Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oklahoma Office of Rural Health Named "Rural Health Program of the Year"

The Oklahoma Office of Rural Health was recently named the 2011 "Rural Health Program of the Year" by the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma (RHAO). The award, shared with Oklahoma Rural Health Works, recognizes the Community Health Needs Assessment program administered by both organizations. The RHAO presented the award on September 20, 2011 as part of its annual meeting in Norman, Oklahoma. Corie Kaiser, interim director of the Oklahoma Office of Rural Health and Val Schott, former director of the Oklahoma Office of Rural Health, received the award on behalf of the OSU Center for Rural Health.

(L-R) Val Schott - Former Director, Oklahoma Office of Rural Health; Shelly Dunham - President, Rural Health Association of Oklahoma; Corie Kaiser - Interim Director, Oklahoma Office of Rural Health; Cheryl St. Clair - Assistant State Extension Specialist, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service; and Lara Brooks - Assistant Extension State Specialist, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. September 20, 2011.  Norman, Oklahoma.

Student Doctors Get Early Introduction to Rural Medicine

Nothing is more exciting to a medical student than experiencing hands-on medicine for the first time. Unfortunately, most medical students typically wait for that first experience until clinical education begins in the third year of medical school. The Summer Rural Externship (SRE) at the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Health Sciences gives first year medical students the chance to close the books and experience real patient care much earlier. The SRE is an elective three-week rotation after the first year of medical school that is designed to give students a first taste of clinical practice in a rural setting. This unique experience, sponsored by the Oklahoma Area Health Education Center (OKAHEC) at the OSU Center for Rural Health, also includes a community service component and interdisciplinary shadowing.

The SRE takes place in a family physician's office in a rural community. Students shadow physicians to begin learning the basics of bedside manner, communicating with patients, and working in interdisciplinary teams. Included are out-of-office experiences, such as attending hospital staff and committee meetings, taking house calls, joining hospital rounds, taking hospital emergency room calls, and attending community and public health functions.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Randy Wymore wins 2011 Rural Oklahoma Photo Contest

Congratulations to Randy Wymore, winner of the 2011 Rural Oklahoma Photo Contest sponsored by the OSU Center for Rural Health! Randy won with his submission titled, Bring it Home (view the winning photo). The Rural Oklahoma Photo Contest was part of the Center's celebration marking the inaugural National Rural Health Day on November 17, 2011. The contest garnered 25 entries from the across the state - representing the very best of rural Oklahoma (view all of the photo contest entries). We would like to extend our appreciation to everyone who participated in the contest. We look forward to making this an annual tradition.

William Pettit, D.O., Associate Dean for Rural Health at the OSU Center for Health Sciences, congratulates Randy Wymore (right) for winning the 2011 Rural Oklahoma Photo contest sponsored by the OSU Center for Rural Health. Randy won with his submission titled, Bring it Home.

OSU Center for Rural Health Distributes SHIP grants to 59 Rural Hospitals

As part of its Small Hospital Improvement Program, the Oklahoma State University Center for Rural Health is distributing checks totaling $442,724 to 59 rural hospitals in Oklahoma.

The SHIP grant program is for small, rural hospitals that are essential access points for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. SHIP allows rural hospitals to keep pace with their urban counterparts in complying with new Medicare and Medicaid programs and policies.

Hospitals can use the money, which amounts to $7,503.80 per hospital, to offset costs related to the implementation of prospective payment systems; to improve data collection activities to facilitate reporting to Hospital Compare; or for activities that support quality improvement or improve care transitions. 

To qualify for the program, hospitals must be small (49 staffed beds or less) and rural (located outside of a metropolitan statistical area or located within a rural census tract of a MSA).

The Health Resources and Services Administration at the United States Department of Health and Human Services provides all funding for the Small Hospital Improvement Program.