November 2022 Newsletter

Message from the IARHC Board President

IARHC members, 

Welcome to winter in Iowa! I hope you are staying warm as we get the first snow of the year. This newsletter is packed with updates and resources for your RHC.

In October, IARHC held its annual meeting at the Iowa Community Health Conference in Des Moines. For the past few years, IARHC has partnered with the Iowa Primary Care Association and Iowa Rural Health Association to put on this conference and it was our first in person gathering since 2019. The IARHC board and staff gave an update on the health of the organization and discussed what the organization can offer members in the new year. We would love to hear your thoughts on how the conference went and what you would like to see next year. 

Governor Reynolds officially proclaimed November 17 as Rural Health Day in Iowa. National Rural Health Day is a day to celebrate the power of rural by honoring the selfless, community-minded spirit that is committed to strengthening health systems for rural residents and communities. Rural communities face a disproportionate shortage of qualified health care providers, with 70% of Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) located in rural and frontier communities across the country. Nearly 61 million people receive primary care from more than 5,000 rural health clinics and over 3,600 rural health centers or health center look-alikes provide the backbone of the primary care infrastructure in rural America.

In this newsletter, find out how you can participate in Rural Health Day, health equity trainings, resource toolkits, and funding opportunities for your RHC.


Ann Wise

Board President

Clinic Director

UnityPoint Clinic Buena Vista, Sac City, and Lake View

National Rural Health Day | November 17th

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health sets aside the third Thursday of every November to celebrate National Rural Health Day. National Rural Health Day (NRHD) is an opportunity to “Celebrate the Power of Rural” by honoring the selfless, community-minded spirit that prevails in rural America. NRHD showcases the efforts of rural healthcare providers, State Offices of Rural Health and other rural stakeholders to address the unique healthcare challenges that rural citizens face today and into the future. Find more information about NRHD here and how your clinic and community can be part of the celebration! 

On November 17, 2022, at 1:00 pm CT, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health will welcome a dynamic group of guests, each driving change and sharing stories about the work they’re doing to go the extra mile through collaboration. Register for the event here.

HRSA Celebrates National Rural Health Day

This year, HRSA is highlighting innovative ways rural communities address the challenges and expand access to behavioral health care services for those who need them the most. View all of HRSA's events for National Rural Health Day here this week.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 16 2:00-3:00pm: FORHP Grantee Stories
  • Thursday, Nov. 17 2:00-3:00pm: HHS Leadership Panel on Official National Rural Health Day

2022 NIH Rural Health Day Seminar

Preserving health and healthcare in rural communities is key to maintaining the economic stability of the underserved rural populations. The health care challenges facing rural America call for more rigorous scientific research, successful implementation of evidence-based practice in rural settings and use of innovative technology to improve rural health outcomes. The NIH Rural Health Interest Group (RHIG) provides a forum to connect translational scientists from diverse disciplines across the NIH to reach communities and decision makers, as well as provide opportunities for professional development, networking, and community engagement.

In addition to establishing a listserv for announcements and information sharing, the group has regular meetings featuring invited speakers and members of the interest group presenting and discussing their research, including the annual rural health seminar observing National Rural Health Day. The objective is to provide a space where these important, timely topics can be explored and to enhance opportunities for interchanging ideas about how innovations in clinical and translational science can improve rural health outcomes. Join the webinar on Thursday, November 17th from 11:00am-12:30pm. Click here for more information on the speakers and register for the event.

IARHC Health Equity Resource Training Series

Fill Up on RPM Learning before your Holiday Feast!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022 | 12pm-1pm

Join us on Tuesday, November 22 at 12:00pm for a webinar training with Certintell on how remote patient monitoring can reduce provider burnout and improve patient engagement. During this webinar, Benjamin Lefever will give an overview about understanding contributing factors and data behind health provider burnout, technology and workflows that help achieve the quadruple aim, and how RPM contributes to improved efficiency and effectiveness of patient care. Benjamin is responsible for leading the Certintell team and continued success, all while ensuring the culture the company was founded on continues to empower health systems to reach underserved populations. Previously Benjamin was a Product Manager for Genentech focused on the FQHC market and HEP C. Moreover, he helped implement a Telemedicine program while at Genentech (Project ECHO), which connected the University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics specialists to rural patients and their practitioners. Register for the webinar here.

Opioid Misuse and Rising Overdoses in Rural Iowa

Thursday, December 8, 2022 | 12pm-1pm

Join us on Thursday, December 8th at 12:00pm for an update on the opioid crisis in Iowa from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS will give an overview on opioid use in rural communities across the state and Iowa's efforts to address the national opioid epidemic. Please register for the training here. Once you register, a link will be sent to your email to join the webinar on December 8th. 

All webinars are recorded and available on the IARHC website here. If there are topics important to you, feel free to reach out to Hannah Toresdahl at [email protected] with your suggestions.

Rural Health Clinic Program at 45 years: Created for Access and Still Delivering Care

Rural health policy experts, researchers, and clinicians review the impact of the Rural Health Clinic Services Act of 1977 on outpatient healthcare delivery in rural America. Read Kay Miller Temple's article here as she highlights the history of RHCs and team-based care. A related article shares the founding of the National Association of Rural Health Clinics.

Dementia Care Summit | December 6th

The Dementia Care Summit hopes to gather decision makers and stakeholders from across the aging and dementia arenas to enhance collaboration for improving care and services for those living with dementia and their caregivers. Panel discussions will feature the directors of Iowa HHS, Iowa Department on Aging and State Medicaid as well as the Alzheimer's Association, local hospitals, Dementia Friends and more. Through these panels, attendees will hear what statewide resources and programs are available, what is planned for the future and what more is needed. They will hear success stories on program creation and implementation from neighboring states and from communities across Iowa. Later, breakout sessions allow attendees the opportunity to brainstorm solutions and create new partnerships based on the day's conversations.

The Summit will take place on Tuesday, December 6th, from 9:00am to 3:30pm. It will be held at Polk County River Place (2309 Euclid Ave, Des Moines, IA 50310), and lunch will be provided. Parking is free, and refreshments and snacks will also be available. Due to limited space, registration is required, but we encourage you to send this invite to anyone you think may benefit from this Summit. Register for the Summit here and view the agenda here.

HIPPA Compliance Year in Review

After an extremely active year of compliance news, enforcement activity and proposed modifications to regulations, HIPPAtrek's HIPAA compliance experts will help you wrap up 2022 strong and start planning for 2023. Join the webinar on December 7th at 1:00pm. From risk assessments to preparing for breach reporting, creating training plans, and understanding changing regulations, the end of the year is a great time to assess your compliance program, identify risks, and create a strategy for success. 


  • The important compliance news and events from 2022 
  • How to assess your compliance program at the end of 2022 
  • What your compliance resolutions should include in 2023 
  • How to prepare for the changes coming to the HIPAA Privacy Rule in 2023

Click here for more information and how to register for the webinar on December 7th.

Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response Toolkit

On November 14, the Rural Health Information Hub launched a new resource developed in collaboration with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis with support from HRSA and the CDC. The evidence-based toolkit provides practical guidance for planning for, responding to, and recovering from disasters and emergencies. It also includes guidance and resources for different types of emergencies and considerations for special populations. Check out the toolkit here.

Rural Health Equity Toolkit

The Rural Health Information Hub Health Equity toolkit compiles evidence-based frameworks and promising strategies and resources to support organizations working toward health equity in rural communities across the United States. The modules in the toolkit contain information and resources focused on developing, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining rural programs that focus on health equity. Check out the toolkit here.

Grant and Funding Opportunities

HRSA Payment Program for RHC Buprenorphine-Trained Providers

In June 2021, HRSA launched an effort to improve access to substance use disorder treatment by paying for providers who are waivered to prescribe buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder. Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) still have the opportunity to apply for a $3,000 payment on behalf of each provider who trained to obtain the waiver necessary to prescribe buprenorphine after January 1, 2019. Approximately $1.2 million in program funding remains available for RHCs and will be paid on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. Send questions to [email protected]. There is ongoing availability of a free online course for waiver eligibility training from the Providers Clinical Support System.

USDA Emergency Rural Health Care Grants

The Emergency Rural Health Care program is designed to help broaden access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, rural health care services, and food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities. Rural health care is challenged by immediate financial needs stemming from COVID-19 related expenses. Long-term access to – and availability of – rural health care services have been further hampered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to these challenges, this program offers two tracks of funding to eligible applicants. 

  • Track One: Recovery Grants provide immediate relief to address the economic conditions arising from the COVID-19 emergency
  • Track Two: Impact Grants advance ideas and solutions to solve regional rural health care problems to support the long-term sustainability of rural health

Eligible applicants include public bodies, community-based nonprofits, and federally-recognized Tribes. Facilities and projects supported through this grant must be located in rural areas with populations of 20,000 or fewer, and must primarily serve rural areas. More information about the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants can be found here.

Empowering Communities to Address Behavioral Health and Chronic Pain through Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Programs

This program provides funding to help communities develop or expand capacity for, deliver, and sustain evidence-based chronic disease self-management education and support programs for older adults and adults with disabilities, particularly those in underserved geographic areas and/or populations.

  • Develop capacity to increase the number of older adults and adults with disabilities, particularly those in underserved areas/populations, who participate in evidence-based chronic disease self-management education and self-management support programs to empower them to better manage their chronic conditions
  • Identify and implement one or more robust strategies that will promote the sustainability of evidence-based self-management education and self-management support programs

Applicants must propose programs that engage underserved populations, such as Black, Latino, Indigenous, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, persons of color, religious minorities, LGBTQ+, persons with disabilities, or people living in rural areas. More information about this program can be found here.

Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. territories

Applicant conference call: November 16, 2022 at 12:00pm CT

Letter of Intent (Optional): Dec 6, 2022

Application Deadline: Jan 11, 2023

Sponsors: Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

USDA Seeks Application to Create New Opportunities for Rural People

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is seeking applications for funding to establish revolving loan programs to support rural businesses and community development projects.

USDA is offering priority points to projects that advance key priorities under the Biden-Harris Administration to create new and better market opportunities, advance equity, and combat climate change. These extra points will increase the likelihood of funding for projects that will advance these key priorities in rural places.

The funding is being made available under the Intermediary Relending Program. The program provides low-interest loans to local lenders or “intermediaries” that re-lend the funds to businesses to improve economic conditions and create new opportunities in rural communities. Eligible intermediary lenders include nonprofit corporations, cooperatives, federally recognized Tribes and public agencies.

Loans from an intermediary to an ultimate recipient business may be used to:

  • Acquire, build, convert, expand or repair a business or business facility.
  • Purchase or develop land.
  • Purchase equipment, machinery or supplies, or make leasehold improvements.
  • Support start-up costs and working capital.
  • Control and abate pollution.
  • Support transportation services.

Applications are accepted on quarterly basis and must be submitted to the applicant’s local Rural Development State Office no later than 4:30 p.m. (local time) by the following dates:

  • First Quarter: Sept. 30, 2022
  • Second Quarter: Dec. 31, 2022
  • Third Quarter: March 31, 2023
  • Fourth Quarter: June 30, 2023

Eligible applications that are not funded in the quarter received will automatically compete for funding in up to three additional quarters. For additional information, see page 53452 of the August 31, 2022, Federal Register.

NARHC Bill Finerfrock Health Policy Fellowship

To celebrate Bill Finerfrock's legacy, this program is designed for mid-career professionals with experience ranging from billing, coding, office management, and/or clinical care in either the RHC setting or a rural health care system. Applicants may either be current rural health professionals or have past experience in rural health and are currently pursuing additional education/training. The fellowship is a personal and professional commitment to making further impacts in rural health practice and policy.

The fellowship requires a full-time, in-person commitment for either a 4-week continuous timeframe, or two, 2-week periods in May, June, or July 2023.

The Fellow will participate in NARHC advocacy efforts, including meetings with agency and Capitol Hill staff, while learning to be a true grassroots advocate and champion for rural health. The selected candidate will reside in Alexandria, Virginia during the fellowship period and work within the NARHC DC Office, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m-6 p.m. Lodging and travel expenses will be fully covered by the program, and a $8,000 stipend will be provided to the fellow directly. Additionally, the selected fellow’s employer will receive a $2,000 stipend to be used as the organization sees fit in gratitude for its support of the fellow’s participation in this program.

The selected fellow will be expected to remain a NARHC member for three years following their fellowship as well as serve as an active liaison between the NARHC DC office and the membership. 


  • Mid-career rural health professionals
  • Current NARHC members
  • Recommended active Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional (CRHCP) certification

The application for the 2023 Bill Finerfrock Health Policy Fellowship Program, along with all supporting materials, is due by January 2, 2023. Completed applications should be emailed to [email protected]. Interviews will be conducted in mid-January, and the selected candidate will be notified by mid-February, 2023.

More information can be found here

Contact Us


Questions? Ideas you want to share? Concerns or barriers you’re facing? Feel free to reach out to staff at [email protected] - we’ll try to help or get you connected. Or you can reach out to your colleagues by posting a question on the IARHC listserv. Simply send an email to [email protected]. This listserv gives you access to the current IARHC membership – use it as a tool to learn from each other!

IARHC Staff Members

Virginia Barrette

[email protected]

Hannah Toresdahl

[email protected]


Iowa Association of Rural Health Clinics | | [email protected]