September 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

2017 National Rural Health Day

2017 National Rural Health Day

Learn more about: National Rural Health Day and rural health care in America.

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 Health sets aside the third Thursday of every November – November 16, 2017 – to celebrate National Rural Health Day!

Ways to Celebrate & Resources

Search for new ORHPC Director

Our Director, Mark Schoenbaum, has announced his retirement at the end of this year. While we enjoy our last few months with Mark and say goodbye, we also need to look for new candidates for his position. Please forward this job posting (State Program Admin Manager Principal - Job ID 16341) – applications are due October 20.

Give us your ideas for the next Minnesota Rural Health Conference 2018!

June 25-26, 2018, Duluth, MN

Complete the short survey!

2018 MN Rural Health Conference

2017 Betty Hubbard Maternal and Child Health Leadership Awards

Nominations for the 2017 Betty Hubbard Maternal and Child Health Leadership Awards are now being accepted by the Maternal and Child Health Advisory Task Force. Two awards - a statewide award and a community level award - are given to individuals or organizations in Minnesota making significant contributions to maternal and child health. Betty Hubbard was a longtime advocate for the health needs of mothers and children and an original member of the task force. The task force and the health commissioner honor her work and her memory by presenting these awards each year. Nominations are due October 26, 4 p.m. CDT.

CYSHN Care Coordination Quality Improvement Grants

The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (CYSHN) Care Coordination Quality Improvement Grants has been posted. A total of $160,000 is available to fund five individual project grants of $32,000 each. Opportunities to share strategies and challenges with other grantees, along with technical assistance from the MDH CYSHN staff, will help practices implement care coordination efforts. Applications are due by October 4 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) CST. MDH staff will be available to provide consultation and guidance during the application process. For assistance, please contact Wendy Berghorst at

IMG Assistance Program offers hope for many IMGs seeking to re-enter the health Workforce

MetroDoctors Sept/Oct 2017

"Striving for Health Equity," is the theme for the September/October 2017 issue of MetroDoctors: The Journal of the Twin Cities Medical Society. Edwin N. Bogonko, MD, MBA, and Yende Anderson, JD, are the authors of the article "IMG Assistance Program Offers Hope for Many IMGs Seeking to Re-enter the Health Workforce". Yende is the coordinator for the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care's International Medical Graduate (IMG) Program

Yende Article

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.

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MDH and ORHPC grants and loans

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Scholarship Grant Program

The Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) employee scholarship grant program, authorized by Minnesota Statutes Section 144.1503, was established for the purpose of assisting qualified HCBS providers fund employee scholarships for education and training in nursing and other health care fields. Grant funds must be used by grantees to recruit and train caregiving staff through the establishment of a scholarship program. Applications are due October 6. For more information contact Lina Jau at 651-201-3809.

Indian Health Grant Program

The Indian Health Grant Program helps eligible applicants establish, operate or subsidize clinic facilities and services to offer health services to American Indians who live off reservations. Nonprofit organizations, governmental and tribal entities are eligible to apply. Grants will be awarded for a two-year project period: January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019. Applications are due October 18. For more information contact Deb Jahnke at 651-201-3845.

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.

Health Professional Clinical Training Expansion Grant Grant Program

The Health Professional Clinical Training Expansion Grant Program provides provides funding to support educational programs that provide clinical training for health professionals. Educational programs may apply for funding to create and maintain additional training positions for up to three years. The Application forms are due October 23. For more information contact Darwin Flores Trujillo at 651-201-3850.

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

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

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. The application is due November 3. For more information contact Craig Baarson at 651-201-3840.

Minnesota Health Care Loan Forgiveness Program

The application cycle for calendar year 2018 (July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019) of the Minnesota Health Care Loan Forgiveness Program will open on November 1. Please check the website for instructions and application materials for your specific profession. If you have any questions, please contact staff at

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Other grants and funding

Addressing Suicide Research Gaps Grant Opportunity

National Institutes of Health will provide up to $300,000 for eligible organizations to uncover the risk factors for and the burden of suicide. Applications are due November 2.

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Invitation to participate in research dissertation

You are invited to participate in a research study that seeks to examine factors associated with primary care and behavioral health care providers´ perspectives and experiences with rural integrated care. The survey includes 28 multiple choice questions and takes 15 minutes. Participants will be invited to enter a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card. If you have any questions, contact Participants need to be at least 18-years old; either a primary care or behavioral/mental health provider in rural Minnesota; and not a service provider in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Hennepin, Houston, Mower, Olmstead, Ramsey, Scott, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Washington, or Winona. Feel free to forward this notice to other eligible providers.

September is Suicide Prevention Month

To those in the health care community and countless mental health and substance abuse allies, suicide prevention is a year-round mission. These resources can boost health centers’ prevention efforts.

Bureau of Health Workforce releases a curriculum to train primary care workforce about dementia care

More than five million Americans live with Alzheimer´s disease and one out of every three people will die from it or another form of dementia. A new Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)–funded training curriculum addresses a growing need to train the primary care workforce about dementia care. The 16–core module curriculum and supplemental tools can be used by health professions faculty, students and primary care practitioners and promote interprofessional teamwork in caring for dementia patients. Learn more and share the new curriculum.

Apprenticeship Exchange

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) and RealTime Talent have partnered to launch the DLI Apprenticeship Exchange -- a cutting-edge matching technology that will streamline how employers and candidates connect with each other for dual-training and registered apprenticeship opportunities. DLI´s goal of this partnership is to promote dual training and registered apprenticeship opportunities in Minnesota. The Exchange can also be used to seek other types of employment and internships.

HRSA-funded health centers

During an emergency, health centers play an important role in delivering critical services and assisting with the local community response. Nearly 1,400 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funded health centers serve approximately 26 million patients nationwide. For over 50 years, community health centers have provided high-quality primary care. Today, nearly 90% of health centers also provide behavioral health treatment services. Spread the word to help people find their local health center. Use HRSA´s web tool to find a health center near you.

HRSA locate health centers

Rural Health Grants webinar series

The Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Office of Regional Operations is hosting the last two webinars in their Rural Health Grants webinar series. "Creating a Competitive Proposal" will be held Tuesday September 19, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. CT, and "Federal Funding Opportunities will be held Monday, September 25, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. CT. Register online.

MRHA Rural Health Advocacy Certificate program

The Minnesota Rural Health Association (MRHA) Rural Health Advocacy Certificate program is an eight-month (once per month) course which begins September 19. It is focused on practical, useable skills for more effective rural health advocacy in the public policy arena. The course starts with a deep dive into the nuts-and-bolts of the legislative world and process, and progresses to examining how to effectively communicate with policy makers in the legislative environment. Participants receive guidance in identifying their own key issues/topics, and preparing to deliver their messages to lawmakers and others during the 2018 legislative session. Contact Steve Gottwalt, 952-923-5265, for more information on cost and registration.

National Rural Health Association webinars

Every month, the National Rural Health Association Partnership Services has free webinars , but you registration is required:

  • Secrets to document and data management, Tuesday, September 19, 2:00 - 3:00 PM CDT.
  • A-Z guide for a policy system implementation at a rural hospital, Wednesday, September 20, 2:00 - 2:30 PM CDT.

Free webinar on rural hospital financial distress and closure

Since 2005, 122 rural hospitals have closed—80 of them since 2010. NRHA members George Pink, PhD, and Mark Holmes, PhD, both of the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, will present updated and new data about closed rural hospitals and their post-closure disposition in a free webinar at September 21 at 12 noon CDT. A model predicting financial distress and closure in rural hospitals will be described. Characteristics of hospitals at high risk of financial distress will be identified and trends in risk of financial distress among rural hospitals analyzed.

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News of our partners

University of Minnesota Medical School IMG Residency Preparatory Program

The University of Minnesota Medical School Center for International Health formally launched the IMG residency preparatory program (formally known as BRIIDGE). There are four outstanding participants from Iraq (two), Somalia, and India who are eager to immerse themselves in 9 months of rigorous curriculum to prepare them for entry into U.S. residency so that they can fully contribute their many gifts and skills as practicing clinicians. The developed curriculum involves inpatient, outpatient, and community-based training in order to provide broad exposure to the U.S. health system. The attached photo includes the core leadership team and the four participants (Ahmad Al-Anii, Jaya Durvasula, Mohammed Alatbee and Bukhari Burale).

Briidge participants


The Arrowhead Telepresence Coalition

Because rural areas have few behavioral health services, the Arrowhead Health Alliance (AHA) began a telehealth project to bring these services directly to residents in their coverage area. AHA, a collaboration of five county public health and human services departments, approached the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to request the use of the state's tele-mental health service, pitching Carlton County to be the location for the pilot project. Permission was granted and the pilot project was a success. From there, Arrowhead Telepresence Coalition (ATC) was launched in January 2016 to host the charter project called "Collaborative Integration in Person Centered Services: Integrated Behavioral Health." The project integrated telehealth into traditional and non-traditional medical and service groups. Telepresence, or the tele-mental health platform, allows providers to easily engage with each other for consultations. The AHA has received the 2016 AMC County Achievement Award and the Minnesota Local Government Innovation Award for their work.

BCBS Foundation Awards

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation will fund 13 organizations that work to enhance community health and advance health equity throughout Minnesota. The projects selected focus on the social and economic factors that significantly impact health outcomes, including community safety, education, employment, family and social support, and income. Grants range from $25,000 to $100,000 and most are potentially renewable for a second year. The following Minnesota organizations were selected to receive grants: CAPI, Minneapolis; Casa de Esperanza, St. Paul; Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha, Minneapolis; Cultural Wellness Center (Minnesota Black Child Development Institute), Minneapolis; Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, Duluth; Native American Community Development Institute, Minneapolis; Nexus Community Partners, St. Paul; Northfield Healthy Community Initiative, Northfield; Promise Neighborhood of Central Minnesota, St. Cloud; Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Red Lake Nation; St. Paul Youth Services, St. Paul; The Minneapolis Foundation, (Northside Funders Group, North@Work) Minneapolis; and West Central Initiative, Fergus Falls.

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ORHPC staff news

The Minnesota Statewide Trauma System staff—Trauma System Coordinator Chris Ballard and Trauma System Designation Coordinators Marty Forseth and Tammy Peterson— held WebEx trainings on the Trauma Hospital Profile. They did one Level 3 site visit to Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Brainerd; and three Level 4 site visits to Mille Lacs Health System—OnamiaMayo Clinic Health System—Springfield, and Sanford Westbrook Medical Center. Six more site visits are scheduled in September, seven in October, and three in November.

Flex Program Coordinator Judy Bergh attended the Flex funded Integrated Behavioral Health Sustainability Workshop in Duluth. The workshop was attended by Critical Access Hospitals that are participating in the Integrated Behavioral Health project and was facilitated by staff from Rural Health Innovations, LLC (a subsidiary of the National Rural Health Resource Center).

Two student interns joined ORHPC this summer. They are Regina Marino and Eric Niehans. Both are Masters of Public Health students at the University of Minnesota. Regina and Eric will be some of the first people in Minnesota to analyze and utilize Emergency Medical Services field data; a robust dataset MDH has worked for years to obtain.

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Now read this

Health equity

Reducing racial and ethnic disparities in access to care: Has the Affordable Care Act made a difference? (The Commonwealth Fund).
ACE, place, race, and poverty: Building hope for children (Academic Pediatrics).
Recession took toll on health of rural young blacks (United Press International).
Mentally ill lack treatment options in rural Minnesota (Grand Forks Herald).
Minnesota struggles to catch up as minority mental health needs grow (MPR News).

Health care

Doctors warm to single-payer health care (Kaiser Health News).
Celebrating America's health centers: The key to healthier communities (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
Here´s what´s so great about community health centers (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
Uninsured rate falls to record low of 8.8% (Kaiser Health News).

Rural health

Rural health: "Being jolted around in an ambulance on rural roads, in full-blown labor, is not fun." (Alabama Public Radio).
Regulating network adequacy for rural populations: Perspective of five states (University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center).
Treating rural opioid addiction (Federal Telemedicine News).
Rural health: Two small Minnesota hospitals learn how to survive (Forum News Service).
Access to hospital birth services in rural Minnesota – A data short take (MDH Health Economics Program).


Tethered to the EHR: Primary care physician workload (Annals of Family Medicine).
The case for supporting nursing directors (HealthLeaders Media).
Rural Minnesota struggles when competing for doctors (Forum News Service).
Albert Lea flap spotlights need to help small hospitals recruit, retain medical providers (Minneapolis Star Tribune).
Rural America gets creative to attract much-needed doctors (Governing the States and Localities).


Final report: Opioid use, misuse, and overdose in women (The Office of Women's Health).
Trends in suicide by level of urbanization - United States, 1999-2015 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Telemedicine helps pregnant women at risk (The Wall Street Journal).
Policy short takes: Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MDH Health Economics Program)
Minnesota's small-town clinics outperform big-city rivals in coordinating patient care (Minneapolis Star Tribune).

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Save the date

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 31st annual Mental Health Conference Navigating the Path of Schizophrenia will be held October 6, in St. Cloud.

The ninth annual Rural Behavioral Health Practice webcast Clinical Resources for Rural Practice will be held October 6.

The American Indian Health Research Conference Lifelong Wellness to Address Health Disparities will be held October 14 in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

The Rural Minnesota Community Health Worker Conference will be held October 20 in Bemidji.

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

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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

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

Comments? Contact or call 651-201-3863.

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, 20-Feb-2018 08:22:23 CST