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NCHN eNews
March 14, 2011 Only 33 Days to the NCHN Annual Conference!
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

This is the latest issue of the NCHN Weekly Digest. This week, we want to remind you to get your 2011 NCHN Award nominations in ASAP (Friday at the latest) and make your hotel reservations if you will be attending the conference and have not made your room reservation yet.

We hope you enjoy it and, as always, if you have news or other information to share, or have any feedback, please email us.

Wishing you a great week,
NCHN Staff







2011 AwardsLAST CHANCE: Award Nominations due Friday

This is our final reminder that the Award Nominations are due. If you want to nominate a network, network leader, or Friend of NCHN, do not delay. Get your nomination in by Friday, March 18th!

Submit a 2011 NCHN Award Nomination and tell the Awards Committee why your nominee should be recognized.


Hotel Valley HoConference: Hotel Reservations

If you are attending the 2011 NCHN Annual Conference, you must make your reservations by 5:00 MT on Monday, March 21st to get your room at the NCHN rate ($169+tax).

To make your room reservations:
Call Hotel Valley Ho at 866-882-4484
Identify yourself as being with the NCHN Annual Conference.


Upcoming Call Dates

Program Development Committee
Thursday, March 24 @ 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET

Annual Conference Planning Committee
Thursday, March 24 @ 12:30 PM ET

Board of Directors Call
Monday, March 28 @ 1:00 PM ET

Materials for these calls will be posted on the NCHN Forum before the call.


From the Forum

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


Exactly how many minutes is it before seven o'clock, if 40 minutes ago it was three times as many minutes past two o'clock?




Submit your news

No new member updates. Submit your news for next week's update via email to Christy at



Free Webinar: ACA and You - How to Anticipate Changes in Rural Places

Please join the Rural Assistance Center for a free webinar:

Webinar Title: ACA and You - How to Anticipate Changes in Rural Places
Featured Speaker: Keith Mueller, Chair of the RUPRI Rural Health Panel
Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Time: 2:00-3:00 Central

Description: What impact will health care reform have on rural communities? This webinar discusses the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and how it could affect rural residents, providers and their communities. From changes in the insurance market and health care access, to changes in how provider payments are made, new approaches to organizing and financing services will be needed. Since many of these changes will be driven by decisions at state and local levels, this discussion can help communities influence those decisions in a way that benefits rural areas.

Registration: Visit to register. Please note, there are a limited number of seats available. This webinar is free. A phone connection and high-speed internet are required to participate. Connection details will be emailed to you prior to the event.

If you have questions or problems with the registration process, please contact Elaine King at or 701.777.2094.

Free Webinar: Can You Hear Me? An Introduction to Hearing Loss Prevention in Agriculture

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
2:30 - 3:45 PM EST

Who should participate? Anyone who works with people exposed to noise in farming. This train-the-trainer online workshop will include how to select and insert hearing protection properly. In order to practice what is being demonstrated, please bring at least one kind of formable (foam) earplugs to the workshop.

Pre-registration is not required, but lines are limited. To help assure that you can participate, call in and log in early.

Dial-in #: 877-784-2189
Participant Code: 7518864

Online Workshop Access:
Meeting ID: T83T7F
Entry Code: mvdews

Handouts and information on this and future workshops will be available from:
Janet Ehlers at

Free Webinar from Agrisafe: Pesticides and Farmworkers

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
12:00 - 1:00 PM CDT

Presenter: Matthew Keifer, MD, MPH, Dean Emanuel Endowed Chair/Senior Scientist, National Farm Medicine Center

This webinar will overview the importance of recognizing and managing pesticide exposure, the toxicological reasons pesticides cause health problems and appropriate treatment.  Particular emphasis will be given to farmworkers, as this largely immigrant and marginalized population is the working population most often affected by pesticide overexposure.

For more information or questions, contact:
Stacey M. Jenkins
AgriSafe Network




Bill would boost telemedicine in rural communities

March 11, 2011 (Telemedicine and e-Health News Alert)
South Dakota's Rapid City Journal reports that Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have introduced the Fostering Independence Through Technology Act to promote telemedicine as a means of raising rural healthcare quality. The measure would provide incentives to rural healthcare agencies to implement home healthcare monitoring. Agencies would be compensated based on the Medicare savings they achieved via telemedicine. Previous attempts to pass the bill have failed


Review of recent studies shows predominantly positive results for health information technology

March 8, 2011 ( | ASPA | Newsroom) - A study completed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and published in the journal Health Affairs finds growing evidence of the benefits of health information technology (HIT). Using methods that were employed by two previous independent reviews, the new study finds that 92 percent of articles on HIT reached conclusions that showed overall positive effects of HIT on key aspects of care including quality and efficiency of health care.

In addition, the study finds increasing evidence of benefits for all health care providers, not just the larger health IT “leader” organizations (i.e., early adopters of HIT) that have provided much of the data regarding experience with HIT in the past. The previous reviews identified a gap between “leaders” and non-leaders in demonstrating benefits from HIT.


Rural Monitor Seeking Interviewees for Rural Spotlight

March 10, 2011 (from Beth Blevins, Editor, The Rural Monitor)

I'm looking for interesting people in rural health and/or human services to interview for the Rural Monitor's Rural Spotlight feature.

Rural Spotlight, which runs in every issue of the Rural Monitor, has recently featured such "rural" personalities as Keith Mueller, John Supplitt, and Tom Morris.

To nominate someone for this feature, send an email to: (with "Rural Spotlight" in the subject heading). Also describe in a sentence or two why your nominee would make a good subject, along with a description of what their work/interest is.

I am also looking for topics to ask interviewees about. Past interviewees have discussed:

  • health care reform and its potential rural effects
  • physical and financial obstacles to rural HIT
  • challenges facing rural hospitals
  • recruitment and retention of rural physicians

If there are topics you'd like to see covered in Rural Spotlight, please send them to me at the email address given above, with same subject heading, noting why you think your topics are of interest.

Thanks for your time!

Beth Blevins, Editor
The Rural Monitor
Web site:

AHRQ: New Resource Identifies Care Coordination Measures

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released a new resource for researchers interested in measuring care coordination, an emerging field of quality measurement. The Care Coordination Measures Atlas is available online and for download in pdf format. It identifies more than 60 measures for assessing care coordination that include the perspectives of patients and caregivers, health care professionals and health system managers. To help users easily identify measures that are relevant to their work, the measures are mapped to a conceptual framework for understanding care coordination measurement. In addition to researchers, measure developers, Accountable Care Organizations and others responsible for measuring care coordination will find the Atlas useful in identifying currently available measures to assess care coordination activities, as well as gaps in existing measures that can be addressed in future work.


AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Personal Health Records

March 8, 2011 (NIH News) - The RxNorm standard clinical drug vocabulary produced by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) now contains more accurate and complete connections between National Drug Codes (NDCs) and standard nonproprietary names of medications recommended for use in electronic health records (EHRs).

It also includes, for the first time, First DataBank's set of NDCs. First DataBank is a provider of drug databases that are widely used in the health care industry.


Admissions Data State by State Show Dramatic Shifts: Study Provides Insight into Regional Nature of Substance Abuse

March 14, 2011 (SAMHSA News, Volume 19, Number 1) - The overall rate of admissions to substance abuse treatment across the Nation remained stable between 1998 and 2008. By region, however, a new SAMHSA study shows striking changes and variations in admission rates.

For example, the rate of admissions for alcohol as the primary drug has declined by 15 percent nationally. In contrast, admission rates for alcohol in West North Central states (IA, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, and SD) remained the same.

"This study provides insight into the regional nature of substance abuse,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “By analyzing the shifting trends in the reasons for admission to treatment, policy makers, public health experts, and behavioral health service providers can better direct limited resources in their states and local communities.”


AHRQ: 2010 National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Reports

March 8, 2011 (HHS - Office of Minority Health) Reports from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that although improvements in the quality of care are being made, gaps based on race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status persist.




Deadline Approaching for ACA Health Center Planning Grants

Deadline: March 18, 2011 @ 8:00 PM ET

Description: The purpose of planning grants is to demonstrate the need for health services in the community from public or non-profit organizations seeking a grant to plan for the development of a comprehensive primary care health center under the Health Center Program authorized under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act.

The purpose of the Health Center Program is to extend comprehensive primary and preventive health services (including mental health, substance abuse and oral health services) and supplemental services to populations currently without access to such services, and to improve their health status.  The program includes: 1) Community Health Centers, section 330(e); 2) Migrant Health Centers, section 330(g); 3) Health Care for the Homeless program, section 330(h); and 4) Public Housing Primary Care, section 330(i).  The populations served by these programs include: 1) medically underserved populations in urban and rural areas; 2) migratory and seasonal agricultural workers and their families; 3) homeless people, including children and families; and 4) residents of publicly subsidized housing.




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