Oregon Office of Rural Health

June 2019 Newsletter

2019 Rural Health Hero of the Year Nomination

Is there a Healthcare Hero in your rural community?  Then we want to know!   

ORH is seeking nominations for the 2019 Rural Health Hero of the Year.  Your Hero can be an individual, organization, or program.
Nominations close on July 5, 2019 and the winner will be announced at the Oregon Rural Health Conference.

You can find the 2019 Oregon Rural Health Hero of the Year nomination packet here!

New Critical Access Hospital Data

Fiscal Year 2017 Community Benefit Reporting Highlights

This year’s Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Community Benefit Highlights report is now available!

The Oregon Health Authority collects, analyzes, and publishes community benefit data annually for the 60 non-profit Oregon hospitals.  The ORH, in partnership with the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, collaboratively published Fiscal Year 2017 Community Benefit Reporting Highlights of Oregon’s 25 Critical Access Hospitals. This year’s highlight report describes fiscal year 2017 community benefit data and federal requirements for 501(c)(3) charitable hospitals including requirements for financial assistance and emergency medical care, community health needs assessment (CHNA) requirements, plus resources for 501(r) compliance.

An interactive map of the most recent CHNAs and Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs) for Oregon Non-profit Hospitals, Local Public Health Authorities, and Coordinated Care Organizations, along with resources to support CHNA development and compliance are available on the ORH website.

The CAH community benefit report, interactive map, and resources may be found on the ORH website.

Please contact Rose Locklear | (503)-577-3849 | locklear@ohsu.edu with any feedback or questions.

Fiscal Year 2019 Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program Grant (SHIP) Awards Began June 1, 2019

The 2019-2020 SHIP grant year begins on June 1, and awards of $10,000 will be made to the cycle’s 21 applicant hospitals.

The SHIP award assists eligible hospitals in meeting the costs of implementing data system requirements established under the Medicare Program, with the ability to increase and track improvements to the value and quality of the care they provide.

Eligible small rural hospitals are those located in the United States and its territories, and include hospitals with 49 available beds or less. Award-eligible hospitals may be for-profit, not-for-profit, or tribal organizations, and include Critical Access Hospitals.

Applications to receive a 2020-2021 award will be available in late 2019. Please contact ORH Field Services Program Manager Rebecca Dobert | dobert@ohsu.edu | or (503) 494-6627 at any time of year, with questions about eligibility or how to apply.

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

2019 Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon

The ORH held the 3rd Annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon May 1-3rd at Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City. The Forum brought together over 150 advocates including health care and social service providers, community members, subject matter experts, and policy makers to hear about homegrown and evidence-based solutions for Oregon’s rural and frontier aging population.

This event is an opportunity to bring together Oregon’s keystone health organizations: Critical Access Hospitals, Coordinated Care Organizations, and Local Public Health Departments and Authorities. The Forum is great for advocates to learn new information and strategies that they can apply to their work or practice, and it serves for all to connect with state and local aging- related stakeholders and community members in order to address health priority areas.

You can find Forum presentations and information online here.

Next year, ORH will bring the 4th Annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon, May 27 – 29th, 2020, to Bend, OR at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes.  We hope to see you there!

Please contact Rose Locklear | locklear@ohsu.edu | (503) 577-3849 with any feedback or questions.

Rural and Frontier EMS Listening Tour Wrapping Up

The Fiscal Year 2018 Flex-Supplement funded ORH EMS Listening Tour will complete in June. Meetings have been conducted in Crook, Grant, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Tillamook, and Wheeler Counties, with the remaining meetings scheduled for Douglas, Malheur, and Wallowa.

Discussions with EMS agency staff and providers, local public health staff, and law enforcement has provided real-time perspective of the challenges that rural and frontier EMS services must overcome to provide the best emergency care possible. The Tour has also heard illustrations of successful best practices and how having the right resources helps create operational stability and great patient care outcomes. The tour report will be published and available this fall.

Contact Field Services Program Manager Rebecca Dobert | dobert@ohsu.edu |(503) 494-6627 with questions.

Provider Incentives

Oregon Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Provider Application Cycle Closes August 1, 2019

The Oregon Health Care Provider Incentive Loan Repayment program was established by the Oregon Legislature to help support underserved communities in their recruitment and retention of high quality providers who serve patients regardless of their source of coverage (Medicaid, Medicare, private etc.) or ability to pay. In exchange for service at a qualifying practice site, participants receive funds to repay qualifying educational loan debt.

Applicants must be an eligible provider type and providing primary care in an outpatient setting at a qualified Oregon practice site. The current provider application cycle closes on August 1, 2019; providers are encouraged to submit their applications well in advance of deadline. For applications and a list of program requirements please visit the program’s webpage.

Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) is Currently Accepting Provider Applications

The Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) is an incentive program for primary care providers working at approved practice sites in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). SLRP is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and matched by an awardee's practice site.

Unlike most Loan Repayment programs, SLRP’s application process is not competitive. If an eligible provider from a qualified practice site applies and the applicant’s practice site is willing and able to match award funds to make up the applicant’s award, and as long as program funds exist, that applicant will be awarded. In the event a provider's practice site is unable to provide matching funds at the level awarded, the practice site and provider may mutually agree to lower the total award amount to a level that would allow the practice site to contribute.

For applications and a list of program requirements please visit the program’s webpage.

Graduating Primary Care Loan Forgiveness (PCLF) & Scholars for a Healthy Oregon Initiative (SHOI) Providers

Primary Care Loan Forgiveness (PCLF) & Scholars for a Healthy Oregon Initiative (SHOI) are Loan Forgiveness programs that pay all or part of a participant’s medical training in advance in exchange for a service obligation once they graduate. Participants must serve their obligation at an approved practice site in Oregon.  PCLF and SHOI will have a variety of provider types graduating from medical training programs this summer. Practice sites interested in hiring Loan Forgiveness participants must ensure practice site eligibility by completing and submitting a Site Application.  Site Applications are valid for one year. If you are unsure if your practice site has a current Site Application on file please contact the Office of Rural Health Workforce Services Team | ruralworkforce@ohsu.edu | (503) 494-4450.

Continuing Education

Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training (SAPST), June 17-20 8am-5pm, Bend, Oregon

The OPHA Addiction Prevention Section is hosting the Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training (SAPST) in Bend! The SAPST is a foundational course of study in substance abuse prevention. This four-day, in-person training prepares participants to move from prevention science and theory to practice using the Strategic Prevention Framework. Click here to view the 2019 SAPST flyer and agenda. There will be other SAPST events throughout Oregon in 2019-2020. Questions?  Contact Julie Spackman at julie.spackman@deschutes.org.

Rural Health Clinic Emergency Preparedness Webinar Recordings Available

Rural Health Clinic staff from all corners of Oregon signed on to participate in a two-part Emergency Preparedness planning webinar series in April and May. Anyone who wished to attend but wasn’t able to register in time, please contact Field Services Program Manager Rebecca Dobert | dobert@ohsu.edu | for a link to the recorded sessions.

For additional professional development opportunities for providers, including conferences, online classes, and upcoming courses, visit the OHSU School of Medicine.


AHEC Scholars

The first year of AHEC Scholars is wrapping up, and preparation is under way for the second year. The Oregon AHEC program office worked with the AHECSW regional center to develop a promotional video, designed to increase our marketing and communication of the AHEC Scholars program. Additionally, two more academic partners have joined, adding further diversity: Pacific University’s College of Pharmacy, and OHSU’s BSN program in La Grande. Plans are underway to connect each AHEC Scholar to one of the five regional directors for the duration of the 2019/2020 academic year. This connection will give the Scholars another point of contact to serve as a resource as they move through program requirements, and simultaneously will offer Oregon AHEC a richer source of student feedback for existing evaluative facilitated discussions.

2019 Opioid Symposium

Opioid Symposium

On April 26th, participants in Portland and at remote locations across the state attended the Oregon AHEC Opioid Symposium. Speakers presented on topics ranging from medication-assisted treatment in rural communities, to updates from the Oregon Opioid Task Force, and inter-professional approaches to tackling the opioid epidemic.

The symposium was made possible through grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). A special thanks to Cascades East AHEC, North East Oregon AHEC, Oregon Pacific AHEC, OHSU's Campus for Rural Health, and Advanced Health for facilitating remote attendance.

Awards and Scholarships

Western Region Flex Conference Scholarship Award

The Office of Rural Health awarded a $750 scholarship to Lesley Ogden, MD, CEO of Samaritan North Lincoln and Pacific Communities Hospitals, to attend the Western Region Flex Conference in Marana, Arizona.  The conference will provide an opportunity for CAH leadership to learn about the latest state and national health policy developments and their impact on CAHs and other rural health care providers.

National Rural EMS Conference Scholarship Awarded

Naomi & Rebecca

Seven Feathers EMT and EMS Training Coordinator Naomi Kamph was awarded a scholarship to attend the National Rural EMS Conference in Charleston, South Carolina in April. Her participation brought a non-transporting agency perspective to the forum and motivated robust conversation about the roles and needs of all types of licensed EMS agencies in responding to rural and frontier emergent situations.


For additional information on applying for grants, rural funding, and other opportunities, please visit the Rural Health Hub. The Hub is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and is a great resource for news, data, and issues that impact rural health.

Save the Dates

36th Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference

October 2-4, 2019
The Riverhouse on the Deschutes in Bend, Oregon

Registration opening in July!

Sessions this year will be focused on supporting the rural healthcare workforce, on the social determinants of health as they impact rural communities, on housing, on oral health, and on strategies for addressing overuse of opioids in rural areas.

To review agendas from previous years, go here.

For questions, or to become a conference partner, please contact Laura Potter | potterla@ohsu.edu.

4th Annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon

May 27 – 29th, 2020
Riverhouse on the Deschutes
Bend, OR