The Branch
A monthly update for NOSORH members and partners
December 2019
National Rural Health Day a Great Success - Thanks to YOU!
The 9 th annual National Rural Health Day was celebrated on November 21, 2019, with a record number of nationwide events held by State Offices of Rural Health, rural partners, communities, providers and other stakeholders. What began as an annual, single day of recognition has grown to be a national conversation and movement! On November 21 alone, the #PowerofRural trended on Twitter with over 3,400 tweets and 16 million impressions, surpassing 2018’s numbers by 9 million impressions! Read More
Get Set for the 2020 NOSORH Regional Meetings
The 2020 regional meetings are just around the corner and NOSORH is ready to start planning! All the sites and locations are secured and the planning committees are forming. If you are interested in volunteering for your region’s meeting planning committee, please contact Matt Strycker. NOSORH is now accepting speaker proposals for all 5 regional meetings and the NOSORH Annual Meeting. Proposals must be submitted by January 31, 2020. Read More
NOSORH Partners with Washington SORH for Technical Assistance Project
Early November in Washington state is a beauty to behold. Tammy Norville, NOSORH Technical Assistance Director, recently had the opportunity to partner with the Washington State Office of Rural Health to provide a half-day interdisciplinary team education session grounded in Palliative Care services. The live session was on location in Dayton, Washington, and simulcast to Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) and other partners around the state. The session was a journey through the revenue cycle and explored options to ensure the sustainability of palliative care services in an environment with no straightforward payment... Read More
2019 New SORH Orientation at FORHP a Success!
Last month, new key SORH staff members attended the New SORH Orientation hosted in partnership with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), at their offices in Rockville, Maryland. Over the two days, invited participants met with leadership from FORHP and other HRSA divisions to learn about programs and resources that can be leveraged by rural communities in their state. SORH programs were represented from the states of Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, and Wyoming.

Coordinated by FORHP’s Hospital State Division, attendees had the opportunity to network with leadership from FORHP, the Bureau of Health Workforce, the Bureau of Primary Health Care, Office of Regional Operations, and their Grants Management Specialists. Attendees indicated that the meeting met all of the intended learning objectives, with 100% rating the meeting as "excellent". The information covered during the meeting provides a great overview on the work of HRSA and FORHP. These presentations can be found on the NOSORH website.
Rural Policy Update
Passage of Stopgap Shutdowns Potential Midnight Shutdown
On November 21, President Trump signed a continuing resolution bill funding the government through December 20, 2019. This stopgap measure provided Congress four additional weeks to reach an agreement on a Fiscal Year 2020 spending bill. The continuing resolution ( H.R. 3055) cleared the Senate and was signed into law just hours before the midnight deadline. The funding bill contains funding extensions for many health care programs, such as community health centers and teaching health centers that operate graduate medical education programs, and extends the community mental health services demonstration program. Read More
Preparing for the NRHA Policy Institute 2020
NOSORH is looking forward to the NRHA Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., on February 11-13, 2020. State fact sheets that can help SORH and their partners provide a simple summary of state efforts are available from NOSORH. If you need assistance with a fact sheet for your state, please contact Matt Strycker no later than January 24, 2020. NOSORH will host a member meeting February 10 at 5:00 pm (tentative). Watch for more details about this meeting and the upcoming webinar " Preparing to Engage with Legislators and Policymakers" scheduled on January 16 at 3:00 pm ET.

N OSORH has extended the deadline for Legislator of the Year nominations! This annual award recognizes an outstanding  federal   legislator for her/his work and support of rural health initiatives that address national rural healthcare needs. Nominations are due by Friday, January 17, 2020. Click here to nominate today!
National Network of Public Health Institutes Requests Insight on Rural Mobility and Falls Prevention
The National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) Evidence to Action Evaluation Group (E2A) is working with NOSORH to gather collaborators who can offer insight concerning the experiences of older adults in rural areas relating to mobility and falls prevention. E2A will lead exploratory facilitation efforts along with the Public Health Institute. E2A specifically requests that collaborators with a strong community presence participate, as they would also like to receive feedback via an online community survey. The requested involvement includes participation in one telephone interview or focus group lasting 45-60 minutes. This will most likely take place in January/February 2020. Read More
NOSORH Promising Practice
New Reports Highlights the Health Status of Rural Missourians
by Beth Blevins

Fifty-five counties in rural Missouri are now without a hospital. Death rates are higher for rural Missourians than urban in each of the top ten causes of death. These and other statistics are included in a new report that looks at the health status of rural Missourians.

Health in Rural Missouri: (Biennial Report 2018-2019) looks at demographic characteristics and other factors, as it has in prior reports. But this year the entire report was done through the lens of social determinants of health (SDOH), according to Kathryn Metzger, Programs Manager at the Missouri State Office of Rural Health (MO SORH), which issued the report. “In prior years it was mostly done by the numbers—people pulled the numbers and interpreted them,” Metzger said. “This time, we wanted to identify those things most impacted by SDOH, and use that in discussing everything going forward.” Read More
Past Promising Practice articles can be found here on the NOSORH website

(3:00 ET)
POND Webinar:
Practice Management Best Practices

(2:00 ET)
TruServe Training

(3:00 ET)
Webinar: Preparing to Engage with Legislators & Policymakers

National Rural EMS & Care Conference
 Columbus, Ohio

Issue Brief Highlights SORH SUD Work
by Beth Blevins
Funding from HRSA’s Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) program has helped several State Offices of Rural Health (SORHs) recently start—or strengthen—their work related to substance use disorder and opioid use disorder (S/OUD). Those who receive the RCORP Planning grant have a year to create or strengthen a consortium focused on SUD/OUD. (HRSA currently offers an RCORP Implementation grant that some SORH have received as well.) For example, the South Carolina Office of Rural Health (SCORH) had never focused on S/OUD activities prior to receiving the RCORP Planning grant, according to Lindsey Kilgo, Read More