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NCHN enews
NCHN E-News | Issue 3 | April 10, 2009

In This Issue...

From the Board of Directors >>
+ Annual Membership Meeting
+ Meet the Nominees for Board of Director Positions
+ First NCHN’s Awards Program Recipients to be Honored in Charleston

+ GrantStation Conference Call – Tuesday, May 12 at 2:00 PM ET
+ NCHN Blog
15th Annual Conference >>
+ Conference Presentations
+ Conference Exhibitors and Sponsors
+ Crucial Conversations®

New Members >>
+ NCHN Welcomes Three New Members
Members' News >>
+ Hosting Community Forums: Another Member Service of The Hospital Cooperative
+ Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) Completes First Statewide CAH Database
+ MTRHIN Health Information Exchange Goes Live!

Spotlight on NCHN Business Partner >>
+ Fukuda Denshi

Upcoming NCHN Events >>
+ 15th Annual NCHN Conference
+ 2009 Annual Membership Meeting
+ Quarterly Membership Call

Elsewhere in the News >>
+ Health Information Technology (HIT) Incentives and State Grants Document
+ Rural health co-op looks for help, but finds trouble
+ Redesigned Website – HRSA at a Glance
+ Remote Monitoring of ICU Patients Lowers Mortality Rates, Complications
+ Rural Broadband at a Glance, 2009 Edition
+ State Fact Sheets

We need your news

From the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors looks forward to seeing you in Charleston, SC later this month for the 15th Annual NCHN Conference! The Conference Planning Committee has put together an outstanding program for the membership. Please plan to join us and the 80+ others that have already registered for this exciting event! See you in Charleston!

Annual Membership Meeting
Watch your email boxes for the announcement and voting proxy for the 2009 Annual Membership Meeting to be held on Tuesday, April 21 at 8:00 AM in the Gold Ballroom at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, SC in conjunction with the 15th Annual NCHN Conference. During the meeting, members will elect three members to serve a three year term in Class B to the Board of Directors.


Meet the Nominees for Board of Directors – Class B Directors - 2009-2012
The following NCHN members have been nominated to serve a three year term on the NCHN Board of Directors:  Jack King, Executive Director, Northcentral Montana Healthcare Alliance, MT; Jon Smith, Executive Director, The Hospital Cooperative, ID; and Keith Williams, CEO, Community Health Network, Inc., TN.

Jack was appointed to the Board of Directors in April 2008 to complete the term of Larry Kuk, former NCHN Vice President with United Health Partnership, OH. Jack serves on the NCHN/NRHA Collaborative Project Committee and the Awards Committee. Jack has been an active NCHN member since joining in October 2003. Jack said that joining NCHN was one of the first things he did when he started his job as Executive Director of Northcentral Montana Healthcare Alliance on the advice of long time NCHN member Jan Bastian, Montana Health Network!

Jon has been an active member of NCHN for several years. He first attended NCHN meeting while working with Robin Keith with the Nevada Rural Hospital Partners and continued when he became the Executive Director of The Hospital Cooperative in 2003. He has served as Chair of the Program Development Committee since 2007 and has led the committee through a major revision of the NCHN Business Partner Program, including the development of a contract template for business partners.

Keith is the current Vice President for NCHN and the co-chair of the 2009 Conference Planning Committee. He has served on the Board of Directors since 2007, the Conference Planning Committee since 2006, and was a member of the Program Development Committee 2007-2008. While on the Program Development Committee he secured the services of an outside statistician to review the data and prepare the final report for the 2008 NCHN Salary Survey. He has been a presenter at NCHN Conferences and has assisted with the Effective Network Leader Workshops and other training programs for ORHP Grantees over the past three years. Keith has been an active NCHN member since joining in 2004.


First NCHN’s Awards Program
The first recipients of the NCHN Awards Program will be announced during the Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, April 22 during the 15th Annual NCHN Conference in Charleston, SC. The Awards Program is designed to honor outstanding individuals and organizations in the field of health networks.

The following awards will be presented:

  • The Outstanding Network Leader of the Year Award recognizes a network leader/director for leadership in managing a successful health network organization.
  • The Outstanding Health Network of the Year Award recognizes any network or entire network organization that has improved access to health services in its service area and coordination of resources for network members through innovative, comprehensive approaches.
  • Outstanding New & Emerging Network Leader Award recognizes extraordinary leadership activities demonstrated by a new network leader/director in the field of health networks (network leader less than five years).


GrantStation Conference Call – Tuesday, May 12 at 2:00 PM ET
The Board is pleased to announce a second opportunity for NCHN members and their members to participate in a special NCHN call with Cynthia Adams, CEO of GrantStation. Learn how to use this new resource to help you identify grant makers - government and private funders - for your programs and projects. This interactive session will use projects from participants to do a few searches to demonstrate how the GrantStation website can assist you in your grant seeking efforts. NCHN members may extend the invitation to participate in the call to their interested members.

The call will be on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 2:00 PM ET. The call is open to NCHN members and their members.  We ask that you pre-register for the call. Fifteen (15) NCHN members participated in the first call with Ms. Adams and are very excited about the possibility of a group subscription for GrantStation services for NCHN members and their members. If you have questions about the program please give Rebecca a call to discuss.  If you would like to participate in the call on May 12 to learn more about GrantStation and its resources, please pre-register at the following link:


NCHN and Blogging
If you haven’t yet … check out NCHN Sharing and Learning Corner! The blog is a place for members to post events, ask questions, and share information. You can access the Blog through the NCHN website or at


15th Annual Conference Update
If you haven’t registered yet to join the other 80+ participants at the 15th Annual NCHN Conference in Charleston, SC, please do so today!  Tom Morris, Associate Administrator for Rural Health Policy, HRSA will open the Conference on April 20th with a discussion on the “Challenges and Opportunities for Rural Health Networks in 2009.” The Conference Planning Committee, under the direction of co-chairs, Keith Williams, Community Health Network, Inc, TN and Linda Weiss, Regional Behavioral Health Network, IL, have put together an exciting opportunity for all NCHN members. NCHN’s Annual Conference is the only national level event dedicated to providing educational, leadership, and sustainability programming support to network leaders.

Conference agenda, registration materials, and hotel information are available on the NCHN website at  


Conference Presentations
For those of you unable to attend the conference and for attendees that want to have handouts for the sessions they plan to attend, presentations will be posted when received from the presenters on the NCHN website.  Look for the link to Conference Presentations in the Gold Box of Conference Information. Some presentations have already been posted and we hope to have all presentations up by April 15. 


Conference Exhibitors and Sponsors!
The following business will be represented at the 15th Annual NCHN Conference in Charleston, SC on April 20-21. Plan to stop by and visit with them in the Colonial Ballroom. 

501(c) Agencies Trust
Ellen Johnson, Trust Representative
Unemployment options for nonprofits

Dante Rankart, Vice President of CHC Sales
Software solutions and services to Community Health Centers and Networks

First Choice Cooperative
Gary Warden
Regional healthcare group purchasing organization, providing access to discounted pricing and cash rebates to its members on supplies, equipment, and services

Fukuda Denshi – NCHN Gold Level Business Partner
Loran VanNoy, Senior Director, Fukuda Denshi USA
Terry Conroy, Territory Manager
Patient monitoring equipment

Georgia Health Policy Center – Sponsor of Tuesday Morning Breakfast
Beverly Tyler, Director, Community Health Systems Development
Consulting services related to health policy, program implementation, and program evaluation; and Technical assistance for ORHP Planning, Network Development, and Outreach grantees

Healthcare Management – NCHN Member Business Partner
Jessica Taylor, Director of Program Development
Provider of medical revenue cycle services including self pay billing and bad-debt collections; Owned and operated by 18 healthcare providers in Colorado and focuses exclusively on medical accounts

Health Workforce Information Center
Laura Trude, Information Specialist
Comprehensive online library that will help you find and stay up-to-date on health workforce programs and funding sources; workforce data, research and policy; educational opportunities and models; and news and events

Lab Corp
Representative – TBA
Lab services

Midwest Alliance for Telehealth and Technology Resources & Midwest Alliance for Health Education
Joann Manty, Project Coordinator
Consulting for telehealth setup an educational consortium for health care professionals

Performance Management Institute (PMI) – NCHN Gold Level Business Partner
Michael Topchik & Scott Goodspeed
Healthcare consulting and technology for networks and hospitals for performance monitoring and benchmarking

PolicyTech – NCHN Gold Level Business Partner
Jared Jensen, Sales Representative
Leading developer and supplier of policy and procedure management software; web-based Policy & Procedure Manager™ provides your staff with instant access to your organization’s policies and procedures; use software to create, review, approve, and archive all of your documents, not just policies and procedures

Spacelabs Healthcare
Tom Stein, Sales Representative
Doug Weigel, Director, Corporate Accounts
Physiological Monitoring

Thermo Fisher Scientific – NCHN Gold Level Business Partner
Keith Martinko, Service Product Manager
Asset and Service Management Solutions


Crucial Conversations®
We still have space available! If you are interested in participating, please call the NCHN office today to register, 270-925-5611.  Information and details about the workshop can be found at


New Members
NCHN welcomes three new members! 

Coastal Plain Rural Health Network (CPRHN), located in Manning, South Carolina is the newest NCHN member. The network was organized in 2006. The main purpose of the network is to strengthen healthcare accessibility and quality to the citizens of the CPRHN service area. The network has 10 members located in Clarendon, Williamsburg and Marion counties of South Carolina. Through the sharing of ideas, efforts and resources the members of the CPRHN will utilize their combined skills and networking abilities to enhance and improve the overall health status of the citizens in their region. Scherrie P. Cogdill is the Director. With CPRHN membership, all rural health networks in South Carolina are now members of NCHN! 

Northwest Ohio Shared Services (NOSS), located in Toledo, Ohio recently joined NCHN. (NOSS) is the marketing arm of a national group purchasing organization (GPO) for Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.  NOSS Hospital Services is a division of NOSS and is a reformation of United Health Partnership (former member of NCHN that was organized in 1994). The network has 14 hospital members located in Northwest Ohio.  

NOSS Hospital Services is a progressive and member-focused organization. Today and for the future, NOSS Hospital Services is taking great strides to present strong, educationally based programs and services to their members through their network of Forums and Vendor Arrangements. Through strategic planning, member input and committee research, NOSS Hospital Services has been successful in developing numerous value-oriented programs. Carolyn S. Trumbull is the Director of Programs and Services and contact for NCHN.

HealthGroup of Alabama (HGA), located in Huntsville, Alabama joined NCHN in March. The network was organized in 1995. Their mission is to support their Health Care Authority members and to further their missions through collaborative actions. HGA’s purpose is to serve as the vehicle for collaborative efforts among its owner-member hospitals.

The initiatives of HealthGroup of Alabama are managed as operating divisions with the current divisions being as follows:

  • Occupational Health
  • Central Laundry Facility
  • The Best Start Program (Medicaid Maternity)

In addition to the divisions, HGA is also involved in the following collaborative efforts among its members:

  • Task Forces for the following positions - Chief Financial Officers; Materials Managers; Laboratory Managers; Compliance Officers; and Pharmacy Directors
  • LifeSouth Community Blood Bank
  • Corporate Compliance Education Program
  • Tennessee Valley Laboratory Associates

The network’s membership consists of 5 health care authorities in northern Alabama, which includes eight hospitals and 2,077 licensed beds. Rob Smith is the Interim Chief Executive Officer.


Members News
Hosting Community Forums: Another Member Service of The Hospital Cooperative (THC)
Have you ever wondered how the residents of your community feel about your facility? Are you interested in new and sometimes innovative ideas that people that use your facility for service may have? If so, The Hospital Cooperative (THC) can help. As part of their membership, THC offers a variety of support services including, but not limited to: strategic planning (board and staff level), surveys, presentations and community forums. Community forums are designed to solicit feedback that can be used to improve on the already great service each member hospital provides. There are a variety of methods that can be employed to ensure forum success. The method THC uses involves direct invitations to a 90-minute session from hospital board members to community members. Typically, dinner is served and only board members are present not hospital staff.

THC has received great feedback for hospitals from these sessions and is able to do it in an environment where the focus is on improvement. Specific names are kept out of the conversations
and any issues brought forth are followed by a discussion on opportunities. Participating facilities have had success in outreach to other parts of their county, improved customer service scores in the ER, and bring business back that once may have been lost. If you are interested in information about how to organize and host a community forum, please contact Jon Smith at (208) 239- 2384.
Visit to see how we’re Connecting Health Care in the Intermountain West (Taken from Cooperative Connections, April 2009)


Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) Completes First Statewide CAH Database
In cooperation with Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies (CGS), ICAHN members created the first statewide critical access hospital (CAH) database that provides a demographic, service and business picture of Illinois CAHs. The data collection process began in spring of 2008 where 48 CAHs completed a preliminary survey followed by a supplemental survey in January 2009 for purposes of clarifying earlier responses and adding a community component as part of a base line to monitor trends in years to come.

This comprehensive database provides a current snapshot of Illinois CAH characteristics. For example, 75.8% of CAHs report total patient revenues as outpatient, and 23.9% as inpatient. Sixty-six percent of the inpatient business is Medicare while 40% of outpatient business is Medicare. Sixty-one percent of the hospitals are self-managed, 24% are contract managed and the remaining 15 % are managed by a parent organization. Sixty-six percent of nursing staff are RNs with 20 % holding bachelor degrees. Fifty-three percent are Joint Commission accredited, six percent are HFAP and 41% are surveyed just by Illinois Department of Public Health. Forty-six percent of the hospitals have an electronic medical record system and nearly one-third of the hospitals own a home health agency. Fifty-seven percent report they have conducted a recent community needs assessment. Forty-three percent of the hospitals have an intensive care unit as a separate unit or designated area within their medical/surgical unit. (Taken from ICAHN CAH News Update, March 2009)


MTRHIN Health Information Exchange Goes Live!
The Community Health Network has launched the first rural health information exchange in Tennessee as part of the $1.6 million HRSA FLEX CAH HIT grant which formed the Middle Tennessee Rural Health Information Network (MTRHIN). MTRHIN connects a UNHS community health center in Trousdale County with three critical access hospitals in Smith, Trousdale and Macon Counties, and with their tertiary referral hospital in Sumner County. “Our HIE project in upper middle Tennessee is live and operational, on schedule and within budget,” said CHN’s proud CEO, Keith Williams. As part of this program CHN has been able to put the core mechanisms in place which will ultimately make it possible for practitioners on the CHN Telehealth Network to share patient level data at the point of care. Using the NextGen Community Health Solution as a platform for health information exchange, CHN has combined a state-of-the-art data center with sophisticated interfaces that help different data systems communicate with each other. As a result, we have the software in place to warehouse patient data pulled directly from the electronic medical records at participating medical facilities on the CHN wide area network.

When a provider needs to access patient data he or she performs a search of the database. The HIE platform utilizes industry leading, multi-factor, probabilistic matching to determine the best data match. The practitioner can then select which encounters or diagnoses are most pertinent to the current treatment plan, and drill down to retrieve more data. The entire exchange occurs on CHN’s
secure, private high-speed network. In order to participate in this non internet-based network, participants must be authenticated as licensed health care providers with appropriate role-based access to data. Patients are notified as part of each health care encounter that their data will be available for other providers to access for purposes of treatment and given an opportunity to opt out. Williams continues, “Now that we have the data center and the HIE platform in place, we can replicate this network to other parts of the state with much smaller investments. With the current fervor around Health I.T. nationally we expect to soon see some opportunities to secure more grant funding for HIE.” (Taken from CHN Quarterly Update, March, 2009)


Spotlight on NCHN Business Partner
Fukuda DenshiFukuda Denshi
Since February 15, 2008 NCHN member facilities can purchase Fukuda Denshi’s Patient Monitoring Equipment on contract. NCHN member facilities can now enjoy greater cost savings when purchasing Fukuda Denshi’s patient monitoring for their ED, OR, ICU/CCU, Med-Surgery, and Step-Down care area. All backed with a 5 year warranty and free 24/7/365 technical support, as well as  free clinical  and Biomedical Engineering training for the life of the product.

With monitors suited for all care areas, Fukuda Denshi’s patient monitoring provides flexible and reliable OR, transport, bedside, telemetry and central monitoring solutions.

DS-7600 Central Monitor The DS-7600 Series integrated central monitors provide an ideal solution for both your low and high acuity care areas. Each Central includes the needed features to monitor patient information on up to 16 hardwired or telemetered patients. The small footprint also makes it ideal for busy, crowded central nurses’ stations.  With up to 96 hours of full disclosure, built in 3 channel recorder and laser printer interface the DS-7600 Series provides high performance central station capability without the unwanted clutter making it an ideal central station monitor for busy central nursing stations.

LX-5160 & LX-5630 Telemetry Each of these transmitters is designed for patient comfort and cost effective telemetry monitoring of your Step-Down or Med-Surgery patients.  When paired with Fukuda Denshi’s central monitors and with as much as 5 days of monitoring on a single AA battery (3-Days on two AA batteries when SpO2 monitoring is added) these transmitters maintain superior surveillance of your less acute patients.

DS-7100 Portable/Bedside Monitors Whether mounted on a wall-mount or roll-stand, these monitors provide complete hardwired or telemetered monitoring solutions in care areas where a compact monitor makes more sense.  Performance is not sacrificed with the smaller footprint and each monitor can easily be set up to meet a wide range of care area monitoring needs.

DS-7300 Bedside Monitors The DS-7300 Series OR and bedside patient monitors offer one of the most robust set of standard features to provide easy standardization of your acute care units.  Whether in your ICU or CCU these monitors are easily configured to meet your demanding care areas.  Adding the optional gas module also makes this an ideal OR monitor.

For more information or to set up a product demonstration visit or call the Redmond, Washington office to contact your sales representative at (800) 365-6668. Fukuda Denshi representatives will have an exhibit at the NCHN 15th Annual Conference in Charleston, SC on April 20-21.  Plan to stop by and visit with Loran and Terry.


Upcoming NCHN Events
15th Annual NCHN Conference
April 20-22, 2009, Charleston, SC
Details are located on the NCHN website at

2009 Annual Membership Meeting
Tuesday, April 21 at 8:00 AM in the Gold Ballroom at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, SC.

NCHN Quarterly Membership Call:
Monday, June 8 at 12:30 PM ET. The tentative topic will be the development and implementation of solutions that will decrease hospitals’ uncompensated care costs.

Mark your calendars and save the dates!


Elsewhere in the News
Health Information Technology (HIT) Incentives and State Grants Document
The Rural Health Resource Center developed a document that summarizes the Health Information Technology (HIT) Incentives and State Grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 HITEACH Act.  Please note that standards and policies relating to the HITECH Act are currently being developed.  The Rural Health Resource Center will distribute additional information as it becomes available. To access the document please click this link:


Rural health co-op looks for help, but finds trouble
“Hoping to preserve rural health services, a group of Minnesota hospitals and clinics banded together 15 years ago to do what several Minnesota industries have done in the state's history — they formed a cooperative. That endeavor now is under attack by health care plans and federal regulators in an assault co-op supporters say imperils rural medical care as the state knows, along with a Minnesota tradition.” To read the complete article, go to:

Thanks to Tara Cramer, East Georgia Health Cooperative for submitting the link to this story.


Redesigned Website – HRSA at a Glance
The HRSA Geospatial Data Warehouse (HGDW) recently launched a revised website. To see the complete redesign of the site, go to The site now includes quick access to reports and maps, as well as HRSA at a Glance

To see a detailed description of the new features and changes to the website (click) new features and changes


Remote Monitoring of ICU Patients Lowers Mortality Rates, Complications – “American hospitals with a shortage of "intensivists" to treat patients in their intensive care units (ICUs) could benefit from having such experts monitor their patients offsite via computer, Johns Hopkins researchers have found.”

To read the complete article, go to this link:

Thanks to Rob Smith, HealthGroup of Alabama for submitting the article.


Rural Broadband at a Glance, 2009 Edition - Released Friday, February 27, 2009 by USDA ERS
Three-quarters of U.S. residents used the Internet to access information, education, and services in 2007. Broadband Internet access is becoming essential for both businesses and households; many compare its evolution to other technologies now considered common necessities—such as cars, electricity, televisions, microwave ovens, and cell phones. Although rural residents enjoy widespread access to the Internet, they are less likely to have high-speed or broadband Internet access than their urban counterparts. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the difference in access may lie in the higher cost and limited availability of broadband Internet in rural areas. As a result, rural residents depend more on Internet use outside of the home, in places like the library, school, and work, where broadband Internet access is available.



State Fact Sheets - Released Friday, March 27, 2009 by USDA ERS
The ERS State Fact Sheets contain frequently requested data for each State and for the total United States. These include current data on population, per-capita income, earnings per job, poverty rates, employment, unemployment, farm and farm-related jobs, farm characteristics, farm financial characteristics, top agricultural commodities, top export commodities, and the top counties in agricultural sales. The latest (2008) data on county and State population estimates are now available. See


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