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NCHN eNews
May 24, 2011
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

This is the latest issue of the NCHN Weekly Digest. This issue is late, and we apologize for the inconvenience. Storms knocked the internet out for 24 hours. However, we are back up and running today and hope that you enjoy this issue. If you are an NCHN member, please check out the Committee Sign Up and consider serving if you have not signed up already.

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







NCHN Committee Sign Up

During the Annual Conference, we circulated a committee sign-up sheet for those of you willing to share your time and expertise to support NCHN. A list of committees and members is below. Thank you to those who have signed up!

2011 Leadership Summit Committee (FULL)
Mary Adams, Co-Chair
Dawn Wichmann, Co-Chair
Darcy A. Czarnik Laurin
Mary Ann Watson
Jinger Greer
Holly Crump
Deena Dodd
Heather Fuller

2012 Conference Planning Committee
Heather Fuller, Chair
Jack King
Jinger Greer
Chris Hopkins
Martha McLeod

Business Partner Committee
[New Committee]

Program Development Committee
Robin Johnson
Steve Stoddard
Darcy A. Czarnik Laurin
Brendan Ashby
Esther Hammerschlag
Dave Johnson

By-Laws Committee
Dawn Wichmann

2012 Awards Committee
Previous Award Winners

» If you are interested in serving on a committee and you are not listed, please contact Rebecca at

» View Committee Descriptions (doc)


From the Forum

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


The Ball
How can you throw a ball as hard as you can and have it come back to you, even if it doesn't bounce off anything? There is nothing attached to it, and no one else catches or throws it back to you.



No new member news this week! If you have network news, send it to for inclusion in the next newsletter.



AgriSafe Network Webinar: Osteoarthritis in Rural Youth

May 26, 2011 - 12-1pm CDT

Topic:  Prevention of Osteoarthritis in Rural Youth
Presenter: Amber Wolfe, AgrAbility Program Coordinator, Arthritis Foundation-Indiana Chapter, Heartland Region 

Webinar link: 
Enter your name in the guest login box and click on 'Enter Room'
We will be using Adobe Connect for this session -- run a connection test on your system

This webinar series is made possible by support from the National Rural Health Association.

CMS Special Open Door Forum 2011 Physician Quality Reporting System and Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Programs: ICD-10 Conversion

May 26, 2011
2:30 - 3:30 PM ET

Dial: 1.800.837.1935
Conference ID: 44767414


2011 National Rural Assembly

June 28 - 30, 2011
St. Paul, MN

Join the National Rural Assembly in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 28-30 for a jam-packed agenda that addresses the most critical issues affecting rural communities today. Register today at

Is your organization sorting through the Affordable Care Act? Following broadband discussions? Developing a climate change plan? Or encouraging entrepreneurship and wealth creation in your small town? Rural leaders from across the country will come together over a two-day period to discuss these issues and more.

A series of work sessions will provide participants with the opportunity to go deep and build a set of recommendations that will then be carried forward to policymakers by the Rural Assembly in the coming year. Sessions will offer collaboration around topics such as housing, energy and natural resources, tribal issues, philanthropy, immigration, the farm bill, youth policy and rural education grants, Social Security, and green jobs. Participants will also hear from key rural leaders and policymakers with insight into the status of rural America in the national policy scene.

The objectives for this gathering include developing a common language and tools for participants to use in framing rural issues powerfully in a national context. Our collective voice can carry the common message that rural America offers innovative solutions for some of the nation's greatest challenges.




New Data for Understanding Rural America: The American Community Survey

by Kathy Miller, RUPRI Program Director

Spring 2011 (The Rural Monitor) - As most Americans know, 2010 was a “Census Year.” The requirement to count the population every decade is outlined in the U.S. Constitution, which states that members in the House of Representatives shall be apportioned based on the population of their states. The decennial Census has undergone significant changes since the first Census was taken door-to-door by U.S Marshalls in 1790.

One of the most significant changes was in 1940, when detailed questions regarding social and economic conditions were asked of a sample of the population. This detailed questionnaire became known as the “long form,” and over time became the prominent source of detailed data such as educational attainment, poverty and income, occupations and employment, as well as housing conditions. This became the key source of data for rural conditions and trends, since so few other data sources covered rural geographies.


More from the Spring 2011 issue of The Rural Monitor

Rural America Benefits From Expanded Use of the Federal Tax Code for Income Support

June 2011 (Amber Waves) - The increased use of the Federal tax code for public policy goals has provided a significant boost to income for rural taxpayers who tend to have lower incomes and higher poverty rates than urban taxpayers.

The Federal tax system has always served purposes beyond the collection of revenue to fund Government programs. In recent years, however, the tax code has been increasingly used to promote or achieve social and other policy objectives, including provisions to encourage home ownership, work, education, and savings as well as to provide income support for families with children.


Implementation WG Seeks Comments on EHR Certification Program by June 17, 2011

The Health Information Technology Standards Committee (HITSC) Implementation Workgroup is currently seeking comments on the electronic health record (EHR) Temporary Certification Program, Stage 1 Meaningful Use. Comments are due by Friday, June 17, 2011.

Eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals (EHs) who seek to qualify for incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are required by statute to use Certified EHR Technology. Once certified, Complete EHRs and EHR Modules can be used by EPs and EHs to meet the statutory requirement for Certified EHR Technology.

The Workgroup is now collecting feedback on the progress of the EHR product certification program, which has been certifying EHR technology on Stage 1 Meaningful Use criteria for almost a year. Following analysis of the comments received through the approximately 30-day public comment period, the Workgroup intends to make recommendations to the HITSC regarding the EHR Certification Program for Stage 2 Meaningful Use. The Workgroup’s goal is to obtain feedback on the process for communicating the testing and certification criteria, as well as for testing and certifying the EHR technology.

You may submit your comments in two ways:

Please submit your comments by no later than 5 p.m. EDT on June 17, 2011.



Public Prevention Health Fund: Community Transformation Grant

Letter of intent due: June 6, 2011
Application due: July 15, 2011

The purpose of this program is to create healthier communities by 1) building capacity to implement broad evidence and practice-based policy, environmental, programmatic and infrastructure changes, as appropriate, in large counties, and in states, tribes and territories, including in rural and frontier areas and 2) supporting implementation of such interventions in five strategic areas (Strategic Directions) aligning with Healthy People 2020 focus areas and achieving demonstrated progress in the following five performance measures outlined in the Affordable Care Act: 1) changes in weight, 2) changes in proper nutrition, 3) changes in physical activity, 4) changes in tobacco use prevalence, and 5) changes in emotional well being and overall mental health, as well as other program-specific measures.



Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Unveils Plan to Help States Implement Heathcare Legislation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced the launch of a new initiative designed to help states implement health insurance coverage provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which experts say could expand coverage to an additional thirty-two million people nationwide.

Through the initiative, the foundation will support technical assistance, research, consumer engagement, online networking, and leadership development to help states expand and improve health insurance coverage. Initially, the foundation will focus on ten states — Alabama, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Virginia — and will make lessons learned from these and other states available to policy makers across the country.


Humana Foundation Offers Transformational Communities Benefit Grant Program in Eight U.S. Communities

A program of health-benefits company Humana, Inc. and the Humana Foundation, the 2011 Humana Communities Benefit initiative will award a one-time grant of $100,000 to a nonprofit organization in each of Humana's eight market areas.

The program is accepting applications from organizations that are working to improve health experiences or build healthy communities in the areas of childhood health and education, family wellness and active lifestyles, and health literacy for diverse populations and seniors.




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