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Virginia State Office of Rural Health
The Virginia State Office of Rural Health (VA-SORH) was established in 1991 to create, fund and support quality and sustainable rural healthcare infrastructure. VA-SORH is a designated, federally funded office by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). The purpose and mission of VA-SORH is to address and rectify health disparities affecting the state’s rural residents. For nearly 30 years, VA-SORH has provided funding that connects small rural communities with state and federal resources with the goal of developing long-term solutions to address the root causes of rural health disparities.
2021 VA-SORH Photo Contest Submissions
Claire Huddleston, Fluvanna, VA
Laura Trull, Rapidan, VA
Patricia Whitley, Eastern Shore, VA
Miranda Ellis, Boydton, VA
Rural Health Updates
VA-SORH January Calendar
|The Virginia State Office of Rural Health will be sharing a digital calendar page every month. Each page will feature a winning photo from the 2022 VA-SORH Photo Contest and a relevant rural health topic or resource.
January's calendar page features a photo by Victoria Fox in Charles City County and the Virginia State Loan Repayment Program (VA-SLRP) The VA-SLRP application cycle is open January 1 - March 31, 2023.
Pro tip: download the calendar page to use as your computer's desktop background!
National Rural Health Day- Thursday, November 17th, 2022
To visit the VA-SORH National Rural Health Day webpage, click here.
The 2022 VA-SORH Photo Contest is now open!
Calling all photography enthusiasts! Help us celebrate the beauty of rural Virginia by submitting your photos to the 2022 VA-SORH Photo Contest by Friday, October 14th. Photographers of all experience levels are encouraged to participate. Tell your friends!
Virginia Rural Hospital Coaching Collaborative, In-Person Workshop
The Virginia Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program administers the annual Rural Hospital Coaching Collaborative (RHCC) in partnership with the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association with the goal of enhancing the quality of care provided by rural hospitals. The RHCC offers rural hospitals an opportunity to peer share and learn, as well as take advantage of national subject matter expert coaching and resources. On Friday, July 8th, the first in-person RHCC workshop, since 2019, was hosted in Glen Allen, VA at the VHHA headquarters. With Cynosure Health leading the workshop, 27 rural hospital leaders, representing 11 hospital facilities, carried on knowledge sharing discussions about finding bright spots while caring for patients at the bedside and during the care transition journey, prioritization of healthcare workers psychological safety and reporting of adverse events. The workshop concluded with leaders sharing lessons learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, for the better and for the worse, and how as a workforce, do healthcare providers not just survive but thrive.
HPSA Update from NRHA
Wednesday, July 6, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced a one-year hold on Health Professional Shortage Area's (HPSA) that had been proposed for withdrawal. After months of significant advocacy, the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) applauds HRSA for taking this decisive action. As rural communities rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, added strains on the workforce would be extremely detrimental. NRHA looks forward to continuing to work with HRSA to ensure the rural health workforce grows.
Registration is now open for the 2022 NOSORH Annual Meeting!
Join us at the 2022 National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) Annual Meeting, which will be hosted in-person in Harrisonburg, Virginia, on October 5th-6th, 2022. There is also the option to register to attend virtually.
We hope to see you there!
For more information, please visit the NOSORH website, linked here.
Monkeypox Outbreak Update for Provider Outreach (as of 6/28/22)
The Virginia Department of Health has created the following announcement (linked below) to be shared with providers to raise awareness of the current monkeypox outbreak and resources available to providers. Suggested providers include those working in primary care, urgent care, emergency medicine, sexually transmitted infection clinics, dermatology, gynecology, and oral healthcare. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the VDH Monkeypox website.
To download the VDH announcement, click here.
HPSA Re-designation Process
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is working through a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) re-designation process. As of April 2021, HRSA announced a large number of HPSAs as "proposed for withdrawal", meaning that these HPSAs could lose their status. On or around July 1, 2022, HRSA must publish an updated list of HPSAs in the Federal Register, which means those proposed for withdrawal will learn whether or not they will retain their designation.
In March of this year, the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) wrote to HRSA expressing concern about the HPSAs proposed for withdrawal and requested that HPSAs have adequate time to apply for redetermination and retain their status before the July 1, 2022 deadline. NRHA is now elevating these concerns to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the July 1 deadline grows closer and HPSAs are in danger of losing their designation.
The VDH Office of Health Equity has created the HPSA 101 video. This video is intended to describe and explain the process of placing shortage areas in Virginia. The full-length video is 15 minutes long, for your convenience we have broken the video into 5 shorter sections, listed below. For more information, please visit this webpage.
- Intro 101
- Designations 101
- Scoring 101
- Nuances 101
- Role of the PCO 101
May 15-21, 2022 is National EMS Week!
New resource from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH):
Congratulations to Virginia's Lilypad Award winners!
Four of Virginia's rural health clinics have been recognized as top rural primary care practices in the United States according to the 2022 Lilypad Awards, the first and only ranking program for our nation’s 4,800+ Rural Health Clinics. The Lilypad Awards recognize the Rural Health Clinics that outperform their rural primary care practice peers in terms of efficiency and operational excellence.
Virginia's recognized Rural Health Clinics:
- Merit Medical Group Richlands
- Family Care of Chilhowie
- Patrick County Family Practice
- Carilion Clinic Family Medicine - Giles
VA-SORH 2021 Photo Contest Winners!
- Anne Powell, White Blaze at Cold Mountain in Amherst County, Virginia
- Miranda Ellis, Bee on a Flower in Nelson County, Virginia
- Submitted by Amy Bull, taken by Colleen Forst, Sun on the Dock, the Eastern Shore of Virginia
Happy National Rural Health Day!
Visit the VA-SORH National Rural Health Day webpage: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/health-equity/state-office-of-rural-health-4/.
Revised Geographic Eligibility for FORHP Funding
Beginning with Fiscal Year 2022 (October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022), Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) will consider all outlying Metropolitan Statistical Area counties without an Urbanized Area (UA) population (50,000 or more people) to be eligible for rural health grant programs. For more detail on the addition of outlying metro counties, read the Federal Register Notice, Revised Geographic Eligibility for Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Grants, linked here.
The Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer is a HRSA tool used to determine whether a locality is eligible for funding under the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. To access the tool click here.
For more information click here.
Enter your photos in the VA SORH Photo Contest!
Submit your best photos of rural Virginia for a chance to be featured on the cover of the 2022 Virginia State Office of Rural Health calendar!
Celebrate the beauty of rural Virginia by capturing its diverse landscapes, weather, wildlife, workforce, and communities. Photographers of all experience levels are encouraged to participate. The deadline to submit photos is October 8, 2021. Winners of the photo contest will be announced on November 18th, National Rural Health Day.
For more information and to submit your photos visit: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/health-equity/state-office-of-rural-health-photo-contest/
Interested in learning more about starting a Rural Health Clinic (RHC)?
The VA-SORH website now has a page dedicated to providing you guidance and resources on the CMS Rural Health Clinic program. We are working to provide you up to date information relating to the RHC program and hope you find this page easy to navigate.
To access the VA-SORH RHC webpage: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/health-equity/state-office-of-rural-health-rhc/
Virginia Health Centers celebrate National Health Center Week
August 8th - 14th was National Health Center Week, an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades. Tri-Area Community Health and Eastern Shore Rural Health, two Virginia health centers, recognized the hard work of their staff and promoted their services by hosting community fairs and family fun days.
Dr. Karen Shelton advocates for rural southwest Virginia in congressional hearing on vaccine confidence
Tri-Area Community Health recognized for community-focused integrated care
Tri-Area Community Health has been recognized for their success in addressing the unique needs of the community they serve. Through integrated care designed specifically for their diverse rural community, Tri-Area Community Health provides quality healthcare to southwestern Virginia. To read the full article in The Rural Monitor by Kathryn Rutz click here.
VAFCC launches Volunteer Opportunity Board and Directory
NRHA names Riverside Shore Memorial Top 20 Rural Hospital in America
Health District Highlight: Eastern Shore Health District!
Health Places, Healthy Lives
National Rural Health Day 2020:
A message from Governor Ralph Northam:
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