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Biden-Harris Administration Takes Action to Expand Access to Emergency Care Services in Rural Communities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposes new rule that creates a pathway for rural hospitals and critical access hospitals to increase access to emergency and outpatient care.

Click here to read CMS' statement on Expanding Access to Emergency Care Services in Rural Communities
Click here to read the Fact Sheet on Conditions of Participation for Rural Emergency Hospitals and Critical Access Hospital COP Updates (CMS-3419-P)

Tennessee Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Scholars Program

See the source imageThe TN AHEC Scholars Program seeks to develop, prepare, and sustain a culturally competent healthcare workforce that is prepared to deliver high quality care in a transforming heath care delivery system, with emphasis on training rural and urban underrepresented minority, and educationally disadvantaged students for practice in rural and/or underserved areas.

TN AHEC

TN AHEC is currently accepting applications for the 2022-2024 cohort. Click here for informational letter. Click here to view the program brochure.

NARHC Announcement: Behavioral Health

$5 Million for RHC Behavioral Health Initiative
Included in House Appropriations Report

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Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC)

Financing for Renovations, New Facilities, or Other Needs

Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization and community development financial institution that was founded in 1993. PCDC offers affordable capital to community-based practices to make investments in their infrastructure and facilities to enhance access, quality and capacity of primary care, behavioral health, and other community-based services. Financing is available to support facility acquisition and renovation, new construction, alternative delivery models (like mobile units, telehealth, etc.), program and practice transformation, and technology acquisition. PCDC works with practices on projects that range in size and scope.

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Medicare Shared Savings

Medicare Shared Savings

Rural Advantage ACO, founded by North American HMS, is positioned to help RHCs with Medicare Shared Savings. Please contact Charles James with questions or visit the Rural Advantage website.

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Call for Board Nominations (2023)

From RHA of TN's Past President of RHA of TN's Board of Directors

I am excited to issue a call for nominations from our members that would like to serve on the Board of Directors. The board provides governance, direction, and oversight of the Association and its many programs, projects, and activities. There are 3 seat openings (1 per Grand Region) for the 2023 - 2025.

Board positions are for a three-year term, with an option to renew for another three years after the conclusion of the first term. The commitment involves 4 meetings annually, attendance at the annual conference, and serving on at least 1 committee of the board. To be eligible, an individual must be a member in good standing and live in Tennessee.

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Maternal HealthCARE

The March of Dimes Maternal HealthCARE (Collaborative to Advance Racial Equity) is taking a novel approach to community engagement that generates honest feedback that is of value to hospitals and health systems. This collaborative is seeking additional partnerships with statewide partners to join this collaborative. RHA of TN wants to be sure that the voices of rural Tennesseans are heard. If you or someone that you know would like to be apart of this collaboration, apply here

Find out more information at: 

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TennCare Maternal Health

Thanks to the advocacy efforts of RHA of TN members and other organizations, dental coverage is now available for pregnant and postpartum women. Starting April 1st, pregnant women on TennCare will have dental coverage.  

An excerpt of the Notice of Change can be found below.

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Healthy Heart Month Webinar

In honor of Heart Health Month, The Rural Health Association hosted a webinar in collaboration with the American Heart Association- Tennessee this morning, "Building Community Networks to Improve Heart Health in Rural Communities" .

Our guest speakers, Brenda Miller and Kacie Kennedy, offered a vast knowledge on ways you can partner with your local communities to help with heart health in your own neighborhood and recognizing the importance of heart health. 

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Division of Health Disparities Elimination recognizes Dorshonda Evans

The Tennessee Department of Health's Division of Health Disparities Elimination is proudly recognizing extraordinary individuals in the health and medicine industries with ties to Tennessee during Black History Month, including RHA of TN's own Dorshonda Evans. 

"Dorshonda Evans, BSHA, LPN is Rural Health Association of Tennessee’s (RHA of TN) Member Engagement Director. As a nurse and mother, Mrs. Evans understands the challenges healthcare workers face in balancing family, work, and personal care.

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Building Community Networks to Improve Heart Health in Rural Communities

The Rural health Association hosts a webinar in collaboration with the American Heart Association titled: Building Community Networks to Improve Heart Health in Rural Communities on February 23, 2022 at 10:00am-11:00am CST. Our guest speakers are Brenda Miller and Kacie Kennedy and they are both with the American Heart Association.                                    

Learning Objectives:                                                                                                                                                                  1. Recognize the components that define heart health and strategies that help improve heart health.                                    2. Identify patient and community resources to promote heart health.                                                                        3. Increase knowledge of growing networks within the rural community to grow impact to improve heart health.  

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Radon and Lung Cancer in Tennessee

Radon and Lung Cancer in Tennessee 

If you missed our webinar on "Radon and Lung Cancer in Tennessee" with Lexi Brown and Bruce Snead, don't worry! A recording of the webinar is available, along with resources shared. 

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COVID Testing Supplies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

From the CDC: January 3, 2022 Monday Feature: Testing Supply Inquiries 

CDC, ASPR, and the HHS Testing and Diagnostics Workgroup (TDWG) offer the following information and programs to partners interested in federal government support for testing.  

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Rural Opportunity Must Be a Priority

By Kimberly K. Estep, Ph.D.

The news is often gloomy regarding healthcare and education in rural communities. Rural hospitals are closing at a distressing rate, with nearly 140 closing their doors since 2010. Rural Tennessee has lost more hospitals than anywhere else in the country. It’s also true, as Taylor Sisk reported for The Daily Yonder, that we need to reassess our approach to filling the gaps. It’s terrible to see hospitals closed, jobs lost, and healthcare interrupted, but the solutions should be tailored to the needs.

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Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination

On September 9, 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration announced they were acting to address the systemwide issue of unvaccinated health care staff and would require COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in nursing homes and additional regulated health care settings, including, but not limited to, hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies. On November 4, 2021, CMS released the finalized requirements for the IFC6” Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination. We ask that you share the attached resource documents with your memberships, constituents, and post on your communication channels.  The web links to the resource documents are also below:

 

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Welcome our Newest Member, Lifeline Pilots

LifeLine Pilots provides free air transportation for people with medical or humanitarian needs far from home.  Their 10-state midwestern region includes Tennessee.  LifeLine Pilots has more than 270 volunteer pilots, located throughout our region, to help fly people in need.  There is never a cost to fly with us and no limit to the number of times a passenger can fly.
 
Below is a FAQ sheet, for medical professionals wanting more information about our service and a passenger rack card.
LifeLine Pilots_Free Flights for Medical Care.pdf
LifeLine Pilots_Passenger Rack Card.pdf

 For more information contact Lindsey Kerr, Executive Director, LifeLine Pilots
Direct Dial: 309-306-7853  l   Office:  800-822-7972
[email protected]   l   www.lifelinepilots.org  
www.facebook.com/lifelinepilotsusa

Department of Labor Recognizes RHA of TN Apprenticeship Program

Rural Health Association of Tennessee (RHA of TN) is proud to have recently received approval as a registered Apprenticeship Program by the United States Department of Labor and a pre-Apprenticeship program by Tennessee Department of Labor.

This spring RHA of TN worked with West Tennessee Healthcare to register an apprenticeship program for Patient Care Tech/Nursing Assistant roles. Apprenticeships are paid on-the-job work experiences paired with mentoring over the course of 2000 hours. When requirements of the program are met, apprentices receive a nationally recognized certificate in their field.

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March of Dimes Focus Groups Invitation

The March of Dimes Tennessee is looking for volunteers to participate in a focus group. Join the conversation about healthy moms and babies in your communities. Participation is important in identifying and bridging the gaps in maternal health in Tennessee. 

                                                    

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Call for Board Nominations

From RHA of TN's Past President of RHA of TN's Board of Directors 

I am excited to issue a call for nominations from our members that would like to serve on the Board of Directors. The board provides governance, direction, and oversight of the Association and its many programs, projects, and activities. There are several seats opening for the 2022 term year in each grand division.

Board positions are for a three-year term, with an option to renew for another three years after the conclusion of the first term. The commitment is relatively minimal with quarterly meetings / conference calls and occasional assistance on committees and projects. To be eligible, an individual must be a member in good standing and live in Tennessee.

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Educator Emotional Support Video Series for Teachers

Last week, the Tennessee Department of Education released the Educator Emotional Support Video Series to  provide free, optional resources to support the mental health of Tennessee educators, created in partnership with statewide partners. 

In support of Teacher Appreciation Month and Mental Health Awareness Month this May, the video series provides guidance, resources, and interactive activities by two licensed clinical social workers focusing on the mental health of Tennessee educators in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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