Oregon Office of Rural Health

September 2019 Newsletter

2020 Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon

Request for Proposals

Next year’s 2020 Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon is now accepting presentation proposals!

The Oregon Office of Rural Health (ORH) seeks proposals for presentations at the 4th Annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon, May 27-29, 2020, in Bend, Oregon. Complete details on presentation topics and proposal requirements may be found in the Request for Proposals.

Proposals are due no later than 5:00 PM, Friday October 4, 2019. Please contact Rose Locklear |locklear@ohsu.edu with questions or to submit a proposal.

Notice of Awards

Rural and Frontier EMS Listening Tour Mini Grants Awarded

The Fiscal Year 2018 Flex-Supplement funded ORH EMS Listening Tour conducted meetings with 35 responder and partner agencies in 10 rural and frontier counties this spring and early summer. Participants discussed current challenges to operational stability, as well as successes in program implementation. A final summary report will be published in September.

 The ORH is pleased to announce the award of mini- training grants to the following EMS Listening Tour participants:

  • Adrian Quick Response Unit
  • Bonanza Ambulance
  • Chiloquin Fire and Rescue
  • Crescent Rural Fire Protection District
  • Jordan Valley Ambulance
  • Lakeview Disaster Unit
  • North Lake County EMS
  • Silver Lake Rural Fire Protection District
  • Wheeler County Emergency Management

The grants are structured to support training and education efforts within small rural and frontier responder agencies to strengthen their sustainable programming.

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

Helping EMS in Rural Oregon (HERO) Agency Training Grants Awarded

Four HERO agency training grants were awarded in August. Funding will support programming at rural and frontier EMS agencies including: training for volunteer EMR and EMTs to cover frontier communities and Continuing Education credits for EMT-I and ALS providers.

Congratulations to the awardees:

  • East Umatilla County Ambulance Area Health District
  • Lake Chinook Fire and Rescue
  • Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Protection District
  • Vale Ambulance

Many thanks to the other agencies who took the time to submit applications; we wish we could fund each and every one. Future HERO award cycles will be posted to the ORH webpage and social media sites; stay tuned!

For questions about the HERO program, contact Field Services Program Manager Rebecca Dobert |dobert@ohsu.edu | 503-494-6627.

Flex Provider Based Rural Health Clinics (PBRHC) Innovation Grant Projects

As the Fiscal Year 2018 Flex grant year closes, Provider-Based Rural Health Clinic Innovation Grant projects are reporting improved patient outcomes. Providers and staff at three Pioneer Memorial Hospital RHCs — Ione Community Clinic, Irrigon Medical Clinic and Pioneer Memorial Cliniccreated and implemented a Care Coordination model focused on patients diagnosed with diabetes and those at risk for developing the disease. The model included pharmacy staff, and Care Coordinators developed workflow, patient cohort targets and outcome measures to improve patients’ ability to comply with recommended treatment. All three clinics report significant increases in A1C testing completed, and increases in both Type 1 and Type 2 patients with A1C results less than 8.

Future Flex-funded grant opportunities are always posted on the ORH website and social media.

Oregon's 2019 Critical Access Hospital Top Quality Reporters

Best Performance on the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Program (MBQIP)

The Oregon Office of Rural Health recognizes Critical Access Hospitals in Oregon as being MBQIP Top Performers for reporting on Outpatient, Transitions in Care (EDTC) and HCAHPS measures.  In addition, we name one CAH who is Most Improved in their reporting efforts and one Overall Top Performer that has demonstrated continuous reporting on a wide variety of measures and has consistently come in at or above the State and National averages on those measures – more so than their peers around the state. 

The Federal Office or Rural Health Policy created MBQIP in 2011 to implement rural relevant quality measures specific to low volume Critical Access Hospitals.  MBQIP helps CAHs look at the quality data that makes sense for them and to develop quality improvement activities that ensure the highest quality of care to their patients.  MBQIP is voluntary and all 25 of Oregon’s CAHs participate. It’s a proactive approach to ensure CAHs are prepared to meet future reporting requirements as well as performance-based payment models. 

ORH is pleased to announce the following CAHs as Top Performers and recognize their Quality Improvement Teams for doing an outstanding job!

In the current environment of many, many reporting requirements, these CAHs have demonstrated consistent reporting and strong results.

Congratulations to Oregon’s MBQIP Top Performers

Overall MBQIP Top Performer
Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital

For Reporting on Emergency Department Transfer Communication Measures
Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital

For Reporting on Outpatient Measures
Columbia Memorial Hospital

For Reporting HCAHPS
Pioneer Memorial Hospital

For Most Improved MBQIP Reporting
Columbia Memorial Hospital

To recognize these hospitals for their commitment to quality reporting and quality improvement efforts, ORH has awarded one scholarship to the Quality Officer at each CAH to attend the 36th Annual Rural Health Conference where they will be recognized during the ORH Awards Luncheon as well as a $5,000 award to be used towards quality improvement efforts specific to MBQIP reporting. 

Congratulations on your efforts and commitment to quality!

For more information on MBQIP or these awards, please contact Stacie Rothwell | 971-235-3978 | rothwels@ohsu.edu

News and Events

Great New Resource for Central Oregonians

The Central Oregon Health Council has partnered with the Institute on Aging to bring the Friendship Line to Central Oregonians.  The Friendship Line is the only nationally accredited 24-hour toll-free warmline & hotline designed to meet the needs of: older adults, adults living with disabilities; and family caregivers.  Friendship Line staff and trained volunteers will make outbound phone calls to provide emotional support, reassurance, “well-being” check-ins; and/or crisis intervention.  Further information may be found here.

Or contact Angela Belew Jensen | angela.jensen@cohealthcouncil.org

FCC: Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, Connect America Fund

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing establishing a Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, and committing $20.4 billion over the next 10 years to support high-speed in rural areas of the U.S. The proposal would build on the success of the Connect America Fund Phase II auction. The FCC seeks feedback on the best approach for establishing the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund; comments are due September 20, 2019. Follow this link for more information and to submit comments.

Source: RHIhub

Rural Scholarships Available for Annual Acute and Critical Care Symposium

The Oregon Chapter of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (OSCCM) and The Greater Portland Chapter of AACN invite you and your colleagues to join us for our 46th Annual Acute and Critical Care Symposium November 4th and 5th, 2019 in Vancouver, Washington.  This conference has become one of the most popular events for Critical Care Medicine in the Pacific Northwest with over 350 registered nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and respiratory therapists at last year’s conference.

In support of this mission, OSCCM is offering scholarships to rural area physicians, physician residents, nurses and pharmacists to attend this conference.  The event brochure and registration for the Symposium are available on the Greater Portland Chapter of AACN website at www.aacngpc.org.

ORH Promotes Oregon Practice Opportunities at National AAFP Residency Conference

Stacee Reed, Program Manager for Recruitment Services, promoted rural Oregon practice opportunities at the 2019 American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) National Conference for Family Medicine Residents & Medical Students in Kansas City.  The AAFP Conference brings together family medicine residents and medical students to attend workshops, procedural skills courses and access residency programs from across the country in one place.  ORH, in partnership with 3RNet, the national non-profit linking health professionals with practice opportunities in rural and underserved communities, encouraged medical students to attend Oregon based residency programs and Oregon family medicine residents to stay and work in rural Oregon.

Oregon residency training programs were well represented!  Oregon’s family medicine residency programs worked together to promote Oregon as a great place to work, live and play. You can find out more about Oregon’s family medicine residency programs by hitting these links:

OHA & ODVA to Host Community Forums on Veterans Behavioral Health

Community input requested to inform five-year strategic plan

The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs announced a statewide tour over the next several months to solicit input from communities across Oregon regarding veterans’ behavioral health needs and services.

The Oregon Legislature invested $3.1 million over two biennia toward veterans’ behavioral health. OHA and ODVA dedicated a portion of the funding to commission a needs assessment study to identify challenges and opportunities for reforms. The resulting study, written by Portland-based consulting firm Rede Group is now available on the OHA website. Read the report, and the resulting recommendations here.

The community engagement tour, which began Aug. 8 in Bend, fulfills the first recommendation in the report: Provide communities a forum for local-level problem solving. At the local meetings, OHA and ODVA will seek feedback from local veterans, service providers and policymakers on the Rede Group’s 16 total recommendations. Locations for these community meetings were chosen to obtain a diverse perspective from rural, urban, and frontier veterans, health care providers and community members. Input from these sessions will be used to develop OHA’s five-year strategic plan to better meet the behavioral health needs of Oregon veterans, in close collaboration with ODVA and the federal VA. The strategic plan is expected to be published in early 2020.

The below schedule is subject to change. Please periodically check the OHA website for updates to the schedule. While all forums are free and open to the public, registration is required.

  • Salem – Wednesday, Sept. 4
  • Klamath Falls – Wednesday, Sept. 11
  • Lakeview – Thursday, Sept. 12
  • Portland – Monday, Sept. 16; Tuesday, Sept. 17
  • The Dalles – Tuesday, Sept. 24
  • Pendleton – Tuesday, Oct. 8
  • Baker City – Wednesday, Oct. 9
  • Ontario – Thursday, Oct. 10
  • Medford – Wednesday, Oct. 16

Source: OHA

Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Scholars Kick-Off

The 2nd Annual AHEC Scholars Kick-Off is scheduled for Thursday, September 26th. It will be held this year at the Tuality Health Education Center in Hillsboro, Oregon. All AHEC Scholars students, faculty and staff are highly encouraged to attend.

Our keynote speaker this year is Edward Saito, PharmD, BCACP. He serves as the PGY2 Residency Program Director with Pacific University's School of Pharmacy. He will be sharing about clinical pharmacist integration at Virginia Garcia, and the value of pharmacists serving rural and underserved populations.

Recognizing that many students will be spread across the state, this year's presentations will be recorded and made available for later viewing.

For more information, contact Linda Martin-Stanger | martili@ohsu.edu

Education Opportunities

3RNet 2019 Academy

The Oregon Office of Rural Health (ORH) is offering an education opportunity to rural Oregon practice sites.

The 2019 3RNet Academy webinar series will kick off in October of 2019. This year’s Academy title is – Recruiting for Retention Hierarchy: Building the Foundation.

Registration begins at the end of August!

If you would like information on the upcoming Recruiting for Retention Academy, contact Stacee Reed, Program Manager – Recruitment & Retention | reest@ohsu.edu.

The Foundation for Medical Excellence Northwest Healthcare Leadership Institute Fall Conference

The Institute will hold its fall conference in Portland in  cooperation with The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS). The curriculum teaches health care leaders how to build a stronger, more innovative delivery system through collaboration across disciplines.

Review the program brochure available here. There are 50% tuition scholarships for small and rural hospitals. Contact Katie Harris at kharris@oahhs.org for more information on the scholarships.

Source: OAHHS

36th Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference

Registration is filling up fast – reserve your spot today!

Over 300 providers, administrators, policy-makers, consumers, hospital and clinic leaders, public health experts, and students will come together to explore topics of vital importance to Oregonians living in rural communities. We’re excited for the great lineup this year, and hope to see you there!

2019 Conference Highlights

  • Opening speaker Pat Allen, Director of The Oregon Health Authority (OHA), who will discuss Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) 2.0
  • The housing crisis and its impact on providers and patient ability to cooperate in their own healthcare
  • Preventative dental care as a means to reduce ER and Urgent Care visits
  • How community health workers can address the underlying causes of opioid use disorder

Please visit the Oregon Office of Rural Health for registration, agenda, and lodging information!

Incentive Programs

Oregon Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Application Cycle Closes on October 31

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 October 31. 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’s webpage or contact program staff | ruralworkforce@ohsu.edu | 503-494-4450.

New Loan Forgiveness Graduates

Loan forgiveness programs provide funding for qualified students enrolled in an approved academic programs in exchange for a future service obligation at a qualified practice site. Two loan forgiveness programs administered by ORH, Primary Care Loan Forgiveness (PCLF) and Scholars for a Healthy Oregon Initiative (SHOI), have graduates who will soon be seeking employment at approved practice sites. Practice sites interested in connecting with loan forgiveness graduates can contact ORH | ruralworkforce@ohsu.edu | 503-494-4450.

Funding Opportunities

Rural Health Network Development Program

Apply for funding under the Rural Health Network Development (RHND) program. The purpose of this program is to support integrated rural health care networks that have combined the functions of the entities participating in the network, including skilled and experienced staff, and a high functioning network board, in order to address the health care needs of the targeted rural community. Recipients will combine the functions of the entities participating in the network to address the following legislative aims:

  1. Achieve efficiencies
  2. Expand access, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services
  3. Strengthen the rural health care system as a whole.

The RHND Program encourages innovative solutions to local health care needs identified by local communities, and supports rural communities in preparing for changes within the health care environment.

Learn more details, including eligibility requirements here.

Source: HRSA

HRSA Rural Health Network Development Planning Program

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) expects to invest approximately $2 million for this program that helps rural communities develop integrated health care networks, specifically those who do not have a formal history of collaboration. Up to 20 awards will be made to public or nonprofit private rural entities that represent a network and/or consortium of three or more participants. 

The goals of the program are to expand access to quality care in underserved areas by creating efficiencies and coordination of care across multiple providers to strengthen the rural health care system.  The program is competitive every year and assists rural health care networks increase the use of health information technology, transition from volume-based to value-based care, and explore alternative health care delivery models.

More information and details are available here.

Source: HRSA

Around Oregon

  • Lower Umpqua Hospital announced plans to renovate a Reedsport building to house LUH business offices and some non-clinical services. The purchased property once housed a church.
  • Tim Herrmann, chief administrative officer at PeaceHealth Cottage Grove, has received a national safety and quality award from Becker's Healthcare.
  • Mercy Medical and Samaritan Health each won a $750,000 HRSA grant to help develop new rural residency programs to train and develop staff.

Source: OAHHS

Something Happening? Let us know!

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