October 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

Mark Schoenbaum is retiring!

Our director, Mark Schoenbaum, is retiring at the end of this year. During his tenure, he has had the good fortune to meet and work with colleagues throughout Minnesota as well as the nation. If you'd like to send in any stories or recollections of your work together, please send them to Communications Coordinator maria.rogness@state.mn.us. If you'd like to contact Mark directly: mark.schoenbaum@state.mn.us or 651-201-3859.

Mark S. at NRHA Mark's wordle
Mark was honored at the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health's Annual Meeting in Savannah, Georgia for his years of services in the field of rural health.

2017 National Rural Health Day

2017 National Rural Health Day  

Over 60 million Americans live in rural and frontier communities. Rural communities are wonderful places to live and work, but these communities also have unique health care needs, which is why the National Organization of State Offices of Rural sets aside the third Thursday of every November – November 16, 2017 – to celebrate National Rural Health Day!

Ways to Celebrate poster (PDF)

Learn more about rural healthcare in America


Join the movement, take the pledge to partner today!

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) is the membership association of the nation’s 50 State Offices of Rural Health. State Offices of Rural Health are anchors of information and support for rural communities, health professionals, hospitals and clinics across the nation. Along with NOSORH and the other state Offices of Rural Health, Minnesota´s Office of Rural Health and Primary Care joins the movement to transform National Rural Health Day into a year-long commitment to bring collective focus to specific health care issues facing rural communities. This means: 1) inspiring communities to address and resolve their most challenging population health issues; and 2) supporting rural partnerships.

Take the Pledge!

Stay informed and involved with NOSORH and State Offices of Rural Health in our combined missions!

Partner Seal

Filling the Mental Health Pipeline

ORHPC Senior Research Analyst Teri Fritsma and Alessia Leibert, project manager at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, have published Filling the Mental Health Pipeline, an article that addresses the mental health workforce shortage using data from the Minnesota Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System (SLEDS). MN Economic Trends, September 2017.

Filling the Mental Health Pipeline

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MDH and ORHPC grants and loans

Community Clinic Grant Program

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 level of funding for the community clinic grant program will be approximately $561,000 for fiscal year 2018. Applications are due October 30. For more information contact Deb Jahnke at 651-201-3845.

Dental Safety Net Program

The Dental Safety Net Grant Program assists dental providers who treat the uninsured. Eligible providers must meet all of the following criteria: Critical Access Dental provider; nonprofit organization; providers not affiliated with a hospital or medical group; providers who offer free or reduced-cost oral health care to low-income patients under the age of 21 with family incomes below 275% of federal poverty guidelines who do not have insurance coverage for oral health care services; and providers able to demonstrate that more than 80 percent of patient encounters in the last 12 months were with patients who were uninsured, or covered by Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. Applications are due October 30. For more information contact Keisha Shaw at 651-201-3860.

Mental Health Safety Net Grant Program

The Mental Health Safety Net Grant program assists mental health centers and clinics that treat the uninsured. Applications are due October 30. For more information contact Keisha Shaw at 651-201-3860.

International Medical Graduates (IMG) Primary Care Residency (PCR) Grant Program

The International Medical Graduates (IMG) Primary Care Residency (PCR) Grant Program supports primary care residency positions for Minnesota IMGs who are certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and who agree to practice post residency in rural or underserved areas of the state. Applications are due October 31. For more information contact Yende Anderson at 651-201-5988.

Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) Program

The MERC Grant application is available for clinical training that took place in Minnesota in fiscal year 2016. Applications are open to Minnesota sponsoring institutions applying on behalf of their accredited teaching programs and eligible clinical training facilities for the following trainee types:

Advanced Dental Therapists Doctor of Chiropractic Students
Advanced Practice Nurses Doctor of Pharmacy Students
Clinical Social Workers Doctor of Pharmacy Residents
Community Health Workers Medical Students
Community Paramedics Medical Residents
Dental Students Physician Assistant Students
Dental Residents Psychologists
Dental Therapists  

Sponsoring institutions are required to complete their online application and submit a signed copy to MDH by October 31. For more information, contact MERC Program Administrator Diane Reger at 651-201-3566 or diane.reger@state.mn.us

Rural Hospital Planning and Transition Grant Program

The purpose of the Rural Hospital Planning and Transition Grant Program is to provide funds that assist small rural hospitals a) develop strategic plans that preserve or enhance access to health services, or b) implement transition projects to modify the type and extent of services provided, based on an existing strategic plan. Applications are due November 3. For more information contact Craig Baarson at 651-201-3840.

Rural Family Medicine Residency Grant Program

The purpose of the Rural Family Medicine Residency Grant Program is to assist Family Medicine Residency programs outside the 7–county metropolitan area by funding costs associated with training eligible residents. Applications are due November 6. For more information contact Darwin Flores Trujillo at 651-201-3850.

Summer Health Care Internship

The purpose of the Summer Health Care Internship Program is to expose interested secondary and postsecondary pupils to various careers within the health care professions. MDH selects one statewide nonprofit organization to award grants to hospitals, clinics, nursing facilities and home care providers to establish summer health care internship programs. Eligible organizations must be statewide nonprofit organizations representing facilities where students will serve their internships. Applications are due November 6.

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Other grants and funding

Students to Service Loan Repayment Program

The Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP) provides up to $120,000 to medical (MD and DO) or dental (DDS or DMD) students in their final year of school in return for a commitment to provide primary health care full time for at least 3 years at an approved NHSC site in a Health Professional Shortage Area of greatest need. Applications are due by October 26, 7:30 p.m. ET.

Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program

Health Resources & Services Administration posted the Rural Health Care Services Outreach program (HRSA-18-030). It is a community-based grant program aimed towards promoting rural health care services by enhancing health care delivery in rural communities. Outreach projects focus on the improvement of access to services, strategies for adapting to changes in the health care environment, and overall enrichment of the respective community’s health. Applications are due December 6.

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Health Care Homes Learning Collaborative

The Health Care Homes/State Innovation Model Learning Collaborative hosts webinar series to provide opportunities for health care providers and community partners to learn about health transformation. Certificates of Attendance are available to participants who attend the webinar and complete an evaluation. The next webinar is Developing a Community Based Tobacco Cessation Program; Lessons Learned from the Primary Care-Public Health Learning Community held on Tuesday, October 24, 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m. Integrating oral health and primary care will be held November 29. Register to attend.

Busting Rural Healthcare Myths webinar

Mike Milligan from Legato Healthcare Marketing presented at the the National Rural Health Association Critical Access Conference. You can hear his presentation in a free webinar on October 26, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Learn how to recognize and bust rural healthcare myths by breaking down barriers and capitalizing on your strengths as a rural health care provider. Build the reputation of rural health, while reducing outmigration and increasing volumes and revenues. Registration is required.

National Health Service Corp video stories

national health service corpos logo

View video stories about the impact that National Health Service Corps clinicians have had in underserved communities.

Engaging rural health clinics in value-based care

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Committee released the latest module in a series designed to assist State Offices of Rural Health with providing technical assistance for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs). Engaging State Offices of Rural Health and Rural Health Clinics in Value-Based Care (PDF) aims to define what delivery system reform means, focuses on payment reform, and includes care coordination and strategic collaboration initiatives for RHCs. Join the webinar Engaging RHCs in Value-Based Care October 31 at 3:00 pm ET to learn more about the toolkit, the latest trends on the federal level for value-based care initiatives for RHCs. You must register for the webinar.

Mental Well-Being & Resilience Learning Community

The Minnesota Department of Health is sponsoring a monthly interactive webinar and local discussion for anyone who is interested in building resilience and promoting mental well-being in their community. Each location will have a host and facilitator who can access and broadcast the webinar and then facilitate the local dialogue. The events will be held on the last Tuesday of each month from 10:00 - 12:00 noon. Webinars will profile innovative strategies to promote mental well-being, emphasizing community-based and community-driven initiatives. Gatherings will include practice discussions, sharing similar efforts in your location, relevant research or resources, networking, and planning next steps. The next events will be held October 31 and November 28.

Highlighting refugees’ stories on social media

View the Minnesota Department of Health's #RefugeesOfMN posts on the MDH Facebook page. These posts share stories from Minnesota refugees on what health means to them.

2017-2018 MPHA Policy Forum Series

The 2017-2018 Minnesota Public Health Association's Policy Forum Series Who can you trust? begins November 3 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. in New Brighton. This year’s forums will explore ideas about trust in the increasing number of choices we make to achieve and maintain our health. They will be thought-provoking conversations sure to spark ideas among all of us about the information we receive and who delivers that information to us in our rapidly changing world.

ASTHO publishes 2017 Telehealth Resource Guide

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) published its 2017 Telehealth Resource Guide, which includes information on telehealth modalities, summaries of related legislation and regulation at the federal and state levels, and considerations for developing a telehealth pilot. In addition, it summarizes external resources available for state and territorial health officials and their staff as they look for innovative ways to increase access to care for vulnerable populations and improve population health. The guide also shares ten examples from telehealth programs across the country.


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News of our partners

Minnesota's Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals

The National Rural Health Association recognizes the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals from the list of the Top 100 CAHs as determined by iVantage Health Analytics. The 20 overall winners and 40 best practice recipients (in the quality and patient satisfaction categories) have achieved success based on the Hospital Strength Index. The top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in the country (in all categories) are honored annually on the final day of NRHA's Critical Access Hospital Conference. This year, six Minnesota Critical Access Hospitals received Top Twenty CAH Awards:

  • Bigfork Valley Hospital - Bigfork (2017 Top 20 CAH Best Practice in Patient Satisfaction)
  • New Ulm Medical Center - New Ulm (2017 Top 20 CAH)
  • Mayo Clinic Health System - Saint James (2017 Top 20 CAH Best Practice in Quality)
  • Riverwood Healthcare Center - Aitkin (2017 Top 20 CAH)
  • Sanford Luverne Medical Center - Luverne (2017 Top 20 CAH Best Practice in Quality)
  • Sanford Wheaton Medical Center - Wheaton (2017 Top 20 CAH Best Practice in Patient Satisfaction)

JoAnn Foltz from Sanford Wheaton Medical Center

JoAnn Foltz
from Sanford Wheaton Medical Center with her NRHA/Ivantage Award

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ORHPC staff news

Primary Care Office Coordinator Debra Jahnke was given a Certification of Appreciation by St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas in honor of: her commitment and service to social work education & practice; her collaboration in co–creating community dialogue, and her leadership in addressing emerging issues in social work practice.


Deb award

Policy Planner Darcy Dungan-Seaver attended the Understanding ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences): Community Conversation and Action Planning session in Cass Lake. The Tribal NEAR (Neurobiology, Epigenetics, ACEs & Resiliency) Science and Community Wisdom Project is a grassroots effort to build the capacity of tribal communities to address the challenging health and social issues related to childhood trauma.

Flex Program Coordinator Judy Bergh and Alyssa Meller from the National Rural Health Resource Center (NRHRC) gave a presentation at the the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health's Annual Meeting in Savannah, Georgia, on the Integrated Behavioral Health project that is funded by Minnesota's Flex grant and conducted by Rural Health Innovations, a subsidiary of the NRHRC. Judy also attended the National Rural Health Association's Critical Access Hospital Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, where six Minnesota Critical Access Hospitals received Top 20 CAH Awards (view above).

Flex Program Coordinator Judy Bergh and Grants Manager Lina Jau made site visits to Sanford Health–Westbrook and Sanford Health–Windom hospitals.

Flex Program Coordinator Judy Bergh, Health Workforce Analysis Unit Supervisor Nitika Moibi and Director of the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care Mark Schoenbaum attended the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health's Annual Meeting in Savannah, Georgia. Mark was honored there for his years of services at the conference.

The fall site visits for the Minnesota Statewide Trauma System staff – Chris Ballard, Marty Forseth, and Tammy Peterson – have been underway and will wrap up in mid-November. On average, a trauma system site visit takes about 6 hours and it is one of two components hospitals undergo to obtain trauma hospital verification. All hospitals must submit an application and then undergo a verification site visit. So far, staff have visited the following Level 3 facility: University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, Minneapolis. Staff have also visited the following Level 4 facilities: CentraCare Health System – Paynesville; CentraCare Health System – Sauk Centre; Pipestone County Medical Center; Woodwinds Hospital, Woodbury; Sleepy Eye Medical Center; Essentia Health – Ada; Sanford Jackson Medical Center; Sanford Canby Medical Center; and Chippewa County Montevideo Hospital.

Additionally, Trauma System Staff hosted a Trauma Program 101 training in Bemidji on September 27. This training is geared to hospital administration and trauma program leadership team members and covers the topics of: Trauma System criteria; details of site visit preparation and execution; and Trauma System Performance Improvement structure and requirements. There were about 30 participants from trauma hospitals across the state in attendance.

Financial and Technical Assistance Unit Supervisor Will Wilson presented on rural mental health coordination efforts at the Minnesota Association for Community Mental Health Program's 2017 Mental Health Conference Leading the Way to Whole Person Care, and presented on what assistance is available for long-term care providers at the Leading Age's 2017 Annual Meeting and Leadership Forum. Will also attended the 9th Annual Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference Clinical Resources for Rural Practice, and participated in the Rural Health Roundtable organized by the Helmsley Trust and the Bipartisan Policy Center.

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Now read this

Health equity

Cover age trends for American Indian and Alaska Native children and families (Gerogetown University Health Policy Institute).
Social determinants of health: A quick reference guide for State Offices of Rural Health and State and Territorial Health Officials (NOSORH and ASTHO).
UIC creates health equity research center (WTTW Chicago).
Why insurance really is a life or death issue, especially for minorities (CNN).
Health equity is focus of health centre awareness week (The Record).

Health care

Healthcare access in rural communities (Rural Health Information Hub).
Minnesota's small-town clinics outperform big-city rivals in coordinating patient care (Minneapolis Star Tribune).

Rural health

Rural health: Two small Minnesota hospitals learn how to survive (InForum).
Help for arthritis in rural areas (Centers for Disease on Control and Prevention).
Despair in the American heartland? A focus on rural health (American Journal of Public Health).
Home is where the heart is: Insights on the coordination and delivery of home health services in rural America (Rural Health Reform Policy Research Center).
Understand rural health ahead of National Rural Health Day (Michigan State University Extension).


Training new doctors right where they´re needed (Kaiser Health News).
ASU students discover passion for holistic health care in Mayo Clinic Global Medical Brigade (Arizona State University).
Rural America gets creative to attract much-needed doctors (Governing the States and Localities).
Medical providers discuss workforce shortage at lawmaker forum (Mankato Free Press).


Report on lessons learned from rural opioid overdose reversal grant recipients April 2017 (National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health).
Ambulance services for medicare beneficiaries: State differences in usage, 2012-2014 (Rural & Underserved Health Research Center).
Preventing overcrowding in emergency rooms (Oregon Health & Science University ).
2017 Telehealth Resource Guide (ASTHO).
R.I.P. paper death record submissions (Minnesota Department of Health).

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Save the date

The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference Community Centered Care and the People We Serve will be held October 26-27 in Bloomington.

The 2017 Human Rights Symposium Creating a More Perfect Union will be held December 12-13 in St. Paul.

The 11th annual Local Public Health and Resettlement Agency Forum will be January 25. The site will be determined in November.

The 4th annual National Rural EMS & 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 maria.rogness@state.mn.us 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 Monday, 15-Oct-2018 08:17:28 CDT bgcolor=#78be21