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NCHN eNews
March 7, 2011 Only 40 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 highlight some quickly approaching deadlines. And, in case you are in Monday Quick Scan mode (we have discovered it's not only printers that have these), we'll lay them out for you right here at the start.

For more details, just keep reading. There is plenty of other meaty news we've collected over the last week, so we hope you will read on. As always, if you have information you would like to share, or have any feedback, please email us.








We know we have some outstanding members! We have recognized their hard work in past years. Our members take on daunting tasks, do amazing work, and contribute countless hours to their regions and to NCHN.

Do you know an NCHN member who has significantly impacted their region, other organizations, or your very own leadership? Don't miss this chance to let them know! Submit a 2011 NCHN Award Nomination and tell the Awards Committee why they deserve to be recognized. There are 4 categories and there will be 4 proud recipients at the Awards Luncheon on April 18th! Take a few minutes and make your nomination today! 

Deadline: Friday, March 18, 2011


Advertising Opportunities in the 2011 Conference Program

We are in the process of designing the program for the 2011 Conference and would love to feature your network or service. The deadline is today, but we will extend it to Monday, March 14th for you! You can find quotes and specs on the Conference Site. The ads will be in color and you can select a 1/4, 1/2, or full page (it's almost like ordering a sheet cake!).


Quarterly Membership Call
Monday, March 14 at 12:30 PM ET

Affordable Care Act: A Wisconsin Perspective

Jeremy Levin, Director of Advocacy at the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC) will discuss the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and its potential implications for rural and critical access hospitals.  Please join us to learn how the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative is working on behalf of its members to negotiate the upcoming mandates of the Affordable Care Act. Jeremy has been with RWHC since 2008, advocating at both the state and federal levels government in the area of health policy.  Prior to his time at RWHC, Jeremy spent five years advocating for physicians in Wisconsin.  He also worked in the Wisconsin State Legislature and serves on the Dane County Board. Jeremy received his bachelor’s degree from Denison University in Granville, OH and earned a Capstone Graduate Certificate from the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Registration is required. Please email Debbie at if you plan to be on the call. You will receive instructions via email.


March Call Dates

Thursday, March 10: Annual Conference Planning Committee @ 12:30 PM ET

Thursday, March 10: 2011 Leadership Summit Committee Call @ 2:00 PM ET

Monday, March 14: Quarterly Membership Call @ 12:30 PM ET

Thursday, March 24: 2011 Annual Conference Planning Committee @ 12:30 PM ET

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


From the Forum

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

From -
"Sheikh's Inheritance"

An Arab sheikh tells his two sons to race their camels to a distant city to see who will inherit his fortune. The one whose camel is slower wins. After wandering aimlessly for days, the brothers ask a wise man for guidance. Upon receiving the advice, they jump on the camels and race to the city as fast as they can.


What did the wise man say to them?




MHN Mobile ClassroomFeatured Member: Montana Health Network

Montana Health Network (MHN) is a consortium of healthcare facilities located across the state of Montana and Wyoming. It is comprised of seventeen shareholding members and thirty three affiliate members in Montana, and two affiliate members in Wyoming. Montana Health Network was established in 1987 on a core product of workers compensation. Since its establishment MHN has grown to provide a full compliment of human resource benefits for member employees as well as other insurance products to help cover our member facilities.

MHN has a robust education division responsible for clinical training for nurses, CNA’s and EMT’s. Nursing CE’s are available and courses are taught through a mobile network that brings instructors on-site into rural facilities. For many classes the education division utilizes a patient simulator that is carried in a mobile classroom. The simulator is used for hands on teaching, presenting real life scenarios for nursing schools, hospitals and healthcare career classes at high schools.

» READ MORE (pdf)

Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance: New Executive Director

Yvonne Hughes is the new Executive Director of the Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance. Her position will also include serving as the Executive Director of the Coastal Carolinas Health Information Exchange (HIE).

Yvonne brings over sixteen years of healthcare experience to both CCHA and CCHIE, which includes project management, team facilitation, strategic planning, grant writing and change management. For the past two years she became the catalytic leader that created the HIE, perhaps the most critical and challenging project our Alliance has undergone. This is a collaborative effort with stakeholders from across the continuum of healthcare, CCHA hospitals and state-level entities to organize an electronic health information exchange. This HIE initiative evolved into Coastal Connect, Inc., a nonprofit regional health information organization.  Yvonne has a Bachelor's degree in Business and a Master's degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management.



Rural Critical Care Consortium: Successes and Challenges

Webinar: March 10, 2011 @ 12:00 PM ET

How are you doing with the challenge of recruiting and training rural nurses?  How do you gain access to experienced preceptors, educators and current technology?

In a single shift, rural critical care nurses may care for a critically ill cardiac, trauma, septic, elderly, pediatric or obstetrical patient, often doing so with significantly limited resources and personnel. The challenges are many: isolated locations, limited hospital size and struggling local economies.

Join Lauré Larsen, RN, ICU director in a rural setting, to hear how their consortium of rural hospitals in eastern Washington and northern Idaho pooled resources to provide the solid foundation of knowledge that new critical care nurses need to provide safe and competent care.


HRSA Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative (PSPC)

Quarterly Information Webinar: March 10, 2011 from 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET

This webinar offer you the opportunity to learn more about HRSA's PSPC. To join the webinar directly, dial 1-888-566-1385. Audience passcode: 4558724. Conference number: PW2987920. For more questions, please email


Patient Safety Week Webcast

Tuesday, March 8 @ 1:00 PM ET
Title: A Systems Approach to Patient Engagement: Developing a Comprehensive Patient Experience Strategy

Attendees of this webcast will be able to:

  • Discuss the definition of Patient Experience and role of patient engagement to improve service, safety and clinical quality
  • Examine patient engagement strategies from Aurora and the field to effectively engage patients at both the organizational and individual caregiver level
  • Develop a patient experience strategy inclusive of service, safety and clinical outcomes


34th NRHA Annual Rural Health Conference

May 3 - 6, 2011
Austin, TX

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.


Co-op Solutions for Long Term Care

Monday, March 21, 2011, 10:00 AM – 2:30 PM ET
National Press Club
529 14th St. NW
Washington, DC 20045

Attendance is free

The Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) is pleased to host this forum that will examine the vast potential for home care cooperatives and address the question, “Does rural make it harder?” A rural health care delivery system that includes viable home care cooperatives has the potential to bring about long term care cost savings, to enable thousands of senior citizens to enjoy independent living with quality care/services, to create a stable and trained workforce, to empower working men and women to earn a living wage as member/owners of home care cooperatives, and to help sustain rural communities by contributing jobs to the rural economy.




Define Rural before You Budget for It
by Timothy Collins

March 1, 2011 (The Daily Yonder)

With so much federal spending under review, we need a clearer, sharper picture of what's rural. Spending on ag alone doesn't tackle the problem of rural development.

The halls of Congress have already seen tremendous change this year. Almost everyone senses a need to cut spending. It’s also time to draft a new Farm Bill, as the current bill is set to expire in 2012. If the budget-cutting mood persists in Washington, we can expect more funding reductions for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs. But which programs? How much will they be cut? What’s the government’s role anyway? The debates are on.

As part of the Farm Bill hearings, on February 15 I had an opportunity to testify before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture about one piece of the picture: How to define rural? My quick answer has always been that you know rural when you see it, but this approach doesn’t fly when it comes to policy implementation and the distribution of billions of dollars for rural development projects.


ERS' Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America
We included a link to ERS' Atlas in the last issue of the weekly, but USDA recently discussed it in greater detail in The Agurban (March 1, 2011), and we think this is worth sharing. This is a great resource for those of you collecting data on your region.

The Agurban, March 1, 2011 - Finding data on non-metro counties in the United States just became a little easier. We learned a lot about data gathering when we were researching for Boomtown USA. Non-metro, or agurban, information was the last to be compiled. Now, with this new tool from the USDA, much of that data can be found in one place.


The Atlas allows users to geographically compare selected states or regions using data on population, age structure, race and ethnicity, income, employment, agricultural well-being, and other measures. Regional planners in the rural Southwest, for example, could compare population trends in their area with counties or states in the Midwest. Maps can be filtered to show only counties of a certain type, such as those with high levels of manufacturing or with persistent poverty. For example, this option could be used to show high unemployment in manufacturing-dependent counties.


GrantStation's Discussion of The Role of the Board in Grantseeking (a series)

GrantStation has had an ongoing discussion of the role of the Board in looking for funds. The first part of the series covers Board Myths and the second covers "The Accepted and Expected." Last week's GrantStation Insider featured "Introducing the Unexpected." You can read the discussion on GrantStation's website.


Health Systems Experts Develop Tool to Assess Economic Impact of Transition to Accountable Care

March 7, 2011 (BusinessWire)

Charlotte, NC - Experts from 28 of the nation's leading health systems developed a comprehensive financial modeling tool to assess the economic impact associated with a system-wide transition to accountable care.

Premier healthcare alliance Accountable Care Implementation Collaborative members will leverage the model as a decision support tool to assess financial risks and opportunities for their physician networks and hospitals in the movement toward accountable care. Additionally, organizations can evaluate various scenarios to determine how quickly to transition to an accountable care organization (ACO), which populations should be targeted for ACO services and how to structure shared savings arrangements with payors.

The collaborative currently includes 28 health systems with more than 120 hospitals and 5,000 physicians across 23 states. Upon launch, these providers will provide health and wellness services for 1.5 million beneficiaries.

The ACO financial model can help organizations plan budgets, investments and other financial needs as they transition over time from today’s fee-for-service reimbursement system to one based on shared savings and value-based payments.


Health Center Budget Cuts to Eliminate Access for 11 Million Patients with Significant Health Needs

February 24, 2011 (

A new policy research brief released today by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services examines the characteristics of patients whose access to health center services is at risk because of a potential $1.3 billion in direct spending cuts for community health centers. The cuts were approved by the United States House of Representatives on February 20, 2011, as part of legislation to trim $61 billion in discretionary spending for the remainder of fiscal year 2011.

“Health centers provide cost-effective care for high-risk patients,” said Peter Shin, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and co-author of the study. “Reducing health center funding impedes improvements in population health and limits the potential for significant savings in health care costs.”




Community Connect Grant Program

March 4, 2011 (Federal Register)

Opportunity Description: The provision of broadband transmission service is vital to the economic development, education, health, and safety of rural Americans. The purpose of the Community Connect Grant Program is to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to eligible applicants that will provide currently unserved areas, on a “community-oriented connectivity” basis, with broadband transmission service that fosters economic growth and delivers enhanced educational, health care, and public safety services. Rural Utilities Service will give priority to rural areas that it believes have the greatest need for broadband transmission services, based on the criteria contained herein.

Grant authority will be used for the deployment of broadband transmission service to extremely rural, lower-income communities on a “community-oriented connectivity” basis. The “community-oriented connectivity” concept will stimulate practical, everyday uses and applications of broadband facilities by cultivating the deployment of new broadband transmission services that improve economic development and provide enhanced educational and health care opportunities in rural areas.


Funding Opportunities

Remember you can always search for funding opportunities at RAC Online and GrantStation (if you are a GrantStation member).  If you find a funding opportunity you are willing to share with NCHN members, please send them to Christy at and we will include it in the newsletter.



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