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NCHN eNews
February 21, 2012
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

Welcome to the latest issue of the NCHN Weekly Digest. Aside from all of the usual national news and upcoming events, there is a lot of NCHN news. NCHN is accepting nominations for 2012 Awards and also seeking nominations for Directors. In addition, we want to remind those of you who will be attending the NCHN Conference (and we hope you will) to make your hotel reservations now, if you have not made them already. The deadline to make hotel reservations is March 16th, but will close sooner if all rooms in the block are sold. Also, NRHA is offering an unbeatable incentive to attend their annual conference, co-located with the NCHN conference in Denver, on April 17 - 20. Find out more under Partner news.

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2012 NCHN Awards

NCHN is pleased to accept nominees for the fourth annual NCHN Awards Program. The program is designed to honor outstanding individuals and organizations in the field of health networks. NCHN members are invited to submit nominations for the 2012 Awards. Nominations should be made by completing and submitting the nomination form along with your written narrative no later than March 15, 2012.

The Outstanding Network Leader of the Year Award
The NCHN’s 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
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
The 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).

Friend of NCHN Award
The Friend of NCHN Award is given to recognize a program, institution, agency, or individual that has advocated for or provided extraordinary support to the Association.

Awards Presentation
Honorees will be announced during the NCHN Awards Luncheon beginning at 11:45 AM on Monday, April 16, 2012, at the 18th NCHN Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado.

» Download the Nomination Guidelines (pdf)
» Complete the Nomination form online



You are a prisoner sentenced to death. The Emperor offers you a chance to live by playing a simple game. He gives you 50 black marbles, 50 white marbles and 2 empty bowls. He then says, "Divide these 100 marbles into these 2 bowls. You can divide them any way you like as long as you use all the marbles. Then I will blindfold you and mix the bowls around. You then can choose one bowl and remove ONE marble. If the marble is WHITE you will live, but if the marble is BLACK... you will die."

How do you divide the marbles up so that you have the greatest probability of choosing a WHITE marble?



NCHN Conference Logo 2012

18th NCHN Annual Educational Conference

The 2012 National Cooperative of Health Networks Association (NCHN) Annual Educational Conference invites you to attend “Health Networks of the Future - All Together Now!”

The 18th NCHN Annual Educational Conference is being held April 15-18, 2012, in Denver, Colorado at The Curtis Hotel.

Topics include:

  • Network Boards of the Future: Best Practice Sharing: Keeping Your Board Committed (Steve Stoddard, ID)
  • Network Best Practices Panel
    Packaging the Message and Promoting the Mission: Greg Dent, GA
    Sunflower Health Network Rural Recruitment: Heather Fuller, KS
    Create your own “Mystery Shopper” Program: Dave Johnson, WI
    HIE: Yvonne Hughes, NC
    Improving Hospital Internal Communications: Jason Friesen, KS
  • Federal Update on HPSA from Rebecca Wilson (HRSA) and FLEX from Michael McNeely (HRSA)
  • Network Sustainability Workshop
  • The Future of Health Networks: A Discussion with Tim Size, Executive Director of Rural Wisconsin Hospital Cooperative

Hotel Reservations
NCHN Rate: $145+tax/night (Single/Double)
Deadline: March 16, 2012 or when all rooms have sold out

Early Bird Registration Deadline: April 1, 2012
$525 for NCHN Members and HRSA Network Development Grantees (add $75 after April 1)
$625 for non-Members (add $75 after April 1)

Exhibitor/Sponsor/Advertiser Opportunities
Application Deadline: March 15, 2012


NCHN in the news: Interview with Rebecca Davis in RAC's Rural Spotlight

In case you missed it: NCHN's Rebecca Davis was featured in RAC's Rural Spotlight (The Rural Monitor, Winter 2012). Among other questions, Rebecca tackles the following:

  • What is a rural health network (RHN)?
  • Are there different types of health networks? How many networks are in NCHN?
  • What are the benefits of being part of a network?


Call for Nominations for NCHN Board of Director Positions

NCHN is a membership organization and thus is governed by a Board of Directors that is elected by the membership.  Serving as a Director of NCHN is an excellent opportunity to expand your leadership skills, interact on a regular basis with your peers, and give back to the Association! 

In preparation for the 2012 NCHN Annual Membership Meeting, which will be held during the 18th Annual Conference in Denver, CO, April 15-18, 2012, we are seeking nominations and recommendations of persons interested in serving as a Director.  At the Annual Membership Meeting, the membership will be voting on a slate of directors. The term will be for three years, April 2012 - April 2015. The current number of board members is eleven (11) and up to four (4) directors will be elected.

The By-Laws state that “Each director shall be a natural person and shall be an employee of or otherwise affiliated with a Voting Member and that no compensation shall be paid to directors by the association.”  (The voting member’s (network) 2012 dues must be paid on or before March 1, 2012.)  The powers of the Directors are also outlined in the By-Laws, “Except as reserved to the members by law, by the Certificate of Incorporation or by these Bylaws, all business of the Association shall be managed by and be under the direction of the board of directors, who shall have and may exercise all of the powers of the Association.”

The Board meets approximately four times a year; two - three times by conference call and once or twice face-to-face.  The face-to-face meetings are held before, during and/or after the Annual Conference and maybe in conjunction with another national meeting during the year.  Arrangements are made for Directors that cannot attend the face-to-face meeting to participate by conference call. The conference calls are approximately 90 minutes.  The 2012 Annual Board Retreat will be held before the beginning of the 2012 Annual Educational Conference, on Sunday afternoon, April 15, 2012 from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM. All potential Directors listed on the 2012 ballot must attend the 2012 Board Retreat in Denver on Sunday, April 15, 2012.

The Board of Directors approved eligibility criteria to serve on the NCHN Board in March 2010.  If you meet the following criteria and are interested in being considered as a candidate for a Director’s seat on the Board, please send an email expressing your interest, along with: a brief description of your network experience and your service to NCHN, e.g., Committee Service, Annual Conference and/or Regional Meeting attendance and/or presenter; presenter and/or participant on membership and special interest calls; responses to questions posted on the list serve; participation in Executive Coaching Program; member of the Transformer Leadership Learning Community, utilization of Business Partners, etc.  Also, include a statement of why you are interesting in serving on the Board of Directors and describe any special skills, knowledge or ability that you would bring to the Board.

Eligibility criteria for candidates seeking election to the Board of Directors:

  • Network organization must have been member of NCHN for at least two (2) years
  • Candidate for a Director position must have served at least two (2) years on NCHN committee(s).
  • Acceptance of the Vice President position should be considered a commitment to moving up to the President’s position the following year
  • If the current President does not have time left on their term; they will serve as an ex-officio director of the board in the position of Immediate Past President

Letters of interest with the above outlined information should be received by the end of the day on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 and should be sent to

HIT Focus Group Forming

The Program Development Committee has been discussing the development of some focus groups and/or special interest groups within the NCHN membership. The area that appears to have a large amount of interest is Health Information Technology.  If you are interested in participating in a NCHN HIT Focus Group, please email Rebecca at

Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

Program Development Committee Call
Tuesday, February 21 @ 1:00 PM ET

Rural Health Network Resources – Consulting Group Task Force Call
Wednesday, February 22 @ 12:00 PM ET

Executive Committee Call
Rescheduled for Monday, March 1 @ 10:00 AM ET

2012 Conference Planning Committee Call
Monday, March 5 @ 2:00 PM ET

NCHN Transformer Leadership Learning Community Session
Friday, March 16 @ 11:00 AM ET

Upcoming Deadlines
March 15, 2012: Award Nomination submission deadline
March 15, 2012: Exhibit/Sponsor/Advertisor application deadline (NCHN Conference)
March 16, 2012: Hotel Reservation close (NCHN Conference)
April 1, 2012: Early Bird registration ends for the NCHN Conference (add $75 after 4/1/12)




Indiana Statewide Rural Health Network (InSRHN) News

IRHA was contact by the NRHA lobbyist, Maggie Elehwany, in DC requesting that IRHA ITN Director Becky Sanders come to DC and testify before the House subcommittee on small business during its hearing on Thursday, February 15th. Becky talked about Indiana's FCC/Broadband project.

Indiana Rural Health Association is very proud of Becky Sanders and her contributions to broadband connectivity in rural Indiana.    




NRHA Annual Conference: Registration includes NRHA Membership

April 17-20, 2012
Denver, CO

NRHA's Annual Rural Health Conference is the nation's largest rural health conference, created for all of those with an interest in rural health care, including rural health practitioners, hospital administrators, clinic directors and lay health workers, social workers, state and federal health employees, academics, community members and more.

This year, the non-member registration fee includes a one-year complimentary membership for first-time NRHA members.

Scholarships Available
Deadline to apply: March 31, 2012
NRHA has scholarship funds available for students and community members with a critical need for financial support with conference expenses. Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to people who meet eligibility criteria specified on the application and who are unable to attend conference without such support. Six students and community members will each receive $1,000 to help offset the cost of attendance. Click here to download the application. Please e-mail/fax applications to or 202-639-0559 by March 31 to be considered for a scholarship.  




CPHIMS Exam & HIMSS Annual Conference

Be a part of the healthcare elite with the mark of proven expertise — CPHIMS. Once again, the CPHIMS Exam will be offered during the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, February 20-24, Las Vegas.

And today, there’s never been a better time to distinguish yourself with the most sought after credential in healthcare IT — CPHIMS. But time…and space are running out. You must pre-register by February 7!


HIT Standards Committee Advisory Meeting; Notice of Meeting

February 29, 2012
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM EST
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Omni Shoreham Hotel
2500 Calvert Street NW.
Washington, US, 20008

Procedure: Interested persons may present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues pending before the committee. Written submissions may be made to the contact person. Oral comments from the public will be scheduled between approximately 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m./Eastern Time. Time allotted for each presentation will be limited to three minutes each. If the number of speakers requesting to comment is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the scheduled open public hearing session, ONC will take written comments after the meeting until close of business.


Eighth Annual 340B Coalition Winter Conference

February 29 - March 2, 2012
San Diego, CA


HRSA Health IT & Quality Webinar

Using Health IT for Patient Safety

March 23, 2012 @ 2:00 PM EST




House and Senate Approve Payroll Tax Conference Report
by David Lee

February 17, 2012 (Rural Health Voices: News and Opinion from the National Rural Health Association) - In votes taken Friday morning, the House and Senate approved the Payroll Tax Conference Committee’s Conference Report extending a number of rural Medicare Extenders and updating the sustainable growth rate (SGR).  Several of these critical rural Medicare provisions were seriously threatened in recent months but, because of your advocacy and persistence, NRHA was successful in making sure a number of the provisions were included in the final package:

  • Ten-month extension of outpatient hold-harmless provision for hospitals under 100 beds.
  • Ten-month extension of the current geographic practice cost index
  • Ten-month update of the sustainable growth rate (SGR)
  • Ten-month extension of the current payment levels for rural ambulance providers
  • Four-month extension of current “508 Hospital” wage index reclassification
  • Four-month extension of the current technical component for pathology lab services


» Final Agreement on Rural Medicare Provisions Reached (Rural Health Voices, Feb. 16, 2012)

New Report to Congress on “Quality Incentives for FQHCs, Rural Health Clinics, and Free Clinics”

February 17, 2012 (Health Information Technology and Quality, January/February 2012 Newsletter) - In February, a new report was released to Congress  that focused on the  impact of quality incentive programs on Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), rural health clinics (RHCs), and free clinics.  The report , authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, details best practices  regarding quality of care and the use of health IT among these ambulatory safety net providers.

FQHCs, RHCs, and free clinics represent critical components  of the nation’s primary health care for safety net populations.   Collectively, these safety net clinics provide preventive and primary care services at over 10,000 sites across the United States and it’s territories and serve over 25 million patients annually.  However, these providers are often excluded from eligibility for Federal or State financial incentives that are designed to encourage and support improvements in the quality of care or the use of health IT. This new report will help safety net providers understand the current health IT incentives and initiatives that are available.


New "Network Guide” for HRSA Grantees

February 17, 2012 (Health Information Technology and Quality, January/February 2012 Newsletter) - The Network Guide is a directory of Health Center Networks that offers helpful tips to engage directly with potential network partners.  It is a user-friendly resource for grantees of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), safety net providers, and all health care organizations seeking information and technical assistance with their quality improvement and operational efforts.  The Guide is a collaborative project between HRSA and the National Association of Community Health Centers.

Health Center Networks have a strong history of providing quality service and support to their health center(s) and other member organizations, often at reduced costs achieved by leveraging economies of scale under a shared governance structure.  To support stakeholders in their consideration and selection of a Health Center Network partner, the Guide provides:

  • Data from more than 40 networks about their activities in quality and health care delivery improvement, operational management, and HIT in the safety net.
  • Twenty five (25) tables of data to enable the user to distinguish among the networks’ different approaches, services, and areas of expertise

The Guide will be routinely updated to include health centers and other networks.

Please go to the Network Guide portal to access the Guide.


Fluharty Speaks before Senate Ag Committee

February 15, 2012 (The Daily Yonder) - Charles "Chuck" Fluharty directs the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI). This national center, envisioned by the Agriculture Committees of Congress in 1990, studies and reports on federal policy as it affects life in the rural U.S. Fluharty did just that, speaking before the Agriculture Committee of the Senate. Fluharty's statement emphasized that federal agencies have been poorly coodinated in efforts to sustain rural communties. He also stressed that investment in rural regions -- from government, commercial lenders and foundations -- continues to lag.

» READ FLUHARTY'S STATEMENT (video also available)

Tackling Healthcare Priorities with Technology
by Edward Prewitt

February 14, 2012 (HealthLeaders Media) - Our fourth annual Industry Survey, comprising the views of over 1,000 healthcare executives from a cross-section of organizations across the country, shows technology as a fairly low priority—sixth out of 12 concerns. Health IT, EMR, clinical technology, and other types and uses of technology are a top priority for only 29% of leaders. Move along, nothing here to see?


HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announces major progress in doctors, hospital use of health information technology (HHS News Release, Feb. 17, 2012)

Recruitment & Retention: Give docs a reason to set up shop
by Charlotte Huff

February 2012 ( - Your job isn't over after recruiting a physician; retention is just as important and as hard

Landing a long-sought physician is only half the battle. The real challenge: convincing that doctor to plant roots in the community, especially if it's rural areas.

Board members and executives can be influential, making sure that the doctor has sufficient backup not only to avoid burnout, but also to thrive professionally, says John Supplitt, senior director of the American Hospital Association's Section for Small or Rural Hospitals.


Where's the Boss? Trapped in a Meeting
by Rachel Emma Silverman

February 14, 2012 (The Wall Street Journal) - What do chief executives do all day? It really is what it seems: They spend about a third of their work time in meetings.

That is one of the central findings of a team of scholars from London School of Economics and Harvard Business School, who have burrowed into the day-to-day schedules of more than 500 CEOs from around the world with hopes of determining exactly how they organize their time—and how that affects the performance and management of their firms.


Social Velocity Blog: 9 Ways Board Members Can Raise Money Without Fundraising
by Nell Edgington

January 27, 2012 ( - I’ll admit it, I’ve been on a board fundraising kick lately in the blog (here and here). I just think that if your nonprofit is going to become more strategic and financially sustainable, you have to start from the beginning (or the top, as it were). In my last blog post I discussed how to overcome excuses for why a board member can’t bring money in the door. But the fact remains that a majority of people don’t like to (or simply won’t) ask for money.

The good news is that there are lots of other things board members can do to bring money in the door. And remember, if you are financing not fundraising your organization, your definition of “bringing money in the door” should be very broad.




State Implementation Grants for Systems of Services for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN)

Purpose: This grant program improves access to a quality, comprehensive, coordinated community-based systems of services for CYSHCN and their families that is family-centered and culturally competent. This grant program improves access to a quality, comprehensive, coordinated community-based system of services for CYSHCN and their families that is family-centered and culturally competent.

The initiative supports grants to assist State Title V Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) programs, family organizations, providers, and other partners to implement the six core outcomes of a system of services based on evidence based practices for CYSHCN.

Applications are due by March 1, 2012.



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