VRHA Weekly Update
In this Issue July 28, 2014

VRHA News Virginia News National News Mark your calendar
Funding Opportunities


Newsletter available





VRHA & VRHRC at the Capitol

VRHA member & VRHRC consultant Rhonda Seltz was one of the featured speakers at a Richmond press conference for North Carolina Mayor Adam O'Neal.  The Mayor is making his way to Washington, D.C., via foot to discuss Medicaid expansion with lawmakers and call attention to the plight of rural hospitals. 

Read more about the mayor's walk:

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Members in the News

By Josette Keelor - NV Daily

Waiting to treat symptoms of a heart attack can be deadly, but recognizing risk factors and symptoms isn't always easy. In a free three-hour program, staff at [VRHA member] Warren Memorial Hospital in Front Royal explained how to recognize heart attacks and increase heart health through diet, exercise and education.

The program ended with information about the Chronic Disease Management program at the hospital's outpatient center.

Read the full article.

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More Members in the News

By Allie Robinson Gibson - Bristol Herald Courier

[VRHA member] Virginia Dental Association Foundation’s outreach Missions of Mercy celebrated its 15th year of service at Wise County’s Remote Area Medical clinic this weekend. On Friday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe read a proclamation thanking the group for its steadfast service during those years.

One dentist, Bob Findley, of Indiana, has worked with the group 13 of those 15 years. He said he does it to give back to the community — his mother’s family is from the area and he used to vacation with family members along the Clinch River.

Read the full article.

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Virginia News

RAM & Expansion

The recent Wise County RAM Clinic was a prime opportunity for both media and politicians to call attention to the issue of Medicaid Expansion.  Here's a sampling of articles on the topic:

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LUCOM to Open 8/4


Dr. James Swanson leans against the front of a sleek black dishwasher for cleaning surgical tools and just laughs.  Across the room is a brand-new mortician’s table and sink. Behind him, 26 cadavers await Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine’s first medical students to begin classes Aug. 4.

“This is kind of state of the art,” Swanson said, admitting that yes, he’s a bit spoiled by it all.

Students and professors will have access to some of the most cutting-edge medical technology as well as significant financial backing from a booming Christian university engaged in a multimillion-dollar facelift. For many, it will be the first time they express their faith in the medical classroom.

“The idea that we can do this with a Christian worldview — we’re not evangelizing, we’re not trying to make everybody Christian who comes here; that would be completely inappropriate — but with what we believe are the biblical principles [of] the Christ-centered life we try to lead, try to emulate. … It’s different, it’s exciting,” said Dr. Michael Lockwood, a professor in the Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.

Read the full article.

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UVA Serving Rural

By the Daily Progress

The University of Virginia Health System says a federal grant will make it easier for its doctors to meet with frail, seriously ill patients via videoconference. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has allocated $253,330 to the program designed to help patients living in rural locations far from hospitals.

The system will set up videoconferencing locations at nine rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and dialysis centers throughout central Virginia. That joins a network of more than 100 telemedicine locations throughout the state.

Health system officials say the ability to meet with doctors through videoconferencing will cut down on arduous hospital trips and allow chronically ill patients more opportunities to follow-up with their doctors.

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Take the Survey!

From the Virginia Department of Health

As a recipient of federal funds from the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is conducting a Needs Assessment study to determine health needs among women, children, and families in Virginia. 
As part of this effort, VDH has developed a consumer health survey to help measure the health care services that are commonly needed in Virginia, as well as consumer priorities with regard to maternal and child health.
Could you please take the survey, and forward this link to your staff, partner agencies, and membership, as well as to family and friends?  The survey may be taken by anyone who lives in Virginia, and we would be very excited to have a large number of individuals complete it. 
The survey will be open until September 1, 2014 at the following link:

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National News

A Rural Hospital Crisis

By Wayne Myers - Daily Yonder

The number of patients admitted to small, rural hospitals is dropping rapidly, creating big changes in the economics of rural healthcare. From 1996 to 2012, the average number of acutely ill inpatients at “critical access hospitals” fell by half, from an average of 8.7 to 4.35 per hospital per day.

If the current rate of decline continues, most of the inpatient business at these hospitals will be gone in the next decade. Inpatient care accounts for a third or less of the revenue of critical access hospitals. But it’s a vital stream of money for institutions that operate in the black by only 1% of their budgets, on average.

Why are patient admissions declining, and how should we respond?

Read the full article.


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VA Health Transportation

From the US Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the White House Rural Council today announced the award of eight grants, totaling $815,051.50, which will improve access to health care for Veterans living in highly rural areas.  The grants will assist over 11,000 Veterans in 7 states and 56 counties by providing up to $50,000 per highly rural area to fund transportation services for Veterans to and from VA medical centers and other facilities that provide VA care.  

The grantees are:

  • Virginia Department of Veteran Services
  • American Legion Post 20 in South Dakota
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8988  in California
  • Nevada Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7202 in far west Texas
  • Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs
  • North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs 
Read the full press release.

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Expansion & Rural

How does Medicaid expansion affect insurance coverage of rural populations?  To better understand how states’ decisions on Medicaid expansion are impacting rural areas, a new brief by the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program examines population estimates, current status of state expansion and state-level insurance estimates. The study aims to answer two main questions: 1) How is Medicaid expansion affecting rural populations, and 2) How would it differ if every state were to expand?

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Present at NRHA

The National Rural Health Association is soliciting session proposals for its 2015 Annual Rural Health Conference April 14-17 in Philadelphia

Each year, more than 200 people present more than 55 concurrent educational sessions, 20 research papers and up to 100 research and educational posters. 

Submit session proposals or original research for presentation during the 2015 event by July 31


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Mark Your Calendar

For more information about these and other events, visit the VRHA Calendar

July 30: Valuations: What Rural Providers Need to Know - webinar
September 30-October 1: Rural Health Clinic Conference - Kansas City, MO
October 1-3: Critical Access Hospital Conference - Kansas City, MO
December 11 & 12: Virginia Rural Health Association Annual Conference - Staunton​

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Utah Rural Hospital Survey
This document is an example of a hospital assessment or survey to be used to assess things such as hospital organization structure and tax/foundation support, hospital concerns and challenges, community relationships, community health care improvement, community health concerns, community health insurance coverage, state legislature suggestions, community focus group meeting results and additional comments.

FAQs regarding Creating a Culture of Safety: A Board Self-Assessment Tool
This document can be used as a tool to assess hospital board member's support for quality and safety improvement efforts.

Board Self-Assessment Guide
This document provides an example of a full evaluation of hospital governing board performance using questions answered on a 5-point scale.

Community Paramedic Program Handbook
The Western Eagle County Health Services District (WECAD) in Colorado provides a model community paramedic program. This handbook explains the program background and development and includes several sample documents, such as work plan, example memorandum of understanding, release of information form, and home safety assessment. 

Understanding Healthcare Prices: A Consumer Guide
Although directed at an audience of consumers, this guide can be useful to others in the health care field and for critical access hospital board of directors. It explains the intricacies of health care pricing. It covers pricing for those with health insurance, in- and -out-of-network, emergency care, Medicare, and the uninsured. 

Rural emergency preparedness and response
Guidance in dealing with a rural disaster or emergency scenario

Selecting Rural Data in American Factfinder 
This step-by-step Slideshare presentation shows 2 methods for selecting rural data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Factfinder tool, which provides access to a wide range of statistics describing the U.S. population. Learn how to use the Geographic Comparison Tables and direct selection of locations to easily identify data for use in rural health grant applications, community health needs assessments, and more.

Talking with Your Doctor
This new toolkit centers around a 45-minute presentation that features tips to help older adults make the most of their medical appointments.

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Funding Opportunities

Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band in CACF
Deadline: 08/01/14
Funding to support charitable programs in the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Greene, Orange, Louisa, Fluvanna, Buckingham, and Nelson. Program interests include, but are not limited to: disadvantaged youth, needs of the disabled, protection of the environment, and the arts and humanities.

Community Resilience Center of Excellence Program
This program provides support for research to enhance the disaster resilience of communities and their built environment.

Avon Breast Health Outreach Program
The mission of the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) is to link medically underserved women and men to breast health education and screening services. Grants are available to community-based nonprofit organizations and healthcare agencies in the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Avon BHOP supports non-medical expenses incurred by funded programs to link underserved women with free or low‐cost breast cancer screening services and follow‐up care. Approximately $2.5 million in grant funds will be awarded to around 50 organizations. The majority of the grants will range from $30,000 to $60,000, with an average of $45,000. To ensure that smaller community-based organizations receive funding, at least 30% of the grants will be awarded to organizations with operating budgets under $2,000,000. Projects in Avon Walk Cities as well as states with high breast cancer incidence or morbidity are of special interest; however, BHOP attempts to distribute funds throughout the entire U.S.  The application deadline is August 22, 2014.

AMA Foundation: Healthy Living Grant Program
The Healthy Living Grant Program, an initiative of the AMA Foundation, supports grassroots public health projects that encourage health education in communities across the nation. In 2014, grants will be awarded in the Prescription Medication Safety category. Funded projects should provide awareness programs about the dangers of prescription drug abuse for children and youth ages 2 to 21. Nonprofit organizations and government agencies that have been in existence for at least one year and that have an annual operating budget of $2 million or less are eligible to apply. The proposed project must involve a partnership with a medical organization. The application deadline is September 12, 2014. 

Kresge Foundation Community Health Partnership Grants
Grants to improve community health by encouraging cross-sector collaboration and the integration of community health strategies into health care, especially the primary-care safety net. 

Future of Nursing Scholars Call for Proposals
Proposal Deadline: October 1, 2014 (3 p.m. ET)—The goal of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars program is to develop the next generation of PhD-prepared nurse leaders who are committed to long-term leadership careers that advance science and discovery, strengthen nursing education, and bring transformational change to nursing and health care.

Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children (HSHC) Access to Care Grants
HSHC Grants are one-year matching grants of up to $20,000, supporting community-based initiatives in the U.S. that provide dental care and ultimately serve as a Dental Home to underserved/limited access children. Special consideration will be given to programs supporting the age-one dental visit and providing care to special needs patients.


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