May 2014 Newsletter


Oregon Education Loan Programs Add Primary Care Providers to Rural and Underserved Communities

Two programs administered by the Office of Rural Health (ORH) are increasing access to care in Oregon’s rural and underserved communities. The Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) and the Oregon Medicaid Primary Care Loan Repayment Program (MPCLRP) give providers and sites two tax -free options for loan repayment incentives.

Adding primary providers, especially in rural and underserved areas, is essential. It is expected that more than 250,000 additional Oregonians will join the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) by 2016. Offering educational loan repayment is an incentive to attract providers to practice in these areas.

The Oregon State Partnership Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) is a cost-sharing partnership between the ORH, the practice site and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Through a grant from HRSA, the ORH can offer matching funds to practice sites that are willing to contribute 50% of the loan repayment. Sites are also required to pay an administrative fee. Qualified providers include doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dental and mental health providers. Over the past four years, the SLRP program has offered loan repayment to 32 qualified providers.

“This program is a win/win,” says Julie Hoffer, Workforce Specialist for the ORH. “New providers are looking for help paying their loan debt. SLRP offers providers the opportunity to get loan repayment and practice in sites that are serving many of Oregon’s neediest patients. Practice sites get the workforce they need PLUS the matching funds to offer loan repayment incentives."

Oregon’s SLRP program is unique as it is the only one in the nation that currently includes a practice site match. Traditional SLRP programs use state funds to match the federal SLRP grant contribution. “Oregon does not currently have that ability,” says ORH Director, Scott Ekblad. “We knew there was a need and a desire for a loan repayment when we started the program. Practice sites stepped up to the plate and agreed to match the federal funds.”

SLRP awardees are eligible for loan repayment of up to $35,000 per year for a minimum of two year service commitment to the practice site. It is possible for awardees to receive extension up to two years. Sites must match award 1:1.

The Oregon Medicaid Primary Care Loan Repayment Program (MPCLRP) was established by the 2013 Oregon Legislature to provide loan repayment to primary care clinicians who serve Medicaid patients in underserved areas of Oregon to ensure an adequate supply of providers. The ORH administers the program through a contract with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

The MPCLRP program does not require a practice site to match loan repayment dollars and all funds are provided through the OHA. The program is also targeted at new providers to serve the Medicaid expansion brought on by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Awards are made quarterly and not on an ongoing cycle like the SLRP program. The program is offering $3.6 million in loan repayment to eligible practitioners. About 35 to 40 health care providers are expected to be participants in this program.

MPCLRP awardees receive 20 percent of their unpaid student debt, up to $35,000 per year for a minimum of three years, for a full-time participant and a maximum of five years, for a part-time participant. Part time participants receive 10% of their eligible loan debt balance, up to $17, 500 per year. In exchange, participants agree to serve Medicaid and other patients in a qualifying practice site. There are qualifying sites in every county in Oregon. These sites include rural hospitals, rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers and other clinical practices located in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). The OHA can determine other sites providing primary care to an underserved population.

The first round of awards was recently announced. The five providers were: Aaron Lee, a physician assistant in Madras; Lorraine Davies, child psychiatrist, working in Grants Pass; Matthew Keegan, family physician for Clackamas County Health Department; Danielle Pang, dentist practicing at Multnomah Public Health; Daryl Ann Plotzker, family nurse practitioner, practicing in Portland at OHSU Richmond Clinic.

"In a rural town, I can build relationships with my patients, and there is more of a continuity of care," says Aaron Lee, PA. "I care about smaller communities. I grew up in one. This program is a wonderful opportunity to stay in a small town and to make a commitment to something I believe in."

To find out more information about these programs, see the list of qualified providers and to complete a candidate or site application, visit the ORH Website.

Rural Oregon Stakeholder Listening Sessions

Leaders from Oregon Health & Science University and across the state have begun to develop an inter-professional campus that will impact rural communities throughout Oregon. A listening tour will guide the process and engage stakeholders involved in workforce development, community health outcomes, health professional education and health care delivery systems.

We have heard from many communities that we weren’t able to reach on this first round of listening tours. Please let us know if we can add you to our stakeholder regional lists so that we can update you on our progress. We hope to schedule additional listening tours later this summer or early fall.

You are invited to participate in the listening tour. Detailed information about the venues will be available soon. Mark your calendar now and RSVP for this important session now. Email your RSVP to Meredith Lair, . For additional information call 541.962.3422.

Listening Session dates & Locations

Clatsop Community College - Columbia Hall Room 219
1651 Lexington Avenue, Astoria
Community Health Education Building
3950 Sherman, North Bend
Crook County Open Campus
510 SE Lynn Blvd, Prineville
Blue Mountain Hospital
170 Ford Road, John Day
Eastern Oregon Medical Associates
3950 17th Street, Baker City
Blue Mountain Community College – Science & Technology Building Room 200
2411 NW Carden Avenue, Pendleton
Mercy Medical Center Education Building
2460 NW Stewart Parkway, Roseburg
Grants Pass Public Library
200 NW C Street, Grants Pass

OMA Campaign Aims to Improve State Immunization Rates

Far too many Oregon children are not fully immunized, putting our communities at risk for the reemergence of vaccine-preventable diseases that have been all but eradicated through community immunity. Leading up to the school exclusion date in February and the implementation of tightened restrictions on non-medical exemptions earlier in March, the Oregon Medical Association (OMA), along with the Oregon Primary Care Association (OPCA), Oregon Pediatric Society (OPS), and Oregon Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP), launched an initiative to improve immunization rates in the Oregon counties with the highest immunization exemption rates. The intention of the campaign is to give physicians and PAs evidence-based tools to use in conversations with vaccine-hesitant parents. The theme of the campaign is “Community Immunity – Let’s Get It!

The OMA ran ads in targeted communities’ newspapers in February and sent letters with a sample stock of small “palm-cards” to physicians and PAs who care for children in those targeted communities. The letter and cards urge them to talk to their patients about the importance of immunizing their children, and provide resources and talking points to assist in those conversations. A stock of the cards is available for re-order for clinicians interested in using them in their practice. The OMA is working with physicians and PAs in these communities to submit op-eds to publications as part of the ongoing campaign; interested authors or supporters of the campaign are encouraged to contact Betsy Boyd-Flynn of the OMA at .

For research-based sources of vaccine information for health care providers and the public, visit the OMA's Community Immunity web page.

Interactive Search Tool Helps Consumers Navigate Information

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new interactive search tool that can help consumers and other stakeholders navigate information about the types of medical services and procedures delivered by physicians and other healthcare professionals. Rural providers can check their publicly available data, and rural residents can use the tool to begin to compare their provider(s) to others. Users can search for a provider by name, address, or National Provider Identifier (NPI). Once a user selects a provider, the tool returns information about the services the provider furnished to Medicare beneficiaries, including the number of services provided, the number of beneficiaries treated, and the average payment and charges for such services.

This new look-up tool makes it easier to use the large data set about physician information that CMS released on April 9, 2014 to look up specific providers. The look-up tool and downloadable data files are included in the database of Data Navigator data sources.

Oregon Health Funders Collaborative Identifies Severe Dental Access Issues in Oregon

A study commissioned by Oregon Health Funders Collaborative, including Northwest Health Foundation, and conducted by OHSU and the University of Washington, found that an average of almost 80 people a day visit emergency departments in Oregon for dental problems.

About the Oregon Health Funders Collaborative

The Oral Health Funders Collaborative was formed in 2011 to address one of Oregon's most pressing public health problems: dental disease. Ten of our region's top charitable foundations have pooled resources and coordinated efforts to raise awareness of oral disease and invest in research and infrastructure needed to improve oral health for residents of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Members include The Ford Family Foundation, The Dental Foundation of Oregon, Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington, Kaiser Permanente, Northwest Health Foundation, The Oregon Community Foundation, Providence Health & Services, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Oregon and Southwest Washington, Samaritan Health Services, and Cambia Health Foundation. PacificSource Foundation for Health Improvement contributed resources to the study as well.

NOSORH Grant Writing Institute 2014: Beyond the Basics

New this year! The National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH) is now offering Beyond the Basics a Grant Writing Institute course designed for individuals looking for education beyond the introductory or beginning level. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to expand your rural health grant writing credentials in 2014.

Who should attend this training? This course is designed for individuals who already have some experience writing grants, but wish to build upon their current skills. Past participation in NOSORH’s Grant Writing Institute is not required.

What is the training about? The brand new “Beyond the Basics” training has been added to the Institute to provide students with the information they need to build on their initial grant seeking successes and grow private, state and federal sources of funds for the programs needed in their community. All sessions are designed to improve accountability, communication, efficiency and effectiveness for all grant seeking and management efforts.

When does the class meet? Class begins on July 10th (1:00 – 2:30 PM EDT) and will meet every Thursday in July at the same time. Class registration ends on July 3rd.

How is the course content delivered? “Beyond the Basics” is offered via webinar and all training sessions will be recorded. So, if you miss a session, you’ll able to view a recording of the class at your convenience.

Why should you attend this training? Over 200 rural health professionals have participated in NOSORH’s basic Grant Writing Institute. The faculty and format for the Institute are popular with professionals who may be called away from the regularly scheduled class due to demands from their busy jobs in hospitals, clinics and non-profit organizations. This is the only grant training of its kind that is focused on rural health grant writers.


Kassie Clarke will oversee the Institute. Kassie is an experienced grant writer, having secured more than $10 million in grants from foundations, corporations, and government agencies. She is familiar with a broad array of foundation and corporate givers across the nation. Her experience ranges from standard Letters of Inquiry to more complex foundation and government proposals requiring collaboration among multiple service agencies. Her services include prospect research, program design, proposal preparation, evaluation plans, grant tracking and organizational capacity-building.

Technology and System Requirements

Webinars will be conducted using software called WebEx. You will view a presentation online while listening to the narration via phone. WebEx requires a plug in installation and updated JavaScript, which is free for download. Follow this link to see WebEx system requirements to best utilize the WebEx software. The URL for the webinar and phone number will be the same for each session. Recordings of the presentations, including narration, will be available for playback within 24 hours of the event.

Please note: Plan to test technology compatibility prior to the start of the Grant Writing Institute. Some organizations have policies around installations or have firewalls which may require some adaption to allow the use of Dropbox or WebEx. If you use a work computer to participate in this program, please contact your IT Support to inquire about installing Dropbox and WebEx. In order to avoid limited access or technology issues, ensure your organization and/or equipment are compatible with these requirements. Please contact Matt Strycker ( if any assistance from NOSORH is needed.

Curriculum Outline

July 10th: Telling Your Story in the 21st Century – Connecting with Funders on a New Level
Personal connection is really the key to getting funding for your program; this is the same in real life as it is online. The main difference is that social media makes connecting with others exponentially easier and faster! We have many tools available to us to connect with funders and our community on new levels. Learn easy strategies to use social media to build relationships with funders and your community to boost the success of your program.

July 17th: Managing a Grant to Get the Next One
Congratulations, you received the grant, so now what? In this competitive grant writing environment, it is so important to effectively manage your grants to ensure you are eligible to apply for funding again. Learn how to best manage, communicate, and report on your funded programs, and cement your relationship with funders.

July 24th: Measuring Your Investment – Proving Your Worth
Grants require you to establish measures to evaluate your program. You want to make sure these are realistic and manageable. You can provide your entire organization with a valuable asset that ensures resources are focused on their intended purpose: helping people and maximizing return on investment.

July 31st: Avoiding Deadline Fatigue – How to Write Under Pressure & Continue Momentum
As grant writers, we are all too familiar with looming deadlines, last-minute requests, and demands to work quickly. How do we write effectively when we are rushed and tired? Learn how to adapt the same vitally important writing and organization skills we use daily, to a tight timeframe and cement your relationship with funders.

Funding Opportunities

The Rural Assistance Center website offers summaries of federal, state and foundation funding opportunities. Each funding summary includes information on the program's sponsoring organization, purpose, eligibility, amount of funding, deadline, application procedures, contact for more assistance, and a link to the program website.

Health Impact Assessment for Improved Community Design
Letter of Intent (Optional): Mar 28, 2014
Application deadline: May 12, 2014
Grants to increase the capacity of state, tribal and local government to include health considerations in community development and community design.
Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Public Health Traineeship Program
Application deadline: May 19, 2014
Awards funding to provide graduate or specialized training in public health. Students receiving traineeship support must also participate in public health practice-based field placements in state and local health departments and underserved communities as part of their training.
Sponsor: Bureau of Health Professions

Full-Service Community Schools Program
Letter of Intent (Optional): May 21, 2014
Application deadline: Jun 20, 2014
Offers funding to establish or expand full-service community schools, which will coordinate academic, social, and health services through local partnerships.
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Education

Water and Waste Revolving Fund Grants
Application deadline: May 27, 2014
Grant funds to establish a lending program that will finance water or wastewater systems for rural communities.
Sponsor: USDA Rural Utilities Service

Native American Elder Justice Initiative (NAEJI)
Letter of Intent (Optional): May 6, 2014
Application deadline: Jun 2, 2014
Funding to operate a national center that will address the need for more culturally appropriate information and community education materials on elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation in Indian Country.
Sponsor: Administration for Community Living

Minority AIDS Initiative Continuum of Care Pilot - Integration of HIV Prevention and Medical Care into Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Programs for Racial/Ethnic Minority Populations at High Risk for Behavioral Health Disorders and HIV
Application deadline: Jun 4, 2014
Funding to integrate care (behavioral health treatment, prevention, and HIV medical care services) for racial/ethnic minority populations at high risk for behavioral health disorders and high risk for or living with HIV.
Sponsor: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program
Application deadline: Jun 6, 2014
Provides funding to community-based, outreach education and extension programs at land-grant colleges and universities that provide individuals and families based in rural areas with information on health, wellness, and prevention.
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Agriculture

American Indians Into Medicine
Application deadline: Jun 13, 2014
Funding to provide outreach and recruitment for the health professions to Indian communities.
Sponsor: Indian Health Service

Cooperative Agreements for Tribal Behavioral Health (Native Connections)
Application deadline: Jun 17, 2014
Awards funding for pilot projects designed to prevent and reduce suicidal behavior and substance abuse, and promote mental health among American Indian/Alaska Native young people.
Sponsor: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

National Library of Medicine Information Resource Grants to Reduce Health Disparities (G08)
Application deadline: Jun 29, 2014
Awards funding for projects that will bring useful, usable health information to health disparity populations and their health care providers. Institutions with a demonstrated commitment to serving health disparity populations, such as Tribal colleges and universities, Historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and other institutions in rural and socially disadvantaged areas are encouraged to apply.
Sponsor: National Library of Medicine

Rural Health Fellows Program
Application deadline: Aug 31, 2014
A year-long, intensive program designed to develop a community of rural health leaders.
Sponsor: National Rural Health Association

Jim Meeks, PA-C, DFAAPA Memorial AFPPA Student Scholarship
Application deadline: Sep 1, 2014
Offers a scholarship to a physician assistant students who display a commitment to family practice and rural health.
Sponsor: Association of Family Practice Physician Assistants

Minority Medical Student Summer Externship in Addiction Psychiatry
Application deadline: Mar 11, 2015
Offers a clinical shadowing program to minority medical students who have an interest in services related to substance abuse treatment and prevention in underserved areas. Externship sites will be located in rural or inner-city sites.
Sponsor: American Psychiatric Association

BNSF Railway Foundation
Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Offers grants to organizations that operate near a BNSF railway line. Among others, priority areas include health and human service organizations, programs that address chemical dependency treatment and prevention, spouse and child abuse, women's and children's aid, transitional shelters, hospitals, medical programs, and youth development programs.
Sponsor: BNSF Railway Foundation

Community Development Transportation Lending Services (CDTLS, the Fund): Community Centers, Health and Human Services and Co-Location Financing
Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Provides loan funding to support transit services in rural areas, including community health facilities with a transit component.
Sponsor: Community Transportation Association of America