Category Archives: Family, Home, & Community

Census data, housing. food and drugs.

SAMHSA Is Accepting Applications for up to $5.54 Million for the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for the Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Campus Suicide Prevention Grant to develop comprehensive, collaborative, and evidence-based approaches to improving services for all college students, including those at risk for suicide, depression, serious mental illness, and substance use disorders and promoting help-seeking behavior and reducing stigma. These grants, totaling $5.54 million over the next three years, will likely go to 18 grantees.

CMS Approves First 10-Year Section 1115 Demonstration Extension

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a demonstration extension for Mississippi’s Medicaid program. This extension will extend eligibility for family planning services to people aged 13-44 who are not enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and with incomes up to 194% of the federal poverty level (FPL). This 10-year extension, the first of its kind, is intended to reduce the burden of the state continually obtaining approvals from CMS.

Drones Show Potential for Delivering Telemedicine, mHealth Services

Around the world, drones have been used to successfully deliver healthcare services in rural, remote, and other inaccessible areas. In the U.S., however, drone usage has been limited due to safety and other regulatory concerns. Drone advocates are now hoping lawmakers will quickly craft appropriate, drone-related legislation that addresses these concerns, but also allows for the expanded use of drones in healthcare delivery applications.

Life Expectancy Drops Again As Opioid Deaths Surge In U.S.

For the second year in a row, life expectancy in the United States has dropped, partly as a result of the rise in fatal opioid overdoses. Life expectancy is considered an indicator of the general well-being of a nation, and in the U.S. it has been rising steadily for decades with only occasional exceptions, like in 1993 with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This is the first time since the early 1960s that life expectancy has fallen two years in a row.

How One Rural North Carolina Hospital Defeated Bankruptcy

After several consecutive years of declining revenue, Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden, North Carolina, heavily indebted and unable to locate a partner, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 2017. Through a contested bidding process and eventual court ruling, Morehead Memorial was acquired by UNC Health Care. UNC Health Care assumes ownership of Morehead Memorial on January 1, 2018, and is committed to keeping it open for at least five years, while also investing $20 million over the next three years.

Rural Counties at Risk Ahead of Census Count

Details concerns about the upcoming census in 2020 and the potential implications of the population in rural counties being undercounted. Because census counts impact federal funding amounts, and because rural areas tend to be more reliant on federal funding for their budgets, rural counties being undercounted could have a significant impact. People in rural areas are less likely to return the mailed census forms and are also less likely to have internet access, which is the primary way the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to reach those who do not return their census forms.

Virtual Internship Program Brings Students Across the Country to IHS

Blog post from the Indian Health Service (IHS) about their Virtual Student Federal Service, a virtual internship. Interns spend 10 hours a week working on their projects to enhance IHS’ ability to deliver quality care. Some of these projects include producing bilingual Navajo and English videos for Rural Health Clinics, creating a sexual assault locator map for IHS, and creating social media strategies and campaigns for health promotion.

USDA Highlights $40 Million in Infrastructure Investments in Rural Communities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Community Facilities Direct Loan Program invested $40 million in 31 infrastructure projects in rural communities in 21 states and Puerto Rico. Projects included surface transportation, aviation, ports, water and storm water resources, energy production and generation, and electricity transmission.

A Conversation with Roger Knak

Radio interview with Roger Knak, the CEO of Fairview Regional Medical Center, a Critical Access Hospital in Oklahoma. Discussion includes the work the hospital has done to address patient satisfaction and community health needs and the importance of rural health infrastructure, among other things.

Native Americans Feel Invisible In U.S. Health Care System

Life expectancy for Native Americans is 20 years shorter than the national average. Discusses some potential causes, including the Indian Health Service (IHS) being underfunded, discrimination, high poverty and uninsured rates in Native American communities, limited access to providers, and these various barriers leading people to stop trying to access care.