The Branch
A monthly update for NOSORH members and partners
March 2020
2020 National Rural EMS & Care Conference is Next Month
Registration is open for the 2020 National Rural EMS & Care Conference! Meet with State Offices of Rural Health and EMS providers from across the country in Columbus, Ohio, on April 22-23. One session not to miss is the State EMS Directors panel. Andy Gienapp, Wyoming State EMS Director, has put together a panel of fellow Directors to discuss the current state of rural EMS, what role the State Offices can play in support of rural EMS, and what the future will hold for rural EMS providers. Click here for more information about the Conference. 
Enroll Now in the 2020 Rural Health Data Institute
NOSORH is excited to announce that registration is now open for the 2020 Rural Health Data Institute (RHDI)! Designed to establish a minimum data-use skill set for rural health stakeholders, RHDI is a weekly series of eight, 90-minute webinars held Tuesdays from May 12 -June 30. Participation in the RHDI is available to all rural health stakeholders that could benefit from advancing their data-use skills. Former participants have included State Offices of Rural Health, state governmental agencies, academic institutions, community coalitions and more. The curriculum for RHDI is designed for those with limited, or no, knowledge of the data use process, and will not cover advanced topics (i.e., rural suppression strategies, etc.). 

Institute Key Dates:
Registration closes: May 1, 2020
Access to course materials: May 5, 2020
Institute starts: May 12, 2020
Institute ends: June 30, 2020

Click here for more information and examples of past infographic fact sheets from graduates. Please contact Chris Salyers, NOSORH Education and Services Director, at or (734) 881-9551 with any questions. 
NOSORH Regional Meeting Registrations Now Open
All five Regional Meeting registration links are now available. Click on your region below to register, view the draft agenda, and make hotel reservations.
Region A – click here.
Region B – click here.
Region C – click here.
Region D – click here.
Region E – click here.
NOSORH and SORH at the NRHA Policy Institute
Last month, NOSORH and 22 State Offices of Rural Health attended the National Rural Health Association’s Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. “NRHA did a great job of bringing together policymakers and rural stakeholders in a jam-packed week focused on rural health,” said Teryl Eisinger, NOSORH CEO. 

During the week, NOSORH spent multiple days meeting with members and staff on Capitol Hill. With the prospect of major rural health legislation being advanced by Congress this May, NOSORH used the visits to remind Congress on the importance of rural health and advocate for continued funding for the SORH and Flex programs. It is anticipated in rural health circles that Congress could advance rural health legislation as part of a larger health package, including surprise medical billing. Read More
Rural Policy Update
Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Request Sent to Congress
On February 10, the Trump Administration released their Fiscal Year 2021 budget request to Congress. Similar to previous years, HHS requested Congress make significant cuts to both discretionary and mandatory programs across the board. Within the HRSA budget, both the State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) and the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) grant program lines were zeroed out for FY 2021. Also from the HRSA budget, the Administration asked for an increase for Rural Health Outreach Grants by $10M. Funding for the Rural Residency program was not provided. Read More
Request for Information Regarding Rural Maternal Health Care
Through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health, CMS is seeking information related to opportunities to improve access, quality, and outcomes before, during, and after pregnancy, and to develop and refine programs and policies that ensure all rural women have access to high quality maternal health care that results in optimal health. Responses to this RFI will be used to inform future discussions among stakeholders and future work by CMS toward the development and refinement of programs and policies that ensure rural women have access to high quality maternal health care that results in optimal health outcomes. CMS encourages all stakeholders to review the RFI at   and submit comments to Comments will be discussed on the NOSORH Policy Analysis and Response Committee call on March 4 at 3:00 ET. CMS will collect comments until April 12.
Take Advantage of New TruServe Features
All states have now been updated to the new version of TruServe, and many new features are available! Check out this  video  explaining the new features, then set up some time with  Mark Barclay  to further customize your system.
The next TruServe training will take place on March 18 at 2:00 pm ET.
NOSORH Promising Practice
Suppers in Virginia Give Rural Folks a Chance to Meet and Share Information
by Beth Blevins

“Come to supper!” is the invitation extended recently by the Virginia State Office of Rural Health (VA SORH). As a result, folks across rural Virginia have gathered to eat barbecue and discuss what is going on in their communities.

“We figure that people relax when they are eating, and that the conversation will flow a little freer than it would if someone is standing up in front of the room and asking questions,” said Heather Anderson, VA SORH Director.

The community suppers, based on the World Cafe method, sprang out of the SORH’s efforts to update the Virginia Rural Health Plan, Anderson said. “We know what the data says, but we don’t know what is working in a community necessarily,” she said. “We wanted to hear from people we don’t always hear from—and who typically don’t get to hear from one another.” Read More
Past Promising Practice articles can be found here on the NOSORH website

(3:00 ET)
Webinar: Making the Most of the 2020 County Health Rankings Release

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

National Rural EMS & Care Conference
 Columbus, Ohio

NEW NOSORH Manual: Using Data to Define Rural Populations
Understanding the data points that characterize rural communities ensures State Offices of Rural Health have a solid base for providing technical assistance and targeting resources to areas of highest need. The new Using Data to Define Rural Populations manual assists SORH and other rural health stakeholders in identifying the steps to developing an initial dataset for defining rural populations in their state.
NOSORH Tiered Technical Assistance Program
NOSORH is pleased to introduce the Tiered Technical Assistance Program! This hands-on opportunity positions NOSORH to come alongside State Offices of Rural Health and other rural stakeholders to engage rural primary care providers and communities by offering direct technical assistance, individualized resources and services.