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NCHN eNews
March 21, 2011 26 days to the NCHN Annual Conference!
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

Welcome to the latest issue of the NCHN Weekly Digest. On the exciting end of the news, HCC of Lafayette County has received a USDA Rural Development grant and Tara Cramer has announced the birth of her son, Tres! And, just a final, final reminder: today is the last day to make your room reservation for the NCHN Annual Conference. Finally, thank you to those of you who responded to the LTC Services survey last week. Rebecca is in Washington, DC presenting the results today.

With sorrow, we share NRHA's announcement that longtime staff member Rosemary McKenzie has passed away. Our thoughts are with her family, friends, and coworkers.

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

Wishing you a great week and a Happy 1st Full Day of Spring,
NCHN Staff







Hotel Valley HoConference: Hotel Reservations

The Hotel will NOT extend the deadline. Make your reservations TODAY!

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.


Early Bird Registration for the Conference

Early Bird registration deadline: April 1st

If you are planning to attend, you can register online before April Fool's Day and save $75 off of the standard registration fee.


Upcoming Call Dates

2011 Awards Committee:
Wednesday, March 23 @ 12:00 PM ET

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?


At the recent spring fete, four keen gardeners were displaying their fine roses. In total there were four colours and each rose appeared in two colours. Mr Green had a yellow rose. Mr Yellow did not have a red one. Mr Red had a blue rose but not a green one, whilst Mr Blue did not have a yellow one. One person with a red rose also had a green one. One person with a yellow rose also had a blue one. One of the persons with a green rose had no red. Neither of the persons with a yellow rose had a green one. No person has two roses of the same colour and no two persons had the same two colour roses and their names provide no clues. Can you tell who had which colour roses?




Congratulations to Tara Cramer, NCHN Board Member, on the Birth of Her Son

Tara Cramer, Executive Director of East Georgia Health Cooperative, gave birth to Jeffrey Leon Cramer III on February 14, 2011. "Tres" was born a month early and spent 2 weeks in NICU, but Tara reports that he is now home and growing!

Please join us in celebrating the arrival of Tara's son! You can email Tara at

Tara serves on the NCHN Board of Directors and was the recipient of the 2009 Outstanding New and Emerging Health Network Leader of the the Year award.

» View the announcement (and an adorable picture of Tres)

Healthcare Coalition of Lafayette County (MO) Receives USDA Rural Development Grant

HCC of Lafayette County is among 6 recipients of USDA's Rural Utilities Services’ Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program grants, which totaled $1,884,627.

» Read the Full Story
» Read HCC's March 2011 E-news

Submit your news for next week's update via email to Christy at

MedAssets' Vendor Partner Offers Services to NCHN Members

At the request of MedAssets, I am reaching out to inform you that we are a new vendor partner for the Alternate Care market under contract # MS01634.

Diagnostic Test Group is a manufacturer of rapid diagnostic testing products that are targeted toward the physician clinic, laboratory, and hospital market. DTG’s current product line includes over 52 primary products which are sold and distributed under its own Clarity brand.  These products consist of rapid tests, diagnostic equipment, and over-the-counter diagnostic tests. DTG’s products are sold by our strategically placed sales force and supported by our own technical support and customer service staff who are available for complex training and installation issues. DTG works with various distribution partners throughout the United States in order to effectively guide the flow of product through the supply chain and reach all markets possible. The Clarity line of products will help your members save significantly on their rapid diagnostic testing kits all while assisting in standardization.

To learn more about our products, please visit our website at

For more information and pricing, contact:
Daniel Léger, General Manager, Diagnostic Test Group
Phone: (561) 347-5760 x305



Save the Date: 3RNet 16th Annual Conference and Membership Meeting

September 22 - 23, 2011
Austin, TX

Radisson Hotel & Suites Austin – Town Lake

Come and learn through presentations and Q & A. Gather ideas from peers representing organizations like yours across the country.

Topics include: Loan Repayment Research, Immigration, Community APGAR Project, Background Checks, Ethics of Recruitment, NHSC Update, Colorado STRIDES - Sustainable Communities,

Speakers include: Robert Aaronson, J.D., Steve Bahmer, Ed Baker, PhD, Clint Cresawn, Rhonda Jackson, Don Pathman, M.D., MPH, David Schmitz, M.D., Rebecca Spitzgo

Registration information will be available soon. We’ll see you in Austin!

» Visit the 3RNet web site

Save $100 on NRHA's 34th Annual Rural Health Conference

From NRHA:

Join fellow rural health rock stars for the nation’s largest gathering of rural health professionals at NRHA's 34th Annual Rural Health Conference May 4-6 in Austin, Texas, the live music capital of the world.

At the 2010 Annual Conference, 95% of attendees liked the variety of topics and 98% liked the quality of speakers.
Ronnie Musgrove, chair of the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services, and Mark B. McClellan, MD, director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, will be the headliners for more than 50 innovative, practical and cost-saving sessions addressing workforce, frontier and border health issues and more.

Click here to reserve your seat by April 1 to save $100. First come, first served scholarship applications are available online.

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




NRHA mourns the loss of longtime staff member Rosemary McKenzie

Rosemay McKenzieLast Friday, NRHA sent the following email mourning the loss of long-time NRHA staffmember Rosemary McKenzie. Our thoughts are with Mrs. McKenzie's family, friends, her coworkers at NRHA, and the many members who knew her.

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Rosemary McKenzie, longtime NRHA employee, colleague and friend, on March 16 due to complications from pancreatic cancer.

Rosemary served as NRHA’s Minority Liaison and Program Services Manager in the Kansas City, Mo., office for 27 years. She was a joy to all who knew her. Her passion for rural health care and dedication to multicultural and multiracial populations was unparalleled.

Rosemary was an integral part of the NRHA family, and we all mourn her loss. Our condolences are extended to her family as they grieve the loss of their wife, mother and grandmother.

Rosemary is survived by her husband, Ricky; her daughter, Monica; and four grandchildren.

On behalf of everyone at NRHA, thank you for your support of Rosemary, especially during her recent illness.

Services will be provided by Duane E. Harvey Funeral Home in Kansas City, Mo.

Georgia Health Policy Center receives $9.2 million from HRSA

March 11, 2011 (HealthcareITNews)

ATLANTA - The Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University was awarded three contracts totaling more than $9.2 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support healthcare access in the rural United States over the next three to five years.

The organizations that receive help through the programs use the money for a wide variety of initiatives, such as the purchase and upgrade of health information technology, chronic disease management, workforce development, school fitness and dental programs, mental and behavioral health and maternal and child health.

Administered by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy at HRSA, the funding supports four grant programs: Delta State Rural Development Network, Rural Health Care Services Outreach, Rural Health Network Development, and Rural Health Workforce Development. HRSA's Office of Rural Health Policy provides these programs to increase access to care for residents of rural and frontier communities.


The Myth of Rural 'Subsidies

March 10, 2011 (Bill Bishop, The Daily Yonder)

The federal government provides “a raft of subsidies (devoted) to sustaining rural living." 

That’s what Ezra Klein wrote in The Washington Post in a blog post that has caused a minor uproar — especially after Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack blundered into the argument. But is that true?

Klein’s initial point was that cities are unique in the efficient way they create new wealth. He then said that we should capitalize on this unique attribute of urban life, but that we won’t because the structure of the Congress inevitably leads to programs and spending that subsidize rural life. 


More from The Daily Yonder: How're You 'Being,' Rural?...Not So Well

National Quality Strategy will promote better health, quality care for Americans

March 21, 2011 (HHS News Release) - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today released the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care (National Quality Strategy). The strategy was called for under the Affordable Care Act and is the first effort to create national aims and priorities to guide local, state, and national efforts to improve the quality of health care in the United States.

“The Affordable Care Act sets America on a path toward a higher quality health care system so we stop doing things that don’t work for patients and start doing more of the things that do work,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “American hospitals, doctors, nurses and other health care providers are among the best in the world. With this ground-breaking strategy, we are working with local communities and health care providers to help patients and improve the health of all Americans.”


Ciena and Internet2 Partner On New National 100G Network

Field-proven coherent 100G technology from Ciena to support growing bandwidth needs of the research and education community and provide connectivity for more than 200,000 community anchor institutions nationwide 

ANN ARBOR, Mich., and LINTHICUM, Md. – March 9, 2011 – Ciena® Corporation (NASDAQ: CIEN), the network specialist, and Internet2 today announced a partnership on a 100G national network in support of the U.S. Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) project. Internet2 is significantly upgrading its national backbone network through a federal stimulus grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

Through its partnership with Ciena, Internet2 will increase its network’s bandwidth from approximately 100 Gigabits per second to 8.8 Terabits per second to provide the necessary capabilities to connect over 200,000 community anchor institutions nationwide as part of the U.S. UCAN project. The new network will also support the exponential growth in capacity needs by the research and the higher education community that Internet2 serves today.


Tribes Find Assistance in Recovery Act

Secretary Kathleen Sebelius established the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC) to advise the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on its government-to-government relationship and delivery of services to Tribal communities. At the STAC’s first meeting in Washington, D.C., the Tribal representatives heard about American Recovery and Reinvestment Act programs for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN).

The Recovery Act empowered HHS to help jump-start the economy, maintain health care services, expand access to affordable health care, protect those in greatest need and provide for the early care and education of young children and create or save jobs. As part of its Recovery Act mandate, HHS provided more than $700 million for programs to specially assist Tribal communities. As presented to the STAC, the following are highlights of HHS Recovery Act funding benefiting AI/AN people.


From NRHA Government Affairs: Tell your Members of Congress to Protect Rural Hospitals

As you may know, the Congressional Budget Office recently released a report detailing ways in which the federal spending deficit could be reduced.  One of their options, Mandatory Spending Option 24, suggests eliminating the Critical Access Hospital, Sole Community Hospital and Medicare Dependent Hospital programs. These facilities provide critical access to rural patients across the nation.  To ensure this care Congress created special Medicare reimbursement rates benefiting cost-based care.

The CBO option would override Congressional intent by changing the hospitals' reimbursement to the Inpatient Prospective Payment System. These new rates would reduce Medicare payments to these hospitals forcing many to offer reduced services or close, significantly limiting many rural Americans' access to a health care facility.

Critical Access Hospitals, Sole Community Hospitals and Medicare Dependent Hospitals receive the special cost-based payments because facilities operating in rural America typically have higher costs associated with care as well as a lower volume of patients. The increased financial burden resulting from a reduced payment rate would force many hospitals in rural America to close reducing access to care for rural Americans.

Please call your Members of Congress and tell them to protect rural Americans' access to care by maintaining rural hospital Medicare payments.

If you have additional questions please contact the NRHA Government Affairs staff at 202-639-0550.

At One-Year Mark, Implications Of Health Law Emerge

March 17, 2011 (Kaiser Health News)

Media outlets report on a range of issues related to implementation of the health law and its one-year anniversary — among them, the unexpected importance taken on by waivers, the marketplace impact on health insurance brokers, the geography of the health care workforce issues likely to result from coverage expansions and the continuing problems faced by lawmakers who are trying to repeal the measure's 1099 reporting provision.




There are no new funding announcements this week. However, remember that you can always visit the RAC web site or use GrantStation (if you are a subscriber) to search funding opportunities. Both sites have excellent listings.

Please send us any announcements you would like to share witht he NCHN membership.



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