April 2018
Rural Matters
Table of Contents
Here's a quick link to articles in this issue:

Join the Food and Health Network of South Central NY and the Food Bank of the Southern Tier for a deeper look into the upcoming Farm Bill renewal and what's at stake for food and nutrition. A panel discussion will explore the ways in which SNAP impacts health and supports communities - from access to nutritious food and chronic disease prevention, to supporting local agriculture and business.

Register here.
jackReflections on Our Role as Advocates

Jack Salo, Executive Director of Rural Health Network of South Central New York.
I wanted to share a few reflections on the recent, successful effort to prevent another 20% funding cut to the Rural Health Network Development Program and 29 other health prevention, workforce and infrastructure programs. We want to acknowledge and thank the many stakeholders, elected officials, advocates and others who pushed back against the cuts. It was rewarding to be part of an advocacy process that worked. We are thankful to all who spoke up on behalf of our work.

Another take away from the process was that it is important to make the case for rural health support and resources year round. The amount of time and expense associated with fighting a funding cut as well as the work involved in first writing a budget and work plan with the funding cut, and then writing another budget and work plan when the cut was rescinded, is the definition of inefficiency. Inefficiency was reportedly a justification for the funding cut.

I struggled a bit with a strong conviction that these cuts disproportionately impacted rural health and rural communities, while at the same time working as part of the larger effort to restore funding to all 30 health programs across NYS. As I joined with others to rescind the cuts, I found that these messages were not mutually exclusive. Yes, there would have been a disproportionate impact on rural organizations and communities with the cuts proposed to many programs and yes, the cuts were ill advised regardless. Of course, the Rural Health Development Program was, I believe, the only program targeted for cuts that exclusively served rural New Yorkers. I think this distinction warrants consideration and recognition of the unique role of Rural Health Networks. More to come on that.

The NYS Association for Rural Health (NYSARH) is working to find ways to better measure the economic impact of NYS Health Department investments in programs like the Rural Health Network Development Program and Area Health Education Centers. With New York State's rural economy continuing to struggle, we want the Governor and NYS Health Department to understand the impacts of our programs on both rural health and rural economies. We will be working closely with NYSARH and other partners to move this forward. This most 
recent advocacy effort showed what rural NY is capable of. Shame on us if we don't work hard to prevent this from recurring by backing up our claims of effic iency and effectiveness with hard information.

John C. (Jack) Salo
Executive Director
peerNew Peer Leaders for Chronic Disease Education
In March 2018, Rural Health Network SCNY Master Trainer Mary Maruscak and Gerould's Health Care Respiratory Therapist Cheryl Henninger conducted a 4 day Peer Leader Training for the Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSMP). Cheryl achieved the last step in obtaining her Master Trainer certification by co-leading this class!  The Tioga County Health Department hosted the event sponsored by Care Compass Network.  

Now, there are 9 more newly certified Peer Leaders to roll out CDSMP, an evidence based intervention, across a 9 county region (Broome, Tioga, Delaware, Cortland, Chenango, Tompkins, Schuyler, Chemung and Steuben).  

Bottom row: Evan Heaney (RHNSCNY, Delaware PHIP Coordinator); Samantha Metz (Seven Valleys Health Coalition, Program Coordinator Cortland County); Aurora Dibble (Respiratory Therapist, Gerould's Health Care, multiple counties).

Top row: Cassandra Landes,(Community Health Outreach Specialist,  Human Services Council Tompkins County); Caylynn Gilbert, RN, Ascension Lourdes Hospital, Broome County); Nichole Campbell,( Respiratory Therapist, Gerould's); Master Trainer Mary Maruscak (RHNSCNY, Population Health Improvement Coordinator, Tioga County); Master Trainer Cheryl Henninger (Gerould's, Respiratory Therapist Manager); Jennifer Gleason (Community Health Advocate, Catholic Charities, Cortland County); Rebecca Morales (Office for Aging, Health & Wellness Coordinator, Broome County); Dawn Chenier ( Volunteer, Office for Aging, Broome County).

CDSMP was developed by Stanford University's Dr. Kate Lorig and is currently housed with the Self Management Resource Center. The Program provides participants and their caregivers with tools and skills to better manage chronic conditions through action planning, decision making, and more, ultimately reducing health care costs for patients, hospitals, and communities. 

RHNSCNY continues to build the regional CDSMP trainer capacity and promote best practices across clinical and community partnerships with support from Care Compass Network and  the NYSDOH Office of Rural Health

For  more information on the CDSMP, please contact Pamela Guth, Director of Community Health Services at RHNSCNY.   

Welcome to our newest CDSMP Peer Leaders!
Bill Wagner (R), Director of Mobility Management, and Nick Cecconi (L), Assistant Director of Mobility Management, met with representatives of Infojini Consulting last month to discuss progress on the Getthere website which will launch in late spring.  

We've been working to develop a Getthere website that will feature our mobility management programs, highlight regional transportation resources for a 10-county area, and provide a trip planning tool to assist consumers, caregivers, and healthcare professionals in finding transportation solutions that meet their needs. The website will launch in late spring and the trip planning features will be added 4-6 weeks later.  We're looking forward to sharing it with you soon.
PHIPPopulation Health Improvement Program Update
Employers, HR professionals, and agency representatives: 

The next meeting of the Southern Tier Regional Addiction Resource Center will take place on  Wednesday, May 9,10:30-3:30 at the Owego Treadway. 
The priority topic for the day will be " Employment and Substance Use". The agenda for the day includes a panel discussion on the role businesses can play in supporting individuals with substance use disorder or in recovery, a presentation from Broome-Tioga Workforce on the various incentive programs available for employers hiring individuals in recovery, and a presentation from a local attorney discussing legal considerations around drug testing and drug free workplace policies. 

If you plan to attend, please  RSVP here. If you would like more information on this initiative or to be invited to future events, please contact  Phillip Ginter.

Rural Health Service Corps AmeriCorps Members and Supervisors, and Rural Health Network Board and Staff pose for a photo at the 2018 Annual Volunteer Conference held on April 17th. The conference was presented by United Way of Broome County, Rural Health Network, and the Volunteer Administrators of the Southern Tier during National Volunteer Week.  
Save the Date 
Please save the date for an engaging presentation: 

Rural Hospitals in New York State: Challenges and Opportunities
Thursday, September 20, 2018
2:00 PM
Clinical Campus of The Greater Binghamton Health Center

Presenters: Karen Roach, Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs and Rural Health, Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS)
Jim Clancy , Senior Vice President, State Policy, Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS)

We will share more details as they become available.
Connect with Rural Health Network of SCNY

If you would like to support our work, 
please visit our donation page .  

If you're shopping at Amazon, you can support RHNSCNY by making your purchases though Amazonsmile.   
Advancing the health and well-being of rural people and communities.