September 2022 Newsletter

Message from the IARHC Board President

IARHC members, 

Fall is fast approaching, and we are due for a newsletter! Between preparing for our upcoming conference and change in the IARHC staff to updating how we communicate with our members, we are staying busy. This newsletter is filled with news and information! 

In August, the board met in person for our quarterly meeting. It was the first time the board has met in person since 2020 and perfect timing, as we had four new board members join us. It was a great opportunity to meet our new board members and hear from those returning as we look to make improvements to the organization to provide more resources and opportunities for every Iowa RHC.

In this newsletter, meet the IARHC Board of Directors, find training opportunities for your RHC staff, one more chance to fill out the rural health needs assessment, brief federal updates, and a reminder to register for the Iowa Community Health Conference in October. 

We appreciate any and all feedback on how IARHC is doing to support your clinic. Thank you for all you do and never hesitate to reach out to IARHC with questions, issues, thoughts and ideas.

Ann Wise

Board President

UnityPoint Clinic Buena Vista, Sac City, and Lake View

2022 IARHC Board of Directors

The board election results are in and the ten-member board is set to get to work building a strong association and representing Iowa's RHCs for another year. 

New board members:

  • Tricia Dausener, UnityPoint Monticello
  • Amy Van Scoyoc, Buchanan County Health, Independence
  • Jennifer Moore, Onawa Family Medicine 
  • Tasha Hiland, Quincy Medical Group, Keokuk
  • Jodi Ricklefs, UnityPoint Fort Dodge Region

Returning board members:

  • Ann Wise, CRHCP, Clinic Administrator, UnityPoint Family Medicine, Sac City, Lake View, Storm Lake (current Board President)
  • Kyle Teeling, VP of Ancillary Services, Regional Health Services of Howard County, Cresco
  • Jillissa Chvala, CRHCP, Family Medical Clinics Manager, Compass Memorial, Marengo (current Board Secretary/Treasurer)
  • Elisa Perry, CRHCP, Clinic Director, Madison County Clinic (current Board Vice President)
  • Shawn Pieczko, CRHCP Clinic Administrator, Eagle Grove

Many thanks to the members of the board for lending your time, expertise and passion for rural health to IARHC.

We also extend our gratitude to our outgoing board members for their service on the IARHC Board of Directors:

  • Lee Fry, Adair County Health System
  • Kara Currans, Family Practice Clinic, Emmetsburg
  • Libby Coyte, Redfield Medical Clinic
  • Brittney Thompson, Quincy Medical Group
  • Jen Malooly, Kossuth Regional Health Center

Rural Health Clinic Needs Assessment

We've extended the deadline to fill out our annual Rural Health Needs Assessment because we want to hear from YOU! Your responses will be used to guide the IARHC Board of Directors and staff in providing valuable training, technical assistance and resources for our members as well as inform and shape efforts to support RHCs by our state partners. All surveys completed and submitted by Friday, September 23rd will be eligible for a random prize drawing to win one of four $25 VISA gift card. The assessment will take no more than 15 minutes to complete. Click here to start the assessment! 

Iowa Community Health Conference

Join us for IARHC's annual conference the Iowa Community Health Conference on October 12-13. IARHC is teaming up with the Iowa Primary Care Association and Iowa Rural Health Association for a third year. We are looking forward to the RHC-specific sessions addressing workforce, maternal health, behavioral health, RHC compliance, and more! Registration is still open but spots are limited. Click here to register for the conference on October 12-13

IARHC Health Equity Resource Training Series

Iowa Healthcare Workforce Changes with Amy Campbell

Thursday, September 22, 2022 | 12pm-1pm

The 2022 Iowa General Assembly focused a lot of attention on the workforce challenges facing healthcare providers – particularly rural providers. Join as we host Amy Campbell of the Advocacy Cooperative as she provides an overview of workforce and other healthcare legislation passed and signed into law this year.

With so much workforce legislation, this webinar may be of interest to your Human Resources staff and others tasked with understanding loan repayment programs, licensing requirements and other changes made. Click here to register for the training on September 22 from 12pm-1pm. A video recording will be available following the training. 

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.

HHS Announces Intent to Award New Managed Care Contracts

The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the intent to award contracts to Amerigroup Iowa and Molina Healthcare of Iowa. Iowa Total Care will also continue to serve Iowans in the Iowa Medicaid program. Iowa Medicaid will work closely with Molina as they stand up their operations in Iowa and we will communicate with members and providers as this new option for health coverage becomes available. Read the press release here and the IL 2375-MC.

Iowa Medicaid PA Form for Hepatitis C Treatment

The Iowa Medicaid P & T committee voted to remove sobriety restrictions from Hepatitis C therapy treatment. You can find the new PA form on the Iowa Medicaid website here.

State Fact Sheets: How the Inflation Reduction Act Lowers Health Care Costs Across America

After three decades of attempts, the Inflation Reduction Act takes on one of the most powerful special interests in history – the pharmaceutical lobby – to deliver cost savings directly to American families. Additionally, it protects the progress made under the Biden-Harris Administration to give more Americans access to affordable health insurance coverage, bringing the uninsured rate to an all-time low. Click here for more information and find the Iowa fact sheet here

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.

Unwinding COVID-19 Medical Assistance Eligibility

As detailed in Informational Letter (IL) 2229-MC-FFS-CVD1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released guidance outlining requirements and expectations for the resumption of normal eligibility business processes when the federal COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) expires. Iowa Medicaid has utilized this guidance to establish a phased approach to resuming normal eligibility business processes. Phases 1 through 3 of Iowa Medicaid’s plan, as detailed in IL 2246-MC-FFS-CVD2, have been implemented and the associated processes contained in each phase continue to be executed during the PHE. Some of the current processes that continue to be implemented include:

  • Issuing pre-populated annual medical assistance renewal/review forms to some households (members found ineligible during this annual renewal process will continue to receive medical assistance through the duration of the PHE).
  • Transitioning members to a coverage group for which they are now eligible.

 Read the full IL 2376-MC-FFS-CVD here.

Biden-Harris Administration Strengthens Access to High-Quality, Comprehensive Health Care for Children

In support of President Biden’s effort to address the nation’s mental health crisis, HHS issues guidance to states on ways to expand mental health care for children, and proposes requirements for states to report certain health care quality measures for children and adults.

The two guidance documents and the proposed rule follow two recent Biden-Harris Administration efforts to address the youth mental health crisis by strengthening mental health services for children. In July, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona sent a letter to governors calling on them to invest more in mental health services for students. In March, Secretary Becerra and Secretary Cardona launched a joint-department effort to expand school-based health services, ensuring children have access to the health services and supports necessary to build resilience and promote wellbeing. The joint-department efforts are a direct action stemming from President Biden’s call following the State of the Union to develop guidance to schools that will help them leverage Medicaid to provide mental health support for students in our school. View the full press release here

Biden-Harris Administration Proposes to Make Health Care Enrollment Easier for Millions

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) new proposed rule would make it easier for millions of eligible people to enroll in and retain their Medicaid coverage. The rule would reduce red tape and simplify applications, verifications, enrollment, and renewals for health care coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The proposed rule responds to President Biden’s January 2021 and April 2022 Executive Orders to strengthen Medicaid and access to affordable, quality health coverage. View the full press release here

NARHC Fall Institute

NARHC's Fall Institute will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona on October 24-26. Registration is still open. For more information click 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]