The Branch
A monthly update for NOSORH members and partners
April 2023
National Rural EMS & Care Conference Happening This Month! Register by April 13
Join the 8th annual National Rural EMS & Care Conference on April 18-20, 2023, hosted by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, the National Association of State EMS Officials, and the Joint Committee on Rural Emergency Care. This year's conference will be held virtually with engaging speakers and informative sessions covering a broad range of topics. Check out the agenda here
Be sure to register by April 13, 2023. Participants can join as individuals or with the special group rate for rural ambulance services.  
For more information, visit the Conference web page or contact Caroline Wroczynski, NOSORH Education Manager, at
Rural Health Policy Update
The fiscal year 2024 (FY ’24) budget process got underway on March 9, when the Biden Administration released its FY 2024 budget request to Congress. Here is a link to the 169-page HHS budget brief. At the top line, the budget proposes $144.7 billion in discretionary budget authority for HHS, a $17 billion (13.3 percent) increase over FY 23. 
Some of the other healthcare highlights include: 
  • $13 million requested for the State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) line. This request represents a $500,000 increase over FY 23 if enacted by Congress. 
  • $64 million requested for Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program- down slightly from $64,277,000 for FY 23.
  • $165 million requested for the Rural Communities Opioids Response program – a $20 million increase over FY 23.
  • $13 million requested for the rural residency program – a $500,000 increase over FY 23. Read More
Rural Health Clinical Congress Spring 2023 – A Free Virtual CME/CE Event for Clinicians in Your State
NOSORH is partnering again with RME Collaborative for Rural Health Clinical Congress Spring 2023, a FREE virtual CME/CE conference! This multi-topic event will be broadcast live on Saturday, May 20, 2023, starting at 9:00 am ET. Click here to learn more about this unique continuing education event, and help spread the word by inviting clinicians in your area to participate.
Questions? Contact RME Collaborative at
New Funding Opportunity: Delta Health Systems Implementation Program
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the Delta Health Systems Implementation Program. This program provides funding to Critical Access Hospitals, small rural hospitals (inpatient prospective payment system facilities with up to 100 beds) in the Mississippi Delta region that have received previous technical assistance (TA) through the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program or another similar TA program within the last five years. Hospitals will implement projects aimed to improve health care in rural areas through projects focused on financial and operational improvements; implementation of quality improvement initiatives; expansion of telehealth services and financial/operational systems enhancements; and the development of new service lines to address the needs of the community, including populations in the community that have been historically underserved. Visit to learn more about this opportunity. Please note that the application window will be shorter than typical, with applications due May 18, 2023.
2023 County Health Rankings Now Available
The 2023 County Health Rankings were recently released, providing an annual snapshot of the health of the nation’s counties through the lens of more than 90 factors – from housing, education, jobs, and more. This year’s Health Rankings explore solutions to promote inclusion and invest in spaces where everyone can connect. Find out where your county ranks in your state and learn how your community’s health compares to similar counties in the U.S.:
American Heart Association SouthWest Region Rural Health Summit
Join the SouthWest region of the American Heart Association (AHA) for their inaugural Rural Health Summit on May 12 in Dallas, Texas. This interactive event will bring together a cross-sector of leaders representing the 7 million people residing in rural communities across Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming to exchange innovations and community priorities while informing AHA’s rural action agenda. There is a registration fee of $100 to attend the summit. Limited scholarships are available for those who require financial assistance to attend.  
Community Connect Program for Rural Broadband Access Now Accepting Applications
The USDA’s Rural Utilities Service opened applications for the Community Connect program.  The Community Connect program helps rural communities extend access where broadband service is least likely to be commercially available but where it can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for people and businesses. The projects funded by these grants help rural residents tap into the Internet’s enormous potential for jobs, education, healthcare, public safety, and community development. Click here to learn more. 
Webinar: Understanding Medicare's New REH Designation
1:00 pm ET
This one-hour HRSA-funded webinar led by the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) will allow participants to learn from CMS about the new Rural Emergency Hospital designation and hear from two states, Kansas and Michigan, about their experiences implementing this new designation. Register Here.
Webinar: State of the Healthcare Industry: Market Updates for Rural Strategy
2:00 pm ET
NOSORH, in partnership with Stroudwater Associates, announces and invites you to participate in quarterly market updates for rural healthcare stakeholders to stay current on the changes in the healthcare marketplace and strategize responses to ensure vital services for rural communities. Register Here.