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Free Webinar: Health Care Access in a Post-Pandemic World
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government increased funding to hospitals and clinics and incentivized states to pause terminating enrollees from the Medicaid program to help increase access to health care and ease the financial burden caused by the global public health emergency. With the end of the pandemic in sight, we all need to prepare for the unwinding of the public health emergency (PHE). TennCare (our state’s Medicaid agency) has estimated that 300,000 people will lose their Medicaid health insurance after the PHE ends. Hospitals and clinics are bracing for a significant reduction in funding, particularly in rural areas where providers were struggling even before the pandemic to provide health care to many uninsured people.

Join the Rural Health Association of Tennessee and the Tennessee Justice Center to learn how the PHE unwinding will impact access to health care in your community. Register for the August 10th free webinar here.
Register for Conference!

The Rural Health Association of Tennessee's 28th Annual Conference, "Collective Impact: A Call to Action," will be held November 16-18, 2022 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Register now here to get the early bird special price!

A draft agenda will be posted later this week here.

Each year, RHA of TN presents awards to influential programs and people who are improving rural health in Tennessee. Find the award categories here. If there is someone you would like to nominate, please find the nomination form here. Send completed form to [email protected]. Deadline for submissions are August 15th.

Academic Poster Contest

This virtual research poster competition is a low-cost way for students, residents and faculty to share their research without the costs of producing a “hard-copy” poster.  

Division winners and the overall winner will receive a gift certificate or modest cash award (check).

Submission Deadline: Monday, October 17, 2022 (No late entrants will be accepted). 

Announcements of the winners, Thursday, November 17, 2022 at Annual Conference luncheon (winners do not have to be present to win)

Find out more about contest divisions, rules, and submission instruction here.
New Staff Spotlight

Do you or someone you know need help with finding health insurance or enrolling in TennCare? RHA of TN is excited to welcome new agent, Andrew Hawkins, to the team! He will be able to help navigate the process of finding health insurance and more. Andrew can also help get information regarding SNAP, WIC, and other benefits. Find out more here, or call Andrew at 866-675-7092.

  • Lunch and Learn on Behavioral Health and RHCs Join our RHC Network Director on August 12th from 11am to 12PM CT for the third presentation in the series which will be with special guest, Scott Robbins, Midwest Healthcare, INC. See our calendar for registration information and specific dates.

  • White House Disability Stakeholder Group During the month of July, the White House Disability Stakeholder group will meet weekly to hear from leaders from across the administration about the work that they're doing to ensure access, inclusion, and equity for people with disabilities. These calls are closed to the press but otherwise open to the public. ASL and CART will be provided. The date is Thursday, July 28th at 1:00 p.m. CT. Register here.

  • Evaluating Rural Maternity Program This presentation discusses lessons learned from the planning and first implementation years of the HRSA-funded Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies Program. Presentation topics include network facilitators and barriers, successful strategies to improve access to care, and overviews of awardee populations and health outcomes. Register for the Monday, August 1 at 1:00 pm ET webinar here.

  • Substance Use, Maternal Mortality and You: Understanding the Impact of Substance Use During Pregnancy and Learning How You Can Make a Difference Healthcare Professionals, Dr. Stephen Loyd, Medical Director at Renewal House and Chief Medical Officer at Cedar Recovery, will share his expertise on the contributing factors of maternal mortality, address stigmas centered around pregnancy and substance use disorders, and provide several methods to best support pregnant and postpartum mothers with substance use disorder. Register for this August 2nd event here.

  • Building Relationships: Engaging with Employers to Elevate Competitive, Integrated Employment ETAC as we jointly reflect how grantees can strategically engage with employers to foster and promote an environment of shared trust aimed to enhance competitive, integrated employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Webinar participants will learn about The Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Register for the August 9th webinar here.

  • Virtual Training about Stimulants in Tennessee The TN Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is now offering a free, virtual training about stimulants in Tennessee. Training is open to anyone. The 90-minute virtual training includes: Stimulant trends and data in Tennessee; Over the counter, prescription and illicit stimulants; and Illicit stimulant use, overdose and recovery. The following dates are available: Tuesday, August 23rd 9:30am CT and Thursday, September 22nd 12pm CT. Registration is available here .

  • Perinatal Mood Disorders: Components of Care Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders Certificate Training Two Day Event August 24-25, 2022 Franklin, Tennessee This two-day course, taught by expert and engaging faculty, uses a thorough, evidence-based curriculum designed for psychiatrists, nurses, physicians, social workers, mental health providers, childbirth professionals, social support providers, and anyone interested in building skills for assessment and treatment of perinatal mood disorders. Your registration includes training manual, handouts, and certification of continuing education credits. Register for this event here.

  • "What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing” August Book Club "What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing” The book discusses a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” The event is on August 25th. Register here.

  • Rural Health Clinic Conference Join clinic and CAH stakeholders from across the country for NRHA’s Rural Health Clinic on Sep. 20-21, 2022 in Kansas City, MO, and Critical Access Hospital Conferences Sept. 20-23rd. Take advantage of the educational and networking opportunities designed for clinic and hospital professionals and board members serving rural America. Find out more and register here.

  • TPCA Annual Conference The Tennessee Primary Care Association’s Annual Conference will meet in-person October 5-7, 2022 at the Embassy Suites in Franklin, TN and will be focused on increasing community health centers’ ability to thrive in today’s dynamic health care environment. The sessions will showcase future directions, best practices, stories of successful collaborations, lessons learned and solutions to community health center issues. Don't miss this opportunity for face-to-face fellowship and peer networking. To view the agenda, click here. To learn more and register, click here.
  • Call for Board Nominations RHA of TN is putting a call out for board nominees. Nominees must be current members as of June 1, 2022. For more details and application instructions, visit RHA of TN's Blog here. The Rural Health Association of Tennessee's 28th Annual Conference, "Collective Impact: A Call to Action," will be held November 16-18, 2022 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee where new board members will be announced.

  • Recruiting for TN Needs Assessment Focus Groups TDH is actively recruiting participants for 2022 TN Needs Assessment Focus Groups! TDH hopes these groups will help them better understand health priorities, needs, and barriers related to prevention and care of HIV, sexually transmitted infections, viral hepatitis, and substance use for people living in Tennessee. TDH hopes to get a better understanding of these experiences to help inform strategies and activities to address these health conditions over the next several years in Tennessee. Priority populations for these discussions are young adults (age 18-24), persons who use drugs, people living in rural TN areas, and Latinx men who identify as gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men. Interest forms can be found here: Young Adult Interest Form; Persons Who Use Drugs Interest Form; Rural Interest Form; Latinx Interest Form. Email [email protected] with questions!

  • Measuring Adverse Childhood Experiences Researchers used claims and enrollment data from Tennessee’s Medicaid program to develop an algorithm measuring five types of ACEs: maltreatment and peer violence, foster care and family disruption, maternal mental illness, maternal substance use disorder, and abuse of the mother. Recent recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health & Human Services included stronger data collection that analyzes rural-urban differences. Find the information here.

  • PHE Officially Extended through October 6, 2022 On July 15, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra officially renewed the Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 through October 6, 2022. This extension ensures that providers have the flexibility to respond to the pandemic, including through section 1135 waivers from CMS. HHS has said that it will provide no less than 60 days’ notice prior to the termination of the PHE declaration. Find the notice here.

  • COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same healthcare visit with other vaccines, including flu vaccine. Administering the COVID-19 vaccines at the same visit as other vaccines is important because it increases the probability that people will be fully vaccinated. It is also an important part of immunization practice if healthcare providers are uncertain that a patient will return for additional vaccinations. People who have already been vaccinated can enroll in v-safe and record their doses. Parents or guardians can also enroll their vaccinated children in v-safe. People can tell CDC how they or their dependent feel after getting any does of the COVID-19 vaccine. The participation in v-safe helps CDC monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for everyone. Additional CDC resources on this topic can be found here: V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker ,Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) , Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination ,COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for Healthcare Professionals

  • From the Center on the Developing Child Harvard University The interaction of genes and experience affects childhood mental health. Early experiences alter gene expression and have a significant impact on the development of children well into adulthood. Learn more here.
  • NRHA CEO Collaborates with RWJF Health Equity Framework The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released a new health equity framework created by a coalition of partners and containing five overarching principles. The stewardship council for the framework’s creation included NRHA CEO Alan Morgan, and it outlines five key principles critical for health care organizations to raise the bar on health equity. It also defines the four positions in which health organizations can act from, including provider, employer, partner and advocate. The guiding principles include committing to the mission of improving health equity; systematically pursuing health equity and racial justice; centering community by authentically partnering with it; sharing power by lifting up the voices of others and sharing resources; and earning and sustaining trust. Find the review here.
  • U.S. Overdose Deaths Hit Record During First Year of Pandemic The latest count from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) went up to 93,000 deaths in 2020, an increase of 29 percent over the previous year. Disparities between different population groups widened: black people 15-24 years old experienced the largest rate increase, 86 percent, seven times that of white men in the same age group; overdose rates for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women 25-44 years were nearly two-times that of white women. Surprisingly, overdose rates in 2020 were higher in areas with higher availability in opioid treatment programs, particularly among black and AI/AN people. The known differences in access, barriers to care, and health care mistrust could play a role in exacerbating inequities even when treatment is available in the community. Rural-urban data cuts were not included in this study. Find the study here.

  • Cancer Prevention and Treatment in Rural Areas RHI Hub's new topic guide discusses cancer-related risks and outcomes faced by rural Americans. It provides information about evidence-based strategies and support for rural cancer prevention. Find the guide here

  • 988 Suicide and Crisis Prevention Lifeline Beginning July 16th, 988 will become the new three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Lifeline will provide compassionate, accessible care and support via phone, text, or online chat to anyone experiencing mental health-related distress. Anyone can use 988 if they have thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crises, or any other kind of emotional distress. Find out more about the new lifeline here.

  • COVID-19 Tests by Mail Every household in the U.S. can now order an additional set of eight COVID-19 tests from The tests are free with free shipping. If you need assistance placing an order, call 1-800-232-0233.

  • Award Nominations Each year, RHA of TN presents awards to influential programs and people who are improving rural health in Tennessee. Find the award categories here. If there is someone you would like to nominate, please find the nomination form here. Send completed form to [email protected]. Deadline for submissions are August 15th.
Funding Opportunities
The below grants have been hand picked to offer new funding opportunities to our members.
Welcome to our New and Returning Members!
The below organizations have recently joined or renewed their memberships. Members can search our member directory to connect with other members when logging into the RHA of TN's website. While you're searching, update your profile!

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors
for making this communication and our annual conference possible.
Mailing Address:
PO Box 656,
Decaturville, TN 38329
This service was supported by funds made available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, under GR-21-73441.The contents of this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of or endorsement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.