Friday, December 14, 2012

HRSA Announces Telehealth Network Grant Program


The Health Resources & Services Administration released its Funding Opportunity Announcement for the Telehealth Network Grant Program. The primary objective of the program is to demonstrate how telehealth programs and networks can improve access to quality health care services in rural, frontier, and underserved communities. Successful telehealth networks are used to: (a) expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of health care services; (b) improve and expand the training of health care providers; and/or (c) expand and improve the quality of health information available to health care providers, and patients and their families, for decision-making. To further elaborate on the program’s statutory requirements noted above, applicants are encouraged to develop innovative applications that meet new and emerging needs in a changing health care delivery system with a focus on value and improved health care outcomes. Proposals must be submitted by February 13, 2013Click here for more information on the program.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Grant Program

(Credit: Craig Parylo)
The Health Resources and Services Administration is soliciting applications for the Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Grant Program. The purpose of the Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Grant (Rural Quality) Program is to provide support to rural primary care providers for implementation of quality improvement activities. The ultimate goal of the program is to promote the development of an evidence-based culture and delivery of coordinated care in the primary care setting. Additional objectives of the program include: improved health outcomes for patients; enhanced chronic disease management; and better engagement of patients and their caregivers. Organizations participating in the program are required to utilize an evidence-based quality improvement model, perform tests of change focused on improvement, and use health information technology (HIT) to collect and report data. HIT may include an electronic patient registry (EPR) or an electronic health record (EHR), and is a critical component for improving quality and patient outcomes. The deadline for submitting an application is January 30, 2013. More information about the program can be found on the Grants.gov website.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Digital Divide: How Connected are Rural Communities in Oklahoma?

From the December 2012 edition of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association's Oklahoma D.O., Jeff Hackler, J.D., M.B.A. and Denna Wheeler, Ph.D. examine the availability and adoption of broadband access in rural Oklahoma, including the Internet upload and download speeds of several rural hospitals in Oklahoma.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tony Khalaf wins 2012 Rural Oklahoma Photo Contest

Congratulations to Tony Khalaf, winner of the 2012 Rural Oklahoma Photo Contest sponsored by the OSU Center for Rural Health! Tony won with his submission titled, Ol' Silo on Highway 45 (see the photo below). The Rural Oklahoma Photo Contest was part of the Center's celebration marking the 2nd Annual National Rural Health Day on November 15, 2012. The contest garnered 42 entries from the across the state (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 continuing this annual tradition.
Ol' Silo on Highway 45. Submitted by Tony Khalaf. Near Carmen, OK.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Physician Medical Directorship

From the November 2012 edition of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association's Oklahoma D.O., C. Michael Ogle, D.O. reviews the role of the physician medical director as it relates to rural emergency medical services (EMS).

Friday, October 19, 2012

OSU TeleHealth Network


The map below shows the service sites of the OSU TeleHealth Network. Click the image to open the map as a PDF document.



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

OSU COM Medical Students Visit Ardmore Middle School

Oklahoma State University College Of Medicine students Micah Relic, left and Aaron Relic, who are also husband and wife, speak to an Ardmore Middle School science class Thursday. The third-year medical students were encouraging the class to consider the medical or health field as a career. Oklahoma is currently experiencing a shortage of people in the field. Video courtesy of the Daily Ardmoreite.

Monday, August 20, 2012

OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine Rural Medical Education Training Sites, 2012

The map below shows the rural medical education training sites for 3rd and 4th year medical students at the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. Learn more about rural medical education at OSU.

Click the image to open the map as a PDF document.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Vouchers!!!

From the July/August 2012 edition of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association's Oklahoma D.O., Val Schott, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust (OHIET), provides an update on the Trust's activities.

Clicking the image will open the article as a PDF.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Analyzing the Affordable Care Act’s Impact on Rural Oklahoma

From the July/August 2012 edition of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association's Oklahoma D.O., Jeff Hackler, J.D., M.B.A. and Chad Landgraf, M.S., review the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare) on rural Oklahoma. The article is modeled after a similar report compiled by the Center for Rural Affairs.

Clicking the image to open the article as a PDF.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

2012 Joint Rural & Underserved Health Conference: Strengthening the Healthcare Safety Net for Rural & Underserved Oklahomans

The Oklahoma Primary Care Association, the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Office of Rural Health will convene the 2012 Joint Rural & Underserved Health Conference at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman, Oklahoma. The conference runs from September 19-21, 2012. Rural health leaders from across the nation and the state will be in attendance. A draft agenda can be downloaded here. The early bird registration discount ends September 8, 2012. The Embassy Suites in Norman is offering discounted room rates to conference attendees (subject to availability). Register as a conference participant here and book a room here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

OSU CHS Interdisciplinary Hospital Simulation Exercise Featured on OETA

William J. Pettit, D.O. and students in the OSU Center for Health Sciences’ new rural medical track discuss the impact of the new program while participating in an interdisciplinary hospital simulation with nursing students from Tulsa Technology Center and Tulsa Community College.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Success for Rural Health

The summer months are a time of great transition for every member of the OSU Center for Rural Health community. We are preparing to welcome the new class of students who are anxiously awaiting their first day of medical school, orienting those who are transitioning from one year to the next, and bidding our graduates farewell as they move into the next phase of their education. Our attention is ever focused on finding new ways to achieve higher levels of success within an expanding population. This inherent need to evolve and grow limits our ability to revel in the successes of times gone by. The proof of our success lies in the students who pass through our doors, who endure years of coursework and rotations, and who ultimately graduate and take their skills into the world. Robert K. Sammons, M.A., OSU Center for Rural Health Regional Coordinator in Enid, Oklahoma, profiles two recent graduates, Charity Holder, D.O. and Laura Fluke, D.O. His article explores their journey through medical school and their interest in rural health.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Moving On...

From the May 2012 edition of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association's Oklahoma D.O., William J. Pettit, D.O., Associate Dean for Rural Health at the OSU Center for Health Sciences, introduces the new Rural Medical Track (RMT) at the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. Beginning in the fall of 2012, the RMT is an elective curriculum that aims to increase the number of primary care physicians practicing in rural Oklahoma.

Clicking the image to open the article as a PDF.

Friday, May 18, 2012

OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2012 GME Training Locations

The interactive map below shows the graduate medical education (GME) training locations for the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2012. The symbols are scaled proportionate to the total number of graduates in each community. 

Of the 86 graduates in the class, 43 are entering primary care GME programs. Thirty-one graduates will enter Oklahoma-based primary care GME programs with five graduates matriculating to rural locations (Durant=1; Enid=1; Tahlequah=23; and Talihina=1). The Class of 2012 marks the sixth consecutive graduating class with at least 50% of its members entering primary care GME programs upon graduation. Learn more about the specialty choices of the graduates in each community by clicking on the symbols.

As for the 64 Oklahomans in the class, 40 will enter Oklahoma-based GME programs (with 24 choosing a primary care specialty).

GME training information was not available for five students.

View Larger Map



*This post was updated on May 23, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Health Information Technology in the United States: Driving Toward Delivery System Change, 2012

Published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this report provides a current assessment of EHR adoption in the United States. The report builds upon the Foundation's earlier report, Health Information Technology in the United States: The Information Base for Progress, issued in 2006.

Clicking the image will open the article as a PDF.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Primary Care HPSAs in Oklahoma: 2007 vs. 2012

The web mapping application below (click the image or this link to activate the map) allows you to view the change in primary care health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) in Oklahoma from 2007 to 2012. The portion of the map to the right of the red line shows the primary care HPSAs, by type, in April 2007. The portion of the map to the left of the red line shows the primary care HPSAs, by type, in January 2012. By adjusting the position of the red line, you can view how the primary care HPSAs changed from 2007 to 2012. The Map Legend drop down menu on each map provides a key to the different types of primary care HPSAs. The Health Resources & Services Administration provided the data for this map.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Keeping the Wolf at Bay

From the April 2012 edition of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association's Oklahoma D.O., Val Schott, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust (OHIET), provides an update on the Trust's activities for the past month.

Clicking the image will open the article as a PDF.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Creating a StORM at the OSU Center for Health Sciences is a Good Thing

From the April 2012 edition of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association's Oklahoma D.O., Vicky Pace, M.Ed., Director of Rural Medical Education at the OSU Center for Rural Health, chronicles the Student Osteopathic Rural Medical (StORM) Club at OSU CHS and how the club is helping to shape a new generation of rural physicians.

Clicking the image will open the article as a PDF.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Evidence-Based Heart Failure Quality Improvement Programs & Strategies for Critical Access Hospitals

This policy brief focuses on evidence-based heart failure Quality Improvement (QI) programs and strategies that are applicable to CAHs. The Flex Monitoring Team prepared this brief as part of a larger project whose purpose is 1) to identify successful evidencebased quality improvement (QI) programs and strategies related to acute myocardial infarction (AMI), pneumonia, heart failure and surgical care improvement that could be replicated in CAHs and 2) to disseminate information about these programs and strategies to State Flex Programs.

Download a copy of this policy brief from the Flex Monitoring Team.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Rural Health Option: Increasing Interest in Rural Primary Care Using an Innovative Elective Curriculum


OSU Center for Rural Health staff members Denna Wheeler, Ph.D., Director of Rural Research & Evaluation, and Vicky Pace, M.Ed., Director of Rural Medical Education, recently presented the results of a three-year program evaluation associated with the elective curriculum in rural health designed to promote student selection of primary care residencies and rural practice locations. The OSU Center for Rural Health developed the innovative two-semester rural health elective curriculum for 1st and 2nd year medical students at the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. Enrollment in the two elective courses, Perspectives in Rural Health and Rural Medical Care, grew faster than projected. Perspectives in Rural Health grew from 12 students in the spring 2009 to 20 students in spring 2010. Rural Medical Care began with 17 students in fall 2009 and had 32 students enrolled for fall 2011. Student course evaluations are consistently positive with 92% of students rating the Rural Medical Care course as 'Excellent' or 'Very Good' and 100% of the evaluations of the Perspectives in Rural Health were in the 'Excellent' or 'Very Good' categories. Six students from the 2011 graduating class completed the elective and 26 students are currently enrolled in the courses. Dr. Wheeler and Ms. Pace presented their research at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine's 2012 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Grants 101


Presentation given by Jeff Hackler, J.D., M.B.A., Assistant to the Dean for Rural Service Programs, at the 2012 Oklahoma Rural Hospital Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The complete conference agenda, including links to other presentations, is available on OFMQ's website. View photos from the conference on the OSU Center for Rural Health's Facebook page.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Critical Access Hospital Ethics Committee Resource Guide


From Dartmouth Medical School's Department of Community & Family Medicine:

Critical access hospitals (CAHs), like all hospitals, frequently encounter ethical challenges, ranging from individual patient care issues to much broader issues, including the economic survival of small rural health care facilities. One useful resource for addressing ethical issues that occur within a CAH is an ethics committee.

Unfortunately, for various reasons, ethics committees are less likely to exist in CAHs, compared to non-rural facilities. To address the need for the development of CAH ethics committees, and overcome the obstacles that may present themselves in this process, Drs. Nelson and Elliott have created the Critical Access Hospital Ethics Committee Resource Guide. The Guide will assist CAH leaders in developing an effective and useful resource for patients, clinicians and administrators in rural health care facilities. The Guide is based on the available research and real-life examples that highlight the challenging and all too familiar ethics conflicts common to rural settings. The Guide is also applicable for those CAHs that already have an ethics committee, but where the members and/or institutional leadership believe that the committee could enhance its effectiveness.

For more information or to download a copy of the resource guide, visit Dartmouth Medical School's Department of Community & Family Medicine website.

Adults with High Cholesterol, 2003 - 2009

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Unduplicated Medicaid Enrollment by County, SFY2011

The map below shows the unduplicated Medicaid enrollment (as a percentage of total population) by county for state fiscal year 2011. The overall enrollment rate for Oklahoma was 25.6%. Rural enrollment was 28.2% (see map of rural Oklahoma). Adair County had the highest enrollment at 43.9% and Osage County had the lowest at 15.1%. Regionally, southeast Oklahoma had the highest enrollment at 32.3%. The lowest regional enrollment was in northwest Oklahoma, including the Panhandle, at 21.3%. Northeast Oklahoma had an enrollment of 25.7% and the southwest region was at 24.7%.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Deaths Due to All Causes, 1999-2007

The map below shows the age-adjusted mortality rate from 1999-2007 by county. The overall  mortality rate for Oklahoma was 948.0 deaths per 100,000 population, with a rate of 965.9 deaths per 100,000 population for rural counties (see map of rural Oklahoma). Adair County had the highest rate at 1,119.8 deaths per 100,000 population and Alfalfa County had the lowest rate at 753.3 deaths per 100,000 population. Regionally, southeast Oklahoma had the highest rate at 1,007.9 deaths per 100,000 population. The lowest regional rate was in northwest Oklahoma, including the Panhandle, at 875.3 deaths per 100,000 population. Northeast Oklahoma had a rate of 946.6 deaths per 100,000 population and the southwest region had a rate of 949.3 deaths per 100,000 population. **Please note that the map below has been corrected. In an earlier post Payne County was incorrectly classified on the map. The new map below places Payne County in the correct category. We apologize for any confusion our error may have caused.***

OSU-CHS to Launch Integrated Rural Medical Track

The Oklahoma State University – Center for Health Sciences, through the OSU Center for Rural Health, is developing comprehensive, rural-specific curriculum that will focus on training a cohort of interested students for rural practice. The new curriculum, called the Rural Medical Track (RMT), will utilize a physiological systems-based approach that integrates biomedical and clinical concepts throughout the entire four-year curriculum. The introduction of the RMT will coincide with a school-wide effort to revise its general curriculum to integrate more biomedical and clinical content.

Published data indicates that the number of United States graduates entering family practice residency programs dropped by 50% between 1997 and 2005 (Bodenheimer, 2006). There is additional concern about where many of the primary care physicians are practicing. In Oklahoma, primary care physicians are concentrated around the Tulsa and Oklahoma City metropolitan areas; however, most Oklahoma counties are designated as Health Professional Shortage Areas and reflect few primary care physicians working in those counties. The RMT will address these barriers by developing and implementing an integrated curriculum to train rural, primary care physicians, with clinical rotations taking place predominantly in rural settings. There is strong evidence that training location and permanent practice location are highly correlated, which indicates that students who complete the majority of their clinical training in rural areas will remain there after graduation (Henry, Edwards, & Crotty, 2009).

Monday, March 5, 2012

Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust Update - March 2012

From the March 2012 edition of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association's Oklahoma D.O., Val Schott, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust (OHIET), provides an update on the Trust's activities for the past month.

Clicking the image will open the article as a PDF.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Do Physicians Have To Do It All?

From the March 2012 edition of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association's Oklahoma D.O., Richard Perry, MA, Director of the Oklahoma Area Health Education Centers (OKAHEC), explores how various community resources can assist physicians in the delivery of care.

Clicking the image will open the article as a PDF.