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NCHN eNews
October 25, 2011 22 days until National Rural Health Day
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

This is the latest issue of the NCHN e-News. In national news, Elouise Cobell, who has been called a rural hero by many, died last week at the age of 65. There have been some good articles written about her work, as well as links to her speeches below. Elsewhere in the news, the Center for Rural Affairs is trying to get 10,000 signatures on its petition to "Help Set Priorities Straight on the Farm Bill." As of right now, there are 1,726 signatures. You can read and sign it here.

Let us know what's going on with your network
If you have information you would like to share, or have any feedback, please email us.






NRHD November 17, 2011

2012 Leadership Summit Dates and Location

The 2012 NCHN Leadership Summit will be held on Tuesday & Wednesday, September 25 – 26, 2012 in Kansas City, MO.  The Leadership Summit is NCHN’s educational program that focuses on leadership skills for Network Leaders.  In 2012 a second component to the Summit will include a special session on Tuesday, September 26 targeted to Network Board Members. Please mark the calendar and save the dates! 

Members Needed for 2012 Leadership Summit Committee!

The 2012 NCHN Leadership Summit Committee is seeking members!  If you are interested in serving on the 2012 Leadership Summit Planning Committee, please let Rebecca know by email at 

The purpose of the Leadership Summit Committee is to manage the annual Leadership Summit. This includes selection of dates and location for the 2013 Leadership Summit, development of the topic focus, identification of speaker(s) to support the topic, and overall management of the 2012 Leadership Summit. This Committee will determine their meeting schedule and will meet as needed. Any NCHN member is eligible to serve on the Leadership Summit Committee.

2012 Annual Conference Planning Committee

The 2012 Annual Conference Planning Committee is forming to plan the upcoming 2012 Annual Educational Conference scheduled for April 15 – 18, 2012 in Denver, CO.  The first meeting will be on Monday, November 7 at 2:00 PM ET.  If you are interested in serving on the 2012 Conference Planning Committee and have not signed up, please let Rebecca know by email at   

The purpose of the 2012 Conference Planning Committee is to organize and plan the Annual NCHN Conference. This includes selection of dates and location for the 2013 annual conference, development of the theme and workshops to support the theme, and overall management of the 2012 conference. The committee will meet bi-monthly on the first and third Monday of the month at 2:00 PM ET.  Heather Fuller, NCHN Vice-President will chair the committee.  Any NCHN member is eligible to serve on the 2012 Annual Conference Planning Committee.

Featured Partner
Hylant is a Silver Level Partner

From the Forum

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* Halloween Is The Second Highest Grossing Commercial Holiday After Christmas

* One Quarter Of All The Candy Sold Annually Is For Halloween Night

* Tip: If your pumpkin lantern shrivels up, you can restore it by soaking it overnight in water to re-hydrate it.


NCHN Transformer Leadership Learning Community to Meet for Second Leadership Session

The NCHN Transformer Leadership Learning Community second session will be on Friday, November 18 at 11:00 AM ET.  The session will be facilitated by Dr. Mary Kay Chess and will focus on “Values and Value Clarification,” the foundational work for the complex situations leaders encounter.  Members of the NCHN Transformer Leadership Learning Community are those individuals that attended the NCHN Leadership Summit in Kansas City in September.  You should have received an invitation to this session and instructions on how to post comments and thoughts on the Transformer Leadership Learning Community list serve.  If not, please let Rebecca know by email at   

Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

2012 Annual Conference Planning Committee
Monday, November 7 @ 2:00 PM ET
Monday, November 21 @ 2:00 PM ET
Monday, December 5 @ 2:00 PM ET
Monday, December 19 @ 2:00 PM ET

Board of Directors Call
Monday, November 14 @ 2:00 PM ET

Program Development Committee Call
Tuesday, November 15 @ 1:00 PM ET
Tuesday, December 13 @ 1:00 PM ET

Coffee/Tea Chats with Dr. Mary Kay Chess
Wednesday, November 16 @ 11:00 AM
Wednesday, December 7 at 11:00 AM ET

National Rural Health Day
Thursday, November 17, 2011

NCHN Transformer Leadership Learning Community Session
Friday, November 18 @ 11:00 AM ET
Friday, December 9 @ 11:00 AM ET

NCHN Offices Closed for Thanksgiving
Thursday and Friday, November 24 & 25

NCHN Quarterly Membership Call
Business Plans for Networks
Monday, December 12 @ 2:00 PM ET

Executive Coaching Training Calls
Wednesday, December 14 at 11:00 AM ET





The Hylant Group provides insurance products, wellness programs and disease management services that can be used by individual network facilities.  Employee benefit programs include a life insurance and AD&D insurance program, as well as a pharmacy benefit program for self-insured health plans.  NCHN networks have also looked to Hylant for liability coverage such as D&O, property, general liability, medical malpractice, reinsurance and captive insurance consulting.

Contract Benefits:  NCHN and the member organizations receive administrative and marketing fee revenue as a result of marketing, managing and self-billing.  The concept behind a national group for insurance is based on the ability to create a sizable market by combining the purchasing power of more than one NCHN network.

  • Hartford (Long Term Disability): NCHN offers LTD on a group basis through Hartford. By pooling the NCHN participating members LTD plans, discount arrangements have been established with the Hartford. This has enabled NCHN to leverage their group buying strength with one of the largest LTD providers for hospitals and physicians nationally.
  • Lafayette Life (Life/AD&D Program): NCHN offers Life/AD&D on a group basis through Lafayette Life. With over 30 facilities currently participating, the NCHN group life program has been extremely successful. The growth of this program has offered stability and opportunity for the participating groups.
  • Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM): The PBM program works best with self-funded employee benefit programs. Your network, NCHN and the individual network facilities all benefit from group purchasing of prescription drug administration services.

2004 Business Insurance National Broker Ranking – 26th Largest Insurance Broker in the U.S.

Jake Cox, Account Executive, Employee Benefits
Phone:  (800) 249-5268 or (419) 259-2796        



ED Opening at North Country Health Consortium

Application deadline: November 23, 2011

The Northern NH Area Health Education Center/North Country Health Consortium is seeking a highly experienced leader to become its Executive Director. The ideal candidate will have an appropriate Masters Degree in public health, health systems administration, or similar.

AHEC/NCHC is a workforce education development center and vertical network of not for profit organizations. The Executive Director will lead innovative collaboration to improve health access to a regional population in the rural White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire.

Highly qualified candidates should submit letters of interest and curriculum vitae to the Chair of the Search Committee, Edward D Shanshala II, by email at Ed.Shanshala@ACHS-Inc.Org or by mail to 25 Mount Eustis Road, Littleton, New Hampshire 03561.

NRHP Plans for National Rural Health Day

Here is what Nevada Rural Hospital Partners is doing:

  • Our quarterly in person meeting is being held November 18th so timing was perfect!
  • With the assistance of the office of rural health, we are putting together a slide show of our 14 rural facilities, their staff, and care being provided to our rural population. 
  • The School of Medicine and Office of Rural Health will be at our meeting to showcase our members and give each of them a framed proclamation that our Governor has done for us with a picture of their facility and a proclamation from the school.
  • Senator Harry Reid is making a video and recognizing rural health care in Nevada and his staff will be there to present a plaque.
  • We are showcasing our members for their responsiveness to mass casualty situations; caring for our veterans; their quality initiatives; 5 star nursing home status; emergency preparedness; reinvesting in their communities; providing preceptors for medical students and residents; and mostly the day to day tasks of caring for our 350,000 rural Nevadans spread over 95,000 square miles!

We are excited and think this will be a great day!  I will keep you posted as we have more on our celebration.

Thanks to Joan Hall, President of Nevada Rural Hospital Partners, for sharing NRHP's plans for National Rural Health Day!

» You can share your plan with RAC online



Free Webinar: Not for EDs Only - Strategic Planning in the New Normal

October 27, 2011 @ 2:00 PM EST

The landscape for nonprofits has changed fundamentally. What holds for the future of your organization? Join us for a dynamic conversation about the role and value of strategic planning for Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs) and CDFIs. You will hear directly from Executive Directors that led their organizations through a comprehensive process to assess their competitive position in the market and blaze a path to new levels of growth and sustainability.

In this free webinar, you will learn about a process for strategic planning that celebrates your accomplishments but takes a hard look at what it really takes to effectively “make good” on your mission and compete for funding. These EDs will explain the mindset you need to capture new opportunities and increase your impact in your community.


SNHPA Webinar: Addressing Declining Third Party Reimbursement for 340B Drugs

November 3, 2011
1:00 - 2:30 PM EST

Who Should Attend: Pharmacy directors, CFOs, supply chain staff, contracting staff, government relations staff, and in-house counsel.

Registration Deadline: Nov. 1, 2011

A number of 340B hospitals and health centers are reporting to Safety Net Hospitals for Pharmaceutical Access (SNHPA) that several third party payors and their pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are offering 340B-specific reimbursement rates at levels that are well below those which they offer non-340B pharmacies. At least one PBM contract requires providers to pass along their entire 340B savings, which would essentially rob 340B providers of the entire 340B discount to which they are entitled under federal law. The purpose of giving safety net providers access to 340B discounts is to enable them to stretch their scarce resources to provide much-needed care to indigent and low income patients. Without adequate reimbursement – which SNHPA views as a direct attack on the 340B program itself and its statutory purpose – 340B hospitals face millions of dollars in lost revenue and an eroded capacity to provide this care.

SNHPA continues to monitor these troubling developments and is taking action on a variety of fronts to address the problem.


Emergency Alert System (EAS) Nationwide Test - November 9

On November 9, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time the Federal Communications Commission and FEMA will conduct the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). An announcement will come on every TV and radio channel indicating that there is an emergency. This will only be a test and you do not need to take any action. The purpose of this test is to find out how well the EAS can alert the public about dangers to life and property in the event of an actual emergency.


HRSA Health IT & Quality Webinar

“Tips For Overcoming the Gray Areas of Meaningful Use Stage 1 for Safety Net Providers”

November 18, 2011 @ 2:00 PM EST




Elouise CobellRural Hero Elouise Cobell Dies at Age 65

October 17, 2011 (National Rural Assembly email) - Elouise Cobell, a tireless advocate for the Blackfeet Nation and for tribal and rural communities across the country, passed away October 16, 2011, in Great Falls, Montana. She was 65.

Elouise took on the whole federal government to set right the long term, systematic pilfering of mineral rights and royalties across Indian country. In 2009 the federal government settled the case with a $3.4 billion payment, the largest government class-action settlement in U.S. history. The payment will benefit approximately 500,000 people.

Elouise was named a rural hero at the first National Rural Assembly in 2007. She returned to the 2008 Gathering to speak her rural truth to power, illustrating the courage and perseverance she was known for:

"When you say it can't be done, we will never give up," she told us. "Your broken system is no excuse for ignoring my rural America."

Elouise was the best kind of fighter. She could appreciate the size of the challenge, brush off setbacks time and again, and still find the heart to win against long odds. 

She will be missed.

Elouise Cobell's Rural Truth to Power, 2008 National Rural Assembly (Youtube)

Whitney Kimball Coe
National Rural Assembly

Related Articles
Elouise Cobell, force behind $3.4B Indian trust case, remembered for grit, compassion (The Washington-Post, October 22, 2011)
Tribal official fought for overdue Indian royalties (, October 18, 2011)
Elouise Cobell, Rural Hero (Daily Yonder, October 18, 2011)

Resource: CO-OP Health Plans - Can They Help Fix Rural America's Health Insurance Markets

October 2011 (RAC & SHARE co-hosted webinar) - In this webinar, Dr. Andrew Coburn, Research Professor at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service, discusses the Consumer-Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) program authorized under the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Coburn outlines the CO-OP program legislation; identifies the challenges to obtaining private health insurance in rural areas; and assesses the opportunities and challenges of using the CO-OP program to address the limitations of the rural private health insurance market.

Dr. Coburn is joined by Bill Oemichen, President & CEO of the Cooperative Network, which serves cooperatives in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Mr. Oemichen served on the committee that wrote the recommendations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding CO-OP Plan development.


Great Plains wins $5.2M in loans toward telemedicine services equipment

October 18, 2011 (Telemedicine and e-Health News Alert) - Great Plains Health Alliance (Phillipsburg, KS) was awarded a $3 million direct loan from the US Department of Agriculture’s rural development division, as well as a $2.2 million loan guarantee from First National Bank and Trust (Phillipsburg, KS) to purchase health records equipment and software for 22 rural hospitals—of which 20 are critical-access hospitals in Kansas and Nebraska that are operated by the not-for-profit Great Plains. The project is designed to offer clinical telemedicine services, including real-time virtual consultations, diagnostic examinations, digital diagnostic imaging, remote monitoring and other specialty services. The project is expected to create or save an estimated 41 jobs.


The Specifics: How Obama Plans To Cut Health Programs By $320 Billion
by Phil Galewitz

September 19, 2011 (Kaiser Health News) - In his plan to trim the federal deficit, President Barack Obama Monday proposed $320 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, largely by changing how the federal government pays health providers, slashing payments to drug companies, and dramatically changing the way it splits the costs of Medicaid with the states, according to a fact sheet the White House released.

The biggest cut to Medicare requires pharmaceutical companies to lower their rates. The proposal would save Medicare an estimated $135 billion over 10 years starting in 2013. The change would allow the federal government to receive the same brand name and generic rebates for low-income Medicare patients as are provided to Medicaid beneficiaries.


Obama Administration’s regulatory reductions to save health care system nearly $1.1 billion

October 18, 2011 (HHS News Release) - New proposed rules released today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would reduce unnecessary, obsolete, or burdensome regulations and save hospitals and healthcare providers nearly $1.1 billion each year and over $5 billion over 5 years.  The new proposals regarding the rules for hospitals that treat Medicare and Medicaid patients were developed in response to President Obama’s call on all Federal agencies to eliminate burdensome and unnecessary regulations.

“The President and I have challenged agencies to hunt down burdensome regulations,” said Vice President Joe Biden.  “Today’s steps will remove outdated, duplicative, unnecessary burdens on hospitals - saving money and improving care.”

“President Obama has been clear: it’s time to cut the red tape,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  “Our new proposals eliminate unnecessary and obsolete standards and free up resources so hospitals and doctors can focus on treating patients.”


More from HHS
HHS announces new incentives for providers to work together through Accountable Care Organizations when caring for people with Medicare (October 20, 2011)
Affordable Care Act to help improve care for Medicare beneficiaries (October 24, 2011)




ORHP Funding Announcement: Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program

The Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) is pleased to announce the release of the FY 2012 Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant Program (announcement number: HRSA-12-083). ORHP’s Outreach Program supports projects that demonstrate effective models of outreach and service delivery through collaboration, adoption of an evidence-based or promising practice model, demonstration of health outcomes, replicability and sustainability. Proposed projects will have an outcomes-oriented approach that will enhance and sustain the delivery of effective health care in rural communities by tracking specific health indicators that will demonstrate the impact of their project at the end of their grant period. They will be based on evidence-based or promising practice models in order to avoid “reinventing the wheel” and demonstrate health status improvement in rural communities. Proposed Outreach projects can take the framework of an evidence-based or promising practice model and tailor it to their community’s need and organization.

Applicants may propose funding for up to three (3) years from May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2015. The maximum award is up to $150,000 per year. We expect to fund approximately 80 grantees.

Closing Date: November 22, 2011

TA Call
A technical assistance call was held on September 29, 2011 (Thursday). The call was recorded and available for playback. To access the playback, please call: 1-800-229-6331. It will be available until November 22, 2011.

For further questions on this funding opportunity, please contact the program coordinator, Kathryn Umali, 301-443-7444,

Need help writing your Outreach Program application?
Contact your State Of-fice of Rural Health (SORH) for grant-writing resources. Please visit: to find your SORH contact information. A webinar about evidence-based/promising practice mod-els and evaluation will be posted on starting October 7, 2011.


Public Education Efforts To Increase Solid Organ Donation Program

Deadline: November 16, 2011

Description: The purpose of this program is to support the implementation of public education and outreach programs that show promise of increasing organ donation.  Specifically, this program supports the replication of strategies that have been identified through the research grant program of the Division of Transplantation as effective in increasing donation or strategies identified in the public health literature as being effective in modifying health behavior.  The program also supports the implementation of public education and outreach efforts that are based on an established framework for successful public health outreach programs.  This grant program is supportive of the Division's mission to educate the public about deceased donation and to encourage individuals to document their decision to be a donor in their statewide donor registry or by some other mechanism where a registry is unavailable. Projects may also increase knowledge of opportunities to donate specific organs or organ sections while living and the process, risks, and benefits of living donation. 

Eligibility: This funding opportunity is open to nonprofit providers, including faith-based and community organizations.

Funding: Up to four awards, with funding from $250,000 to $1,000,000.


Social and Behavioral Interventions To Increase Solid Organ Donation

Deadline: November 30, 2011

Description: This grant program is to increase solid organ donation and to improve understanding of how to increase solid organ donation.  The goal of the grant program is to assist eligible entities in the evaluation of, or the implementation and evaluation of, highly promising strategies and approaches that can serve as model interventions for increasing solid organ donation. Projects may focus on community education and outreach initiatives or hospital based efforts focused on family consent for donation when a death has occurred. Projects may also increase knowledge of opportunities to donate specific organs or organ sections while living and the process, risks, and benefits of living donation.

Eligibility: This funding opportunity is open to nonprofit providers, including faith-based and community organizations.

Funding: Up to four awards, with funding from $300,000 to $1,250,000.




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