November 2017 Newsletter

34th Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference

2017 Conference
Thanks to the over 270 people who attended the 34th Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference.  You can find presentations, partner information and more on our website!

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for next year!  October 3-5, 2018, Riverhouse, Bend Oregon!

2017 Rural Health Hero of the Year

Lynne Frost, DNP
Congratulations to Lynne Frost, DNP, Clinical Operations Director, One Community Health, the 2017 Rural Health Hero of the Year!

New and Revised Reports

2017 Areas Of Unmet Health Care Need (AUHCN) Report

The Oregon Office of Rural Health, in response to a mandate from the Oregon Legislature, developed the AUHCN report in 1998 to measure medical under-service in rural areas. It is published annually.

This year, ORH convened a stakeholder group to revise the report to better align with an integrated health care model. The new report now includes nine variables that measure access to primary care physical, mental and oral health care (for more on the variables used, see page 12 of the report).

The report provides a total unmet need score for each primary service care area in Oregon. You can compare an area's score to other service areas as well as to overall scores for the state, all urban, all rural and all frontier areas.  If a score is low, you can identify why by looking at which of the nine variables are negatively impacting the service area. You can use this report to quantify how well the communities you work with are able to access physical, mental and oral primary health care. We hope you will find this helpful as you advocate for the needs of your communities, apply for grants, and identify ways to improve services.

For more information about the report, please contact Emerson Ong | .

Critical Access Hospital Community Benefit Highlights Report

The Oregon Health Authority publishes Hospital Community Benefit data annually. The most recent data available is Fiscal Year 2015, for which 60 hospitals reported community benefit information. The Oregon Office of Rural Health breaks out community benefit reporting highlights for Oregon’s 25 Critical Access Hospitals and publishes these results annually. This year’s report was created in partnership with the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems and includes the federal compliance requirements for 501(c)(3) hospitals.

For more information about the report, please contact Rose Locklear | .

Oregon Health Care Provider Incentive Program Update

The 2017 Oregon Legislature passed HB 3261, establishing provider incentive programs under the oversight of the Oregon Health Policy Board.  The incentive programs, including loan repayment, loan forgiveness, and liability insurance subsidy, are funded through the Health Care Provider Incentive Fund. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has completed the Rules Advisory Committee (RAC) process and will release the final rules for public comment on November 14, 2017. You will be able to view those rules on our website. If you have questions, please contact Bill Pfunder | or Robert Duehmig |  .

2017 Rural and Frontier Health Facility Listening Tour

2017 RFLT
Meeting with Good Shepherd Health Care System/picture L-R: Nick Bejarano, Director Marketing and Communications, GSHCS, Jan Peter, CFO, GSHCS, Theresa Brock, VP of Nursing, GSHCS, Jim Schlenker, COO, GSHCS, Tucker Billman, Office of US Representative Greg Walden, Kathleen Cathey, Office of U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, Summer Boslaugh, OHA Transformation Center, Victoria Demchak, Deputy Health Care Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Kate Brown, Dennis Burke, President and CEO, GSHCS, Scott Ekblad, Director, ORH, Rebecca Dobert, Program Coordinator, ORH

As the 2017 Rural and Frontier Health Facility Listening Tour draws to a close, we would like to thank the 39 rural and frontier hospitals and health clinics, as well as the staff from 23 partner organizations (who traveled statewide to on-site meetings) for their participation. Engagement was passionate on issues ranging from workforce recruitment and retention, to the challenges of increasing access to behavioral health care, to the need for reimbursement reform. The final tour report will be published in early 2018. For more information about the Listening Tour, please contact Rebecca Dobert | .

To see additional photos from the tour, and to read about individual meetings, visit the Oregon Office of Rural Health Instagram account.

ORH Awards Elder Service Innovation Grants

The Oregon Office of Rural Health awarded three Elder Service Innovation Grants to rural organizations working to address the challenges of aging in our rural communities.  The grant opportunity was announced as part of the First Annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon, which was held April 20-21, 2017 in Hood River. Grantees will share the results of their projects in an effort to share best practices with other communities.  Congratulations to grant winners:

  • Grant County Older and Vulnerable Populations Collaborative, John Day. Will develop group Tai Chi classes for elders at the local hospital and other area facilities;
  • Eastern Oregon Healthy Living Alliance, Lakeview.  Will train clergy and front line social service providers in mental health first aid for elders;
  • Deschutes Rim Health Clinic, Maupin.  Will develop a community health worker type program for elder clients utilizing existing clinic staff.

Provider Spotlight

Jamie Jo120

Jamie Jo Haddock grew up in Union County, and attended Imbler High School. After graduating high School, Jamie Jo attended Eastern Oregon University and Oregon Health & Science University. After working as a surgical nurse at St Luke's Boise for nine years, she obtained her Masters in Nursing at Gonzaga University in May of 2014.

While at Eastern Oregon University, Jamie Jo participated in women's basketball and made history as part of the first team to win both the conference regular season title and Cascade Conference Tournament Champions, and the first women's basketball team to go to the National NAIA tournament in school history (Go Mounties!). In 2008, Jamie Jo married Tony Haddock on her family ranch in Imbler. Tony teaches math and physical education in Imbler, and recently received his Master's in education from Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) in Nampa Idaho. Tony is also the boys basketball Head Coach.

Jamie Jo was awarded loan repayment funds in 2015 through the Oregon Medicaid Primary Care Loan Repayment Program (MLRP).

What made you decide to practice as a Nurse Practitioner?
It was never on my radar as I went through nursing school, or my early years in the Operating Room at St. Luke’s in Boise. However, after being married and having children, we decided as a family that we wanted to move back to Eastern Oregon to be closer to family and the small ranch that I grew up on. I wanted to serve my community and I knew the region suffered from a lack of family practice providers. My grandma, Rose, experienced a high level of turnover with her health care providers in the last few years of her life. That experience also played into my decision to become a family practice provider. I wanted to be the long term provider in my area and offer some stability to patients in my community.

Did you always know that you wanted to practice in a rural community? If so, what influenced you; if not, what helped you decide?
Growing up in a rural area I knew I had a soft spot for this type of community. I enjoy my interactions with the people I serve. I understand the day to day demands on those individuals and can reach out and easily connect with them.

How did you find your current practice site?
I was actually connected to the current provider via my little brother, Nick West. He was planning on attending medical school and was following Kim Montee, MD, and mentioned that I was in a Nurse Practitioner program. Dr. Montee contacted me, and we made plans for me to precept with him. I joke that the 3 months I followed him and Bonnie Hayslett, PA, was the longest interview process ever!

What attracted you to your practice site and/or community?
This was the area that was most in need of more full time providers. The Elgin area only had medical staff to open for 3 days of the week and the providers at the Union Clinic were keeping the doors open 4 days a week. When I was brought on staff we were able to expand Elgin to 4 days a week, and Union 5 days a week. Both communities are 15 plus miles from La Grande and needed the extra days to care for the people who live in these communities.

If you could give advice to people who are recruiting providers for positions in rural Oregon, what would it be?
Rural areas have some short comings. This could be airport access, shopping, etc. But play up the items that you do have. For Union County we have many outdoor opportunities for all seasons. We have a fantastic small theatre in Elgin that puts on several plays through the year. They are currently playing the Addams Family, and my kids (both age 7), had a blast watching it.  Eastern Oregon University has a solid sports program with several top 10 national finishes in volleyball, football, women’s basketball, and track & field. Also, several small eateries in my area are quite tasty! I think if providers really jump into the community and build relationships with the “locals”, they can see what it really means to be part of a community. It’s amazing what a small community can do when it puts its power together. The Elgin community alone decided to start fundraising for the new health clinic I am honored to work in. This small town raised over $2.7 million and built an 8,000 square foot medical building (Medical, Dental, Physical Therapy, Mental Health, and pharmacy) in less than 2 years!

How has your MLRP award influenced your life?
It has been a blessing. I will pay off my student loans so much faster than I would have normally. The added bonus is that my MLRP award relieved some financial stress of repaying my student loans, freeing me to stay in my community with no plans to leave. Before I took this position, the Elgin region was ranked in the bottom 5% for a population that was underserved; with myself working in the area we are no longer ranked in the bottom. The MLRP is an investment that I hope everyone sees as positive one.

If you could give advice to a provider who is considering working in a rural community, what would it be?
I would consider doing a rural practice rotation while in school. You get to see what it is like before you move yourself and possibly your entire family. With more rural rotations being offered to health care providers, there are sites in Eastern Oregon that are happy to host students and show them how great the area is. Please come out and see us!!

2017 Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Program (MBQIP) Top Performers Announced

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy created MBQIP in 2011 to implement quality measures specific to low volume Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). The Oregon Office of Rural Health recognizes top performing CAHs and their Quality Improvement Officers each year.

To recognize these hospitals for their commitment to quality reporting and quality improvement efforts, ORH awarded one scholarship to the Quality Officer at each CAH to attend the 34th Annual Rural Health Conference as well as a $5,000 grant to be used towards quality improvement efforts.

In the current environment of so many reporting requirements, these CAHs have demonstrated consistent reporting and strong results. Congratulations to the following MBQIP top performers:

For Reporting All MBQIP Measures

Arielle La Veaux at Salem Health West Valley Hospital

For Reporting on Emergency Department Transfer Communication Measures

Verda Hale at Samaritan Pacific Community Hospital
Theresa Via at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital

For Reporting on Outpatient Measures

Nancy Bond at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital
Amelia Higdon at Providence Seaside

For Most Improved MBQIP Reporting

April Gillette at Blue Mountain Hospital
Stacey Karvoski at Wallowa Memorial Hospital

Now Available: New Quality Improvement Resources for CAHs

Tableau Online Licenses for Participants in the MBQIP and HCAHPS Benchmarking Program

Last fall, the Oregon Office of Rural Health rolled out its Medicare Beneficiary and Quality Improvement Program (MBQIP) and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers (HCAHPS) Benchmarking Program to help CAHs create dashboard reports and compare their data against peers of their choice as well as share their data internally – with staff, leadership, and their Board of Directors.

This year, ORH has purchased Tableau Online licenses for each participating CAH to access and interact directly with their data and dashboard reports.  ORH is in the process of rolling this out to the 21 CAHs that participate in the Benchmarking Program. 

For questions, or if your CAH would like more information about participation, please contact Stacie Rothwell | .

On-Demand Webinars

ORH partnered with Health-Insight Oregon to create a recorded webinar series covering Quality Improvement topics such as: data-abstraction, Quality Net CART Basics, Emergency Department Transfer Communications (EDTC) and MBQIP.  This is a great resource for new and experienced Quality Officers.

Revised for 2017/2018: Critical Access Hospital Quality Reporting Overview Guide

Be sure to download a copy of the newly updated version of the Critical Access Hospital Quality Reporting Guide, written by Namrata Dave of Lake District Hospital.  This guide is available to assist new and experienced Quality Officers and staff about reporting requirements in a CAH. 

If you have any questions about quality resources available to CAHs please contact Field Service Program Manager, Stacie Rothwell | .

New Competitive Training Opportunity: Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Trauma Simulation Training for CAHs

ORH has received funding, from the HRSA Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program, for three CAHs to receive EMS and trauma simulation training from the Idaho Simulation Network. Simulation trainings will provide progressive emergency scenarios in which the local EMS agency brings the patient to the CAH where stabilization occurs and where air medical services are contacted (as applicable). Simulations will incorporate TeamSTEPPS® methodology and ensure CAH staff and EMS providers work together to complete the scenarios. Each participating hospital will receive a copy of their simulation video and a detailed debrief, including an observation checklist.

All Oregon CAHs are eligible to apply to participate. The application period opens in mid-November, 2017. For more information, please contact Rebecca Dobert | , or visit the Idaho Simulation Network.

Small Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP)

The 2017 SHIP project work is underway, including the return of a "pooled" project option for awardees. Under this option, hospitals are able use their SHIP award to collaborate with HealthInsight Oregon and create a TeamSTEPPS training project customized to the level of experience at each facility. For more information about the SHIP program, or to suggest future pooled project options, please contact Rebecca Dobert | .

Join the Rural Health Coordinating Council – ORH’s Advisory Body

The Oregon Office of Rural Health is advised by a statutorily mandated body, the Rural Health Coordinating Council (RHCC). The RHCC is composed of 18 members total: 13 organizational representatives and 5 consumer members.

The RHCC currently has several vacancies. Please consider joining the RHCC or passing this invitation along to someone else who may be interested.

Having Difficult Conversations: Working Through Conflict and Uncertainty with Motivational Interviewing – CME Credits Available

The Oregon Health Authority is offering a new training, Having Difficult Conversations: Working Through Conflict and Uncertainty with Motivational Interviewing.  This training is intended for health care providers interested in improving communication skills with their patients regarding appropriate antibiotic use.  The training combines local statistics, realities and principles of difficult conversations and introduces motivational interviewing techniques to work through challenging patient interactions.

The course takes approximately one hour to complete and one free CME credit is available.

Oregon Clinics Receive over $3M for Mental Health and Opioid Addiction

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded more than $3 million to 23 health centers in Oregon to increase access to substance abuse and mental health services. The funds will be used to support the expansion and integration of mental health services and substance abuse services.  These services focus on the treatment, prevention, and awareness of opioid abuse in the primary care setting by increasing personnel, leveraging health information technology, and providing training. Those awardees are:

  • Adapt | Roseburg | $170,321
  • Benton County | Corvallis | $114,440
  • Central City Concern | Portland | $175,700
  • Clackamas County | Oregon City | $175,700
  • Columbia River Community Health Services | Boardman | $85,200
  • Klamath Health Partners, Inc. | Klamath Falls | $144,461
  • La Clinica del Carino Family Health Care Center, Inc. | Hood River | $175,700
  • La Clinica del Valle Family Health Care Center, Inc. | Medford | $175,700
  • Lane County | Eugene | $175,700
  • Mosiac Medical | Bend | $166,370
  • Multnomah County | Portland | $175,700
  • Neighborhood Health Center | Portland | $175,700
  • Northwest Human Services, Inc. | Salem | $175,700
  • Outside In | Portland | $175,700
  • Rinehart Medical Clinic | Wheeler | $175,700
  • Rogue Community Health | Medford | $175,700
  • Siskiyou Community Health Center, Inc. | Grants Pass | $175,700
  • Tillamook County | Tillamook | $175,700
  • Umpqua Community Health Center, Inc. | Roseburg | $175,700
  • Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center | Aloha | $175,700
  • Waterfall Clinic, Inc. | North Bend | $175,700
  • White Bird Clinic | Eugene | $164,689
  • Winding Waters Medical Clinic | Enterprise | $175,700


The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and Early Cancer Detection

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and the Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center are seeking Oregon Residents, aged 18 and older, to join 60-90 minute focus groups.  They want to hear your thoughts and opinions about participating in genetic research and want to learn about your understanding of genetic testing and inherited cancers.  They are interested in hearing from all members of the community, including cancer survivors, patients, providers and others with an interest in inherited cancers.

For more information, contact the Knight Cancer Institute at .  To sign up, register at

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announces FY18 Rural Health Care Outreach Program

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) has announced a funding opportunity for the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program (Outreach Program).  The fundamental goal of the program is to support the expansion of health care service delivery to rural populations by encouraging consortia of health providers to innovatively address their community’s health concerns. Approximately $5 million will be awarded annually for up to 25 awardees during the 2018 – 2021 project period. Applications are due December 6, 2017.

For additional questions, contact Meriam Mikre | .

Did You Know?

Southern Coos Health's medical director, Megan Holland, MD, was recently voted the Best Doctor on the southern Oregon coast by the readers of The World newspaper.

Wallowa Memorial Hospital welcomed new Chief Financial Officer, Dan Jessup and they were named a top 20 Critical Access Hospital by the National Rural Health Association.

Do you have news you want to share? Drop us a line |

Save the Date

2nd Annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon
May 16-18, 2018
Wildhorse Resort & Casino
Pendleton, OR

Check out the ORH Events Calendar for the latest updates!