Oregon Office of Rural Health

November 2019 Newsletter

Happy Autumn!

In this issue, learn about new funding opportunities, Oregon issues in the news, changes to the Tax Credit program, telehealth updates, upcoming events, and so much more…

2019 National Rural Health Day

Our favorite day of the year is just around the corner: Join us to celebrate National Rural Health Day (NRHD) on November 21, 2019! NRHD is an opportunity to Celebrate the Power of Rural by honoring the community-minded can-do spirit that prevails in our rural communities. It is a chance for us to celebrate the hard working people who provide healthcare to our rural Oregon communities.

Join the ORH National Rural Health Day Photo Contest and Share Your Love of Rural and Health With a Photo!

What is the Photo Contest?

The NRHD Photo Contest is an opportunity for you to visually share what rural means to you. We encourage you to be creative and show us your visions of rural health!

Contest Deadline and Eligibility

Submissions of photos will be accepted until 11:59 pm (PST) on Friday, November 15, 2019. Citizens within Oregon are eligible to enter the contest. Each photo/caption is one submission. However you may submit as many photos as you like. All photos must have been taken in Oregon.

Submitting Photos

Submit your photo by uploading to Instagram and use #celebrateruralOR; #ORRural2019; #WorkPlayLiveOR. If you have questions on submitting a photo, contact Kate | hubbarka@ohsu.edu | 503-494-4450. By submitting a photo for this contest, you agree to the Terms of Use.


The grand prize for the NRHD Photo Contest is a $50 gas card! The contest winner will be notified on November 20, 2019. If the ORH is unable to reach the winner, the entry will be forfeited and we may choose a different winner. All photos will be posted on the ORH’s Facebook, Instagram, and website.


A panel of judges from the ORH, and the Oregon Rural Health Association will critique the photos based on creativity, originality, photo quality, how well it communicates the concept of rural health, and overall appeal.

Use of Copyrighted Materials

Images submitted must be royalty-free. By submitting a photo, you understand you have the right and permission as the owner of the photo to use it for this contest. Photos that do not meet this requirement will not be eligible for prizes and will be disqualified from the NRHD Photo Contest.

Watch The Providers Documentary Film and Join the Discussion

The Providers, a documentary film that follows the struggles of healthcare providers and their patients in rural New Mexico, will be made available for screening from November 7-12, 2019 in honor of National Rural Health Day. You can get the access code by registering online. Your registration will also give you the opportunity to register for a free NRHD special live web event featuring Anna Moot-Levin, one of the two filmmakers, as well as Matt Probst, PA-C, a provider whose story is told in the film.

Get a sneak peek, learn about the associated live web event and discussion, and register for your free access code here.

How will you celebrate National Rural Health Day and the #PowerOfRural? Learn more and get downloadable toolkits of ideas.

 If you have questions, let us know | ruralweb@ohsu.edu.

2019 Oregon Rural Health Conference Wrap Up

Thank you to our speakers, attendees, guests, and staff for making this a fantastic learning and networking event! This year’s presentations are online here.

Conference highlights include a talk by Senator Ron Wyden, and presentations from a new class of Area Health Education Center (AHEC) student scholars.

Congratulations to the 2019 Oregon Rural Health Hero of the Year, Kurt Davis. Thank you for 25 years of recruiting, inspiring, and mentoring several thousand central Oregon students in health care careers. Hear Kurt’s inspiring story here.

Kurt Davis (L) accepting his award from ORH’s Interim Director Robert Duehmig.
Ron Wyden and AHEC Scholars
Senator Ron Wyden and Dr. Eric Wiser, with AHEC student scholars.

Also present this year to receive recognition, were representatives from Oregon’s Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Program (MBQIP) Top Performers, as presented by Stacie Rothwell, ORH Field Services Program Manager.

2019 MBQIP Top Performers
Congratulations to Oregon’s MBQIP Top Performers:
Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital
Columbia Memorial Hospital
Pioneer Memorial Hospital

Thank you everyone—we look forward to seeing you at next year’s Conference: October 7-9, 2020 in Bend!

ORH Awards Elder Service Innovation Grants

ORH is pleased to award two Elder Service Innovation (ESI) grants. The awardees are the Klamath & Lake Counties Council on Aging and Rebuilding Together Rogue Valley. Each awardee will receive $7,500.

The ESI grants support innovative projects which create or enhance services for elders that allow them to age in place in rural and frontier Oregon. Applicants can develop new projects or build upon existing services, with a focus on innovation. These projects serve as best practice models to be shared around the state and country.

Learn more about the 2019 Elder Service Innovation projects.

Funding Opportunities

ORH Logo

Rural Health Clinic Manager Professional Development Scholarship

ORH is pleased to offer a professional development scholarship to a CAH-owned Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Manager in the form of a one-year membership to the Oregon Medical Group Management Association (OMGMA) and the opportunity to attend the OMGMA Annual Conference (registration, two nights of lodging, and mileage reimbursement) to be held June 3-5, 2020 in Bend, Oregon (a total value of $1,000). This opportunity will provide professional development and growth opportunities with an emphasis on learning clinic management best practices, education, and networking. To learn more about OMGMA, see attachments and visit their website.

To apply for this opportunity, the application must be submitted to Rondyann Gerst | gerst@ohsu.edu no later than 5 pm PST on November 15, 2019. Application materials and information can be  found here.

Important Dates and Deadlines

  • Scholarship Application Deadline:  November 15, 2019 by 5 pm PST
  • OMGMA 2020 Practice Management Conference Dates:  June 3-5, 2020
  • Final Report Response By:  August 3, 2019

Please contact Rondyann Gerst | gerst@ohsu.edu | 503-312-3907 with questions.

Request for Grant Proposals: Critical Access Hospital Owned Rural Health Clinic Innovation Project

ORH is also pleased to offer a grant opportunity for up to $4,000 to one primary care Rural Health Clinic (RHC) owned by a Critical Access Hospital (CAH).

Interested RHCs should propose an innovation project that seeks to improve operations, increase revenue, and/or improve workflow within their primary care practices. Applicant RHCs are encouraged, but not required, to partner with other healthcare affiliates, for example:  hospital/healthcare system; public health; and/or local mental health providers to implement the proposed project. Clinics may propose to expand an existing program or implement a new project. Submitted project budget should not exceed $4,000.

Learn more here, or email questions to Rondyann Gerst | gerst@ohsu.edu.

Scholarship for a Rural EMS Provider to Attend the April 2020 National Rural EMS & Care Conference

ORH provides a full scholarship for a rural or frontier EMS provider to attend the National Rural EMS & Care Conference each April. Contact Rebecca Dobert | dobert@ohsu.edu  | 503-494-6627 to nominate an awardee for 2020.

HERO: Helping EMS in Rural Oregon

ORH provides funds to support rural and frontier EMS staff training opportunities. EMS agencies must be located in a rural or frontier area and be recognized by the Oregon Health Authority EMS & Trauma Systems Program as an organization that participates in Oregon’s 9-1-1 response system. Funding must be used within 12 months after receipt.

NAEMSP Rural EMS Provider Scholarships

The National Association of Oregon EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) Oregon Chapter awards scholarships to help cover costs of educational events that add value and growth to your current position as an Oregon-licensed rural EMS provider. The scholarship is limited to a maximum of $500 per individual. Reimbursable expenses are limited to tuition/registration, travel (i.e. fuel or airfare) and lodging. Food and entertainment are not reimbursable.

To apply for a scholarship, complete an application and submit it at least 60 days prior to the event to Oregon NAEMSP | oregonnaemsp@gmail.com.

Oregon Critical Access Hospital and EMS Partner Grant Opportunity

The application period begins November 7 for one $4,000 competitive award to support a partnership project to strengthen CAH and EMS collaboration for projects that focus on process or programming to improve patient outcomes.

Is your CAH looking to add a community paramedicine element to ED care? Are you seeking funding to support improved pre-hospital to ED outcomes tracking? Are you working to improve ED and EMS alignment through training and process support? Please submit an application to Program Manager Rebecca Dobert | dobert@ohsu.edu, by November 29. Applications will be available on the ORH grants page.

Rural and Oregon EMS Featured on NBC

Oregon is one of just 11 states that deem EMS an essential service. NBC Nightly News aired this piece on October 22, detailing issues facing rural EMS nationwide. The ORH EMS Rural and Frontier Listening Tour Report will add the Oregon perspective upon publication in early November. A digital report will be accessible via the ORH website. Limited hard copy editions may be requested by contacting Program Manager Rebecca Dobert | dobert@ohsu.edu | 503-494-6627.

2020 Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) Planning Reminder

As 2019 winds down, it’s time for SHIP-eligible hospitals to begin project and application planning for the 2020 grant year. The FY20 online application is anticipated to open in December 2019, with a submission deadline in early January 2020.

Awards of up to $12,000 per applicant support rural and frontier hospitals with 49 beds or fewer. Funding may be used in support of value-based purchasing, shared savings programs, to purchase health information technology, equipment, and/or training to comply with meaningful use, ICD-10 standards, and payment bundling.

Eligible hospitals include those which qualify, but are not current awardees.

For questions about application completion and project planning, contact Program Manager Rebecca Dobert | dobert@ohsu.edu  | 503-494-6627.

Workforce Services

Oregon Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Provider Application Cycle Closes on January 30, 2020

Eligible providers working in an outpatient primary care capacity at approved practice sites may qualify for loan repayment through the Oregon Health Care Provider Incentive Program. The current provider application cycle closes on January 30, 2020. Eligible providers are highly encouraged to apply as early in the cycle as possible to allow time for information requests from ORH. For more information on the program, including provider and practice site eligibility requirements, FAQs, and provider applications, visit the program webpage, or contact program staff | ruralworkforce@ohsu.edu | 503-494-4450.

Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)

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 to the program, and the applicant’s practice site is willing and able to match award funds to make up the applicant’s award, that applicant will be awarded. In the event a provider's practice site is unable to provide matching funds at the level the provider is 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 a list of program requirements and applications please visit the program webpage.

Rural Medical Practitioners Insurance Subsidy Program 2020 Affidavits are Live

To become eligible for 2020, beginning January 1, 2020, eligible MDs, DOs, and NPs need to complete and submit an affidavit, which is available on our site.

The deadline to become eligible beginning January 1, 2020 is end of day, December 31, 2019. Affidavits received after that time will be eligible beginning April 1, 2020.

Changes to the Rural Practitioner Tax Credit Beginning Tax Year 2020

2019 renewal forms and applications will be mailed to everyone in January 2020. Renewal forms are automatically mailed to all participants’ home addresses. Those who have yet to apply can get on the application mailing list by emailing Eric Jordan | jordane@ohsu.edu | and supplying him with the following:

  • Your licensure type: MD, DO, NP, PA, CRNA, DPM, DMD, DDS, or OD
  • Where you practice in Oregon (example: Columbia Memorial Hospital, Astoria)
  • When you began practicing at the above site/s

Rural Volunteer Emergency Medical Service Provider (EMSP) Tax Credit

2019 renewal forms for existing participants and applications for new participants will be posted to our website in early December. Full program information is available here.


Funding Solutions for Health Care Workforce Training

A new cycle of the Healthy Oregon Workforce Training Opportunity (HOWTO) Grant Program begins in early 2020. HOWTO provides funding for innovative, transformative, community-based health care training programs that expand the health professional workforce in rural and medically-underserved areas in Oregon. In 2018 and 2019, the program awarded grants to 10 local organizations to address current and future health care workforce shortages. Watch the website for the new grant application announcement in January/February 2020.

Telehealth & Project ECHO Updates

Telehealth Resources

The Center for Connected Health Policy recently released State Telehealth Laws & Reimbursement Policies. The Fall 2019 version highlights changes across the country to telehealth laws and Medicaid program policies. This resource, along with others, is available on the ORH’s Telehealth & Project ECHO in Oregon webpage. Questions may be directed to Rose Locklear | locklear@ohsu.edu.

Oregon ECHO Network

The Oregon ECHO Network has opened registration for the five winter ECHO programs listed below. Those interested in participating may find information about the programs and register by following the links below. The deadline to register for each program is a week before it begins or when the program reaches capacity. Contact info for OEN is here.

Hospital News From Around the State

  • Health Grades placed Sky Lakes Medical Center in the top 10% in the nation for pulmonary care, awarding the medical center a five-star rating. Sky Lakes has also received five star ratings for COPD and pneumonia care.
  • Good Shepherd Hermiston welcomed a new midwife! Catherine O'Brien has joined the Women's Center. She is a Doctor of Nurse Practice, and says she has always wanted to serve the women of a rural community.
  • Samaritan Lebanon has been included in the SHARe food box program, which began last year at Samaritan Albany. The program provides food boxes to patients leaving the hospital who need greater access to nutritious foods.

Source: OAHHS

  • Check out this episode on OBP, featuring many of our coastal rural hospital leaders and facilities.

Save the Date

  • The Oregon Rural Health Conference 2020 is October 7-9, 2020 at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes, Bend, Oregon.
  • The 4th Annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon is May 27-29th, 2020 at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes, Bend, Oregon.

Be Prepared

Fall and spring are great times to check your Go Kits and preparedness supplies. Are you #2WeeksReady? Learn about hazards, preparedness, and resources from the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

Volunteer Opportunities

Would you like to spend a few hours doing work that helps you learn something new, makes you feel great, and helps out your community? There are numerous ways to get involved all throughout the year, and especially as the holidays draw near. One place to start is this site, with a variety of opportunities for everyone from kids to older adults.

For more volunteering ideas and connections in your community, please contact us | ruralweb@ohsu.edu | 503-494-4450.

Connect With Us

Something exciting happening in your community or facility? Let us know! Contact the Oregon Office of Rural Health | ruralweb@ohsu.edu | 503-494-4450.

Follow the Office of Rural Health and share what is going on in your community on social media! Be sure to add the National Rural Health Day #powerofrural and join the movement!