ORH February 2010 Newsletter Share This OHSU Content

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Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Accepting Applications

The ORH is now accepting applications for loan repayment through the Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). This new loan program is available for primary care providers—physicians, nurse practitioners physician assistants, dentist, dental hygienists, social workers, counselors and psychologist—that agree to serve in rural and underserved urban areas.

The SLRP is a partnership program between the Office of Rural Health, the National Health Service Corp and practice sites in rural and underserved areas in Oregon. The program requires a 1:1 with NHSC grant dollars providing ½ the loan repayment award. The other ½ can come from a practice site, a community organization or other non-federal source.

“This is a great partnership between the ORH, National Health Service Corp and practice sites in Oregon,” says Scott Ekblad, Director, Oregon Office of Rural Health. “We need to address the healthcare workforce issues facing Oregon and this is one of the tools that will help us.”

Rural Oregon faces many healthcare workforce challenges and these must be addressed in a comprehensive manner. While long term investment in “growing our own” workforce is essential, the loan repayment program is an important tool in the recruitment and retention toolbox. This program allows Oregon to address the immediate shortages. “The SLRP program comes at a perfect time,” says Linda Clark, SLRP Coordinator. “During the 2009 Session, the legislature defunded the Oregon Rural Health Services Loan Repayment Program. We were suddenly without a key recruitment tool. I believe this new program will help us not only compete, but help communities be more involved in the recruitment of their providers.”

Program Eligibility

Eligible practice sites are public and private non-profit organizations that are located in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA). In addition, they must be willing to match the loan award.

Eligible providers are primary care providers—physicians, nurse practitioners physician assistants, dentist, dental hygienists, social workers, counselors and psychologist—that agree to serve in rural and underserved urban areas.

Eligible loans are government and commercial loans incurred for the purpose of obtaining a health professional education.

For additional information and for candidate and practice site applications, go to www.ohsu.edu/oregonruralheatlh or contact Linda Clark at or 503-494-4450.

Application for EMS Continuing Education Grants available February 19, 2010

Apple A Day Campaign—Making an impact in rural Oregon

The first annual Apple A Day Campaign fundraising dinner was a huge success. The ORH will spend nearly $15,000 to support continuing education for Oregon’s rural, volunteer EMTs and First Responders. “We were very excited with the support we have received, “says Scott Ekblad, Director, ORH. “There is such a great need and I know this is only a small start, but we are really pleased we are able to offer this support.” The ORH Foundation will support up to $300 for continuing education costs for volunteer EMTs and First Responders that work in a rural area. Applications are available below.

We want to make sure we are getting money to those who have committed to volunteering in their rural community, “says Dave Jones, PA-C, EMT and a member of the Rural Health Coordinating Council. “EMTs are a crucial link in our health care system and we really want to keep them.”

Rural communities rely heavily on volunteers to provide emergency medical services (EMS). They are finding it more and more difficult to recruit EMS volunteers, who must pay out of their own pockets for the required training and continuing education. That is why the focus of the support will go to people who are already committed to their communities.

The Apple A Day Campaign is an ongoing campaign. “This campaign is not just a once a year event,” say Ekblad. “This is an ongoing campaign. We want people to understand they can give at any time.” If you were unable to attend the dinner and auction, but would like to contribute, or you did attend and want to contribute more, we have made it easy for you, just visit the Apple A Day giving page.

Mark Your Calendar for 2010’s most important dates!

Oregon Rural Health Conference

September 23-25, 2010
Salem Conference Center
More great sessions! More great speakers!

Nominations Sought for 2010 Oregon Rural Health Hero Award  

The Oregon Office of Rural Health is seeking nominations for the 2010 Oregon Rural Health Hero of the Year Award. This award honors an outstanding person, program and organization that has improved the quality and availability of health care in rural communities.  

Show your appreciation—nominate someone for the Hero of the Year!  

For more information and to find nomination guidelines and forms, go to our website or 503-494-4450.

Nominations will be accepted through June 25, 2010, but don’t wait!  

Learn more about the 2009 Oregon Rural Health Hero of the Year

The 2010 Apple A Day Fundraiser

September 24, 2010
Salem Conference Center
Salem, OR

Join the Oregon Office of Rural Health in supporting our rural, volunteer EMTs and First Responders!

When you are in need, you want to know they are there for you! Be there for them.  

Learn more about the Apple A Day Campaign

The Flex Webinar Learning Series Continues

First and Third Tuesday of the Month

Back for another successful year! The ORH and the Oregon Flex Program will continue offering our one hour training sessions at 12 PM (Pacific) on the first and third Tuesday of every month via the Internet. The sessions will discuss a different issue for Critical Access Hospitals and other rural providers ranging from quality initiatives, cost reports, capital finance, patient safety, balanced scorecard and other interesting topics.

In order to participate, simply visit the schedule to register. You will then be sent a link in an e-mail. This link will take you to the live presentation from whatever computer you choose to use.

The Flex Webinar Learning Series—bringing knowledge to your desk!

Oregon EMS/Trauma Webinar Learning Series

. Presentation announcements will be sent to everyone who has previously registered for a webinar a week in advance of the presentation.

Webinars are held on the second Tuesday of each month at noon PT. Presentations will last approximately one hour and will be recorded for those who cannot attend the live presentation. CE credits will be available for those who are able to attend the live presentation. You must respond to an online survey after the presentation in order to receive a CE certificate.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to stay up to date in your skills and get CE at the same time!

RHC Webinar Series

The Office of Rural Health is once again offering RHC based one hour education and training sessions via the Internet. The sessions will discuss a different issue important to Oregon’s Rural Health Clinics. Cost reports and billing, recruitment and telehealth and much more. This series brings important information to you—and you never have to leave the office!

In order to participate, simply visit the schedule to register. You will then be sent a link in an e-mail. This link will take you to the live presentation from whatever computer you choose to use.

USDA Rural Development-Oregon Seeks Grant Applicants

The USDA Rural Development-Oregon office is looking for nonprofits, public entities and tribes that are interested in applying for grants that are designed to support economic development activities in rural Oregon. Economic development is key to keeping our rural communities viable, especially at a time when rural Oregon is experiencing some of the highest rates of unemployment in the nation.

If you or someone you know is interested in support for your rural community, contact the USDA Rural Development – Oregon office or go to the links below.

USDA Rural Development-Oregon (RD-Oregon) is now seeking concept papers under the following programs:

  • RBEG (Rural Business Enterprise Grant) - for General, rural projects
  • RBEG (Rural Business Enterprise Grant) - for Native-American, rural projects
  • RBOG (Rural Business Opportunity Grant) - for General, rural projects
  • RBOG (Rural Business Opportunity Grant) - for Native-American, rural projects

What is the difference between an RBEG and a RBOG?
RBEG is a much less competitive grant program (though with small award amounts). It is focused on more localized projects that will benefit specifically-identifiable, small businesses rather than broader, strategic economic development work. Learn more about a RBEG program.

RBOG is a much more competitive grant program - typically limited to only one $50,000 award in Oregon. It is focused on broader, strategic economic development work rather than the specific-business-focused projects supported by RBEG. Learn more about an RBOG.

What’s the difference between a GENERAL or NATIVE-AMERICAN grant?
General RBEG and RBOG funds are targeted broadly to assist most categories of rural business. ("Rural" means outside Metropolitan Statistical Areas.)

At the same time, USDA Rural Development sets aside some of its RBEG and RBOG funds in a national pool exclusively for Native American-focused projects. Such projects typically direct at least 75% of their benefits to members of a Federally Recognized Native American Tribe.

What do you need to do to apply?
USDA Rural Development-Oregon is seeking a “concept paper” from interested organizations. This will allow USDA to survey the field of candidates as they determine how to handle the volume of requests. You can find the "concept paper" format and further details on each of these program opportunities here:

Guidance for the grants can be found at the links above. You must submit your concept paper by March 5, 2010. If you have questions, please contact the staff.

Please follow the guidance provided at the above links, and submit a concept paper to RD-Oregon by MARCH 5, 2010.

Oregon EMS for the Future Workgroup Proposes Changes

The Oregon EMS for the Future Workgroup has recommended changes in the Oregon Administrative Rules pertaining to EMS in Oregon. These changes include recognizing the national levels of provider: Emergency Medical Responder, Emergency Medical Technician, Advance Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic. The Oregon EMT-Intermediate will be retained. Proposal will also include a fee increase, change deadline for recertification from May 31st, to May 1st and make some clarification in rules. Affected rules are: Division 250-Ambulance Service Licensing; Division 255-Ambulance Licensing; and Division 265-Emergency Medical Technicians and First Responders.

Public testimony will be taken on February 24, 2010, at 1.15 pm at the Oregon State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St, Room 1E. You may also file written comments before 5:00 p.m. on February 26, 2010 to the Public Health Division Rules Coordinator at the following address:

DHS, Public Health Division
Brittany Sande, Administrative Rules Coordinator
800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 930
Portland, Oregon 97232

E-mail comments to:
You may also send comments by fax to (971) 673-1299.

If you have any questions or would prefer a hardcopy to be sent, please contact Maria Campbell at (971) 673-0522.

Delivering Effective Care to Limited English Proficient and Hearing Impaired People

Improving provider communication is critical to delivering effective care for individuals with limited language proficiency and those who are deaf and hard of hearing. The Joint Commission in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights recently released a video demonstrating the importance of providing culturally competent health care to meet the needs of diverse populations. The US Census Bureau notes that 47 million people speak a language other than English and more than 28 million people have some form of hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Health care organizations and providers face challenges in the use of interpreters, translated materials and in caring for an increasingly aging population with possible hearing loss needs.

The video identifies effective and alternative communication strategies and highlights the importance of relevant civil rights legislation, federal and accreditation standards pertaining to language access, in addition to the rights of patients.

Central to the concept of cultural competency is, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that recognizes equality of health care and services and mandates that all persons regardless of race, color or national origin will not be discriminated against. Failure to provide language access services to Limited English Proficient persons (LEP) for federally funded programs is a form of discrimination. Likewise, similar standards apply under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which protects the rights of individuals with disabilities.

If you have questions, please contact:

All Aboard the Tooth Taxi

The Tooth Tax is a state-of-the-art dental office on wheels, with two operatory units and a waiting room. It is a direct service project started in 2008 in response to the growing oral health crisis in Oregon. The Tooth Tax has a full-time pediatric dentist and staff and it spends up to four days at a time at schools providing screenings, cleanings, sealants, x-rays, fillings minor oral surgery and Oregon health education.

A statewide program, The Tooth Taxi was created through a unique partnership with the generous supported by OEA Choice Trust and ODS. It is supported by volunteers from the dental community and local schools that help identify children in need and work with the Tooth Taxi staff.

Tooth Taxi Schedule


  • 22-25 Riddle
    Riddle Elementary


  • 01-04 Glendale
    Glendale Elementary

  • 08-11 Cave Junction
    Evergreen Elementary

  • 15-18 Port Orford
    Driftwood Elementary

  • 22-26 Spring Break

  • 29-02 Prineville


  • 05-10 Portland
    Oregon Dental Conference

  • 13-16 Portland
    SEI Academy

For more information, or to volunteer, call Mary Daly 503-329.8877.

Upcoming Events

Emergency Medical Services for Children 10th Annual Conference

May 21 – 22, 2010
Lane Community College Center
Eugene, Oregon
Find out more information about this great conference by going to:

2nd Annual EMS Leadership Symposium

May 21, 2010
Lane Community College Center
Eugene, Oregon
For more information, contact Shellye Dant at or 503-494-4450.

The first of a three level course, this program is designed to give manager the basic tools and information needed to be a good leader. Perfect for current ambulance system managers or those that will be assuming that role.

NW Region Rural Health Conference

Weathering the Perfect Storm: Challenges & Changes

March 24–25, 2010: Red Lion Hotel at the Park, Spokane, Washington
For additional information, go to:

The Northwest's largest conference on rural health celebrates its 23rd year in 2010. The conference always strives to stay abreast of current policy and regulatory developments at the federal, regional, state and local levels which impact healthcare delivery.

Small Rural Hospital Summit

2010 Leadership Challenge—The Way Forward

May 5-7, 2010
Salem Conference Center, Salem Oregon
For more information, contact Linda Lang at

TeamSTEPPS in Oregon Train the Trainer Course

March 10-12
Salishan Lodge
7760 Hwy 101 North
Gleneden Beach, OR 97388

Learn the TeamSTEPPS approach for quality! Oregon’s own Mater Trainers will be offering this great opportunity to implement a TeamSTEPPS approach to quality and patient safety in your hospital.

The TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer Training has been approved for 15.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.

Take advantage of CME! The TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer Training has been approved for 15.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. We are confident that this will be a boost to physician participants from your site – please see below for additional language on CME process. At this stage it would be helpful to hear back if you as a physician will take advantage of CE.

For Additional information, contact:
Suzi Bean, RN, Acute Care Nursing Leader
Mountain View Hospital - Madras

NRHA – 2010 Conference Dates

For additional information on NRHA Conferences, please go to:

Annual Rural Health Conference
May 18 – 21, 2010
Savannah, GA

Rural Medical Educators Conference
May 18, 2010
Savannah, GA

Medication Use in Rural America Conference
June 16 – 18, 2010
Kansas City, MO

Quality and Clinical Conference
July 21 – 23, 2010
Portland, ME

Rural Health Clinic Conference
September 28-29, 2010
Kansas City, MO

Critical Access Hospital Conference
September 29 – October 1, 2010
Kansas City, MO