March 2017
Rural Matters
New AmeriCorps Positions Combat OPIOD Epidemic
Rural Health Service Corps has partnered with United Health Services Behavioral Health, Lourdes Youth Services, Broome County, and the Southern Tier Aids Program (STAP) in order to create several AmeriCorps positions focusing on assisting Broome County and its residents with combating substance abuse, specifically the heroin/opioid epidemic. The positions will run from May - November and involve 36 hours/week. Primary outreach activities will include prevention, education, harm reduction, and navigation to services. If you or anyone you know is interested in a position with this pilot project, please visit our website   for more information and to apply. 
Prescription to Ride Pilot Begins This Spring
In April 2016, the HealthlinkNY Community Network engaged community stakeholders in a process to determine the focus of the Southern Tier Population Health Improvement Program (PHIP), of which Rural Health Network is a subcontracted partner. Through the strategic planning process, transportation emerged as a leading determinant of health in the Southern Tier. A work group was created to explore strategies and interventions to strengthen the community's capacity to address the barrier transportation poses for many in the community.

The Prescription to Ride project will be piloted this spring in partnership with one primary care practice in each of the five counties covered by the PHIP, with the objectives of collecting transportation need data across the region and decreasing no-show rates as related to transportation challenges.

Primary Care Practice office staff will work with patients to identify a potential for a transportation-related barrier to their next appointments. This will trigger a referral for patients to Mobility Management of South Central New York for practices in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, and Tioga Counties, and to 2-1-1 in Tompkins County. Mobility staff will then reach out to patients to assist with scheduling transportation to next appointments.

For more information on the Prescription to Ride pilot project, contact Mary Maruscak, Population Health Coordinator for Tioga and Delaware Counties at 607-972-0329 or mmaruscak@rhnscny.org.
NYSARH Legislative Educational Day
Erin Summerlee, Director, Food & Health Network SCNY and Jack Salo, Executive Director, Rural Health Network SCNY.

Erin Summerlee (Director, FaHN) and Jack Salo (Executive Director) joined a contingent of twenty members of the New York State Association for Rural Health (NYSARH) on March 7, 2017 for NYSARH Legislative Educational Day in Albany.  The day began with a budget and policy briefing panel discussion hosted by the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources.  Panelists included: Jill Kasow, Legislative Commission on Rural Resources; Karen Roach, The Healthcare Association of NYS; Lacy Clarke, Community Health Care Association of NYS; Richard Merchant, NYS Area Health Education Center System and; John Coppola, NYS Association of Alcohol & Substance Abuse Providers. 

After the presentation, meetings were held with Assemblyman Christopher Friend (124th); Senator James Seward (51st); Senator Fred Akshar (52nd); Assemblyman Clifford Crouch (122nd) and an Aide for Senator John Bonacic (42nd).  "My sense is that our elected officials in South Central New York have an understanding of the unique healthcare and access challenges facing our rural region and appreciate the critical role of rural hospitals and rural health programs.  Erin and I had the opportunity to share information on the important work of the Rural Health Network of SCNY, and to spend time both learning and educating with other rural health colleagues." Said Jack Salo, Executive Director RHNSCNY.
Registration Open for April 26
Volunteer Conference
Rural Health Service Corps and Food & Health Network SCNY are partnering with United Way of Broome County and the Volunteer Administrators of the Southern Tier to offer the 2017 Volunteer Conference.  

Wednesday, April 26
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
225 Water St., Binghamton, NY
12:45 PM - 6:30 PM

Please visit the United Way of Broome County website for the conference schedule and then register here.
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:

Allies for Reaching Community Health Equity - This February 23, 2017 post explores some of the upcoming national discussions we expect will provide an opportunity to underscore the significance of the social determinants of health.

Trust for America's Health - This April 2016 article looks at public health funding and key health facts with a link to state level data.  

Our colleagues at the Human Services Coalition in Tompkins County are offering a one-day workshop on Connecting with Your Policymakers on Tuesday, April 11 from 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM.  This workshop will examine the legislative climate and the potential impacts on the non-profit sector and provides practical and successful strategies to connect and communicate with local, state, and federal policymakers.
Diabetes/Cardiac Awareness Event
and CDSMP Classes in Delaware County
United Health Services Delaware Valley Hospital is holding a Heart and Diabetes Awareness Event on Thursday, March 23 from 4 - 7 PM at the New Hope Community Church in Walton, NY.  Those who have heart conditions and/or diabetes or those who have questions about these conditions will have an opportunity to learn more at this event featuring speakers, information stations, screenings and more. Registration is not required; but, is appreciated. Read more or register online.

Delaware Valley Hospital is also offering a six-week Living Healthy Workshop Series for people with a chronic health condition or their caregivers.  The program will benefit those with arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain, stress/anxiety or other conditions. These workshops are the local implementation of Stanford University's evidence-based, Chronic Disease Self-Management Program and the leaders have all completed Stanford University training. The workshops are free of charge and will be held on Mondays from April 3 through May 8.  You may choose either morning or evening sessions.  Registration is limited to 15 people per group.  Call 607-865-2409 or register online.

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