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NCHN eNews
July 19, 2011
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

Welcome to the latest issue of the NCHN Weekly Digest. On the heels of last week's responses to JAMA's troubling report on Quality & Patient Outcomes in rural hospitals, it is especially important that we all respond to NRHA's call to help prevent budget cuts to rural hospitals. See NRHA's message below. In NCHN news, registration for the 2011 Leadership Summit is open. Register and make your hotel reservations today!

As always, if you have news to share or have feedback, please email us.







Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

Program Development Committee Call
Tuesday, July 19 at 1:00 PM ET

Coffee/Tea Chats with Dr. Mary Kay Chess
Wednesday, July 20 at 11:00 AM ET
Check on -line form for call in number. 

Grab a cup of iced coffee or tea and head for your phone for July's conversation!  This month, our conversation is "What's on your mind"?  Often we are all puzzling about some of the same topics. Let's pull them into a round robin conversation and see what we create!  See you Wednesday!
- Mary Kay

2011 Leadership Summit Committee Call
Monday, July 25 @ 11:00 AM ET

Next Quarterly Membership Call
Monday, September 12 @ 12:30 PM ET (Topic TBA)

1st NCHN Leadership Summit
Tuesday, September 27
Hyatt Regency Crown Center: Kansas City, MO



From the Forum

2011 - 2012 Committees have been updated. If you are on a Committee, please login and check to make sure you have access to the appropriate Committee forums.



How would you rearrange the letters in the words new door to make one word? Note: There is only one correct answer. (This might irritate you!)




New Executive Director at Spectrum Health Regional Hospital Network

Marc Chircop is the new Executive Director at Spectrum Health Regional Hospital Network in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Marc ChircopContact Information
Phone: (616) 391-2402
Fax: (616) 391-5121
Address: 100 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Job Accouncement: Helping Ourselves Prevent Emergencies (H.O.P.E)

Position: Prevention Coordinator
Location: Criag, AK
Open Until Filled

This position will be responsible for the development of a domestic violence prevention program on Prince of Wales Island, located in Southeast Alaska. The Prevention Coordinator will coordinate efforts with the Prince of Wales Health Network, and be supported by the Network in program development.




AgriSafe Webinar: "The Impact of Health Care Reform on Rural America"

July 20, 2011
12:00 - 1:00 PM CDT

Topic: The Impact of Health Care Reform on Rural America
Presenter:  Maggie Elehwany, Government Affairs and Policy Vice-President, National Rural Health Association


Webinar: How to Recruit and Retain Physicians in a Rural Market

July 21, 2011
1:00 - 3:00 PM CST

This webinar will address physician recruitment and retention activities which represents the difference between just “surviving” and “thriving” of any hospital. It will also address how the new federal health care reform law has just raised the recruitment stakes for available physicians, especially primary care. Experts predict that there will not be enough physicians to treat the millions of people who are newly insured under the law. According to the Association of Medical Colleges, the physician shortage will be 150,000 physicians in the next 15 years. The greatest demand will be for primary care physicians who will have an increasing role in coordinating care for each patient. This predicted shortage will mean more limited access to health care and longer wait times for patients.

Offered by Illinois Hospital Research and Educational Foundation
Cost: $260 for Non-IHA Members


HRSA Health Information Technology and Quality Webinar

Topic: Tips For Generating and Utilizing Quality Data Reports Using Health IT

July 22, 2011
2:00 - 3:30 PM ET

In this webinar, you’ll learn about how safety net providers use health IT as a tool for generating quality reports and utilizing this data to improve healthcare outcomes.  Presenters include rural and health center providers who will describe how collecting and analyzing data is a central function for assessing and targeting how to improve healthcare quality.

These safety net providers will discuss how they use their health center or critical access hospital clinical data to successfully coordinate care among provider teams, inform and engage patients on care decisions, and improve health quality and outcomes. You’ll hear first-hand accounts of how data enables staff to accurately identify workflow and care coordination inefficiencies, establish best practices, and assist in providing evidence-based examples to improve outcomes. Lastly, speakers will provide examples of how they use their health IT and/or electronic health records systems for generating quality reports, and provide report format examples.

Presenters include:
• Kwame Kitson, MD, Director of Quality Institute of Family Health, New York
• Margaret Flinter, APRN, PhD, Vice President and Clinical Director, Community Health Center, Connecticut
• Bob DeMarco, RN, MA, BSN, Chief of Quality and Systems Improvement, Springfield Medical Care Systems, Vermont


Grant Management: Native Traditions & New Technology

August 16-17, 2011
Billings, MT

Learn how to:
Find New Funding
Write Better Proposals
Manage Federal Awards
Win More Grants

Offered by Center for Rural Outreach & Public Services, Inc. and




3 Easy Ways to Help Prevent Massive Cuts to the Rural Health Safety Net
from NRHA

July 14, 2011 (NRHA e-mail) - Congressional leaders, as part of debt ceiling negotiations, are proposing $14 billion in cuts to rural hospitals.

These unprecedented cuts – likely to hit critical access hospitals, sole community hospitals, Medicare-dependent hospitals, as well as rural PPS hospitals – will decimate the rural health care safety net.

This is an urgent request to help NRHA stop these cuts and make your voice louder.

3 things you can do:

  1. Send letters to the editors of newspapers in your area
    NRHA has created two samples to make this simple: one for those of you with critical access hospitals in your area and a second general message about the impact on rural areas. Click the links to access them. Before you send, be sure to include the name of your Congress members where indicated in the letter. Congressional staff keeps detailed clips of all press with their member’s name, so this is another opportunity for your voice to be heard. (Verify your elected officials here.)
  2. Call and e-mail your member of Congress now.
    • Ask for the relevant staffer by name and speak with them directly or leave a voicemail. Key House staffers are listed here, and key Senate staffers here. Do not settle for leaving a message with the staff assistant. 
    • Write directly to the staffer’s e-mail address. Submissions to the elected official’s web sites will not produce results.
  3. Know what to say. If you were unable to participate in NRHA's advocacy experts’ webinar, check out this Powerpoint presentation (available on NRHA's web site) for updates and advice.

3 things to tell your elected officials:

  1. Do not to support a debt ceiling proposal that contains devastating cuts to rural health care.
  2. $14 billion in Medicare cuts to rural providers will decimate the delivery of health care in rural America, likely forcing many facilities to close.
  3. Rural hospitals are critical to the 62 million patients they serve and to the rural economy and can mean as much as 20 percent of revenue generated in rural areas.
» Click here to view NRHA’s letter to the White House and Capitol Hill, and continue to watch NRHA's Rural Health Voices blog and Facebook page for updates.

ATA takes FCC to task for delays in rural telehealth programs

July 15, 2011 (Healthcare IT News) - The American Telemedicine Association is unhappy with the government’s efforts – or lack thereof – to bring telehealth to rural America.

Jonathan D. Linkous, chief executive officer of the Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization, fired off a letter this week to Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, criticizing the FCC’s inaction on a number of telehealth-related issues, including the National Broadband Plan, the Universal Support Mechanism for Rural Healthcare and a General Accounting Office report that criticized the FCC’s handling of the Rural Health Care Program.


Comment Period: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans

July 15, 2011 ( - Comments are being requested on this proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services that would implement the new Affordable Insurance Exchanges that will provide competitive marketplaces for individuals and small employers to directly compare available private health insurance options on the basis of price, quality, and other factors.


Millions in U.S. Lack Access to Dentists

July 13, 2011(WebMD) - Fewer than half of Americans see a dentist each year and millions live in areas where access to dental care is severely limited, a new analysis from the health policy group Institute of Medicine (IOM) finds. A severe shortage of dentists, especially those serving rural and minority groups, is contributing to the "persistent and systemic" barriers to oral health care, the report noted.

Excerpt from Boosting Acces to Dental Care:
To address the shortage of dentists in underserved inner city and rural areas, the report calls for dental professional education programs aimed at increasing enrollment of African-Americans, Latinos, and people from rural areas into dental schools.


Independently Owned Pharmacy Closures in Rural America, 2003-2010

RUPRI researchers recently examined the numbers of rural, independently-owned pharmacies since 2003: "268 rural communities with a single retail pharmacy in May 2006 had no retail pharmacy in December 2010."

Key Findings

The total number of independently owned rural pharmacies that were the only pharmacy in a community declined from 2,060 in March 2003 to 1,759 in December 2010.

A total of 268 rural communities with a single retail pharmacy in May 2006 had no retail pharmacy in December 2010, and nine communities with more than one pharmacy in May 2006 had none in December 2010.

An additional 176 rural communities went from having more than one retail pharmacy in May 2006 to only one retail pharmacy in December 2010.




Nonprofit Capacity Building Program

Thanks to Beverly Santicola, Director, CROPS Health Network Center, for sharing this opportunity

Deadline: August 9, 2011
CFDA# 94.022

This Notice of Federal Funds Availability (Notice) announces the availability of funding for the Nonprofit Capacity Building Program (NCBP), authorized by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009.

The NCBP is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (the Corporation), whose mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering.

As the nation’s largest grantmaker for service and volunteering, the Corporation builds the capacity of America’s nonprofit sector by expanding the reach and impact of volunteers to address pressing social problems.

While the Serve America Act expands opportunities for Americans to serve through AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, it also broadens the Corporation’s role around catalyzing social innovation and support for the nonprofit sector beyond these traditional grant programs.

By creating the NCBP, Congress has recognized that many small- and medium-sized nonprofit organizations are significantly challenged in their ability to sustain and expand services and that organizational development assistance may be necessary to ensure the continuation of much-needed services in local communities.

Through grants awarded in this competition we aim to build the capacity of small and midsize nonprofits to develop and implement performance management systems. Research suggests that an established framework of performance management is the pre-requisite and predictor of success on other aspects of nonprofit health such as financial planning and sustainability.

Grantees will provide recipients with organizational development assistance to establish procedures for measuring progress and improving performance towards intended outcomes leading to community impact.


Cooperative Development Foundation Funding Available

The Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) is pleased to announce the availability of grant funds from its MSC Fund.  The focus of this Fund is to support cooperative development initiatives that will meet the needs of senior citizens in rural communities.  In 2011, proposals will only be accepted for innovative work in two specific areas:  cooperative home care and senior cooperative housing, both in rural settings.  The deadline for submitting proposals is August 1st, 2011.  It’s recommended that any NCHN member who is interested should look first visit the Senior Resource Center on the CDF website to review the body of work in this area that’s available at the CDF website.  Then contact Liz Bailey at CDF ( or 703.302.8093) to talk about what they would propose to do.  Even if they decide not make application to the MSC Fund, that conversation could help CDF identify any NCHN members who might want to be part of CDF’s companion piece of feasibility work on the multi-stakeholder home care cooperative. 

» For more information on the MSC Fund, grant guidelines and the application form, visit the CDF website



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