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NCHN Healthcare News Digest

Issue #12 | Monday, November 15, 2010

+ NCHN Featured Network: Health Enterprises (IA)

The purpose of Health Enterprises is to develop, promote and maintain high-quality services and programs, which provide value to their members and clients, in support of community-based healthcare. The Health Enterprises’ Family of Companies exists to serve and support hospitals, other healthcare providers, their patients and clients. The services provided are built on a philosophy that recognizes the function of quality and cost to determine value. All the members of the Health Enterprises’ Family of Companies make delivering value a top priority. The network is comprised of 26 organizations throughout Iowa.

Vision: By 2012, Health Enterprises will be our member and client hospitals’ partner of choice in supply chain and shared clinical services in a relationship characterized by extreme loyalty, high quality and excellence in service.

Mission: Health Enterprises, through fostering collaborative and innovative hospital relationships, provides unsurpassed value to hospitals in support of community-based healthcare.

Health Enterprises offers a variety of programs and services to help local hospitals gain access to technology, decrease and control expenses and gain access to highly-specialized personnel. As hospital-owned companies, they also return the profits of their operations to the investors, allowing the profits to be reinvested in services for the local communities. Health
Enterprises takes a bold, innovative approach to many facets of health-related services. Dedicated customer service is an important part of the Health Enterprises philosophy. Customer service sets Health Enterprises apart and ensures successful, growing ventures.

>> Download the white paper (pdf) to read more, including services and initiatives...

Contact Information:
Jon S. Sewell, President and CEO
4250 Glass Road NE, Ste 200 | Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Ph: (319) 368-3613

About NCHN Featured Network (NEW)
One of the greatest values NCHN can bring to its members is information about what networks throughout the country are doing to meet the needs of their communities. To share information about your network, you can submit your paper to using the following template: NCHN Sharing Form (doc). One network will be featured every week. We look forward to sharing more networks as they come in. View all network sharing forms...

+ NCHN Upcoming Calls

November Committee Calls

  • November 15 @ 12:30 PM ET: NCHN Board of Directors’ Call
  • November 16 @ 1:00 PM ET: Program Development Committee Call

Next NCHN Quarterly Membership Call

Date: December 13 at 12:30 PM ET
Topic: Open discussion to review the year and talk about plans for 2011
Registration: NCHN calls are free of charge to members. Registration is required. To register for any of the NCHN calls, email Debbie Comeau at You will receive dial-in information, instructions, and materials via email prior to the call.

+ 2011 NCHN Annual Conference: Call for Presentations

Save the DateNCHN is seeking presentations for the 2011 NCHN Annual Conference in Scottsdale, AZ

Deadline for Submission:
Friday, December 17, 2010

The National Cooperative of Health Networks Association (NCHN) invites NCHN members, Business Partners and other individuals with an interest in health networks to submit proposals for plenary and/or concurrent session presentations at our 17th Annual Conference, which will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona in April 2011.

Presentations should be developed for the audience of Network Leaders, those individuals that are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the health network, alliance, consortium, etc. Conference participants, which are predominately network leaders, should leave your presentation with practical, replicable strategies they can take back and implement within their organizations. All presentations should incorporate strategies to ensure the network’s endurance.

We are seeking presentations that address the 8 common components of a successful network, as identified by network leaders in an on-line survey this fall. The 8 most common components include:

  • Engaged and/or Involved Network Members (ownership by members)
  • Effective Leader
  • Well Defined Mission, Vision and Values
  • Practical Strategic Planning
  • Ability to Adapt to Changing Conditions/Situations
  • Effective Communication System(s)
  • Collaborative Process
  • Formalized Structure

In addition to the above topics, potential presentations could address one of the following challenges facing networks; should include a discussion of the role of the network in addressing the issue; and should provide examples of successful strategies that networks could implement:

  • Affordable Care Act
  • Health Information Technology (HIT)
  • Healthcare Workforce
  • Financial Performance

NCHN member success stories of innovations; new product/activity development; sustainability; strategic planning; board management; and other topics related to developing and maintaining a successful health network are also welcome.  Such sessions should include steps to replicate the program.

A plenary presentation will be 45 - 60 minutes. A concurrent session will be 75 minutes and should include audience interaction. The concurrent session should be considered a hands-on opportunity and the plenary session a time for information sharing. 

Proposals should be submitted online* by December 17, 2010 and must include the following information:

  • Name & Title of Presenter(s) & Organization(s) Name
  • Title of Presentation
  • Type of Presentation – Plenary or Concurrent
  • Targeted Network Type:  Horizontal; Integrated; or General Network Topic
  • Two sentence description of presentation for conference program
  • One or two paragraphs describing the presentation, including learning objectives of the presentation – what the attendees will take away (This information will be utilized to promote the conference and your presentation.)

Link to online submission form:

The 2011 Annual Conference Planning Committee reserves the right to make final decisions on the selection of all presentations. Presentation applicants will be notified by January 21, 2011 if selected to present, so that travel arrangements can be made.

If selected to present, you (the presenter/s) are responsible for all expenses related to doing the presentation, including travel, lodging and meals, and the conference registration fee; however, non-NCHN member presenters may register for the conference at the membership rate.

The 2011 Conference Planning Committee looks forward to your participation!

>> Submit your proposal online...
>> Download the Call for Presentations (pdf)
>> If you have questions, contact Rebecca Davis at or by calling 270-925-5611.

+ NCHN Expands Online Forum for Private Use by Committees

NCHN's recently launched a Health Network Discussion Board designed for online discussion between NCHN members and network stakeholders. The General Discussion area is open for public viewing and posting by non-members. However, there is also an NCHN Members-only area that is only accessible (readable or writeable) by NCHN members.

NCHN has expanded the forum to offer private discussion areas for NCHN Committees. Three new discussion areas have been opened, including the following:

  • 2011 Conference Planning Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Board of Directors

To register, go to and click on "Register." If you are on a committee and wish to be preregistered, contact Christy at

>> Download the Discussion Board tutorial (pdf)
>> Visit the NCHN Health Network Discussion Board...

+ New Issue of the Rural Monitor

The Rural Assistance Center has released the Fall 2010 issue of the The Rural Monitor.

In this Issue:

  • Community Health Workers Playing a Bigger Role in Health Care
  • Community Paramedics Widen Medical Services in Rural Areas
  • Challenges for Human Services: What Do We Mean By Human Services?
  • Look What’s Coming: The Scariest Medical Job in America
  • More...

>> View the Newsletter Online... (Source: The Rural Assistance Center, New Issue of the Rural Monitor, email sent November 12, 2010)

+ NCHN Member News from NNMP Telehealth: New Staff Member Justin Burke

Dear Friends of the Northern Neck Middle Peninsula Telehealth Consortium,

I am pleased to announce a new staff appointment.  Justin Burke has joined our team this week in the position of Telehealth Operations Coordinator.  Justin will be responsible for our telemedicine outpatient clinic; outreach with our region's providers to increase referrals; and developing and supporting telehealth education offerings  -- key components of our Bridges to Health health care services outreach project.  He also will help me with developing member benefits, such as roundtables for staff of member organizations (Info Technology will be our first), and with helping members as they launch or expand telemedicine programs at their sites.

Justin lives in Caroline County. He began his professional career working on Capitol Hill, applying what he learned from his political science studies at the University of Minnesota.  After returning to Minnesota from Washington, he worked for an ergonomics company whose primary focus involved serving health care entities and hospitals.  He was responsible for managerial and marketing functions, which increased the depth and breadth of the company’s business portfolio.  Prior to accepting the position with NNMPTC, Justin was general manager for a retail sporting goods store in Tappahannock.

Justin firmly believes in our mission of increasing access to health care and is looking forward to assisting us expand the network's reach throughout the communities we serve.  Please welcome Justin when you meet him.

Since last spring Jennifer Hoover has worked part-time with NNMPTC as our interim program coordinator.  On behalf of the board and staff, we are grateful to Jennifer for her dedicated and excellent work.

We are offering four community health education sessions in the next month. Please feel free to contact us at 804.443.6286.

Best regards,

Edie McRae Bowles
Executive Director, Northern Neck Middle Peninsula Telehealth Consortium
Tappahannock, VA

+ Study: Solar-Powered Blood-Pressure Device Could Be Valuable

by Katherine Hobson (The Wall Street Journal | Health Blog, November 8, 2010)

A solar-powered device that costs less than $35 could help people in developing countries accurately track blood pressure, according to a World Health Organization-funded study.

The device was made by Omron in response to a WHO call for a blood-pressure monitoring device that was accurate, easy to use and solar-powered. Traditional manual blood-pressure meters use mercury, and so are being phased out for environmental reasons. It’s also relatively tough to learn how to operate them correctly.

>> Continue reading... (Source: Telemedicine and e-Health, News Alert, November 12, 2010)

+ Motorola launches device with iNurse

(from, News, November 9, 2010)

Motorola has launched a new healthcare specific mobile device at eHealth Insider Live 2010 that is powered by Advanced Health and Care's iNurse.

The Es400 enterprise semi rugged handheld has been integrated with the mobile nurse platform, iNurse.

This allocates incoming cases to a community task worker and makes caseloads available to staff throughout the day so they are equipped with case information and schedules.

Cases can be updated, synchronised, redated or reassigned with Adastra either over the network or when the PDA is docked.

>> Continue reading... (Source: Telemedicine and e-Health, News Alert, November 12, 2010)

+ Hospitals' new specialist: Social media manager

As Facebook, Twitter and other technologies become more pervasive, more hospitals are hiring staff members dedicated solely to social media -- and getting physicians to use these tools.

by Bob Cook ( staff, November 8, 2010)

For otolaryngologist Douglas Backous, MD, Twitter and blogging were "like speaking a foreign language." So he went to his hospital and got himself a translator: Dana Lewis, hired by Seattle's Swedish Medical Center to handle all things social media.

Lewis is part of a trend in a new and growing type of hospital employment: the social media manager.

Technically, she's called the interactive marketing specialist. But she, and others like her, are being charged by their hospitals to handle such duties as overseeing their social media presence, communicating with patients through social media -- and, in many cases, teaching affiliated or employed physicians how to use social media. The idea is that by having a person dedicated to social media, the hospital can use the technology to strengthen its connections with all of what organizations like to call their stakeholders, which include the physicians who refer patients through their doors.

>> Continue reading... (Source: Telemedicine and e-Health, News Alert, November 12, 2010)

+ The results are in…what does it mean for rural?

by Danny Fernandez on November 4, 2010 (Rural Health Voices | News and Opinion from the National Rural Health Association)

Depending on where you come in on the political scale, this week’s election results were either demoralizing, encouraging, or maybe even a little of both.  Democrats all around the country faced a tough election night, and that fact was just as if not more apparent in rural America. The bulk of the Democratic House, Senate and Governors races took place in the Midwest, South and interior western states such as Utah and Nevada. In fact, the Democrats failed to win a seat in any one of the 11 states which made up the old Confederacy.

In the House races, few Democrat were safe, even traditional House stalwarts such as Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt from South Carolina, Transportation Committee Chairman James Oberstar from Minnesota and Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton from Missouri all lost to Republican challengers.  Additionally, many rural champions lost their elections last night in rural states and districts across the country such as Representatives Earl Pomeroy, Chairman of the House Rural Health Care Coalition, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin from South Dakota, Chet Edward from Texas and Rick Boucher from south-western, rural Virginia. Many of the losing Democrats were part of the House Rural Health Care Coalition which saw 37 of its members lose in this election, accounting for roughly 25% of the total Coalition.

>> Continue reading... (Source: Rural Assistance Center Health Update, email, November 10, 2010)

+ Funding Opportunities Posted in the RAC Funding Database

Affordable Care Act Family Professional Partnership/Family-to-Family Health Information and Education Centers
Application deadline: Dec 15, 2010
Funding for state-wide, family-run centers providing information, education, technical assistance and peer support to families of children with special health care needs.

National Public Health Leadership Institute (PHLI)
Application deadline: Jan 15, 2011
PHLI is a one-year tuition-free leadership development program for high-potential leaders with a commitment to leading in their own organizations and communities, but also leading system change on the national scene.

>> View the RAC Funding Database... (Source: Rural Assistance Center Health Update, email, November 10, 2010)

+ Funding Opportunity: Infrastructure for Maintaining Primary Care Transformation (IMPaCT) – Support for Models of Multi-sector, State-level Excellence (U18)

Purpose: This new FOA is for Research Demonstration and Dissemination Projects to expand current state-level, multi-sector efforts to transform primary care practices and develop sustainable infrastructure for quality improvement in small and medium-sized primary care practices. The goal of the FOA is to foster the advancement and evaluation of leading state-level primary care practice support efforts that may become models for a potential national primary care extension service. Successful applicants must demonstrate existing successful collaborative efforts and significant existing infrastructure and activities. Grant supported efforts are to be directed towards 1) enhancing current efforts and filling identified programmatic gaps and 2) program evaluation and sustainability planning. Additionally, a minimum of 25% of grant funds must be applied to dissemination activities targeted to other states. All applications must include a plan for ‘packaging’ their efforts, including lessons learned and a plan for sharing their experience with a minimum of three other state-level coalitions.

Release/Posted Date: November 8, 2010
Opening Date: January 15, 2011 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: January 7, 2011

>> View the online announcement... (Source: AHRQ Grant Announcements Update, email, November 9, 2010)

+ For Fun: Boost Your Memory with Scribbles

Bill Gates does it. And you should, too. That is, if you want to remember things better.

We're talking about doodling. Studies show that people who squiggle, scribble, and sketch while listening may have better recall.

Doodle for Your Noodle
Researchers suspect that doodling helps keep people more alert and reduces daydreaming. In a study of 40 adults, half of the group shaded in a row of shapes and the other half did nothing while listening to a boring phone message. Later, when asked to remember what they had heard, the doodlers recalled 29 percent more information than the nondoodlers.

How strong is your memory? Take this online digit-span test to find out.

(Source: | Tips, accessed November 12, 2010)