People and Places of Rural Health
December 2018
Goodbye 2018 and Happy New Year NOSORH members! The year has gone by so fast I can hardly believe it. I like to take the time to reflect on the past year and what all we have accomplished. Remember, “There’s only one thing more precious than time and that’s who we spend it on.” –Leo Christopher

So, looking back at the NOSORH year, let’s reflect on some of our many accomplishments:
  • A “NOSORH 101” webinar, which occurs approximately every two months, was created.
  • A pre-Annual Meeting session that pairs new and veteran SORH occurred..
  • A SORH self-assessment tool was created and will provide a framework for strategic development of SORH capacity and resources.
  • Four listening sessions and the learning community on aging provided excellent background for the needs of SORH on emerging topics of the future.
  • Work was done with the National Association of EMS Officials to make significant progress on developing an EMS tactical plan, which has great potential to help SORH build capacity and grow partnerships to improve rural emergency services at the local, state and national level.
  • National Rural Health Day had far-reaching success and was recognized as the National Rural Health Association’s Program of the Year!
  • Lastly, the US House passed the SORH Reauthorization bill (S. 2278) to reauthorize the State Office of Rural Health program!

These things will pave the way for a strong 2019! I wish everyone a fantastic New Year, may your efforts be prosperous! 

Melissa Van Dyne
NOSORH President 
Outgoing NOSORH Board Members
NOSORH would like to thank the following outgoing board members on their many years of service to the organization!
Sharla Allen
Wyoming Office of Rural Health
8 Years of Service

Sharla has served on the NOSORH Board of Directors and Executive Committee as a Regional Rep, Awards Committee chair, President-Elect, President and Past President. She hosted a regional meeting, an annual meeting, and the first National Rural EMS Conference in her home state of Wyoming. "Sharla's practical approach to serving all 50 State Offices gave great perspective to NOSORH," said Teryl Eisinger. "She will be missed!"
Cathleen McElligott
Massachusetts Office of Rural Health
7 Years of Service

Cathleen has served on the NOSORH Board of Directors as a Region A Rep and Awards Committee co-chair for many years. During her service, she hosted a regional meeting and regularly contributed to the Policy Committee and other planning meeting efforts. "Cathleen has been a great advocate for small SORH across the country," said Teryl Eisinger. "She's always made a point to encourage SORH participation in NOSORH's various efforts."

Comings and Goings
Morgan Sellers is the new Recruitment Coordinator at the Colorado Rural Health Center. In this role, Morgan provides recruitment and retention services and training (both onsite and remote) to rural and under-served facilities in need of primary care providers and works with healthcare professionals in search of job opportunities. Morgan grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and attended Mississippi University for Women (the W) where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Master of Science in Health Education. While at the W, Morgan worked as an Admissions Counselor, recruiting students from rural Mississippi. In her spare time, Morgan volunteers for the Golden Fire Department, plays golf, rugby, bowls, and loves doing anything outdoors.
Darlene Hines joined the South Carolina Office of Rural Health in November 2018 and currently serves as a Practice Transformation Consultant with the Center for Practice Transformation. Darlene has in-depth knowledge of the provision of patient care, quality improvement processes, risk management, strategic planning, accreditation and regulatory standards. In her previous roles as a Chief Operating Officer and Chief Quality Officer, Darlene directed a quality improvement program as well as monitored and evaluated risk management occurrences involving inpatients, outpatients, and visitors. Darlene has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina and a Master’s degree in Health Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Katie Schweber, Quality Improvement Specialist for the Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC), works with Rural Health Clinics to help identify areas for improvement and provides support for team-based quality improvement practices to improve clinic performance. This year, Katie is helping rural clinics build up their Patient Family Advisory Councils for meaningful quality use. Before coming to CRHC, Katie worked with patients seeking reproductive healthcare services and coached employees around topics of sexual health and education as a professional trainer. She also worked with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on a project to improve grantee’s access to evidence-based quality improvement measures. Katie has a Bachelor of Science in Biological Anthropology from the University of Oregon and is currently completing her Master of Public Health at the University of Colorado, Anschutz.
Jennifer Edwards joined the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH) as the office’s rural health systems manager and deputy director, a role previously held by Larry Baronner who retired and now serves as a consultant to PORH. Jen served as a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force where she spent thirteen years as a medical service corps officer in health care administration. She has worked in clinics and medical centers in a variety of roles ranging from practice management, to medical logistics, emergency management, and aeromedical evacuation and completed tours in South America, providing health care in very remote areas. In her last assignment, she served as the Department of Defense’s regional liaison to the Veterans Administration for the Gulf Coast region in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. Jen will continue PORH’s service and technical support to the state’s Critical Access Hospitals, other rural hospitals and health systems, and will be an integral part of the office’s role in increasing access to health care in rural areas.
Andrea Abbas is the new Emergency Medical Services Program Manager at the Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH). She also works as the Paramedic Supervisor for Arenac County- Mobile Medical Response and is the author of "The EMS Professional", an EMS blogging website for EMS professionals. Prior to joining the MCRH team, she worked in urban and rural systems in various roles. Her EMS background includes the following: EMS Ground Ambulance Director, Quality Assurance and Compliance Manager, Senior Paramedic, EMS Special Topics Lecturer, Emergency Room Paramedic Technician, and Paramedic Supervisor. In addition, she's enjoyed a strong track as an educator teaching an array of biology course content while developing EMS Anatomy and Physiology course content and functioning as an EMS special topics lecturer.
Upcoming Events
Please note that NOSORH Offices will be closed from December 24 - January 1
2:00 pm EST
Webinar: Overview of FY19 State Office of Rural Health Application Instructions
  • Identify key elements of the NCC application and how they should be submitted
  • Understand how to get technical assistance with your application
  • Utilize NOSORH resources to support the NCC application
1:00 pm ET
Webinar: Preparing to Engage with Legislators & Policymakers
  • How to prepare to make the most of the NRHA Policy Institute
  • How to share your story and educate elected official
  • NOSORH resources for you and your partners
Grant Budget Options for SORH

The Grant Budget Options document was updated this year to support budget development for the State Office of Rural Health (SORH) grant, Small Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) grant, Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex) grant and other grant applications. The list is organized by budget justification category for ease of use and includes a wide range of possibilities, plus a few new options for consideration.
Webinar details how Gateway’s website, resources can benefit SORH

The Rural Health Research Gateway can be a useful tool for State Offices of Rural Health. Learn about Gateway and how its website and resources can benefit SORH in this brief webinar led by Dr. Shawnda Schroeder, Gateway’s principal investigator. All of Gateway’s resources are free!