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NCHN eNews
June 5, 2012
This issue's highlights:
  • NCHN News: NCHN Welcomes New Network Member
  • Member News: HealthLinc, a CROPS Health Network Member, Receives 2 Grants
  • Partner News: 3RNet's Farewell to Tim Skinner
  • National News: Speak Your Piece: We Can't Hide
  • Funding: HHS announces availability of funding to help older adults, people with disabilities access long-term services and supports and thrive in their communities

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NCHN Quarterly Membership Call

Monday, June 11, 2012 @ 2:00 PM ET

Join us for a discussion led by Stephen Stoddard, Executive Director of Southwest Idaho Community Health Network, and chair of the Rural Health Network Resources, LLC Consulting Task Force. Steve will present an overview of the new Consulting Group Program that NCHN’s for-profit-company, Rural Health Network Resources, LLC is developing.  RHNR will be recruiting NCHN members to serve as consultants and the application process will be described.

Watch your email boxes for call in information for the call, as well as check for details on the NCHN Members section of the on-line forum*.   

*If you are not already registered, you can register online to gain access to the Members Only area.



A man was found murdered on Sunday morning. His wife immediately called the police. The police questioned the wife and staff and got these alibis: The Wife said she was sleeping. The Cook was cooking breakfast. The Gardener was picking vegetables. The Maid was getting the mail. The Butler was cleaning the closet.

The police instantly arrested the murderer. Who did it and how did they know?


NCHN Welcomes New Network Member

Please join the Board in welcoming NCHN's newest member: Shannon Calhoun, Executive Director of Southeast Texas Health System (SeTHS)

Southeast Texas Health System
Founded in 1994, SeTHS is based in Goliad, Texas and has 9 members. Its mission is "to integrate locally and regionally for purposes of responding to growth in a way the preserves local control and maintains the indepence of the members..." SeTHS Members share the common goals of operating cost-effective, quality, healthcare delivery systems to provide a continuum of healthcare services and products that offer greater efficiency, economy and quality, and availability of such services than the individual providers can offer alone. Programs include Health Information Exchange, Diabetes Self Management, Managed Care Contracting, and Training.

Susan Calhoun, Executive Director
Ph: 361-645-1762

Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

RHNR Consulting Task Force Call
Wednesday, June 6 @ 12:00 PM ET

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

2013 Conference Planning Committee Call
Tuesday, June 12 @ 2:00 PM ET

Program Development Committee Call
Tuesday, June 19 @ 12:00 PM ET

Coffee/Tea Chat with Dr. Chess
Wednesday, June 20 @ 12:00 PM ET




HealthLinc, a CROPS Health Network Member, Receives 2 Grants

May 2, 2012 ( - Congressman Pete Visclosky announced today that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded two grants to HealthLinc, of Valparaiso. Both awards were granted under the Affordable Care Act for Capital Development in Health Centers program, one for Immediate Facility Improvement, the other for Building Capacity.


Member Newsletters



Tim Skinner3RNet's Farewell to Tim Skinner

May 30, 2012 (3rnet email) - Tim Skinner has served as the Executive Director of 3RNet for the past seven years. He arrived with a wealth of experience in recruitment and retention, along with a healthy dose of enthusiasm and passion for rural health issues. Over the years, Tim labored tirelessly to increase membership and strengthen 3RNet. He spoke eloquently about ‘recruitention’, promulgated the importance of collaboration, and stumped the country on behalf of rural and underserved communities.

For your years of dedicated service, we say THANK YOU, TIM. Thank you for being a leader and friend. Thank you for always treating everyone with dignity and respect. Thank you for your laughter and good cheer, and, yes, your love of beer.



Respirator Selection for Agricultural Producers

Webinar: June 5, 2012 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM CDT

OBJECTIVES: General respiratory hazards and respiratory classifications will be reviewed to assist the participant in gaining a better understanding of respiratory hazards and protection.


HIT Policy Committee Advisory Meeting
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

June 6, 2012 | 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM ET
Washington, DC

The June 6, 2012 Health IT Policy Committee Meeting will now be held at the Dupont Circle Hotel, 1500 New Hampshire Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20036. The agenda has also been changed to begin at 9:30am EDT to allow for discussions on ONC's Request for Information on Governance for the Nationwide Health Information Network.

Members of the public are welcome to attend in person. Participation in the meeting will be also be available via webconference or audio teleconference. The webconference will enable participants to hear the live audio and see the live viewing of the slides. The teleconference will only provide the live audio. The public will be invited to make comments at the conclusion of each meeting. Detailed instructions for participating remotely and meeting materials will be posted to the ONC's Federal Advisory Committee website as they become available.


Moving Research in Agricultural Safety and Health to Practice: The NIOSH R2P Program

Webinar: June 6, 2012 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM CDT


Webinar: Prescribing Medications to Individuals Who Are Homeless

June 7, 2012 | 2:00 - 3:30 PM ET

Prescribing medications to individuals who are homeless is challenging. Factors that complicate prescribing include lack of trust in the provider; being on the street without shelter; issues of theft and loss of medications; frequent relocation; mental illness, substance abuse, or other health issues; lack of outreach activities and resources; and lack of family and social support. This webinar will address strategies to overcome these factors.


Rural Health Open Door Forum
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Conference Call: June 12, 2012 @ 2:00 PM ET
Dial: 800.837.1935
Conference ID: 52260523


Assess Needs & Resources, Putting County Health Rankings into Action
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

Webinar: June 12, 2012 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM CDT

One of the first steps in local health improvement is to take stock of your community's needs, resources, strengths, and assets. You will want to understand what helps as well as what hinders progress toward improving your community’s health. Learn about guidance, tools and resources for understanding your community’s strengths, resources, needs, and gaps.


HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Webcasts

MCH Learning supports communication, education and collaboration between state and federal maternal and child health professionals who serve the nation's mothers, families and children. Join our live webcasts with presenters in real time or access archived webcasts at any time.

June Webcasts

  • Lessons Learned from Innovative Approaches to Promote Healthy Weight in Women
    June 4, 2012 | 2:00 - 3:30 PM ET
  • The National Pediatric Readiness Project
    June 18, 2012 | 1:00 - 2:30 PM ET
  • Kids in Disasters: Facing Our Challenges
    June 20, 2012 | 12:30 - 2:00 PM ET


National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services

June 18 - 20, 2012
Kansas City, MO

The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services provides counsel and recommendations to the Secretary with respect to the delivery, research, development, and administration of health and human services in rural areas.

Persons interested in attending any portion of the meeting should contact Aaron Wingad at the Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) via telephone at (301) 443-0835 or by email at The Committee meeting agenda will be posted on ORHP's Web site


Version 5010 – Are You Ready?

Webinar: June 20, 2012 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM ET

Please join CMS staff for an informative webinar for healthcare providers, clearinghouses and vendors on Version 5010. Version 5010 refers to the standards that HIPAA-covered entities (health plans, health care clearinghouses, and certain health care providers) must use when electronically conducting certain health care administrative transactions, such as claims, remittance, eligibility, and claims status requests and responses. All covered entities should have been fully compliant with Version 5010 by January 1, 2012; however, an enforcement delay is in effect until June 30, 2012.

Stay tuned for further information on the details of your region’s session and registration information.

» UPDATES: If you want to subscribe to the provider-only listserv, please email: with “subscribe” as the subject line.

NRHA Rural Quality and Clinical Conference

July 18 - 20, 2012
Seattle, WA

NRHA’s Rural Quality and Clinical Conference is an interactive conference for quality improvement coordinators, performance improvement coordinators, rural clinicians, quality improvement organizations, and nurses practicing on the front lines of rural health care.


NRHA's March for Rural Hospitals

July 30 - 31, 2012
Wasington, D.C.

NRHA is hosting this free education and advocacy event.

Join experts in D.C. to learn how to save Medicare Dependent Hospitals (MDHs) and the Low-Volume Hospital (LVH) program, and take this important message to Capitol Hill:

If congressional action is not taken by Oct. 1, millions of dollars in reimbursements to these facilities will be lost, hospital services will be reduced, and rural hospital doors will close.




Speak Your Piece: We Can't Hide
by Helen Lewis

June 1, 2012 (The Daily Yonder) - A longtime activist and scholar of Appalachia asks all who would sustain rural communities to keep focused on two tasks: shaping public policy and reforming the national economy.

While grassroots community groups have succeeded in developing many creative, innovative programs, they cannot become completely self-sufficient within the present system. It is almost as if they find a steel ceiling which limits how far they can develop. For some the ceiling seems higher, depending upon their resources and ability to manipulate the larger system, but for some of the poorest communities with the fewest resources, the ceiling is very low. The more capacity and social capital they have developed, the more resources they can access, and the higher their ceiling.


Patients in Rural Areas Benefit From Telemedicine, Study Finds

May 29, 2012 (HealthTech) - As our country ages (and grows ever bigger), diabetes and other endocrine disorders, like thyroid disease and osteoporosis, are rising, particularly in rural areas. But virtual examining rooms may just be the answer for people with chronic diseases living far from doctors and hospitals.


RURAL MEDICINE: Doctors in Demand
by Alan Van Ormer

June 1, 2012 (Prairie Business) - In rural areas, the need for family physicians continues to put pressure on smaller communities, and health care networks are finding it increasingly difficult to find physicians to work in rural areas.

In Minnesota, there is a shortage of primary care professionals. There are also shortages of mental health care professionals, dental care specialists (especially for those who can’t afford dental services) and a lack of funding has created a risk of closure for some facilities in the state, says Judith Neppel, executive director of the Minnesota Rural Health Association.


Granite Healthcare Network and Cigna Launch Largest Accountable Care Program in New Hampshire Linking Doctors, Hospitals and Health Plan

May 29, 2012 (MarketWatch) - Cigna and the Granite Healthcare Network (GHN), a partnership among five independent charitable health care organizations in New Hampshire, have launched a collaborative accountable care initiative to expand patient access to health care, improve care coordination, and achieve the "triple aim" of improved health outcomes (quality), lower total medical costs and increased patient satisfaction. Collaborative accountable care is Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs.


USDA releases report on rural community support

June 4, 2012 (Delta Farm Press) - The USDA has released a report highlighting the ways in which infrastructure investments in rural communities help create jobs and boost economic development.

"Quality hospitals, schools and libraries are the building blocks for a vibrant rural America," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Today's announcement illustrates how the Obama administration is leveraging Rural Development's investments to ensure that rural communities can compete in the global economy."


Consumer Reports Releases First-Ever Doctor Practice Ratings

June 2012 (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) - Consumer Reports released its first patient experience ratings of primary care physician groups as part of a partnership with Aligning Forces for Quality, the Foundation’s signature effort to lift the quality of care in 16 targeted communities. The ratings cover nearly 500 practices in Massachusetts and were developed by Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP), a coalition of leading health care stakeholders that operates Greater Boston Aligning Forces for Quality. The report promotes opportunities for patients to become more involved in their care and to build stronger partnerships with their doctors.


Young physicians will become the champions of technology
by David Less Scher, MD

May 31, 2012 ( - “Generation C” has recently been defined by Nielsen as adults between 18 and 34 years old, who are entrenched in digital technologies.

They are indeed the connected generation and use technology by choice in all facets of life. It is part of their fabric.  Those entering the field of medicine would logically desire and expect to carry that over to their professional lives.  However, there are multiple barriers to the continuity of this facet of their personal lives to their professional ones as they embark on what is perceived as an otherwise high-tech journey into the healthcare world.


House approves FDA bill, medical devices to see new regs
by Erin McCann

May 31, 2012 ( - Lawmakers recently found themselves in the unfamiliar territory of bipartisanship when the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Food and Drug Administration Reform Act. 

Approved by a 387-5 vote, the bill sets forth several policy reforms pertaining to drugs and medical devices. The legislation will increase the so-called user fees that are paid by drug and medical device companies to the FDA and should expedite the review process for these devices and improve transparency of their clearance process. Lawmakers are expected to have a final draft of the legislation by early July. 


Pennsylvania closes in on health IT network
by Bill Toland

May 27, 2012 ( - Within two years, Pennsylvania should have in place a first-generation, Internet-based communications network that allows for the exchange of patient health data among doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, insurers and, eventually, the federal government.




HHS announces availability of funding to help older adults, people with disabilities access long-term services and supports and thrive in their communities

May 31, 2012 (HHS News Release) - Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced a new $25 million funding opportunity made possible by the Affordable Care Act to help states strengthen and expand their ability to help seniors and people with disabilities access home and community-based long-term services and supports.  Over the next one to three years, funding will support Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) in nearly every state.

The deadline date for submission of applications for The Enhanced ADRC Options Counseling Program is 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on July 25, 2012.


Small Research Grant to Improve Health Care Quality through Health Information Technology
Agency for Health Care Research and Quality

Deadline: November 16, 2012

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to support a wide variety of research designs in order to improve the quality, safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of health care through the implementation and use of health IT. These designs include: small pilot and feasibility or self-contained health IT research projects; secondary data analysis of health IT research; and economic (prospective or retrospective) analyses of health IT implementation and use. Through economic analyses estimates of health IT implementation and use costs and benefits will be generated.



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