April 2017
Rural Matters

AmeriCorps VISTA member Caroline Russo with Broome County Executive Jason Garnar

On April 4th, Broome County officials honored AmeriCorps members at Rural Health Service Corps for National Service Recognition Day. VISTA member Caroline Russo represented other members from RHSC in accepting a certificate from Broome County Executive, Jason Garnar. She was also interviewed by WBNG.

RHSC is still accepting applications for the Broome County Opioid AmeriCorps Pilot Project! WBNG covered the press conference announcing the initiative. The story was also featured in the Corporation for National & Community Service newsletter earlier this week.  Read about the Impact of National Service

More information on this project, along with other available part-time positions, can be found on our website .
Food and Health Network Logo

The Food & Health Network is excited to announce our involvement as a 2017-2019 National Farm to School Network New York Supporting Partner. This new role recognizes FaHN's leadership in the farm to school movement, and will provide new opportunities for us to continue building capacity and support for farm to school activities in New York. The National Farm to School Network has selected Core Partner and Supporting Partner organizations in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and U.S. Territories to collaborate on efforts to continue growing healthy kids, thriving farms and vibrant communities. Learn more about our new role and partnership at 
New Transportation Voucher Program Introduced
Mobility Management of South Central New York (MMSCNY), (a program of the Rural Health Network of South Central New York) and Care Compass Network are pleased to announce the establishment of a new transportation voucher program for the region's Medicaid population.  As Medicaid currently functions, the cost of transportation for enrollees to specific medical and health-related appointments is covered; however, the cost of transportation to certain treatments, pharmacies for prescription pickup, or grocery stores is not covered.  
The new voucher program is available to residents of Broome, Chenango, Tioga and parts of Delaware counties and will provide Medicaid enrollees the ability to access those services.  MMSCNY Director Bill Wagner, considers these essential to improving health. "We recognize that people's health needs go far beyond their medical appointments.  We also believe that a lack of transportation and a lack of access, in general, makes it harder for people to live healthy lives.  As both a transportation organization and a program of the Rural Health Network of South Central New York, it makes sense for us to be the ones to help facilitate this, to help people get to the things that are going to make them healthier, reduce trips to the emergency room and have fewer hospital admissions," states Wagner. 

The program will work by using local healthcare providers and community based service providers to initiate conversations with Medicaid enrollees about their needs.  First, they will determine if an enrollee is having difficulty picking up prescriptions, buying healthy food, getting to support groups, or anywhere else deemed essential for their health.  If so, they will be allotted a small quantity of vouchers and referred to the Getthere Call Center.     

Care Compass Network (CCN), the organization charged with leading New York State's Medicaid redesign effort in Southern Tier counties, has made some of its Innovation Funding available to MMSCNY to pilot this voucher program.  The expectation is that by focusing on aspects of people's health beyond their specific doctors' appointments, enrollees will be better able to improve their own health and avoid costly emergency room visits and hospital readmissions. 

MMSCNY operates the Getthere call center from its Vestal location.  This Rural Health Network program is staffed Monday - Friday from 7:00 am until 6:00 pm. For further information, contact MMSCNY Director, Bill Wagner at 607-584-0551.  
Judith Salton Joins RHN Staff
Judith Salton
Rural Health Network SCNY is happy to welcome Judith Salton to the staff as the Population Health Coordinator for Delaware County. Working within the Population Health Improvement Program (PHIP), Judi's primary focus will be on convening stakeholders in Delaware County to identify, share, and disseminate information about determinants of health, health disparities, and health outcomes, and helping to build capacity toward best practices.

Judi brings to RHN a diverse background in Business, Human Ecology and Education with a discipline in Family Consumer Science, that encompasses seventeen years of experience working with children and families in both the private and public sector which includes public education.  In 2012 Judi took her passion for humanity to another level and began working in community outreach. It is there that she gained a wider scope of awareness and experience regarding health disparities and the role they play within our communities. Judi is excited to join the RHN team as Population Health Coordinator for Delaware County where she looks forward to continue her passion to improve lives.

The PHIP is locally branded as the Southern Tier HealthlinkNY Community Network. RHNSCNY is a subcontracted entity with HealthlinkNY to implement the program in Tioga and Delaware Counties. 
Rural Health Policy & Advocacy Resources
In keeping with our agency mission and vision, Rural Health Network SCNY continually works to educate ourselves and others on issues that affect health equity and the health of people in rural communities.  Here are some resources that caught our eye recently:

The NYS Public Health Association's Annual Conference is April 27-28 in Lake Placid. The theme of the conference is: Improving Public Health: Advocating and Activating for Change. The conference is designed for public health educators, academic staff, county health officials and employees, students, medical and dental practitioners, state health employees and others in the field of public health, education and medical care.  Read details and see the conference agenda.

The American Public Health Association has a wealth of information on issues. APHA works to improve access to care, bring about health equity and support public health infrastructure. Their website presents key issues that impact public health and advocacy opportunities.  

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released the County Health Rankings last week. This data can help to shape and inform organizational, local/regional, state, and federal policies, and it is an opportunity for organizations like ours to advocate for the people in our region. See how this data can be useful.
News From Our Partners
Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network is hosting their 2017 Guys and Gals Fashion Gala on Thursday, April 27th.  Get all the details and buy tickets here.

VINES has opened sign-ups for the 2017 Binghamton Farm Share.  New pick-up locations in Johnson City and Endicott are available and many locations have more choices for farms and size of share.  See the details here.
We've joined Amazon Smile
Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to a charitable organization of your choice.  Shop via AmazonSmile to help support our programs and services.
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