The Branch
A monthly update for NOSORH members and partners
October 2023
National Rural Health Day: Join the Celebration on November 16th!
National Rural Health Day (NRHD) is just around the corner! It's a time to shine a spotlight on the remarkable #PowerOfRural and show appreciation for those who tirelessly champion rural health. Join us in a countdown to the big day and be part of the movement to make a real difference in rural communities!

Head over to the NRHD Headquarters at for resources, ideas, and the latest updates:
  • If you need inspiration for your NRHD festivities, the Ways to Celebrate page has creative ideas to help you break free from any planning rut.
  • Dive into the Promotional Toolkit for free downloads to elevate your NRHD celebration. Grab the brand new logo, social media graphics and cover images, activity sheets, press release template, PowerPoint template, posters, and more!
  • Treat yourself to some "vintage" NRHD swag in the NRHD Shop! Several items have already sold out, so don’t delay!
  • Check out the new Key Messages & Data Points document! This annual resource sheds light on rural America through compelling data that aligns with the key messages of NRHD.
  • Be sure to follow @NOSORH on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for all the latest NRHD news, perfect for sharing with your network. Don't forget to use #PowerofRural or #NationalRuralHealthDay in your posts to amplify the impact!
  • For a monthly dose of NRHD updates, sign up for the NRHD newsletter.
  • Do you have a big event planned? Tell us about it so we can spread the news!
  • Stay tuned: The 2023 Community Stars will be revealed at PowerOfRural.Org on November 16th!

For questions or more information, please contact Together, let's make National Rural Health Day an unforgettable celebration of the rural spirit and the incredible individuals dedicated to its well-being!
Rural Health Policy Update
Update provided by Andrew Coats, NOSORH Legislative Liaison

National Rural Health Day: NOSORH will be on the Hill on November 16 to celebrate National Rural Health Day 2023! NOSORH is sponsoring an event in the Rayburn House Office Building that will spotlight the members of Congress and their staff who are dedicated to advancing rural health. For more information on this event, please contact Andrew Coats at or Tammy Norville at

Congress Averts Shutdown: To the surprise of many, Congress averted a partial government shutdown by passing a continuing resolution (CR) on September 30. The federal government will remain funded at fiscal year (FY) 2023 levels through November 17th. Read More
Health Equity Narrative Infrastructure Project: Train-the-Facilitator Sessions Open for Registration
From October 31 through November 2, you can virtually participate in the Health Equity Narrative Infrastructure Project’s (HENIP) Train-the-Facilitator to build narrative skills and utilize a national transformative narrative for health equity to inform your work. HENIP is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded collaboration between County Health Rankings and Roadmaps and Human Impact Partners with support from several other organizations, including NOSORH. The project comprises an adaptive and technical process that gears organizations and people to understand narrative and how narrative works as a form of power, develop transformative narratives, inform a drafted national transformative narrative, and identify ways to apply narrative to your work.
When: October 31-November 2, 2023, at 12:00 PM CT each day (no more than 3 hours each day with a max of 9 hours across the three days).
Register herePlease contact Angela Acker at if you have questions about this training.
House Ways and Means Committee Seeks Information on Addressing Access to Care in Rural and Underserved Communities
The House Ways and Means Committee, led by Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08), released a Request for Information (RFI) on addressing access to healthcare challenges in rural, underserved communities. As part of the public open letter request for information, Chairman Smith highlights five key areas of interest:
  • Payment disparities between different geographic areas.
  • The long-term financial health of providers and facilities.
  • Payments for identical care provided in varying sites of service.
  • Bringing new professionals into the health care workforce.
  • Innovative care models and technology to improve patient outcomes.

The Committee seeks broad stakeholder input in these areas of interest, emphasizing solutions. Individuals or groups interested in responding to this RFI should email comments to no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on October 5, 2023.
AHA Food is Medicine Initiative Announces First Request for Research Proposals
The American Heart Association (AHA) recently announced its first Request for Proposals (RFP) for the new Food Is Medicine Initiative, funded with support from The Rockefeller Foundation. This RFP is focused on feasibility and implementation science, specifically achieving high enrollment and engagement rates, and testing ways to achieve significant short-term changes in healthy eating behavior. Equity is central to this initiative, and applicants will be encouraged to use a patient-centered approach to study design. The research from this first RFP will build the foundation for future large-scale clinical trials. Ultimately, the initiative’s research aims to generate the definitive evidence needed to provide widespread coverage of food-based treatment options for the millions of Americans living with chronic disease. Applications are open through November 6th, 2023, and a webinar will be held on October 4th to answer questions. To learn more about the Food is Medicine Initiative, view the RFP, and register for the webinar, visit the Food is Medicine Initiative web page.
New Task Force on Maternal Mental Health Announced
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced the formation of a new task force to address critical needs in maternal mental health conditions and co-occurring substance use disorders. The Task Force on Maternal Mental Health, co-chaired by HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine, M.D. and Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., will identify, evaluate, and make recommendations to coordinate and improve federal activities related to data and health equity as well as identify and create a strategy to implement best practices around prevention, screening, and diagnosis; evidence-based intervention and treatment; evidence-based community practices; and communications and community engagement. There will be a focus on mental health equity and trauma-informed practices. Click here to learn more about the task force and its intended work.
2:00-5:00 pm ET
Join the Urban Institute and Partners for Rural Transformation for a discussion about challenges and solutions for advancing rural health equity. Speakers will describe the state of rural health in America and highlight community-driven solutions, showcasing promising service and partnership models and financing practices. Practitioners nationwide will share how they leverage partnerships, data, and funding to meet the health needs of diverse rural populations and regions.
1:00 pm ET
Learn why COPD disproportionately impacts rural communities and about available resources during National COPD Awareness Month in November and beyond. Hear from guest speakers about the impact of their programs to improve the lives of people with COPD in rural communities.
11:00 am-3:00 pm ET
The Rural Telementoring Training Center (RTTC) invites you to their 2nd Rural Telementoring UnConference - a free virtual event featuring an array of brief presentations on topics relevant to technology as a driving force for innovation in rural health care and practice.
National Rural Health Day