The Branch
A monthly update for NOSORH members and partners
February 2022
National Rural Health Day Fact Sheet Highlights Success and Impact
NOSORH is proud of the reach and impact of National Rural Health Day as it continues to grow each year! The 2021 #PowerofRural campaign had great success in putting rural health in the spotlight, raising awareness, and building new partnerships.

NRHD 2022 is Thursday, November 17, 2022! Stay tuned for more information and ways to get involved.
Going Virtual: 2022 National Rural EMS & Care Conference
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the National Rural EMS & Care Conference is switching to a virtual format! The Conference will now take place on April 19-21 from 1:00-4:30 pm Central each afternoon. The registration cost is $175 per attendee. At the same time, small rural ambulance agencies will be offered a registration cost of $300 for their entire agency to attend. The conference web page will be updated as information becomes available. If you have any questions, please contact Matt Strycker at
2022 SORH Regional Partnership Meeting Speaker Proposals Due Soon
There is still time to submit a speaker proposal for the SORH Regional Partnership Meetings. The deadline to submit a proposal is February 25, 2022. To be considered for Region B, please have your submission in by February 11. Sessions are selected by a planning committee comprised of State Offices of Rural Health and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. If your proposal is accepted, you will be notified at least three months in advance of the meeting. If you have any questions about submitting a proposal, please contact Trevor Brown at
Rural Health Policy Update
NOSORH Written Language Introduced in the House: During January, Reps. Sam Graves (R-MO) and Jared Huffman (D-CA) introduced a comprehensive bill addressing rural hospital payments that included an entire section written by NOSORH reauthorizing the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program (Flex). The bipartisan NOSORH-endorsed bill, H.R. 6400, contains a bevy of NOSORH friendly language centered around the Flex reauthorization section. The Graves press release includes quotes from NOSORH. While the Graves-Huffman bill will likely not pass Congress as a stand-alone for cost reasons, a number of the bill provisions could be advanced in other health care packages by Congress this year and beyond. NOSORH will work to include the Flex reauthorization language in such a package.  Read More
COVID-19 Test Kits Available for Rural Health Clinics
Let your partners and stakeholders know about the HRSA Rural Health Clinic COVID-19 Test Kit Program! This program aims to have RHCs distribute COVID-19 over-the-counter testing kits to their patients and communities. RHCs simply send an email expressing interest in the program, and HRSA will walk them through the registration process. Participants will receive a direct shipment of the test kits to their facility. RHCs must meet these requirements to participate.
For Policy/Program questions:
Feel free to reach out to Shannon Chambers (South Carolina Office of Rural Health and NOSORH RHC CTM Contractor) at with questions. 
Featured Community Star
Arletha Howard, DrPH, MSN, RN
Marks, Mississippi

You could look in any corner of the world and never find an individual
more committed to the health and well-being of mothers and their
children than Arletha Howard.

Arletha is a 34-year veteran in nursing and a 22-year veteran in public health services. Her primary focus is developing, implementing, and administering Delta HealthPartners’ health and wellness projects. The nature of her essential work is to provide comprehensive case management and care coordination services to prenatal women, infants, and co-parents through a home-visiting model. More than that, she is determined to decrease infant mortality in Mississippi, which is ranked first in preterm and low birth weight and has the highest rate of deaths in the United States.

2:00 pm ET