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bi-weekly digest
February 19, 2013 LinkedInTwitterFacebook
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rebeccaFrom the Executive Director

Thanks to the members that provided feedback regarding moving the NCHN Weekly Digest to a bi-weekly publication.  It was nice to hear directly from members about how you use the publication and your willingness to accept a change!  The new publication will begin arriving in your email boxes on the first and third Tuesdays of the months starting in March.  If you have any thoughts on an appropriate name for the new publication, please let us know!  

Also, thanks to those of you in the NCHN Leadership Learning Communities – what wonderful discussion and sharing on the February 13th calls!  And I heard the same was true of the February Coffee/Tea Chat.

Program Development Committee Call
Tuesday, Feb. 19 @ 1:00 PM ET
Tuesday, March 12 @ 1:00 PM ET

Business Partners Committee Call
Wednesday, Feb. 20 @ 1:30 PM ET

Executive Committee Call
Monday, Feb. 25 @ 2:00 PM ET

2013 Annual Conference Planning Committee Call
Tuesday, Feb. 26 @ 2:00 PM ET
Tuesday, March 12 @ 2:00 PM ET

Quarterly Membership Call
Monday, March 11 @ 2:00 PM ET

Coffee/Tea Chat with Dr. Chess
Wednesday, March 13 @ 10:30 AM ET


Again, I encourage you to protect one-hour a month for you to connect with your peers on the NCHN monthly Coffee/Tea Chats with Dr. Chess.  The next Chat will be on Wednesday, March 13 @ 10:30 AM ET; 9:30 AM CT; 8:30 AM MT; 7:30 AM PT; and 6:30 AM AKST.  This is your hotline for discussing your most pressing challenges and sharing your amazing successes! 

NCHN is also happy to welcome a New Associate Member, the National Rural Health Resource Center in Duluth, Minnesota.  The mission of the National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center) is to provide technical assistance, information, tools and resources for the improvement of rural health care. They serve as a national rural health knowledge center and strive to build state and local capacity. Terry Hill, former NCHN President, is the Executive Director of The Center.  NCHN looks forward to strengthening our relationship with The Center.  Welcome to NCHN! 

all that jazzIf you haven’t already reviewed the agenda for the upcoming 2013 NCHN Annual Educational Conference – All that Jazz!” I recommend you do so today!  The 2013 Conference Planning Committee has put together an exciting, packed conference agenda, beginning on Tuesday, April 16th with the pre-conference workshop, “Got Outcomes? What’s your evidence?” The NCHN Conference is the one conference of the year that Network Leaders should attend to connect with their peers and colleagues from across the nation, learn new strategies and techniques to manage their networks, as well as enjoy the city of New Orleans!  Details about the conference, lodging reservations, and conference registration are located on the NCHN website. 

Each year at the NCHN Awards Luncheon, NCHN recognizes outstanding network organizations, as well as outstanding network leaders. This year, the Awards Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, April 17, in New Orleans. Please watch your in-boxes this week for the call for nominations for the 2013 NCHN Awards!   And do not be shy about self-nomination!  You know better than anyone about the great work you and your network are doing to improve access to quality healthcare in your service area!  We look forward to receiving a number of nominations in each category. 

Remember, only 55 days until the NCHN 2013 Annual Educational Conference – All that Jazz!  We are so looking forward to seeing you in New Orleans!   Register today! 

Rebecca J. Davis, Ph.D.
Executive Director

NCHN Welcomes National Rural Health Resource Center (Duluth, MN)
Please join the Board and staff in welcoming the National Rural Health Resource Center as the newest associate member. The mission of the National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center) is to provide technical assistance, information, tools and resources for the improvement of rural health care. We serve as a national rural health knowledge center and strive to build state and local capacity. The Center has long been a supporter of NCHN through our network, the Northern Lakes Health Consortium, and a variety of collaborative initiatives. The Center would like to deepen our relationship with NCHN by serving as an Associate Member, in addition to continuing our network membership. We strongly believe in the mission and work of NCHN and hope to support the organization, and its members, in any way possible.

Terry Hill, Executive Director
Ph: 218-727-9390

RESOURCE: Deep Discounts on GrantStation Subscriptions for NCHN Members
GrantStation, a site used for funding searches and grant writing tips, offers NCHN members and their members a substantial savings off their regular subscription rate. If you are interested in participating or want to share this opportunity with your members, download the information sheet below or contact Christy.

» To renew or subscribe, contact Christy at or 540-352-2529.


Virginia Telehealth Network will hold the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center Annual Summit March 17-19, 2013 in Richmond, Virginia

HCC of Rural Missouri's February 2013 Newsletter, Medicaid Expansion is Good for Missouri, is online

Check out NRHRC's blog, On Center. Most recently, you can view this post by Sally Trnka: Developing a Collaborative Strategy for Patient and Community Engagement

» Submit your news


NCHN Welcomes New Business Partner: Virtual Care Works (Feb. 2013)

VCOM Wins Gold Award for Annual Report (Jan. 31, 2013)


Senators Introduce Resolution on Importance of Rural Health Care (Feb. 11, 2013, Rural Health Voices)
Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced S.R. 26 on Tuesday, January 5th during the Rural Health Policy Institute recognizing the important contributions rural hospitals and providers make to their communities. The Resolution, which was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, points out what NRHA has long said—that the critical care given by rural health care providers and the economic contribution of rural hospitals, doctors, and clinics are vital to the strength and viability of rural communities.

SC Rural Health Research Center Releases Report: "Dialysis Availability in Rural America (Feb. 15, 2013, South Carolina Rural Health Research Center)
End stage renal disease (ESRD), a potential consequence of diabetes, hypertension and other chronic conditions, leaves the individual in need of a kidney transplant or kidney dialysis to survive.
» Download the report (pdf) 

Rep. Kind to chair Rural Health Care Coalition (Feb. 7, 2013, LaCrosse Tribune)
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of La Crosse has been named chairman of the Rural Health Care Coalition.

Rural Unemployment, State By State (Feb. 6, 2013, Daily Yonder)
Drops in rural and exurban unemployment rates had been going down in 2012, but by December, those declines had stalled. Highest rural unemployment is in California..

Rural hospitals gird for sequestration (Feb. 12, 2013, Government HealthIT)
Rural hospitals are girding for harsh impacts from a 2 percent decrease in Medicare reimbursements under federal spending sequestration, set to take effect in March — and perhaps moreso than urban providers, a new report suggests.

Fed Pledges to Rural Providers Strike the Right Notes (Feb. 6, 2013, HealthLeaders Media)
It's easy for federal officials to acknowledge with great fanfare the special concerns of rural healthcare stakeholders. Making good on promises to address those concerns, however, is never guaranteed.

Rural Pharmacy Closures: Implications for Rural Communities (Jan. 2013, RUPRI)
Retail pharmacies provide essential services to residents of rural areas and serve many communities as the sole provider of pharmacist services. Losing the only retail pharmacy within a rural community (census designated city), and within a 10 mile radius based on driving distance (“sole community pharmacy”), may affect access to prescription and over-the-counter drugs and, in some cases, leave the community without proximate access to any clinical provider.

Community participation in rural health: a scoping review (Feb. 18, 2013,
Major health inequities between urban and rural populations have resulted in rural health as a reform priority across a number of countries. However, while there is some commonality between rural areas, there is increasing recognition that a one size fits all approach to rural health is ineffective as it fails to align healthcare with local population need.

National Health Service Corps Expands the Primary Care Workforce (Feb. 6, 2013,
The National Health Service Corps awarded more than $10 million in funding for loan repayment to 87 medical students in 29 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, who will serve as primary care doctors and help strengthen the health care workforce, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today.

NRECA Seeks Rural Broadband Focus (Feb. 6, 2013,
NRECA wants the Federal Communication Commission to keep its focus on expanding high-speed Internet to unserved rural areas before it starts to shift millions of dollars to other projects.

Developing a Collaborative Strategy for Patient and Community Engagement (Feb. 8, 2013, On Center)
Health care is about taking care of patients; ensuring that your community members are healthy and taking care of them when they are not. That much we know. After all, that’s why many of us got into health care to begin with. What we don’t know fully, however, is how to most systematically and effectively ensure that our goal of keeping our community healthy can be achieved.

Docs Seeking Strong Connection to Patients Could Find it in Rural Practice (Feb. 8, 2013, AAFP)
I was sitting in a meeting in Austin, Texas, 90 miles from home, when one of my patients was injured by a piece of metal that blew off a roof. My nurse called and said that this older gentleman's head needed stitches. I asked her to refer him to the nearest emergency room, which is about 20 miles from my office.

Rural Hospitals Confronting Big Challenges (Feb. 11, 2013, Hospitals & Health Networks)
AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock kicks off the Rural Health Care Leadership Conference.

Where Critical Access Hospitals Fit in Healthcare Reform: Q&A With West Park Hospital CFO Pat McConnell (Feb. 12, 2013, Becker's Hospital Review)
For the state of Wyoming, healthcare may seem rather simple. It is the least-populous state in the country, with only 576,000 people living within its borders, and there are less than six people for every square mile — second to only Alaska. With such a small population, delivering and coordinating healthcare services does not seem like such a difficult task, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Just ask Pat McConnell, CFO of West Park Hospital in Cody, Wyo. — a city with less than 10,000 people but one of Wyoming's top 15 most-populous areas.

Telemedicine: Healthcare That's Virtually There (Feb. 14, 2013, Biztech)
While nothing can take the place of a physician’s reassuring bedside manner, telemedicine may offer the next best thing.. 

Survey Suggests Rural Seniors Face Challenges from Medicare Part D Preferred Pharmacy Drug Plans (Feb. 7, 2013, Yahoo News)
A survey of community pharmacists suggests that so-called "preferred pharmacy" Medicare Part D drug benefit plans may pose challenges for seniors in rural communities. The finding comes shortly after similar questions were raised at the January public meeting of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), Congress' advisory board on Medicare issues.

5 Things the Most Extraordinary Hospital CEOs Do (Feb. 4, 2013, Becker's Hospital Review)
There isn't a trusted scorecard to accurately assess a healthcare CEO's performance. But there are a handful of skills the most remarkable leaders know and demonstrate every day in the C-suite. Quint Studer, founder of Studer Group, says he's observed five skills and abilities that the most effective hospital and health system CEOs predictably demonstrate.

Strong Rural Economy, Strong America (Feb. 8, 2013,
Investments in rural communities are vital to the nation’s overall economic health and, if overlooked, could represent a missed opportunity for significant growth, according to a new report.


Rankings in Action - What Works for Health - Evidence on Policies & Programs (Feb. 19, 2013 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM CST, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps)

RHC TA call: Updates to the RHC Manual (Feb. 20, 2013 @ 3:00 PM EST, National Association of Rural Health Clinics, Call-in number: 800-857-9747 Participant passcode: 1914329, Download the updated RHC Policy Manual)

Telemedicine Technology: Key Information for a Successful Program (Feb. 21, 2013 @ 2:00 PM EST, Telehealth Resource Centers)

Technology: It Doesn't Always Work (Feb. 21, 2013, Telehealth Resource Center)

Using an EHR and Quality Data to Improve Hypertension (Feb. 22, 2013 @ 2:00 PM EST, HRSA HIT & Quality Webinar)

Survival Strategies for CAHs Under Health Care Reform (Feb. 27, 2013 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM CST, NRHA)

End-To-End Testing Virtual Event: A Collaborative Approach to Testing, Readiness and Compliance (Feb. 28, 2013 | 11:00 AM - 5:30 PM EST, CMS)

Introduction to Rural Health Clinics Webinar (March 5, 2013 | 1:00 - 3:00 PM EST, Ohio State Office of Rural Health)

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