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NCHN eNews
April 12, 2011 - 5 days to the NCHN Annual Conference!
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

The last few weeks have been extremely busy at NCHN. We have been diligently preparing for this year's Conference and hope you are looking forward to it as much as we are.

This week we announce the addition of two Business Partners, Infant-Parent Institute, a silver level partner, and RWHC, a member partner. Finally, we get to share information about Northeast Minnesota AHEC's receipt of a Rural Health Workforce Development Grant. Brendan Ashby will be at the Conference and, if you have questions, you can ask him in person.

As always, if you have information you would like to share, or have any feedback, please email us.







New Business Partners

The NCHN Board is pleased to announce the approval of two new Business Partners: The Infant Parent Institute as a silver level partner, and RWHC as a member business partner.

Infant Parent Institute Consulting Division: Silver Level Business Partner

The Consulting Division of the Infant-Parent Institute has delivered monitoring, technical assistance and programmatic evaluation services since 1992.  Consultants have clinical, supervisory and management experience in a wide array of behavioral health service areas.  We assist providers with certification, program implementation and evaluation, as well as initial and on-going training and technical assistance. IPI Administrative Staff work hand in hand with the Illinois Department of Children and Family (IDCFS) services and have played an integral role in the State’s efforts to maximize federal funding for behavioral and mental health programs, having helped secure over $25 million in federal financial participation through the Medicaid program.

» Download the IPI flyer (doc)
For more information, contact Linda K. Weiss at or 217-352-4172

RWHC: Member Business Partner

RWHC (Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative) is owned by 35 rural, general medical surgical hospitals in Wisconsin. Since 1979, RWHC has been providing affordable and effective services to rural health entities. Let us put our experience to work for your members today!

For more information, contact Dave Johnson at or 608-644-3227

Both IPI and RWHC will be exhibiting at the Conference next week. Please stop by and find out more about what they can do for your network.


From the Forum

There are no new Topics posted this week. Have a question for the members?


You are right next to a river and have a 5 gallon container and a 3 gallon container. You need to measure out 1 gallon of water. How do you do it?



VCOM Brings Home A Silver ADDY Award

March 5, 2011 - The American Advertising Federation (AAF) Roanoke Chapter, held their annual Western Virginia ADDY® Award Gala on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at the Center In The Square in Roanoke, Virginia. The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) was presented a Silver ADDY award for its 2010 Annual Report and Yearbook..

The AAF Roanoke Chapter is southwest Virginia’s only professional organization devoted entirely to the business of advertising. Professionals in the areas of graphic design, marketing, TV and radio, photography, printing, web design and more, come together to represent a diversity of companies from the community.

Each year members submit local advertising campaigns featuring print, television, internet and other advertising mediums, to be judged by the chapter. The VCOM Annual Report and Yearbook has been forwarded the next tier – the regional competition. Winners of that event will be sent to the national awards competition.

» View the VCOM Annual cover on the ADDY award website

Northeast Minnesota AHEC’s mnHEALTHnet

In August 2010, Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration awarded the Northeast Minnesota Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and the Northeast Minnesota AHEC’s mnHEALTHnet a three-year $600,000 Rural Health Workforce Development Program grant.  The project is titled Palliative Care Initiative (Pall CI) that will strengthen palliative care services in rural areas while developing a network approach to recruitment and retention of health professionals. The goal of the Pall CI initiative is to train, support, recruit, and retain primary care and allied health care professionals who have a commitment to providing palliative care within the Northeast Minnesota AHEC’s mnHEALTHnet Network.

The specific objectives supporting the Pall CI goal are to:

1. Strengthen the ability of the Northeast MN Interprofessional Rural Health Network to facilitate knowledge sharing and educational training, as well as support the recruitment and retention of health professionals in medically underserved areas, with an increasingly aging population.
2. Create opportunities for community-based faculty and other health professionals in medically underserved areas through education and other services that enhance their continued professional growth, particularly focused on new models of care and interprofessional practice.
3. Support disciplinary, interprofessional, community-based education for health professions students in exemplary educational settings in medically underserved areas.

Four members of the Northeast Minnesota AHEC’s mnHEALTHnet will participate in the palliative care initiative.

  • Fairview Range Regional Health Services, Hibbing, MN
  • Mercy Hospital and Health Care Center, Moose Lake, MN
  • FirstLight Health System, Mora, MN
  • Lakewood Health System, Staples, MN

The sites will be supported by the Northeast Minnesota AHEC and the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center in the development and implementation of exemplary learning sites for health professions students and in the training and support of site preceptors. Development of the palliative care network of sites is intended to promote synergy across the sites and increase an awareness of the resources and initiatives already in place.

Core to the Pall CI vision is the exposure of medical, nursing, pharmacy, and other students to dynamic rural environments that will address current workforce issues by attracting eventual health professions graduates to practice in underserved areas. Strategic approaches to this goal will be implemented including the use of federal tools for recruitment, such as the National Health Service Corps loan repayment program.

» For more information, contact Brendan Ashby, Executive Director, Northeast Minnesota AHEC at

Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance

Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance, a 12 hospital alliance located in Wilmington, NC serving hospitals in eastern North and South Carolina, is seeking a Director of Contracting with the following qualifications.

Successful candidate will be working with Materials Managers, hospital leaders, and vendors to negotiate regional group contracts. Will facilitate and support several key cost savings project teams through evaluation, decision making, and team relationship building. Candidate must have a minimum of two years experience in Hospital Materials Management and/or Purchasing.  Minimum of three years experience in a healthcare related field is required. Candidate must also demonstrate strong interpersonal and negotiating skills. Education: Bachelor’s degree required/Masters preferred.

Interested candidates may send resume and salary requirements to   or fax to the attention of Meghan Lancaster at 910.332.8042 by May 1, 2011.



Partnerships for Patients Stakeholder Call

Tuesday, April 12 at 1:45 P.M. EST

Please join Dr. Donald M. Berwick, Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and other senior HHS officials Tuesday, April 12th at 1:45PM EST for an announcement of a significant new partnership aimed at improving health care quality under the Affordable Care Act.

Dr. Donald M. Berwick, Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Peter Lee, Acting Director for Policy and Programs at the Innovation Center, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Joe McCannon, Senior Advisor to the Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Please dial in 5 minutes before the call begins.
CALL-IN: 888-469-1561

Please feel free to forward this conference call information to your leaders, members and affiliates across the country. Please note that this call is off the record and not intended for press purposes. If you have any questions please feel free to email



3000 Health Information Technology IT Graduates for Hire!

Need help staffing your health information technology activities?   HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology funded 82 ONC community colleges that are graduating the first batch of Health information technology professionals in April.  The graduates represent mid-career professionals with backgrounds in health care or information technology.  The training provides them a background in HIT integrating their educational and work experience to provide a skilled workforce that can facilitate the implementation of electronic health care system.
This cadre of highly qualified and motivated graduates is ready for hire now!

Students have been trained in the following professional roles:

  • Practice workflow and information management redesign specialists
  • Clinician/practitioner consultants
  • Implementation support specialists
  • Implementation managers
  • Technical/software support
  • Trainers

For graduate resumes, please contact the community college consortia leads:

ONC Seeks Public Comment on the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan

The comment period for the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan: 2011 – 2015 will end on Friday, April 22, 11:59 p.m. (Eastern). Developed in coordination with other Federal partners, the Plan outlines ONC's strategy for realizing Congress and the Administration's health IT agenda. ONC encourages and welcomes all comments from the public regarding the Plan. 
Share your ideas today—visit the Health IT Buzz Blog to read and comment on the Plan!

Please note, you must submit your comment via the blog post referenced above in order for it to be considered.


NRHRC's Technicaql Assistance and Services Center Recognized in April HRSA's HealthIT Grantee Spotlight

The National Rural Health Resource Center’s Technical Assistance and Services Center Provides Health IT Support to Critical Access Hospitals and Rural Providers

This month, the HRSA Health IT Grantee Spotlight highlights the fantastic work of the National Rural Health Resource Center’s Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC) exit disclaimer based in Duluth, Minnesota. Since 1999, TASC has provided technical assistance education and tools to critical access hospitals (CAHs) and HRSA’s Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program grantees.


HHS Announces Plan to Reduce Health Disparities

April 8, 2011 ( News Release) - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today launched two strategic plans aimed at reducing health disparities.

The HHS Action Plan to Reduce Health Disparities outlines goals and actions HHS will take to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities.

HHS also released the National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity, a common set of goals and objectives for public and private sector initiatives and partnerships to help racial and ethnic minorities and other underserved groups reach their full health potential. The strategy, a product of the National Partnership for Action (NPA), incorporates ideas, suggestions and comments from thousands of individuals and organizations across the country. The NPA was coordinated by the HHS Office of Minority Health.


From NRHA: Protect Rural Hospitals. Reinstate "Necessary Provider" Provision

  • Until 2006, hospitals that otherwise meet Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation criteria, but are not located more than a 35 mile drive from another hospital (or 15 miles in mountainous terrain or where there are only secondary roads), could be certified by States as “necessary providers” under a CMS-approved health care plan.
  • The loss of this authority has prevented rural hospitals that meet all other CAH from participating in the program.  CAH designation helps to ensure that such hospitals are fully reimbursed for the direct costs of inpatient, outpatient and swing bed care.
  • Hospitals in need of CAH status have generally experienced an overall decline of inpatient volume while an aging population and the recent recession have resulted in increased proportions of Medicare, Medicaid and charity care patients.
  • Additional cuts in Medicare prospective payment system (PPS) hospital payments and Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital funding included in the federal health reform legislation have put more of these hospitals at fiscal risk.
  • In many rural communities, hospitals are one of the largest employers and play an essential role in bolstering their local economies.   They have also helped to ensure continued access to health care during the most recent recession.
  • In the last Congress, bipartisan legislation to restore State necessary provider certification authority was cosponsored by close to 50 members of the House and Senate, but unfortunately these bills did not advance.
  • Democratic Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Republican Congressman Mac Thornberry of Texas plan to re-introduce bipartisan legislation to restore State necessary provider designation authority.
It is important to let members of Congress know this legislation is needed now more than ever to help ensure continued access to quality care in rural America.


Social Networking Tools Will Continue to Drive Change, Report Suggests

April 8, 2011 (Philanthropy News Digest) - By 2015, technology and social networks will change the way people organize, a new report from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Monitor Institute finds.

The report, Connected Citizens: The Power, Peril and Potential of Networks (55 pages, PDF), draws on more than seventy examples to illustrate how networks are being used to drive transparency in government, better care for the elderly, and more effective emergency assistance in the wake of disasters.


Other Links



There are no new funding announcements this week. However, remember that you can always visit the RAC web site or use GrantStation (if you are a subscriber) to search funding opportunities. Both sites have excellent listings.

Please send us any announcements you would like to share witht he NCHN membership.



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