November 2017
Rural Matters
Table of Contents
Here's a quick link to each article in this issue.

Food and Health Network - Partner Recognition
Chronic Disease Self Management Program News
Rural Health Policy and Advocacy Resources

NRHDRural Health Network of SCNY is pleased to be celebrating National Rural Health Day, which falls on the third Thursday in November each year and recognizes the efforts of those serving the health needs of over 60 million people across the nation.  

"We'd like to thank all of the health professionals and community organizations that provide services to the rural communities in upstate New York," said Jack Salo, Executive Director. "As a Rural Health Network, our organization understands that improving the health and wellness of rural people and communities requires working across sectors and involving all who are willing to help." If you missed Jack's article about National Rural Health Day last month, read the full article here.

For additional information about National Rural Health Day, visit  

Rural Health Network of SCNY services and programs address critical rural health needs including improving access to healthcare, chronic disease education and prevention, population health, transportation, and regional food security.  
addictionRegional Addiction Resource Center Project
The Healthlink NY Community Network, of which RHNSCNY is a partner in implementing the Southern Tier Population Health Improvement Program (PHIP), has received a grant from the NY State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).

On Wednesday, October 25, the Community Network held a kickoff event for the new project, the Regional Addiction Resource Center. Approximately 45 behavioral health experts from across an eight-county region came together at the Treadway in Owego to discuss the great work and resources already existing, and the gaps and growth opportunities for those needing education, awareness, and assistance with substance use concerns.

The Regional Addiction Resource Center is tasked with accomplishing the following goals:
  • Establishing and sustaining a regional partnership serving the eight counties in the Southern Tier (Broome, Chenango, Chemung, Delaware, Tioga, Tompkins, Schuyler, and Steuben)
  • Establishing and maintaining a resource list of substance use services within the Southern Tier
  • Providing community awareness on substance use issues
  • Developing and delivering addiction media messaging at least one time per year
The Healthlink NY Community Network recognizes all the great work already taking place in the Southern Tier focused around substance use, and this opportunity will allow all of us to learn from one another and amplify the great work already taking place.

For more information about the Regional Addiction Resource Center or any of the Healthlink NY Community Network's projects, please contact Mary Maruscak at RHNSCNY, or Phillip Ginter at Healthlink NY. 

L to R: AmeriCorps Members Tyler Sherven, Helen Frazer, Cristina Quinn, Tom Lewis, Haley Desilet (RHSC Assistant Director), and Amber Kida

AmeriCorps members from around the state gathered in Albany for the 2017 New York State AmeriCorps Kickoff on November 9th. Eleven Rural Health Service Corps members attended the event, along with Julie Pitts, Director of RHSC, and Haley Desilet, Assistant Director of RHSC. Members spent the morning sorting and bagging supplies to fill 2,000 backpacks for Puerto Rico. Members also spent the afternoon participating in the kickoff ceremony which featured keynote speaker Dr. Guillermo Linares -- the first Dominican-born elected to public office in the United States. RHSC's own, Eric Velzis, also took to the stage to share a story from his time at STAP (Southern Tier AIDS Program), and did a great job representing our program!

Please visit the Rural Health Service Corps webpage to see our current openings.  
GivingSupport Connection to Care on #GivingTuesday
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

This year, Rural Health Network of SCNY will be designating #GivingTuesday donations made on November 28th to Connection to Care, a service of our Mobility Management program, which provides financial assistance for non-emergency medical transportation for people who need to access healthcare and health-related services.  

To make an online donation supporting Connection to Care, visit our website on Giving Tuesday.  

Our Food and Health Network (FaHN) program is also participating in Giving Tuesday through the NY Gives and GiveGab platforms. If you would like to support FaHN, please visit FaHN's GiveGab donation pa ge .

newstaffIntroducing New Staff from Delaware County
Rural Health Network SCNY is happy to welcome two new staff members.

Terri Tweedie is responsible for the daily operations and supervision for our office located within UHS Delaware Valley Hospital (DVH) in Walton NY.  

Terri joined the DVH care transition team as our outpatient health coach to conduct home visits, implement discharge plans of care, and prevent avoidable re-admissions within a 30 day period for Medicaid Members. She will be collaborating with clinical partners to engage individuals in their own health care and self-management. Terri's case management skills and her knowledge of Delaware County community as a life-long resident there are assets to our growing Community Health Services team. She is a graduate of Utica College of Syracuse University with a BS in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology, a native of Walton, NY, and has more than 30 years experience working in human services.

Terri said:  "I am passionate about this community and the connections made possible because of the small size. I possess a firsthand understanding of obstacles faced by individuals residing in rural communities.  I very much look forward to using my experience on behalf of RHNSCNY and the individuals we serve. "

Evan Heaney is a Population Health Coordinator for Delaware County. Working within the Population Health Improvement Program (PHIP), Evan's primary focus will be on convening stakeholders in Delaware County to identify, share, and disseminate information about social determinants of health, health disparities, and health outcomes, and helping to build capacity toward best practices.

Evan received his Bachelors degree in Philosophy and Political Science at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. After graduating, he moved back to his home in Delaware County to be closer to family and friends. He was a member of the AmeriCorps program at Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network in 2014, conducting outreach and education on the NYS Health Insurance Marketplace in Delaware and Otsego counties. Most recently, he has been working in the TANF and SNAP programs at Otsego County Department of Social Services. Evan was born and raised in Delaware county, and looks forward to continuing to support his home county as the Population Health Coordinator.
Food and Health Network Logo
L to R:  Christian DiRado-Owens, FaHN Program Coordinator; Jack Salo, RHN Executive Director; Lauren Tonti, FaHN Advisory Committee Member; Tom Lewis, FaHN AmeriCorps VISTA Member; and Erin Summerlee, FaHN Program Director

The Food and Health Network hosted their third annual Partner Recognition Party on November 6th at the Bohemian Moon in Norwich, NY. The annual gathering provided a chance to celebrate and thank the many partners from across the region. Food for the evening was sourced from local farms. Thank you to Stone Horse Farm, Peaceful by Nature, and Engelbert Farms for your generous donations and to Bohemian Moon for hosting and preparing the meal.  
CDSMPChronic Disease Self Management Program News
Emerging Partnership as CDSMP Coordinator
Rural Health Network of SCNY is pleased to be partnering with S2AY Rural Health Network and Care Compass Network as Ch ronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) Coordinators.

Care Compass Network released the following statement: "In this role, Rural Health Network and S2AY will be operating as a resource for PPS partner organizations seeking additional information, strategies, and support in CDSMP efforts, including those with Master Trainers, interest in developing Peer Leaders, and interest in providing opportunities for those they serve to hone self-management skills. Both organizations bring a wealth of experience in CDSMP. We look forward to seeing these partnerships flourish and for patients in our communities to be provided with additional opportunities to develop self-management skills that are foundational to a successful patient-centered care environment.

For more information about CDSMP, contact Pamela Guth, RHN Director of Community Health Services (Broome, Chenango,  Cortland, Delaware, Tioga, or Tompkins Counties), or Derrik Chrisler, S2AY Rural Health Network (Chemung, Schuyler, or Steuben Counties).

New CDSMP Peer Leaders 
Rural Health Network of SCNY offered a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Peer Leader Training last month. Congratulations to the graduates:

Rural Health Network SCNYJulie Pitts, Haley Desilet,  Pamela Guth, Te rri Tweedie

Visiting Nurse Service of Ithaca and Tompkins County: F aith Seager, S ue Murray; C hrissi Dickson

Broome County Office for AgingSandra Williams;  Donna Bates; S ophia Rittenhouse

Gerould'sHeather Hadlock

Lourdes Ascension HealthMatthew Moore

The Mental Health Association in Tompkins CountyCharles Niven

"We look forward to supporting each of these organizations and their new peer leaders as they offer chronic disease education workshops to individuals and their caregivers," said Pamela Guth, Director, Community Health Services.

Rural Health Policy & Advocacy Resources
RHNSCNY's Advocacy Plan continues to move forward, with focuses on rural behavioral health services, transportation data, and healthy food access. While we consider ourselves well-informed on transportation and healthy food, we have spent 2017 educating ourselves on the advocacy needs for rural behavioral health, with the intention of making it a stronger priority for 2018. If you would like to provide your thoughts on where our energy will be best spent regarding this topic,  our brief survey is still open! We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Topics that caught our eye this month:

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Since 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has provided a measure of security for young people known as the "Dreamers." In his latest HuffPost blog, NYSHealth President and CEO David Sandman reflects on the threats faced by Dreamers when it comes to their healthcare.  Read the full article, Keeping the American Dream Alive.

Medicaid for Veterans
The Congressional Budget Resolution, passed at the end of October, sets the stage for a  $1.3 trillion cut to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act over the next 10 years.

There is a common misconception that all vets are covered under the Veterans Administration (VA) health plan, but only 40% of all veterans were enrolled  in the VA in 2014. Millions of veterans, one in ten, use Medicaid to either supplement VA coverage, or as their only source of health insurance. They rely on Medicaid for everything ranging from routine checkups to the treatment of chronic, disabling conditions sustained in battle, such as traumatic brain injury.

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