Oregon Office of Rural Health

June 2018 Newsletter

ORH Welcomes New Staff

Laura Potter

The Oregon Office of Rural Health welcomes Laura Potter as our new Administrative Manager. Prior to joining the ORH, Laura was the District Executive Director at the American Cancer Society. “Laura brings a great deal of experience and excitement to the office,” says Scott Ekblad, Director, ORH. Laura will be managing the administrative team and will be responsible for the Rural Health Conference and Forum on Aging logistics. You can reach Laura at potterla@ohsu.edu or 503-494-5244.

Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon – Making Rural Oregon an Ideal Place to Age

2nd Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon 1

The ORH held the 2nd Annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon May 16–18th at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Pendleton. The Forum brought together over 125 caregivers, providers, community members and policy makers to learn what is working and what is not for Oregon’s aging, rural population. Sen. Jeff Merkley welcomed the crowd and thanked them for their dedication to rural Oregon and our aging citizens. "We have so many great innovations going on throughout rural Oregon," says Scott Ekblad, Director, ORH. "The Forum is a great opportunity to make connections with those innovators and learn what we can do in our own communities to make them great places to age. People traveled from all over the state to learn."

Forum sessions included

2nd Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon 2

Darrin Umbarger, CEO of Clearview Medication and Disability Resource Center, a non-profit that collects durable medical equipment and makes it available to individuals in Pendleton spoke of the need to “build for sustainability.” He spoke of the importance of an active voice to ensure that our rural communities are developing in a way that sustains our seniors’ ability to remain active in their communities. Darrin also invented the wheelchair charging station. These stations, placed at various parks and public places in Umatilla County, help those in wheelchairs access the outdoors without worrying about their batteries. Through Darrin’s hard work, Oregon’s state capitol building became the first to have a wheelchair charging station.

Save the Date! The 3rd Annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon will be held May 1–3, 2019 in Lincoln City, OR.

HERO: Helping EMS in Rural Oregon. Making a difference!

HERO Grants Awarded

The most recent Helping EMS in Rural Oregon (HERO) grant award cycle closed in April, and ORH was able to award agency training grants to five rural and frontier EMS agencies:

  1. Applegate Valley Rural FPD #9
  2. Canyonville South Umpqua Fire District
  3. Days Creek Rural Fire Department
  4. Halfway-Oxbow Ambulance
  5. Sherman County Ambulance

Grant awards are used to fund work ranging from conducting Emergency Medical Responder classes, to collaborative training among agencies to strengthen skills for current responders, to training of new responders for a community that experienced reduced volunteerism in recent years.

The next competitive application cycle will occur in early 2019. For questions about awards, contact Field Services Program Manager Rebecca Dobert | dobert@ohsu.edu | (503) 494-6627.

Letter: Thankful for HERO Grant

Sharon Volk Greve, EMT-I of Falls City Fire and EMS, sent ORH a kind thank you letter after her agency received a 2017 HERO grant. These excerpts demonstrate an example of the resourcefulness of our rural and frontier EMS personnel, and reinforce why funding the HERO grant program is so important.

“This grant really came in a very special time for us this year. We have lost our contract with the Rural Board, which was the main source of operating expenses. I lost my entire EMS budget as well as our fire department and some trucks. Two agencies donated fire trucks to us, they are old and one needs a rebuilt engine, but it is better than what we had before. So I had nothing for training this year, and we were not even sure we could keep our doors open. But with donations, and a few small grants, we are rebuilding and reorganizing. So we could not have done any of this training this year without your kind and generous donation. Thank you!”

Thank YOU Sharon, and all of the rural and frontier EMS personnel in Oregon for going above and beyond to serve your communities.

Scholarship Awarded for 2018 National Rural EMS & Care Conference

The Office of Rural Health awarded a $1500 scholarship to Lieutenant/Paramedic Brandon Schmidtgall, of the City of Pendleton Fire Department. This scholarship allowed Brandon to attend the 2018 National Rural EMS & Care Conference in Tucson, Arizona. Organized by the Joint Committee on Rural Emergency Care, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and other partner organizations, the conference is in its fourth year of providing an opportunity for EMS policy and provider personnel to learn, connect and collaborate on improving rural EMS. Brandon and ORH Field Services Program Manager Rebecca Dobert participated in sessions about national issues effecting rural EMS, including payment model reform, pending legislation and approaches to community paramedicine projects.

Brandon Schmidtgall

ORH is able to offer scholarships for attendance to the conference annually. If you are interested in submitting an application to be a future recipient, please contact Rebecca Dobert | dobert@ohsu.edu | (503) 494-6627.

Oregon Common Credentialing Program Begins Fall 2018

Health care practitioners are currently credentialed independently by each organization that requires it. This means the same information must be submitted multiple times, to multiple organizations, resulting in a duplication of efforts that is administratively burdensome.

Charged by the Oregon Legislature, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has been working closely with health care providers and credentialing organizations to build a statewide credentialing system that eliminates redundancies, increases accuracy and saves time in the credentialing process. By storing information in one centralized place, the Oregon Common Credentialing Program will give health care practitioners a fast and easy way to submit credentialing information and ensure that credentialing organizations always have access to frequently updated information for the practitioner. The program will go into effect later this year.

Beginning November 5, 2018, all Oregon health care practitioners that must be credentialed, and all organizations that must credential them will be required to use the program’s system. While practitioners are required to begin using the system November 5, 2018, they do not have to complete their application until the next time they are due to be credentialed or re-credentialed. However, it is recommended to do so 90 days prior to allow time for OHA and organizations to work through the credentialing process.

Health plans, hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers are among the various credentialing organizations that will be required to use the system to obtain verified practitioner credentialing information. They must enroll in the system between July and August of this year, and then begin using the system November 5, 2018 to the extent the information is available. These organizations will maintain their process of making the credentialing decision and determining facility privileges for practitioners. Credentialing organizations may only directly ask practitioners for information that is not available through the new system.

The program is funded by fees to practitioners and credentialing organizations. Practitioners will pay a one-time application fee of $150 per person that is due on April 30, 2019. Credentialing organizations will also pay a one-time setup fee, and then pay annually based on their practitioner panel size. Those with fewer than 100 practitioners will pay $90 per practitioner and those with more than 15,000 will pay a total of $195,000 a year.

OHA is continuing to work with stakeholders on the implementation of the program, which is in the process of conducting system testing. Outreach efforts have begun to ensure all practitioners and organizations impacted are aware of the program and its requirements. Training and support materials will be provided and available on the Oregon Common Credentialing Program’s website, where current information can also be found. OHA anticipates this centralized process will result in administrative simplification benefits for both credentialing organizations and practitioners.

ORH is Now Accepting Applications for Oregon Health Care Provider Loan Repayment

Providers who wish to be considered for the next round of Oregon Health Care Provider Incentive Loan Repayment awards must submit their completed application and all required attachments no later than close of business on August 3, 2018. If you have any questions about loan repayment, or other provider incentive programs, please contact Annalee Venneri | venneri@ohsu.ed or Bill Pfunder | pfunder@ohsu.edu

2018 Oregon Rural Health Hero of the Year Nominations

The Oregon Office of Rural Health is seeking nominations for the 2018 Oregon Rural Health Hero of the Year Award. The award recognizes an individual, provider, practice or community for making a distinguished, unique or exceptional contribution to improving the quality of life for rural Oregonians. Criteria may include going above and beyond expected job responsibilities, outstanding volunteerism, sustained and successful commitment to a particular issue or issues affecting rural health care, and long term impact of contribution.

Nominations for the 2018 Oregon Rural Health Hero of the Year will be accepted now through 5:00 pm on July 6, 2018. A winner will be selected the week of July 8 and the award will be presented to the winner at the 35th Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference, which will be held on October 3-5, 2018 at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes, Bend, Oregon.

Check out previous Oregon Rural Health Hero of the Year awardees!

For more information, please contact: Laura Potter | 503 494-4450potterla@ohsu.edu

Eastern Oregon Healthy Living Alliance Receives Funding to Improve Colon Cancer Screening

Eastern Oregon Healthy Living Alliance (EOHLA) received $50,000 from the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University to improve colorectal cancer screening rates in eastern Oregon by promoting and increasing screening participation of Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kits, which are recommended annually for adults aged 50-75. The project will be provided in three frontier counties in eastern Oregon: Morrow, Sherman, and Gilliam counties. Participating clinics and health organizations include Columbia River Health Services, Morrow County Health District, Sherman County Medical Clinic, and North Gilliam County Health District. Additionally, EOHLA will collaborate with Community Advisory Councils in each county to coordinate and support activities to outreach to the target population.

One in three (36 percent) of Oregonians ages 50-75 are not being screened as recommended, and colorectal cancer screening rates in eastern Oregon are lower than Oregon's statewide rate. “EOHLA is committed to delivering strategies that improve community health throughout the entire region”, stated Andrea Fletcher, EOHLA co-founder and board member representing Morrow County. “With the shifting emphasis in the healthcare system toward prevention practices to help keep people healthy, screenings such as colon cancer screenings can prevent many serious illnesses before they occur.” The project is funded through the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program, which   is designed to build sustainable collaborations with Oregon communities by providing grants and other resources to foster development of community-identified cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship projects.

2018 County Health Rankings

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute released their annual reporton the place-based factors influencing health outcomes. The annual Rankings provide a revealing snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play. They provide a starting point for change in communities.

National Rural Health Day — November 15, 2018

What are you doing to celebrate National Rural Health Day (NRHD) 2018? It is never too early to start planning! NRHD is our opportunity to celebrate our communities and our health care workers. Open houses, community events, facility tours, policy roundtables are just a few ideas.

If you would like assistance in planning your NRHD celebrations, please contact Robert Duehmig | duehmigr@ohsu.edu

Mark Your Calendar

35th Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference
October 3-5, 2018
The Riverhouse on the Deschutes, Bend, Oregon

You can find more information about registration and hotel reservations here

2018 Oregon Place Matters Conference
October 29-30, 2018
Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR

The Oregon Place Matters Conference is an opportunity for people who care about health to gain new insights, skills and connections to help address the leading preventable causes of death in Oregon: tobacco, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use.

Register here!
Questions about the conference?  Contact placematters.conference@state.or.us

TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer
A two-day workshop approved for 12 hours of CEU provided by Tillamook Bay Community College
July 9- 10, 2018
Tillamook Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2610 1st Street, Tillamook, OR

For more information or to register, contact Julia Fontanilla | fontanillajulia@gmail.com or Fred Casey | caseyfl@ah.org

Grant/Funding Opportunities

Evidence-Based Tele-Behavioral Health Network Program

HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is offering 14 awards, each up to $350,000 per year, to support the use of telehealth networks to increase access to behavioral health care services in rural and frontier communities.

Rural Communities Opioid Response Funding Opportunity

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) plans to award up to 75 grants to rural communities as part of a new Rural Communities Opioid Response (Planning) (RCORP) initiative in FY 18.

Successful awardees will receive up to $200,000 for one year to develop plans to implement opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions designed to reduce opioid overdoses among rural populations.

While the initiative will focus on the 220 counties identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being at risk, communities that are not on the list are encouraged to apply.

The lead applicant must be part of a group including at least three other partners that have committed to forming a consortium or are part of an established consortium.

This initiative is part of a three-year Rural Communities Opioid Response initiative by HRSA aimed at supporting treatment for and prevention of substance use disorder.

Please watch www.hrsa.gov and www.grants.gov for the Notice of Funding Opportunity anticipated later this spring, 2018.

For more information, please contact: Allison Hutchings | ahutchings@hrsa.gov

NURSE Corps Scholarship Program

NURSE Corps offers funding for tuition, fees, and other educational costs to students accepted or enrolled in a diploma, associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree nursing program. In exchange, you must work at an eligible facility with a critical shortage of nurses - a Critical Shortage Facility (CSF) - upon graduation. Deadline is June 14, 2018, 7.30pm EST.

Faculty Loan Repayment

The Faculty Loan Repayment Program (FLRP) helps recruit and retain health professions faculty members by encouraging students to pursue faculty roles in their respective health care fields. This is vital for preparing and supporting the next generation of educators. Deadline is June 28, 2018.

The Rural Rundown

Bay Area Hospital welcomes Alex Penney, DNP, MPH, RN, CPPS as their new Chief Quality Officer.

Good Shepherd Health Care System Family Birth Center was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Certification Program as a Silver Safe Sleep Leader, for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep.

Good Shepherd Health Care System's CEO and President, Dennis E. Burke, was recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the 50 Rural Hospital CEOs to Know in 2018.

PeaceHealth Cottage Grove's Ana Maria Dudley received this year’s Excellence in Public Health Award from the Lane County Board of Commissioners.

Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital's CEO, Marty Cahill, was named Business Leader of the Year for 2017 at the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Awards Banquet.

Wallowa Memorial Hospital made the Women’s Choice Awards Top 100 list for Patient Experience. The award was given based on HCAP scores in areas of special concern to women.

Wallowa Memorial Hospital made iVantage’s list of Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals. Wallowa Memorial has earned this award four out of the past five years.

Something exciting happening in your community or facility?  Let us know! Contact Robert Duehmig | duehmigr@ohsu.edu | 503-494-4450.

Follow the Office of Rural Health & share what is going on in your community on social media!

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter