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NCHN e-News
May 30, 2012 FacebookTwitter LinkedIn

From the Executive Director

May has been a busy month for NCHN, as I suspect it has been a busy month for each one of you as you continue to provide leadership to your network.  I continually hear from network leaders across the country about how busy they are, but also about how much they enjoy their jobs and how exciting it is to have the opportunity to manage and lead their network!

I had the opportunity to attend the HRSA, Office of Rural Health Policy’s “Rural Health Information Technology Network Development (RHITND) Program” Grantee meeting this month in Bethesda, Maryland and, as with ever interaction I have with network leaders, I learned something. Grantees discussed their services and availability of supportive assistance to the RHITND grantees, as well as to any network offering or exploring the option of supporting their members in offering Telehealth services. Those of us in Bethesda were connected with Heartland Telehealth Resource Center in Kansas City, KS, Georgia Partnership for Telehealth in Waycross, GA, and Great Plains Telehealth Resources & Assistance Center in Minneapolis, MN.  During the discussion, Telehealth equipment was demonstrated. We had the opportunity to view inside the ear and throat of a person, along with viewing some skin irritations.  The quality of the live demonstrations was amazing. I can only imagine how much better the pictures would be on a computer screen, vs. the large screen in the meeting room.  Not only are savings to the patient in terms of travel expenses and time to consult with the specialist, the availability of the health care is important to the quality of life and economic viability of the community. 

It is exciting to think about the expansion of health care services and quality improvements in the forty (40) communities the RHITND grantees will be providing.  We look forward to hearing about the progress of their programs and the services they are providing to their members from NCHN members: Health Care Coalition of Rural Missouri, MO; Nevada Rural Hospital Partners, NV; Northcentral Montana Healthcare Alliance, MT; Northland Healthcare Alliance, ND; North Louisiana Regional Alliance, LA; and Western Kansas Frontier Information Network, KS.

Also during May, I was invited to participate in a White House Community Leaders Briefing on Cooperatives.  Thanks to our partnership and relations with Liz Bailey, CEO of the Cooperative Development Foundation and Interim President & CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association, NCHN was involved in this important information sharing session with White House Staff.  Tim Size, Executive Director, Rural Wisconsin Hospital Cooperative was also in attendance. Luckily, I had the opportunity to share information about the work of NCHN members with the 150 Cooperative Leaders in attendance and with Administration Officials from:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Small Business Administration
  • Treasury (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and/or DCFI Fund)
  • White House Domestic Policy Council
  • White House Office of Public Engagement

As we move into summer, NCHN will be preparing the 2012 Network Leader Salary and Benefit Survey Report.  This is a final reminder, if you have not completed the survey, please do so immediately.  The larger the data pool (the more members that participate in the survey), the more meaningful the report will be to you.  If you need the link to the survey, please let me know.

Thanks to everyone that signed up for 2012 NCHN Committees.  The Board and I are excited to see new members participating in the committees and thank the returning members for their continued service to NCHN.  Committee work is an excellent way to learn more about the Association and to give back to your peers. 

And lastly, I hope everyone has marked their calendars and are saving the date for the NCHN Leadership Summit to be held on September 25, 2012 in Kansas City, MO.  In June, the Leadership Summit Committee will begin working on the plans for the Summit. I can assure you it will be a great event for network leaders to come together and discuss leadership challenges and share leadership best practice models. The Leadership Summit is being held in conjunction with the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) annual CAH Conference.  Registration details and hotel reservation information will be available by the end of June on the NCHN website. 

Enjoy your start to summer! 

Rebecca J. Davis, Ph.D.
Ph: 970-712-0732






Featured Partner
TAG Healthcare Marketing
TAG Healthcare Marketing is a Gold Business Partner

funny facts

Facts about Weather

Listening to the chirps of crickets can give you a rough estimate of what the temperature outdoors is on the Fahrenheit temperature scale. Count the amount of chirps you hear in fifteen seconds and add 37.

Every winter around one septillion snowflakes fall from the sky! That's a one with 24 zeros following it.

The best chance to be fatally struck by lightning is before you see the storm as lightning can travel horizontally over six miles.



NCHN Welcomes 2 New Members

Please join the Board in welcoming NCHN's newest members: Jeanne Moffat, Network Director of Western Kansas Frontier Information Network, and Dawn Wichmann, former director of Lakelands Rural Health Network.

Western Kansas Frontier Information Network
Founded in 2011, WKFIN is based in Tribune, Kansas and has 11 network members. Its mission is to "strengthen current relationships and ability to care for patients through the creation and support of a secure and compliant information network." WFKIN received a 3 year HRSA HIT Network Development grant in 2011.

Jeanne Moffat, Network Director
Ph: 620-376-4035

Dawn Wichmann
Many NCHN members are already familiar with Dawn, who served as the Executive Director of Lakelands Rural Health Network. Dawn has rejoined NCHN as an associate member this year. We are delighted to have her continued involvement with NCHN.

Dawn Wichmann
Ph: 616-450-4876

Listserv Questions

During the month of May the following requests for examples, documents, and/or information were received from NCHN members.  Thanks to those of you that shared your documents and knowledge.  If you have not responded to the request and have documents and/or are willing to talk with the member that submitted the request, please let Rebecca know.  All documents and examples submitted will be posted on the NCHN website, as we continue to build the “Tools and Strategies for Managing Successful Networks Tool Chest.”  Thanks for your contributions and support of this new NCHN project. 

  • Network Leader Job Descriptions
  • In-Kind Contributions to the Network Tracking Forms
  • Marketing Materials for Networks
  • Roundtables/Peer Networks
  • Value and ROI Statements/Reporting Tools

Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

RHNR Consulting Task Force Call
Wednesday, May 30 @ 12:00 PM ET

Program Development Committee Call
Tuesday, June 19 @ 12:00 PM ET

Coffee/Tea Chat with Dr. Chess
Wednesday, June 20 @ 12:00 PM ET




TAG Healthcare MarketingTAG Healthcare Marketing: The DL On The QRC
by TAG Healthcare

October 17, 2011 (TAG Healthcare Blog) - How much do you know about QR codes?

Whether you’ve just heard about them or known about them for years, Quick Response codes -those black-and-white 2D graphic squares - are showing up big these days.  They represent one of the quickest ways to put “Bonus/Extra” content in your print ad, direct mail, printed brochure or any visual communication. The audience engaged is the smartphone user – one of the fastest growing audiences today. Nearly a third (31%) of Americans carry a smartphone now, according to Nielsen Research.


About TAG
TAG Healthcare Marketing enables its clients to increase market share while reducing costs. TAG believes the basis for winning marketing efforts start with well-thought out strategies supported by smart tactics well implemented. The TAG process starts with a proprietary planning process called TAGmappingTM . TAG provides the depth of services required of a well-integrated effort. They include graphic design, copywriting, digital marketing (web development, online marketing via paid search and SEO), video & audio production, media planning and placement, Yellow Page counsel/placement as well crisis management and governmental relations.

TAG Healthcare Marketing is delighted to support the work of the National Cooperative of Healthcare Networks in its efforts to expand and grow in services.

Randy Jacobs
Phone: 563-355-2200 x125



WHA has an opening for an IT professional

This newly-created position will be responsible for aligning technology vision with the business strategy of WHA member organizations. The Director of IT Collaboration will design, develop, and implement strategic offerings for all stages and types of collaborative IT and telecommunications initiatives for our network members.


Indiana Statewide Rural Health Network (InSRHN) invites you to join in supporting "Docs & Jocks"
from Deena Dodd, InSRHN Director

We, IRHA, are supporting a group of bicyclist riding across America called “Docs & Jocks”. It is made up of various riders but it is supporting a cause of a rural physician, Dr. Paula Gustafson, called Major Easy 3.  The initiative is to prevent childhood obesity.  She is very passionate about it and would love to share the word on her ride across America.  We didn’t know if some of our rural network neighbors might like to coordinate any joint media engagements/coverage (that would benefit both the ride and the other state organizations) that will help fight rural childhood obesity.

The twelve states that would have the opportunity to spread the word and get some PR out of it are:  12 states total (in order of crossing): California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Here’s the route map (large file):

If folks would like to contact me and we can get the word to her team of coordinators.  It would simply be the sharing of contacts and not money—we are not looking to gain anything monetarily.  We simply want to share her initiative as she travels across the country.

The current page for the ride is:

For more information, contact:
Deena Dodd
InSRHN Director
Office 812-478-3919 x 228
Cell 317-414-2039

Member News



HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Webcasts

MCH Learning supports communication, education and collaboration between state and federal maternal and child health professionals who serve the nation's mothers, families and children. Join our live webcasts with presenters in real time or access archived webcasts at any time.

June Webcasts

  • Lessons Learned from Innovative Approaches to Promote Healthy Weight in Women
    June 4, 2012 | 2:00 - 3:30 PM ET
  • The National Pediatric Readiness Project
    June 18, 2012 | 1:00 - 2:30 PM ET
  • Kids in Disasters: Facing Our Challenges
    June 20, 2012 | 12:30 - 2:00 PM ET


HIT Policy Committee Advisory Meeting
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

June 6, 2012 | 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM ET
Washington, DC

The June 6, 2012 Health IT Policy Committee Meeting will now be held at the Dupont Circle Hotel, 1500 New Hampshire Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20036. The agenda has also been changed to begin at 9:30am EDT to allow for discussions on ONC's Request for Information on Governance for the Nationwide Health Information Network.

Members of the public are welcome to attend in person. Participation in the meeting will be also be available via webconference or audio teleconference. The webconference will enable participants to hear the live audio and see the live viewing of the slides. The teleconference will only provide the live audio. The public will be invited to make comments at the conclusion of each meeting. Detailed instructions for participating remotely and meeting materials will be posted to the ONC's Federal Advisory Committee website as they become available.


Moving Research in Agricultural Safety and Health to Practice: The NIOSH R2P Program

Webinar: June 6, 2012 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM CDT


Webinar: Prescribing Medications to Individuals Who Are Homeless

June 7, 2012 | 2:00 - 3:30 PM ET

Prescribing medications to individuals who are homeless is challenging. Factors that complicate prescribing include lack of trust in the provider; being on the street without shelter; issues of theft and loss of medications; frequent relocation; mental illness, substance abuse, or other health issues; lack of outreach activities and resources; and lack of family and social support. This webinar will address strategies to overcome these factors.


Rural Health Open Door Forum
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Conference Call: June 12, 2012 @ 2:00 PM ET
Dial: 800.837.1935
Conference ID: 52260523


Assess Needs & Resources, Putting County Health Rankings into Action
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

Webinar: June 12, 2012 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM CDT

One of the first steps in local health improvement is to take stock of your community's needs, resources, strengths, and assets. You will want to understand what helps as well as what hinders progress toward improving your community’s health. Learn about guidance, tools and resources for understanding your community’s strengths, resources, needs, and gaps.


National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services

June 18 - 20, 2012
Kansas City, MO

The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services provides counsel and recommendations to the Secretary with respect to the delivery, research, development, and administration of health and human services in rural areas.

Persons interested in attending any portion of the meeting should contact Aaron Wingad at the Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) via telephone at (301) 443-0835 or by email at The Committee meeting agenda will be posted on ORHP's Web site


Version 5010 – Are You Ready?

Webinar: June 20, 2012 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM ET

Please join CMS staff for an informative webinar for healthcare providers, clearinghouses and vendors on Version 5010. Version 5010 refers to the standards that HIPAA-covered entities (health plans, health care clearinghouses, and certain health care providers) must use when electronically conducting certain health care administrative transactions, such as claims, remittance, eligibility, and claims status requests and responses. All covered entities should have been fully compliant with Version 5010 by January 1, 2012; however, an enforcement delay is in effect until June 30, 2012.

Stay tuned for further information on the details of your region’s session and registration information.

» UPDATES: If you want to subscribe to the provider-only listserv, please email: with “subscribe” as the subject line.

NRHA Rural Quality and Clinical Conference

July 18 - 20, 2012
Seattle, WA

NRHA’s Rural Quality and Clinical Conference is an interactive conference for quality improvement coordinators, performance improvement coordinators, rural clinicians, quality improvement organizations, and nurses practicing on the front lines of rural health care.




The Rural Hospital Advantage

May 24, 2012 (The Daily Yonder) - The National Rural Health Association released a report that compares the effectiveness of rural and urban hospitals. On most measures, rural hospitals compare quite favorably with their urban counterparts.

In fact, the study finds that, when matched against urban hospitals,  "rural hospitals have achieved a noteworthy level of comparative performance..." Rural health care is not more expensive than care in urban areas, and rural care is equal to, if not better, than care given in urban hospitals.


Legislation may enable states to offer universal healthcare
by David Lazarus

May 25, 2012 (Los Angeles Times) - To make universal coverage work at the state level, you'd need to channel federal healthcare funds into the system. A bill being drafted by Rep. Jim McDermott would allow that to happen.

Universal coverage, Medicare for all, single payer — call it what you will. It's clear that conservative forces are determined to prevent such a system from ever being introduced at the national level. So it's up to the states.

The catch is that to make universal coverage work at the state level, you'd need some way to channel Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare funds into the system. At the moment, that's difficult if not impossible.


Stage 2 meaningful use rules sharply criticized by physicians
by Charles Fiegl

May 14, 2012 ( - Physicians are objecting to proposed Medicare and Medicaid guidelines for demonstrating the next stage of electronic health record meaningful use, saying the new standards would be too burdensome and may discourage practices from adopting the technology.


6 Biggest Meaningful Use Challenges for Rural Hospitals
by Kathleen Roney

May 24, 2012 (Beckers Hospital Review) - Rural hospitals are prime examples of how telemedicine, health information technology and meaningful use can benefit the healthcare industry as they may increase specialty care access, improve quality and decrease costs. However, according to a study recently published in Health Affairs, rural hospitals lag behind other hospitals in HIT and EHR adoption.


More from Becker's Hospital Review
Is Your Hospital Sustainable? 8 Questions to Ask (May 18, 2012)
10 Guidelines for Selecting Data Breach Insurance (May 22, 2012)

Telemedicine Brings City Docs to Rural Patients
by Chris Kaiser

May 25, 2012 ( - A small study of rural diabetes patients who used a telemedicine-based endocrine consultation service for follow-up care suggests that the city-country link can significantly improve health outcomes.


A national model in rural healthcare
by Ken Esten Cooke

May 16, 2012 (Fredericksburg Standard) - Hill Country Memorial Hospital’s CEO, Michael Williams, MD, MBA, practiced as an anesthesiologist in Dallas and Fredericksburg, is experienced in business, and leads what was recently named one of the Top 100 Hospitals in the U.S., as ranked by Thomson Reuters. He answered questions in an interview and through follow-up information.

HCM recently was recognized as one of the Top 100 Hospitals in the U.S. What does that mean for the facility?


The Power of Plugged-In Physicians
by Philip Betbeze

May 25, 2012 (HealthLeaders Media) - Hospital and health system senior executives are continually searching for ways to engage their physician staff. Some are doing it through an employment strategy. Some are creating a variety of economic incentives for physicians to help them achieve the goal of fewer readmissions, meet quality targets, and agree on treatment protocols that fit evidence on cost and quality. They're working to educate physicians on the downstream effects of their decisions on the entire organization.


University Hospital needs a partner (KY)

May 24, 2012 ( - Even if University Hospital improves its operations and business strategy, its long-term viability is “questionable at best” if it does not partner with another hospital and expand its patient base, according to a consultant’s report released Wednesday.

Consultants from Dixon Hughes Goodman of Hudson, Ohio, were advising the hospital’s ad hoc committee, which was established to oversee an operational review of the 329-bed site with an eye toward bolstering finances.


Mapping Out Revenue-Cycle Solutions
by Karen Minich-Pourshadi

May 22, 2012 (HealthLeaders Media) - The payer and provider communities are still dealing with HIPAA 5010, and trying to shift attention to ICD-10 is tough," says Craig Collins, division chair for revenue cycle and administrative lead of the ICD-10 transition at the Rochester, Minn.–based Mayo Clinic. "We put together a strategic plan and process map because we're trying to be first to the plate to do the ICD-10 testing with the payers. Our hope is that in early 2013 we can begin testing with larger payers."


Comments on rural healthcare and telemedicine
by Kyle Murphy, Ph.D.

May 11, 2012 ( - Before taking up my post here at the site, I had the LinkedIn equivalent of a placeholder. But since I began writing on health information technology (IT), specifically electronic health records (EHR), I’ve come to appreciate LinkedIn as an arena for lively discussion among specialists in health IT and medicine.

Last week in particular provided me with insight and feedback about what’s at stake in rural communities in terms of health IT and its role in providing quality care to low-population, isolated non-urban areas across the US. When the subject of telemedicine or rural healthcare springs up, we find ourselves redefining what remote access means. It’s not just a way of connecting to information; it’s also a way of connecting ways of life.




USDA's Distance Learning & Telemedicine Program

Purpose: The DLT program is designed specifically to meet the educational and health care needs of rural America. Through loans, grants and loan/grant combinations, advanced telecommunications technologies provice enhanced learning and health care opportunities for rural residents.

If you are interested in a grant assessment, or want more information covering the DLT program, please contact Allyse Thaler at and she will give you a pre-assessment followed by a consultation with one of our Distance Learning and Telemedicine Specialists. If this grant does not meet your needs, ask us about other available Health Information Technology grant opportunities.

Deadline: June 18, 2012



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