September 2014 Newsletter

Office of Rural Health Welcomes New Staff!

The Oregon Office of Rural Health is excited to welcome four new staff members to our rural health family.

Maeve Trick, MPH


Maeve joins our office as the Hospital Technical Assistance Specialist. Prior to joining ORH, Maeve worked as part of the Flex Monitoring Team at the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center. Her work with the Flex Grant Program involved MBQIP reporting and implementation of quality-focused research and policy. In addition to her experience in hospital quality, Maeve has worked as a clinic administrator and consultant for health assessments and programs. Throughout her career, she has collaborated with a variety of organizations including the CDC, State Department of Health, ORHP, EPA, Blue Cross Blue Shield and nonprofits. She holds an MPH in Health Administration and Policy from the University of Minnesota.

Originally from an Eastern Oregon apple farming family, Maeve grew up in the Walla Walla Valley. She is thrilled to return home with the opportunity to work with rural hospitals and communities. Maeve is the third generation of her family to work with hospitals, and as the wife of an Oregon wild land fire fighter/ EMT, she is especially committed to supporting Oregon rural hospitals in providing outstanding services throughout the state.

David Senft, PA-C, MPH

A Physician Assistant with 7 years of clinical experience, David joins our office as the Clinic Technical Assistance Specialist. David graduated from Touro University with a dual Master’s degree in clinical medicine and Public Health. He served mostly rural and underserved patient populations as a Primary Care and Urgent Care provider. Prior to medical training and practice, David spent several years in medical research and information technology positions. He has recently been focusing on health informatics, bringing together the two major emphases of his career history - Healthcare and Information Technology. David will provide evidence-based technical assistance and support to rural clinics and communities. He will be responsible for new programming and services to meet changing constituent need and will coordinate our collaborative partnerships, and information sharing.

Annalee Venneri

Annalee joins us as the new Workforce Services Coordinator and will coordinate and provide support for our recruitment and retention incentive programs, including the Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), the Medicaid Primary Care Loan Repayment Program and the Primary Health Care Loan Forgiveness Program. Annalee has been working with the OHSU Adult Epilepsy Center as a Patient Access Specialist, interfacing providers, patients and payers. In addition, she has been an administrative assistant with the OHSU Department of Emergency Medicine.

Lindsay Flick

Lindsay Flick is the new voice of our office in her capacity as Office Specialist/Receptionist. Lindsay has worked and lived in the Northwest most of her life. She grew up in Battle Ground, Washington near Battle Ground Lake. After graduating from the local high school, she went on to get her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Washington State University Vancouver in 2008. During her college years she loved to volunteer. She volunteered for many different group homes for at–risk youth under the Janus Youth Programs. In 2012 she started work at OHSU in the Transportation and Parking department and moved to the Oregon Office of Rural Health in August 2014. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, indoor soccer, reading and sewing.

31st Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference

 2014 Conference Banner

October 15 – 17, 2014
Sunriver, OR

This conference continues to be the largest gathering in Oregon dedicated to presenting the most innovative approaches to addressing today’s rural health care issues. Check out the great lineup of speakers and sessions, and don’t forget to register today!!!

6th Annual Apple A Day Fundraising Dinner & Auction

 Apple A Day

The 6th Annual Apple A Day Dinner and Fundraiser will be held on Thursday, October 16, 2014. Proceeds subsidize education expenses for rural volunteer EMS providers. Thanks to the generosity of attendees and to those who donated beautiful, unique and exciting auction items, we raised $13,000 at the 2013 fundraiser!

Glow XC, Eugene, OR Donates $2600 to Apple A Day Campaign


Glow XC, an affiliate member of the Road Runners Club of America, held their annual night run May 31, 2014. The runners tackled “a crazy cool 4.25 mile glowing course” that was located in Dexter, Oregon.

According to Aaron Boothbay, Executive Director, the group’s mission is to “support the health and well being of our community through the organization of innovative races”. The Apple A Day Campaign not only fits the mission, but really goes to the heart of health and well being of a community. Aaron began classes at OHSU School of Medicine this fall. Jason Thomas, incoming Executive Director, says Glow XC will continue to support the Apple A Day during 2015!

How Will Your Community Celebrate National Rural Health Day?

National Rural Health Day – Celebrating the Power of Rural
November 20, 2014

Did you know that nearly 62 million people – nearly one in five Americans – call rural home? In Oregon, 36% of our population lives in a rural area! Our small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are places where neighbors know each other, respect each other and work together to benefit our communities. That’s why we want to celebrate National Rural Health Day this November 20th.

First and foremost, National Rural Health Day is an opportunity to “Celebrate the Power of Rural” by honoring the selfless, community-minded, “can do” spirit that prevails in rural Oregon and showcase the efforts of rural healthcare providers and those involved in rural health in addressing unique rural health issues. What can you do to celebrate in your community?

  • Answer your phone on November 20, 2014 by saying “Hello … Happy National Rural Health Day”
  • Arrange a community event to talk about health care issues in your community
  • Talk to the media in your community, encourage them to highlight your community’s health issues
  • Plan a fitness event in your hospital or clinic to help raise awareness
  • Arrange an event at your local schools to help teach kids the importance of staying healthy
  • Do something “healthy” that day – eat more vegetables, bike instead of drive to work, get your blood pressure or cholesterol checked, etc.
  • Write a letter to the editor or contact a local legislator to stress the importance of addressing the health needs of rural communities
  • Get your local council to pass a Rural Health Day Resolution
  • Thank a rural health provider for all they do!

Have questions about how you might be able to celebrate? Contact Robert Duehmig, . He will be happy to help you make a plan!

We know there is work to be done, but we also believe there is plenty to celebrate – and we invite you to join the celebration!

The Oregon Office of Rural Health Awards Grants to Critical Access Hospitals and Rural Clinics


The ORH awarded $78,000 in grants to four Critical Access Hospital communities and $99,000 in grants to 15 rural clinics across Oregon. By supporting community-driven projects, the Oregon Office of Rural Health helps improve health care coordination in Oregon.

Critical Access Hospital grants, awarded under the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program, aim to improve health care outcomes for Medicare patients and enable hospitals and their surrounding communities to implement sustainable programs in response to challenges identified through community needs assessments.

Rural Health Clinic grants help to advance identified financial, operational, quality or community engagement priorities. Funded projects reflect a diverse set of needs from health screenings to adoption of health information technology.

Office of Rural Health Recruitment and Retention Services - Improving Access in Rural and Underserved Oregon Communities

Oregon Office of Rural Health & Oregon Primary Care Association Partner to Improve Recruitment and Retention

Health care reform has expanded insurance coverage for thousands of Oregonians. But insurance can’t guarantee access if there are not enough providers. Provider shortages in rural and underserved urban areas of Oregon continue to be a challenge in meeting our health reform goals. The ORH and the Oregon Primary Care Association (OPCA) have partnered to increase our efforts to successfully recruit and retain health care providers. OPCA represents the 32 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in rural and urban underserved areas of Oregon. “This is a great partnership,” says Scott Ekblad, ORH Director. “OPCA and ORH have worked closely together for many years and this partnership just makes sense. We have a team that works specifically on recruitment and retention of providers and together with all our partners, we are able to offer a more strategic effort to meet the growing need for health care providers.”

Oregon Incentive Programs Make Big Impact

The ORH administers two loan repayment programs and one loan forgiveness program in addition to the rural practitioner and volunteer EMT tax credits. The Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) is a partnership between the ORH, participating practice sites and the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). In exchange for a two-year service obligation, the ORH, through a HRSA grant, matches the participating practice site’s contribution for loan repayment up to $35,000 per year. Today, the SLRP program has supported 37 providers across Oregon’s rural and urban underserved communities. Providers include MDs, DOs, Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. There are 25 practice sites that are contributing to the program.

The Medicaid Primary Care Loan Repayment Program (MLRP) is a partnership between the ORH and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). Developed as a result of the federal health care reform waiver, the ORH administers the program on behalf of the OHA. The purpose of the program is to provide loan repayment support to primary care providers who commit to serving Medicaid patients in rural and urban underserved areas of the state. In exchange for a three-year service commitment, awardees can receive up to $35,000 a year in loan repayment. Unlike the SLRP program, there is not site match in this program.

The Primary Care Loan Forgiveness Program is designed to address the long term workforce needs of rural Oregon and is often called a “Grown Your Own” program. Unlike loan repayment, loan forgiveness money is given to qualified participants while in school. After completion of their training programs, the provider commits to serving one year in a qualified, rural community for every year of loan they received. The Primary Care Loan Repayment Program requires a student to be enrolled in a qualified primary care rural training track. Currently, there are four programs participating: Pacific University PA School, COMP-NW Osteopathic School, OHSU School of Medicine and OHSU School of Nursing. There are currently two providers who have completed their training and are working in a rural community. However, there are 18 participants still in school.

Happening Around Oregon

Alsea Clinic Welcomes New Provider

The board and staff of Alsea Rural Health Care are happy to announce that Ginger Denney, Family Nurse Practitioner, has been selected to lead the clinic when Mary Ann Carr, FNP retires this fall. Ginger arrived July 1 to spend the next couple of months learning from Mary Ann about how the clinic operates. We’re looking forward to a smooth transition.