November 2023: National Rural Health Day 2023



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National Rural Health Day 2023

Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, is National Rural Health Day. Since 2011, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health has set aside the third Thursday each November to Celebrate the Power of Rural “by honoring the selfless, community-minded spirit that prevails in rural America.” Webinars and other events planned around National Rural Health Day will showcase the efforts of rural healthcare providers, State Offices of Rural Health, and other rural stakeholders to address the unique healthcare challenges that those living in rural areas face. 

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health offers tools, events, and additional information on how to celebrate National Rural Health Day on their website. Events begin Wednesday, Nov. 15 and continue through Saturday, Nov. 18. This year’s main event is a live webinar “The Power of Rural in Action: CDC and State Strategies for Rural Health” on Thursday, Nov. 16, 3-4 p.m. ET. The online event introduces the newly established CDC Office of Rural Health and includes case studies from the field featuring transformative work in Texas and Virginia.  

Community Stars is an annual publication launched in 2015 by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health that recognizes rural health “rock stars” from each state who make a difference in the health of rural communities.  The 2023 edition of Community Stars is scheduled to be published on November 16th.  Past editions of Community Stars are available here.  

The University of Arizona Center for Rural Health and the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center are co-hosting a live webinar on Thursday, November 16th at 1 p.m. MST. The webinar, titled "Opportunities to Improve Maternal and Infant Health in Rural Areas," will feature Ada Dieke, DRPH, MPH,  the health equity lead for the Division of Reproductive Health at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion within the CDC. Register here.

The Southwest Telehealth Resource Center works to advance the effective use of telemedicine services throughout its region states which include Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico.

In honor of National Rural Health Day, here are some national and regional rural health resources and funding opportunities. #PowerOfRural

SWTRC States with Arizona highlighed
National Resources
Rural Health Information Hub
The Rural Health Information Hub is funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to be a national clearinghouse on rural health issues, information, opportunities, and resources.  Find rural events, funding opportunities and more by state, topic, date, and type.

National Funding Opportunities
American Connection Corps
This one-year fellowship trains and mobilizes leaders to work in rural and emerging communities to coordinate broadband development and digital inclusion. Fellows receive a one-year AmeriCorps service position and will be placed with a local nonprofit, government agency, or community organization to carry out projects that increase digital connectivity in the following focus areas: economic opportunity, health and social capital, and agriculture and natural resources.

Community Facility Loans
Loans to help develop and improve essential community facilities in the rural West.

Rural Health Network Development Planning Program
The purpose the Rural Health Network Development Planning Program (“Network Planning Program”) is to plan and develop integrated health care networks that collaborate to address the following legislative aims: (i) achieve efficiencies; (ii) expand access to and improve the quality of basic health care services and health outcomes; and (iii) strengthen the rural health care system.

National Rural Health Policy, Community, and Collaboration Program
This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the National Rural Health Policy, Community, and Collaboration Program. The purpose of this program is to identify, engage, educate, and collaborate with rural stakeholders on national rural health policy issues and promising practices to improve health care in rural areas nationwide. Funding Opportunities Listing
List of current funding opportunities for telehealth and broadband related programs.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program
This program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings.

Virtual Living Room – A Foundation for Rural Service Program
This program supports organizations who can offer a comfortable, safe space to help veterans use Veterans Administration telehealth services.
Arizona Area Health Education Centers
The mission of the Arizona AHEC Program is to enhance access to quality healthcare, particularly primary and preventive care, by improving the supply and distribution of healthcare professionals through academic-community educational partnerships in rural and urban medically underserved areas.

Arizona Center for Rural Health
The Center at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, promotes the health of rural and medically underserved individuals, families, and communities in Arizona through service, education, and research. The Center’s programs include the Arizona State Office of Rural Health.  The Center’s online resources include informative maps, links to Arizona health agencies and organizations, interactive data visualizations, and training resources.

Arizona Telemedicine Program
The Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP), established in 1996 by the Arizona State Legislature, is based at the University of Arizona Health Sciences College of Medicine Tucson.  The ATP offers unbiased information, resources, and services to help organizations launch, expand, maintain, and assess their telemedicine programs. The ATP accomplishes its mission by serving as an expert telemedicine and telehealth resource for, and partner to, hospitals, clinics, healthcare practitioners, state and federal agencies, tribal nations, and other healthcare stakeholders.  

Arizona Rural Health Association
This not-for-profit corporation once served as the University of Arizona Center for Rural Health advisory body. Today, it serves to build partnerships, and focus on education and policy for improving the health status of rural communities in Arizona. Members include medical providers, staff, administrators, public health officials, faculty and students, and others interested in rural health in Arizona.

Funding Opportunities
Arizona Vitalyst Health Foundation Spark Grants
Over its history, Vitalyst has invested more than $130 million into Arizona health, in areas ranging from statewide health policy to local community gardens. Along the way, the organization has established itself as a thought leader, convener, framer, and catalyst of key health initiatives and coalitions. System change takes time. In an effort to better support developing organizations and coalitions, Vitalyst provides Spark Grants, ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 and lasting up to 1 year.

Future Leaders Program – Western Region Public Health Training Center
An initiative that aims to assist students engaged in public health projects by offering training, financial support, and a supportive community throughout the project duration. Eligible students should be working on either a field placement or a collaborative project with faculty members. This opportunity is available to current public health students in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Islands. The primary focus of these projects is on rural and underserved healthcare communities.
Colorado Rural Health Center
Colorado’s nonprofit State Office of Rural Health, the Colorado Rural Health Center, works with Federal, state and local partners to offer services and resources to rural healthcare providers, facilities and communities. Programs focus on rural hospitals and clinics that improve care, increase funding and reimbursement, address workforce shortages, and assist with emergency preparedness. Other projects provide technical assistance, grant funding, grant-writing assistance, low-cost access to capital medical equipment, advocacy, and other resources for rural members. Members include hospitals, clinics, students, and small organizations.

Colorado Area Health Education Center
Focuses on improving the quality and accessibility of education for healthcare professionals in Colorado. Works to enhance the delivery of healthcare services in frontier, rural, and urban communities and for minority populations. The Center connects the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus with current and future health professionals in rural and urban medically underserved areas by providing programs for students who are interested in healthcare, events to improve community health, continuing education for health professionals, and housing for students who are on clinical rotations more than 40 miles from the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Colorado Hospital Association
Provides advocacy and representation for hospitals and healthcare systems in Colorado. Offers education, data analytics, and more to improve patient safety, hospital efficiency, advocacy, and effectiveness. 

Buell Foundation Grants
Grants for projects in Colorado in the areas of childhood education/development and teen pregnancy prevention. Priority is given to rural communities in the state. Support focuses on programs and projects, operating support, technical assistance, and capital improvements limited to early childhood programs. Application deadline is May 1, 2024.

Colorado Environmental Justice Grant Program: Community Solutions to Improve Environmental Health
Funding for projects that avoid, minimize, measure, and mitigate environmental health risks. Projects should advance a healthy and sustainable Colorado where everyone has equitable protection from environmental health risks. Applications from rural, tribal, communities of color, and low-income communities are encouraged.

Anschutz Family Foundation Grants
Grants to organizations in Colorado that work to strengthen families and communities and help individuals become productive and responsible citizens. In 2022, 43 percent of funding was dedicated to efforts in rural Colorado.
Nevada Area Health Education Centers
The mission of AHEC is to reach out to rural and urban areas with shortages of health care professionals. The AHEC centers serve as the bridge between academic health programs and the community in all seventeen Nevada counties.

Nevada State Office of Rural Health
Provides technical assistance activities to rural communities through workshops, dissemination of information, and recruitment and retention of health care practitioners. A program of the Office of Statewide Initiatives at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and home to the Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), Flex and SHIP programs.

Nevada Public Health Association
Works to improve and promote the overall health of the residents of Nevada by providing opportunities for collaboration, education, professional development, and advocacy. Its strategic goals focus to improve effectiveness of policy and advocacy efforts, disseminate best practices that improve public health science and practice, increase member engagement and expand membership, and strengthen organizational capacity.

Nevada Rural Hospital Partners
An alliance of 13 small and rural hospitals in Nevada founded on the idea that “we are stronger standing together than individually.” Designated as the Nevada Critical Access Network, it offers services that support the Nevada Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Nevada Flex Program).

Rural Nevada Healthcare Provider Loan Pool
A loan fund to support the cost of equipment, software, and capital improvements that improve access to healthcare in rural and frontier Nevada.

Nevada Health Service Corps
Loan repayment assistance for certain healthcare professionals who agree to practice in an underserved area of Nevada.
New Mexico Association of Community Partners
A member organization serving New Mexico’s Community Action Agencies with a unified voice to improve living conditions and provide opportunities to families in low-income communities throughout New Mexico.

New Mexico Office of Primary Care and Rural Health
Works to improve access to quality healthcare delivery systems for all New Mexicans and provides information, referrals, educations, health planning for New Mexico communities, grants opportunities, technical assistance, and financial assistance for health centers.

New Mexico Telehealth Alliance
Promotes telehealth solutions that deliver quality healthcare throughout the state. The NMTHA is a network of members representing a broad spectrum of public and private healthcare organizations. The NMTHA provides program support enabling members to effectively share resources.

New Mexico Primary Care Capital Fund and Behavioral Health Capital Fund
Loans to help meet the capital needs of nonprofit primary care and behavioral health clinics located in rural and underserved areas of New Mexico.

New Mexico Rural Clinical Internships and Rotations
The Center for Health Innovation’s FORWARD NM rotates approximately 60 learners per year from various disciplines including Family Medicine Residency, medical students, dental students, nurse practitioner students, and physician’s assistant students.

Rural Health Care Practitioner Tax Credit Program
The New Mexico Department of Health Rural Health Care Practitioner Tax Credit allows certain healthcare providers who provide care in rural, underserved areas to be eligible for an income tax credit of $3,000 or $5,000.
The Southwest Telehealth Resource Center serves Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and the Four Corners Region. 

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