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2024 Annual Rural Health Awards Nominations Closing Soon

Have you submitted your nominations for the 2024 Annual Rural Health Awards? Each year the Rural Health Association of Tennessee recognizes individuals and groups of individuals from across the state of Tennessee who have dedicated themselves to the service of others within the field of rural healthcare. 

2024 Nominations are now open! Deadline to submit nominations is August 1, 2024.

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Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

Juvenile Arthritis (JA) refers to a range of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can affect children under the age of 16. These diseases cause joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, and can impact a child’s growth and overall development. Unlike adult arthritis, which is often associated with wear and tear of the joints, JA is primarily an autoimmune condition where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. There are several types of juvenile arthritis, including juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), juvenile dermatomyositis, juvenile lupus, and juvenile scleroderma, among others.

July is designated as Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, a time dedicated to increasing public awareness about these conditions and the challenges faced by children and families affected by JA. The primary goal of this month is to educate the public about the early signs and symptoms of juvenile arthritis, as early diagnosis and intervention are crucial for managing the disease and preventing long-term damage. Public health campaigns and community events during this month aim to disseminate information, provide support, and promote understanding of JA.

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Wilma Jean Pippenger Receives Bill Moats Meritorious Service Award

The below is from the Cleveland Daily Banner, December 30, 2023

Child Health Month

This October we would like to send a thank you to all our members fighting for a healthier Tennesse for our youth. Child Health Month in Tennessee is a significant annual observance dedicated to raising awareness and advocating for the well-being of children in the state. Throughout the month of October, we ask everyone to join is in promoting a healthier lifestyle and preventive healthcare measures, such as vaccinations, regular check-ups, proper nutrition, and sharing mental health resources to ensure that children in Tennessee are able to have a long healthy life.

During Child Health Month we urge all organizations, healthcare professionals, and community leaders to help shed light on the importance of early intervention and access to quality healthcare for children. Tennessee recognizes that child health is essential not only for the individual well-being of children but also for the future prosperity of the state. This observance serves as a reminder that investing in the health and development of the youngest Tennesseans is crucial for building a brighter and more promising future for the entire community.

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Tennessee Vaccines for Children Program (VFC)

Tennessee public school students are required to turn in the state department of health immunization certificate before returning to the classroom. The list of required vaccinations are here. VFC helps families of children who may not otherwise have access to vaccines by providing free vaccines to doctors who serve them. 

Who Is Eligible for the VFC Program?

Children ages 18 years or younger who meet at least one of the following requirements:

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Frequently Asked Questions: CMS Waivers, Flexibilities, and the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides answers to general and program-specific inquiries including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and private insurance in an informative publication available here.

TennCare Re-Enrollment Event in Anderson County

Do you have TennCare or serve those who do? Mandatory re-enrollment of TennCare, Tennessee's state Medicaid program, has started, and we are here to help! We are partnering with Anderson County and Clinton City Schools to participate in their Family Resource Fair!

Join us to if you are in need of help with re-enrollment on May 11th, from 3:00pm-6:00pm at the Clinton Community Center, 101 S. Hicks St., Clinton, TN 37716

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RHA Spring Regional Events

Join us this spring! 

Regional events are an opportunity to learn more about health issues affecting your community, such as substance use disorder, maternal health, and more. Lunch will be provided to in-person attendees.

A Town Hall, moderated by Jacy Warrell, RHA's CEO, will be available from 2:00-3:00pm. 

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TennCare Tri-Star Campaign

TennCare is beginning a Tri Star Campaign to test the member addresses they  have on file. THIS WILL NOT AFFECT ANYONE’S COVERAGE. As they continue to prepare for the public health emergency unwinding (HHS Secretary Beccera renewed the PHE on 10/13/22), they want to make sure the addresses that TennCare has are accurate. Over the next two months, TennCare will send out a letter to each household. They will be asking people to be on the lookout for the letter and to notify us if they don’t receive a letter in the next two months. Additionally, TennCare will be conducting research on mail that is returned without a forwarding address.

FAQS

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School Health Leadership Academy

School Health Leadership Academy: Dare to Lead
About the Leadership Academy:
Dare to Lead™ centers on four skill sets — objectives that are teachable, learnable, observable and — importantly — measurable.
1. Rumbling with Vulnerability: We’ll learn how leaders must resist the urge to "armor up" with behaviors that get in the way of daring leadership. We’ll build a robust toolkit of practical, usable skills to "replace the armor".
2. Living Into Our Values: We’ll identify the two values that both best define us and serve to guide our decisions in life and leadership. We will learn how to operationalize these values, learning to lead fully aligned with values.
3. BRAVING Trust: We’ll employ the BRAVING system to build trust not by going through the motions with rote team building activities, but with actions that address the areas within our organizations where trust needs a boost.
4. The Rising Strong Process: The most daring leaders know how to get back up — because inevitably, all leaders stumble. The Rising Strong Process identifies an actionable 3-step process for leaders to use to help pick themselves back up when they have dared and fallen.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Infant Formula Update

There’s nothing as important to families as the health and safety of their babies, and the formula shortage has left many people feeling anxious about how they’ll feed them. Some young children, teens, and adults with medical needs also rely on formula for their nutrition. We know it’s not easy to change a diet reliant on formula.

If you can’t find formula in stock, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has the following resources:
Press Release: FDA Provides Educational Resources for Parents and Caregivers to Support Confidence for Imported Infant Formula Products
Resources page: Resources for Parents and Caregivers on Imported Infant Formula
Consumer Update: Infant Formula Supply

DisabilityWebinar titled: Resources for Healthcare Providers and Patients

April is Autism Awareness Month. The RHA of TN would like to share a pre-recorded webinar featuring Lauren Pearcy the Executive Director with the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities in a webinar titled, "Disability Resources for Healthcare Providers and Patients". 

We are continually focused on caring for the well-being of individuals with developmental disabilities. Through advanced research, we will get the help they need by providing resources that will support the health and safety of all the individuals. 

  Click here to view recording 

Updated K-12 Quarantine and Isolation Guidance

The following information was an update made by the CDC on January 6, 2022: The CDC has updated guidance for K-12 schools to align with the updated quarantine and isolation guidance.

Quarantine is a strategy used to prevent transmission of COVID-19 by keeping people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 apart from others. Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19.

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Statement from Tennessee Department of Health Concerning Children's Vaccines

The Tennessee Department of Health assures families across Tennessee that information and access to vaccinations for children through state health departments continues and there has been no disruption to these services.

While misinformation has been circulated regarding the status of these resources, parents who need information regarding routine childhood immunizations can find resources here. Parents seeking the COVID-19 vaccine for children 12+ can find additional information here.

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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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Nursing Students Take the Field - Featuring Milan Highschool

Milan High School in West Tennessee began the school year in-person in August of 2020. It felt like a relief to resume some normalcy after the school had closed its doors in March due to COVID-19. Amid the modifications necessary to conduct safe in-person learning was the need for clinical interns in the Health Science program to stay on school grounds.

Local health care facilities restricted access. The fourth-year nursing students had anticipated the internships. Instructor Amy Watson began to search for a project that would give the students a learning experience and still operate within the scope of restrictions and safety requirements.

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Deputy Commissioner Smith talks COVID and Medicaid

Commissioner Schwinn COVID and Education

COVIDTaskforce

Rural Health Association of Tennessee's President, Elaine Jackson, was selected to join Tennessee Department of Education's COVID-19 Wellbeing Task Force.

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