The Final (2016) Report and Recommendations on Strengthening Minnesota's Health Care Workforce (PDF) is now available.

Scope of Practice Tools
In 2015 and 2016, Minnesota participated in a technical assistance project sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the National Conference State Legislatures (NCSL) focusing on scope of practice policies. Scope of practice defines the types of services that a particular health care worker can provide as well as the circumstances under which such services can be provided, including supervision levels and locations where services can be provided. As the lead agency on this project, MDH convened a core team which included professional health care associations, health licensing boards and state legislators. Two tools related to scope of practice policies were developed and are now available online:

  • Framework for describing and evaluating scope of practice and/or new licensure proposals for policymakers
  • Barriers assessment form for scope of practice changes

The core team remains interested in the use and applicability of these tools. Please send any feedback and examples of their use to ORHPC Health Workforce Planning and Analysis Supervisor


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Primary Care and Public Health Learning Community Grant RFP
MDH is seeking proposals to advance the work of an existing local public health and primary care partnership to address shared goals to improve the health and health outcomes of a community. Eligible applicants include: Community Health Boards, Tribal Governments and primary care practices. A copy of the complete request for proposal may be found on the Minnesota Accountable Health Model website, on the Learning Communities grants RFP page. For questions about this funding opportunity contact Janet Howard at Proposals are due January 20, 4:00 p.m. CST.

Small Rural Hospital Planning and Transition Grant
The next Rural Hospital Planning and Transition Grant request for proposals (RFP) will be issued in late January or early February 2017. The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care administers these grants to help small rural hospitals preserve access or respond to changing conditions. Hospitals have used transition grants to prepare strategic plans, implement new uses for hospital space and develop community services.

Fluoridation Equipment Improvement Grant
The MDH Drinking Water Protection Section is making available a total of $10,000 in assistance provided through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number T12HP30311, “Grants to States to Support Oral Health Workforce Activities”. The goal of the Fluoridation Equipment Improvement Grant is to provide assistance to Public Water Systems located in low-income and rural areas designated as Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (D-HPSAs) in updating fluoridation infrastructure for consistency with federal and state regulation


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OTHER GRANTS And funding

Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) Program
This announcement solicits applications for the Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) Program. The ANEW Program supports innovative academic–practice partnerships to prepare primary care advanced practice registered nursing students to practice in rural and underserved settings through academic and clinical training. The partnerships: 1) support traineeships as well as infrastructure funds to schools of nursing and their practice partners who deliver longitudinal primary care clinical training experiences with rural and/or underserved populations for selected advanced nursing education students in primary care nurse practitioner (NP), primary care clinical nurse specialist (CNS), and/or nurse-midwife (NMW) programs, and 2) facilitate program graduates’ employment in those settings. Applications are due January 25.

Predoctoral Pediatric Training in General Dentistry and Dental Hygiene
The goal of the Predoctoral Pediatric Training in General Dentistry and Dental Hygiene grant is to enhance clinical pediatric predoctoral dental and dental hygiene training focusing on children ages 0-5 to improve the oral health of vulnerable, underserved and rural pediatric populations. Eligible applicants include accredited schools of dentistry and dental hygiene, public or non-profit hospitals, or other public or private not-for-profit entities which the Secretary has determined are capable of carrying out such grants. Applications are due January 30.

Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry Clinician Educator Career Development Award
The goal of the Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry Clinician Educator Career Development Award program is to strengthen the primary care workforce by training and supporting physicians, physician assistants, dentists and dental hygienists who plan to teach in the primary care fields. The goal is to provide career development awards to junior faculty to support the development of future clinician educator faculty and leaders in primary care medicine and dentistry while also supporting innovative projects that involve the transformation of health care delivery systems. Applicant organizations must identify one junior faculty candidate in the application. Applications are due February 13.


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Ethics and Decision Making in Public Health Webinar
Dakota County Public Health Department hosted an in-person training on public health ethics in October 2016. The Ethics and Decision Making in Public Health webinar is the didactic material from that training. It is an introduction to public health ethics for an ethics committee or a whole public health department. The trainer is an epidemiologist and public health ethicist.

Health Information Exchange Webinar
MDH is presenting a free webinar entitled Getting the Health Information You Need: Using Electronic Health Information Exchange (HIE) in Minnesota,Tuesday, January 31 at 12:00 p.m. Learn about Health Information Organizations (HIOs) and Health Data Intermediaries (HDI) and how health information is being exchanged in Minnesota. Understand how HIE can help support value-based payment models. The webinar is presented by Anne Schloegel from Health Information Technology.

National Rural Health Association Partnership Services
Every month, the National Rural Health Association Partnership Services has free webinars.

  • Health Equity: Collaborative Efforts Toward a National Solution, Tuesday, January 18, 2:00 - 3:00 PM CST.
  • Empowering Chronic Disease Management Using HIT, Tuesday, January 24, 2:00 - 3:00 PM CST.
  • Telemedicine: Revolutionizing Pediatric Care in Rural Communities, Wednesday, January 25, 2:00 - 3:00 PM CST.


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Grand Rapids Hospital merges with Fairview Health Services
Fairview Health Services is expanding its presence in northern Minnesota. Article below under "Health Reform".

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC)
Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) received a Prevention Care Recognition Award from HealthPartners' Partners in Quality Program. The recognition was earned through HCMC’s efforts to implement practice facilitation strategies to improve adult and child asthma quality scores at East Lake Clinic. This project is part of the work that the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) and Stratis Health are doing with eight primary care and specialty clinics as part of the Minnesota Accountable Health State Innovation Model (SIM) Practice Facilitation cooperative agreement.

Minnesota Hospital Association Accepts National Award on Behalf of Hospitals, Health Systems
The Minnesota Hospital Association was among organizations honored at the 2016 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Conference: Aligning for Innovation and Outcomes. The award recognized diligent work; authentic collaboration with patients, clinicians and partners; and unprecedented national impact on patient safety in all U.S. hospitals.

New Chair of American Hospital Association Rural Hospital Section
Winona Health's President and CEO Rachelle Schultz has been selected as 2017 Chair of the American Hospital Association's (AHA) Section for Small or Rural Hospitals.

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ORHPC Staff News

Primary Care Coordinator Deb Jahnke and Communication Coordinator Maria Rogness visited Open Cities Health Center North End Clinic at their new facilities on Rice Street; Reimbursement Fiscal Analyst Craig Baarson met with their new CFO.

Emerging Professions Coordinator Kay Herzfeld has accepted a position working with the Accountable Communities for Health (ACH) Project in Health Care Homes. We wish her all the best and thank her for all her work in our office!

IMG Coordinator Yende Anderson was asked to speak about international medical graduates at the Travel and Tropical Medicine Seminar held by the University of Minnesota Department of Medicine.

Reimbursement Fiscal Analyst Craig Baarson went to Essentia Health-Northern Pines (Aurora) for a Rural Health Clinic mock survey.


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Health Equity
Ensuring access to care in vulnerable communities (American Hospital Association).
Wisconsin Partnership Program highlights health equity at annual conference (Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health).
Equality is not equitable: An important distinction for health care (InterAction).

Health Reform
Fairview merger adds Grand Rapids hospital (Minneapolis Star Tribune).
State alternatives to Obamacare, expanded Medicaid to get tested (USA Today).
Spread of accountable care organizations in rural America (Rural Policy Research Institute Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis).
Impact of the Affordable Care Act in Minnesota (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
Medicaid ACOs: Innovation follows the brave (Managed Care).

Primary Care
KLN, Shearer's in Perham open on-site primary care clinic for employees (Wadena Pioneer Journal).
Adding better mental health care to primary care (National Institutes of Health).
Minnesota awards funds to better link dental and primary care in Morrison County (Minnesota Department of Health).

Rural Health
Rural health access may grow with project (Herald and Review).
What's behind the growing urban, rural divide? (MPR News).
How Project ECHO will advance rural health through telehealth (mHealth Intelligence).
Despite challenges, hospitals are vital to rural communities, health care, experts say (Grand Forks Herald).

How the opioid epidemic is an infrastructure issue (The Atlantic City Lab).
A need for nurses (Echo Press).

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The Opportunity Conference Advancing LGBTQ Health will be held February 27-28, 2017 in St. Paul.

The Minnesota e-Health Summit Connectivity. Equity. Health. will be held June 15 in Brooklyn Center.

The Minnesota Rural Health Conference Shaping Sustainable Solutions will be held June 19-20, 2017 in Duluth.

The fourth annual Comprehensive Advanced Life Support on Rural Emergency Care will be held September 29, 2017 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.