Virginia Rural Health Association - Weekly Update
VRHA Weekly Update
In this Issue  July 18, 2016

VRHA News Virginia News National News Mark your calendar
Funding Opportunities


Summer newsletter







VRHA Conference attendees will be treated to a variety of educational sessions, including:
The Appalachian Regional Commission: Historical and Contemporary Politics of Appalachia’s Federal/State/Local Government Agency.
Led by Theresa Burriss
, Radford University Chair of Appalachian Studies and Director of the Appalachian Regional & Rural Studies Center, participants in this breakout session will learn about the ARC’s origination in the 1960s, when John F. Kennedy first recognized the region’s economic challenges and Lyndon B. Johnson then took up the torch to wage a War on Poverty. For over fifty years now, the ARC, under various leadership, has worked to build the region’s infrastructure and combat persistent poverty with noted successes yet continued challenges. 

We will discuss Appalachia’s political economy over these fifty years and how it has determined much of what the ARC has and has not been able to accomplish. Lastly, participants will review the ARC’s 2016-2020 strategic plan, “Investing in Appalachia’s Future,” which was just released in spring 2016, to understand the agency’s five strategic investment goals.

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The VRHA Annual Conference will be held October 19-20 in Abingdon.  
Click the logo for details.

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Members in the News

By Robert Parker - Roanoke Times

[VRHA member] New River Health District’s Farmacy Garden has been recognized as a “Friend of Family Nutrition.” Virginia Cooperative Extension Food Access and Availability Initiative Coordinator Meredith Ledlie Johnson presented the award to district Health Director Molly O’Dell, M.D., and Garden Coordinator Maureen McGonagle at a ceremony June 22 in Richmond.

The Farmacy Garden, a 28-raised-bed community garden in Christiansburg, was built in 2014 with the help of Cooperative Extension master gardeners, Virginia Tech students and other volunteers. The garden serves as a learning lab and healthy food source for women and children qualifying for WIC (the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children), plus social services clients, Community Health Center patients, food pantries and other community groups.

Patients of the Community Health Center receive “prescriptions” for growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables, learn about gardening and nutrition, exercise by performing gardening tasks and receive the fresh produce grown in the garden to prepare their own affordable and nutritious meals and snacks.

Read the full article.

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More Members in the News

VRHA Board member Summer Sage has been reappointed to the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities. Sage is the Rural Information Specialist for the Parent Education and Advocacy Training Center.

Congratulations Summer!

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Virginia News

Carilion at AHA

By Luanne Rife - Roanoke Times

The American Hospital Association on Sunday announced Carilion Clinic CEO Nancy Howell Agee will lead its board of trustees in 2018. About 5,000 hospitals and health care systems, and 43,000 individuals belong to the association.

Agee said one of the challenges in leading an organization that includes rural health systems in Montana and worldwide giants, such as HCA, is finding advocacy issues that members can support. Agee said she will bring to the chairmanship the same collaborative style that she uses at Carilion.

Read the full article.

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Jail Time

From the Public News Service

Many Virginians with mental illness end up in jail, and some are involved in deadly altercations with police. Surveys say 15 to 20 percent of Virginia jail inmates have mental health issues.

And Virginian-Pilot reporter Gary Harki says his team surveyed police shootings since 2010. 
He says about 40 percent of those killed were mentally ill.

Harki says these people are not getting the right kind of care, and police officers and jailers are left to pick up the pieces.

"But they acknowledge that they have to, because there's nobody else to do it,” he states. “And I've had police chiefs tell me, 'It's not a good situation for us to be the first line of interaction with these people, but there's just nobody else.'"

Read the full article.

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Out of the Top 10

From the Potomac Local

In just 10 years, Virginia has fallen from the top of a 10 best states for a business list to 13. The Commonwealth is now tied with Wyoming for 13th place, according to a CNBC ranking. The state has a strong workforce but suffers when it comes to a higher cost to do business, according to the 2016 CNBC ranking.

So, what’s the fix? State Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax, Prince William, Stafford) responded:

“Virginia needs to expand Medicaid. Virginia has left $4 billion on the table so far. Numerous studies predict that Medicaid expansion would create 30,000 jobs in Virginia, about 2,000 jobs in Prince William and Stafford Counties, save Virginia taxpayers $180 million per biennium that could be spent elsewhere, and provide healthcare to 400,000 people including at least 20,000 in Prince William and Stafford Counties.”

Read the full article.

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National News

The True Cost

By Christine Hancock - Daily Yonder

After 66 years in business, my hometown hospital recently closed its doors to patients. Gone is the emergency room, skilled nursing facility, lab, radiology, and physical therapy services — as well as 67 full-time jobs. 

Meanwhile, in the past six years. 72 rural hospitals in the U.S. have closed, including nine already in 2016. One in three rural hospitals is at risk of closing, and according to the National Rural Health Association’s Journal of Rural Health, closure rates have increased 600 percent in the put five years. Across the country, small towns are literally losing their lifelines.

What gets lost in this story is what these closures mean lot the towns whose hospitals are shuttered. Sure. It’s obvious that jobs, public safety and community institutions are at stake. But what are we really doing by letting that institutions die? Where is this all going?

Read the full article and related story from Governing.

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Outpatient Supervision

From the American Hospital Association

Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA) introduced legislation (H.R. 5613) to extend through calendar year 2016 the enforcement delay on direct supervision requirements for outpatient therapeutic services provided in critical access hospitals and rural prospective payment system hospitals with 100 or fewer beds.

“Your legislation would provide immediate relief to small, rural hospitals and ensure these communities will continue to have access to outpatient therapeutic services,” said Tom Nickels, AHA executive vice president, in a letter of support.

AHA continues to urge Congress to also enact the AHA-supported Protecting Access to Rural Therapy Services Act (S. 257/H.R. 1611), which would adopt a default standard of “general supervision” for outpatient therapeutic services, among other provisions; and the Rural Hospital Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 5164), which would permanently extend the enforcement moratorium for CAHs and small, rural hospitals.

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Kid-First Approach

By Jenn Lukens - RHI Hub

On a typical Sunday morning at Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Reverend Richard Joyner steps up to the podium to preach in work clothes instead of a suit. His attire is just one way Joyner tries to connect with his local community.

Conetoe, a predominately African-American community, is located in Edgecombe County, which ranks 97th out of 100 North Carolina counties in health and social/economic factors. Joyner says that the alcoholism, poor diets, chronic diseases, single parent homes, education deficiency, and their food desert status are all contributing factors to the low ranking as well as a high rate of premature deaths.
In 2007, Joyner founded the Conetoe Family Life Center, a nonprofit with a focus on youth development and improving health. “We have found that we can change the children by education and opportunity, and that equals change for the whole family,” relayed Joyner.

Read the full article.

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Transportation Innovation

By Rod Armstrong - Silicon Prairie News

Many rural residents across the U.S. rely on public transportation for medical appointments, shopping and other necessities. But distance and a limited number of providers can make this challenging. A startup in the NMotion Accelerator is changing that.
Liberty, a spinoff from Integrated Global Dimensions (IGD), is filling the gap through an Uber-like application that integrates with existing public transportation providers.
“Our key solution is to improve mobility in rural areas by connecting various types of public transportation with a rural Uber version,” said Valerie Lefler, President & CEO. “Our drivers can help improve service at night or on weekends, or when a public transit bus is on the other side of the county.”
Liberty also works with planning agencies, medical centers and organizations serving people with special needs. For example, the Texas Transportation Commission just approved a partnership between Liberty and the Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living.

Read the full article.

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Mark Your Calendar

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

July 20: Trauma Informed Care and the Health Care Safety Net​ - Richmond 
August 3: Opioid Prescribing: Safe Practice, Changing Lives ​- webinar
September 20-21: Rural Health Clinic Conference - Kansas City, MO
September 21-23: Critical Access Hospital Conference - Kansas City, MO
October 18: Rural Health Telecommunication Consortium Kick-Off Meeting - Abingdon
October 18-19:  Rural Health Coding & Billing Specialist Training  - Abingdon
October 19-20: VRHA Annual Conference - Abingdon

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National Diabetes Education Program
Check out the redesigned NDEP website. Now it’s easier to find evidence-based, tested, and culturally appropriate diabetes education resources and tools for community-based organizations, health care providers, and others working with people with and at risk for diabetes.

Resource Library
The National Rural Health Resource Center Library features webinars, presentations, articles and toolkits developed by trusted industry leaders to guide and support rural health stakeholders.

Model Program: Facing Diabetes: Quality Improvement in Rural South Dakota Project
The Facing Diabetes Project helps adults and children in rural South Dakota prevent or manage their diabetes through group medical visits and education sessions. 

Model Program: Putting Healthy Food on the Table
Ohio State University Extension-Vinton County established a community garden, container gardens, and classes to provide residents with fresh produce and healthy cooking/canning techniques. 

HPSA Updates
This notice advises the public of the published lists of all geographic areas, population groups, and facilities designated as primary medical care, mental health, and dental health professional shortage areas as of May 13, 2016, available on the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) website. 

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Funding Opportunities

For funding opportunities without a specific deadline, please visit the VRHA Resources page

Evidence for Action
Evidence for Action (E4A), a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, funds research that expands the evidence base needed to build a Culture of Health. Our mission is to support rigorously designed quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research that yields convincing findings regarding the population health, well-being, and equity impacts of specific policies, programs and partnerships. We are especially interested in research examining the health impacts of programmatic or policy interventions that address factors outside the domain of health care services or public health practice.

Improving Hepatitis B and C Care Cascades; Focus on Increased Testing and Diagnosis
Funds state and local health departments to work with external partners to increase testing and treatment for persons living with Hepatitis B (HBV) and/or Hepatitis C (HCV) infection.
Application Deadline: Aug 2, 2016 

Avon Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP)
Funding to link medically underserved populations to breast health education and screening services.
Application Deadline: Aug 19, 2016 

America’s Promise Job Driven Grant Program
Funding to create and implement regional, sector-based workforce development projects to meet the needs of both businesses and workers in industries that typically use a significant number of H-1B Visas, such as healthcare and IT.
Application Deadline: Aug 25, 2016 

Wrigley Company Foundation Community Service Grant
Provides funding to dental hygienists for projects aimed at improving oral health or providing oral health education.
Application Deadline: Oct 1, 2016 

TD Charitable Foundation: Housing for Everyone Grant Competition
The TD Charitable Foundation is dedicated to sustaining the well-being of the communities served by the bank in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, DC. The Foundation’s 2016 Housing for Everyone grants focus on affordable housing for single parent families. Applications must highlight the ways in which funding will create new or preserve existing units of safe, clean, physically accessible affordable rental housing for families headed by a single individual (parent, grandparent, or guardian). The application deadline is September 2, 2016. 

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Blacksburg, VA 24060

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