The Branch
A monthly update for NOSORH members and partners
September 2020
Introducing the Connections for Community Care Project - COVID-19 Testing Technical Assistance for Rural Health Clinics
NOSORH is delighted to introduce the Connections for Community Care (C3) project! Funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), this NOSORH/National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) collaborative project will provide Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) across the nation with easy access to and technical assistance (TA) for comprehensive, community-centric COVID-19 onsite testing and is available at no cost

Tammy Norville, NOSORH’s Technical Assistance Director, will oversee the project and lend her clinic operations and billing/coding expertise to the project. Lynette Dickson, formerly of the North Dakota Center for Rural Health, will work with SORH to develop and implement strategies, assess capacity, state and local coordination, develop outreach strategies with RHC, and enhance local, state, and national collaboration to grow testing efforts. The South Carolina Office of Rural Health’s Shannon Chambers will support this effort and provide targeted, individualized, community-centric TA to participating RHCs. 

Since RHCs are the cornerstone of the rural health safety net, they must be poised and equipped to take advantage of every resource to ensure comprehensive, community-centric, and efficient testing across the nation to continue to provide high-quality services to the patients they serve. The project has structure and flexibility to meet the needs of both Independent and Provider-Based RHCs, regardless of size and sophistication.

It’s easy to access additional information or jump in to get started with the program. Simply send an email expressing interest to!

Please contact Tammy Norville for more information about the project.
NOSORH Virtual Annual Meeting Coming Soon!
It’s NOSORH Annual Meeting month and we could not be more excited! Together with the planning committee, the NOSORH staff has put together a virtual experience for you that we are proud of and will hope to mirror being in person as much as possible. Riding off the successes of the virtual Regional Meetings, this year’s Annual Meeting will be no different. We will be using one platform, Edubrite, as the portal for the meeting. As the meeting approaches, you will be given an individual log-in to the platform to create your agenda, network with partners, and meet with other attendees throughout the meeting. There will also be an interactive mobile app alongside the platform.

This year our Keynote speaker will be Lee Prosenjak. Everything Lee does is to create art so that everyone can discover their own inspiration, love, and greatness and why for the work they do. We are excited to be joined by Lee and his energy to kick off an outstanding meeting! NOSORH will also be celebrating its 25th Anniversary during the meeting! Join us for the virtual reception on the first evening to celebrate this milestone.

If you still need to register for the Annual Meeting, please click here. If you have any questions about getting registered, please contact Trevor Brown
2nd Annual Rural Health Clinical Congress - A Live, Online Continuing Education Event on November 21
NOSORH is excited to partner again with RME Collaborative for the 2nd Annual Rural Health Clinical Congress, a virtual live CME/CE conference held in conjunction with National Rural Health Day. The Rural Health Clinical Congress is a free, multi-topic CME/CE event designed specifically for primary care clinicians caring for patients from rural and underserved areas. The Congress will be held on Saturday, November 21, 2020, with the broadcast starting at 8:00 am CT. The program will be delivered by rural and clinical experts through an interactive virtual platform. Those who attend will have the opportunity to participate in live polls and ask questions to expert faculty in real time. Click here to learn more and register for this unique continuing education event!

NEW! Show your #PowerofRural pride with 2020 NRHD swag -masks, tumblers, shirts, and more available now!
Visit to find the 2020 Community Engagement Toolkit, full of customizable tools, such as posters, coloring books, postcards, graphics, PowerPoint templates, and more! These free tools can help enhance your community outreach efforts to schools, media, businesses, etc.
NOSORH Grant Writing Institute: Beyond The Basics - On-Demand!
NOSORH’s Grant Writing Institute—Beyond the Basics on-demand course is back and better than ever! Designed for individuals looking for education beyond the introductory/beginner level in their grant writing journey, there’s something for everyone. The course is open to State Office of Rural Health staff and individuals who already possess some grant writing experience, but wish to build upon current skills. Past participation in NOSORH’s introductory Grant Writing Institute is not required! The course outlines strategies to enhance communication, efficiency, accountability, and effectiveness, allowing busy rural health professionals to grow their grant writing and management skills to further the mission of their organization. Contact Beth Kolf if you have an interest in learning more about the course.
You're Invited to Partner with NOSORH - Register by Sept 4
Join NOSORH’s “2020 Focus” by collaborating and investing in our mission. This year’s Partnership Invitation highlights various levels of partnerships and many opportunities for recognition and engagement – including National Rural Health Day activities. Partners will each get a “virtual booth” and special recognition at our Annual Meeting later this month. Contact Ashley Muninger, NOSORH Communications and Development Coordinator, for more information on partnering with NOSORH.
Stroudwater Associates Invest in NOSORH Mission
NOSORH relies on a wide variety of partnerships to grow its impact on the mission to build capacity to improve rural health. Since the early 2000s, Stroudwater Associates has invested in the work of NOSORH and the State Offices of Rural Health. Stroudwater Associates is focused on improving the strategic, operational, and financial capabilities for rural and community hospitals and healthcare systems. Stroudwater works closely with State Offices of Rural Health, State Flex programs and critical access hospitals around the nation.

As an Exclusive Partner of NOSORH, they are a key thought partner on NOSORH’s strategy to cultivate a vital rural health landscape. “The expertise that Eric Shell and the Stroudwater team brings to us goes way beyond what we’d expect. Eric has a real passion for an abundance mindset and a deep understanding of what hospitals and primary care providers can do to ensure a landscape of services that keep rural communities healthy. That’s a solid bridge for SORH to use in their work with rural stakeholders,” said NOSORH CEO, Teryl Eisinger.

NOSORH and Stroudwater Associates are working together to share Eric’s market updates and analysis regularly. Market updates are planned quarterly over the next year. Eric will also share insight and speak at the NOSORH Annual Meeting on “Organizational Values, Culture and Measurement: Impact on the Bottom Line”.

Stroudwater Associates has an all-encompassing devotion to rural healthcare nationwide. We invite you to learn more about their rural practice and other strategies by visiting the website or giving Eric Shell, Director, or any other members of the Stroudwater team, a shout out during the Market Update planned for October 27 at 2:00 pm Eastern.
NOSORH Virtual Regional Meetings See Great Success
For the first time in its history, NOSORH conducted all five SORH regional meetings virtually. It was exciting to see a considerable increase in SORH participation, all while keeping the topics and speakers relevant and timely for the SORH. Topics included everything from border health, to emerging EMS issues, rural transportation, SORH community engagement, health equity, and more. Participants in the regional meetings grew by nearly 20%! We know that these issues will stay with us and will need continuing education. 

NOSORH would like to thank all of our speakers and attendees. Attendees from the regional meetings were full of enthusiasm for the effort and noted their appreciation by saying:
  • "NOSORH did a great job. Keep up the good work on conducting virtual meetings!”
  • “These meetings are the best online events I have participated in during the last 5 months.”
  • “I thought it was great, and it has been awesome to be able to attend the pre-meetings for other regions.”

The pre-meeting were deep dives into issues of inclusivity in rural health (Region B), border health (Region D), and Trauma Systems and EMS (Region A). Sessions during the regional meetings were presented by a wide variety of research and resource centers and other subject matter experts. To access the meeting materials, including the recordings and presentations, click here.
Rural Health Policy Update
Congress returns to Washington on September 8 for a three-week push to finish up the 2020 fiscal year. House and Senate appropriators are not even close to passing Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 appropriations bills, meaning Congress will pass a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government at least through the November Presidential election. This would mean federal programs, such as the SORH and Flex grant programs, will remain at FY20 appropriated levels into late November or early December. Read More
Rural Health Network Development Planning Program Notice of Funding Opportunity
The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy has released the FY 21 Rural Health Network Development Planning Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). The purpose of the Network Planning Grants Program is to promote the development of integrated health care networks in order to: achieve efficiencies; expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of basic health care services; and strengthen the rural health care system as a whole. This program brings together key parts of a rural health care delivery system, particularly those entities that may not have collaborated in the past, to work together to establish or improve local capacity and coordination of care. The program supports one year of planning to develop and assist integrated health care networks in becoming operational. Click here to learn more and apply.
NOSORH Promising Practice
State Offices of Rural Health Helping the Fight Against the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Beth Blevins

Because of COVID-19, for the last several months it hasn’t been business as usual for most people—and that includes the State Offices of Rural Health (SORH). The SORH have addressed the ongoing public health crisis in a variety of ways—from helping set up rural clinics as sites for future vaccinations, to providing COVID-19-related training and equipment to rural providers.

“Across the nation, SORH staff have been deployed to response teams and are working tirelessly to respond to questions from the public, collect and analyze data, identify sources for PPE and help rural facilities address workforce issues,” said Teryl Eisinger, CEO of NOSORH. “The work of SORH often goes untold. There are at least 50 stories of dedication and days on end without a break to respond to the virus. We thank every SORH for their work to improve the health of rural communities every day.” Read More
Past Promising Practice articles can be found here on the NOSORH website

(2:00 ET)
TruServe Monthly Training

Sept 29-Oct 1
Virtual NOSORH Annual Meeting

(2:00 ET)
State of the Healthcare Industry: Market Updates for Rural Strategy

National Rural Health Day

2020 Rural Health Clinical Congress
Mark your calendar for RME Collaborative’s 2020 Rural Health Clinical Congress- a free, multi-topic CME/CE virtual event designed for primary care providers who care for patients in rural and underserved areas. Click here to learn more and register for this unique continuing education event!
Featured Resources
NOSORH Issue Brief - Defining Rural Population Health and Health Equity
In recent years, the terms "population health" and "health equity" have often been used interchangeably by some rural stakeholders. This issue brief aims to examine the differences between the two terms, and offers successful examples of rural population health and health equity activities by State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) and their partners. The brief also offers suggestions on how rural health stakeholders can get started in population health and health equity efforts at the state and local levels. With support from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, NOSORH developed this issue brief for SORH and other rural health stakeholders as a means of ensuring unified definitions and approaches to population health and health equity by rural stakeholders.
RHC Education Series Module 3
NOSORH is excited to announce the re-launch of Module 3 of the Rural Health Clinic Education Series: Helping SORHs Make Decisions About Providing Technical Assistance and Support to Rural Health Clinics and Other Rural Primary Care Providers! This educational module is designed primarily for State Offices of Rural Health interested in developing and implementing technical assistance projects for rural primary care providers. Although Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) are central in this module, general business principles are applicable to most primary care provider types. Some of the content may be appropriate to share with partners, stakeholders and/or community members. Special thanks to all the members of the Primary Care Committee for their time, consideration and expertise during this review and revision process.