The Branch
A monthly update for NOSORH members and partners
May 2020
Partner with NOSORH to Put Rural Health in Focus!
You’re invited to join the “2020 Focus” by collaborating with us and investing in NOSORH’s mission and National Rural Health Day efforts! We want to magnify the impact and zoom in on the great work our partners are doing to improve and advance rural health. When you make a commitment to being a NOSORH partner, you’re joining the “Power of Rural” movement that is helping to support and honor the work of thousands on the front lines and those working to address the unique health challenges facing rural America. Check out the new 2020 Partnership Invitation to explore a partnership level to fit for your mission. No matter what level you select, know that your contributions will make a difference!
COVID-19: Legislation, Guidance & Funding Resources
COVID-19 has not only taught us more about social distancing, testing and the FDA approval process than we ever wanted to know, it has brought us hundreds of pages of new legislation leading to new funding, new service lines and new regulatory guidance. On April 30, yet another round of “sweeping changes” to support the healthcare community were announced. There are too many nuances to delve into all of them here, but the press release and other related guidance that has been released to date can be found on the NOSORH COVID-19 Resources web page. A couple items of note Read More
NOSORH Annual Meeting 2020
NOSORH, FORHP, and the New York State Office of Rural Health are pleased to invite SORH and partners to the 2020 NOSORH Annual Meeting! The Annual Meeting will feature a wide variety of sessions and options for virtual attendance. Please see the draft meeting  agenda and visit the NOSORH website for additional information regarding the meeting. We look forward to seeing you in Saratoga Springs!
PCO Training Academy Goes Virtual: NOSORH and ASTHO Innovate in Light of COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country, NOSORH and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) were gearing up to host the 2020 Primary Care Office (PCO) Training Academy. The Academy includes a face-to-face meeting at the ASTHO offices in Arlington, VA, followed by site visits between each paired mentee and mentor. Originally modeled upon NOSORH’s mentoring program, the Academy has been conducted for nearly 10 years and continues to grow in popularity with new PCO staff. When the health and safety of Americans became a concern, the decision was made to move the Academy to a virtual format. Read More
TruServe: An Online Tracking Tool for Your Organization
Is your organization looking for a new way to show impact? Could you use a web-based tracking system that produces real time reports, charts, maps, and more? State Offices of Rural Health have been using TruServe for their tracking needs for over 10 years, and now we're excited to make it available to you!

TruServe captures data as you need it and produces custom reports, charts, and maps. To learn more, please take a look at TruServe in this short video or visit the website at . Also, be sure to attend the upcoming TruServe Demo and Q&A Webinar on Wednesday, May 13, at 3:00 pm ET.
We will also be doing our monthly training on May 27 at 2pm ET.
NOSORH is happy to partner with the University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health on TruServe. If you have any questions on TruServe please contact Matt Strycker at  or Mark Barclay at .
Rural Policy Update
NOSORH and the fifty State Offices of Rural Health congratulate and appreciate the work of the National Rural Health Association team for their great work advocating for rural providers across the nation during this public health crisis. These are tough times for all. We value NRHA’s "rural voice louder" now more than ever. Thank you Alan Morgan, Maggie Elehwany, Mason Zeagler, Max Isaacoff, and the entire NRHA team for exemplary leadership and advocacy.

The Senate returns to Washington on May 4 for the first time since late March. The House will most likely return on May 11. Putting together and passing a CARES 2.0 will be the main priority for Congress during the spring session. Read More
SORH Regional Meetings Update
It’s been a whirlwind of planning this year for the Regional Meetings! NOSORH appreciates the flexibility of the State Offices, FORHP and speakers as we enter these uncharted waters. As said before, NOSORH will be closely monitoring the situations presented by COVID-19.

  • Region B has been rescheduled for August 11-13 in Lexington, Kentucky
  • Region D has been tentatively rescheduled for August 25-27, in Reno, Nevada

NOSORH is closing looking at Regions A, C, and E, and will make a decision no later than four weeks out from each scheduled meeting. Please note that registrations for all meetings are still open for SORH and you're encouraged to continue registering. To find your Regional Meeting, please click here.
Rural Hospital Assistance Program Accepting Applications Next Month
The Center for Optimizing Rural Health (CORH) will open their application portal for the Rural Hospital Assistance Program from June 1 - July 31, 2020. CORH offers technical assistance to 30 rural hospitals each year to help address economic challenges, understand community needs and resources and find ways to ensure hospitals and communities can keep needed care locally. You can access the application here   or check out their Twitter page for updates. The application is open to all rural and CAH hospitals in the US. Selected hospitals will be notified in August 2020 with technical assistance provided from September 2020- August 2021.To learn more, please visit their website or email .

CORH also hosts free monthly webinars of interest to rural hospitals. Past webinars are available for viewing on the website and upcoming events are open for registration. 
NOSORH Promising Practice
Oregon ORH Offers New Resource on Telehealth Payment and Policy Changes During Pandemic

by Beth Blevins

The Oregon Office of Rural Health (OORH) has created a new repository that houses state and federal telehealth policy and payment resources in response to rapidly evolving changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 Telehealth Policy and Payment for Oregon Clinics and Hospitals uses ArcGIS StoryMaps, an interactive platform with sections on the CARES Act, the Oregon Disaster Relief Waiver, state and federal payment resources, and pertinent webinars and events. It went live on April 3, 2020.

“When COVID-19 started, there was a rapid fire of policy changes coming out,” said Rose Locklear, OORH Field Services Program Manager. “I wanted to create a resource to organize all the information in a way that made sense to me. And I realized that just putting them up on our website as links wasn’t going to be useful—if I couldn’t quickly find what I was looking for others would probably experience the same thing.” Read More
Past Promising Practice articles can be found here on the NOSORH website

(2:00 ET)
Webinar- The Rural Health Safety Net Under Pressure: Assessing the Impact of COVID-19
Presented by the Chartis Center for Rural Health, this session will explore new research and analysis into key metrics vital for assessing the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the rural health safety net. Click here to register  
(2:00 ET)
Webinar- Updated SORH Performance Reporting: PIMS Measures & TruServe Collection

(3:00 ET)
TruServe Demo Webinar