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.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sequoyah Memorial Hospital Receives Prestigious Award & $5000 Grant for Telemedicine Services

Recently, Sequoyah Memorial Hospital was honored to be selected as the 2011 Community Health Champion for the Champions of Health award system sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Hospital Association, Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Oklahoma State Department of Health, and the Oklahoma State Medical Association. The award system benefits the Oklahoma Caring Foundation which has as its mission “to support programs that provide Oklahomans access to preventive health services.” The Oklahoma Caring Foundation was created by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma in 1994 to offer needed health care services to Oklahomans.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oklahoma Health Professional Shortage Areas - Dental Care, November 2011

CMS Health Care Innovation Challenge

The Health Care Innovation Challenge will award up $1 billion in grants to applicants who will implement the most compelling new ideas to deliver better health, improved care and lower costs to people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP, particularly those with the highest health care needs.

The objectives of this initiative are to:
  • Engage a broad set of innovation partners to identify and test new care delivery and payment models that originate in the field and that produce better care, better health, and reduced cost through improvement for identified target populations.
  • Identify new models of workforce development and deployment and related training and education that support new models either directly or through new infrastructure activities.
  • Support innovators who can rapidly deploy care improvement models (within six months of award) through new ventures or expansion of existing efforts to new populations of patients, in conjunction (where possible) with other public and private sector partners.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

ICD-10 Implementation Resources

RolesThe American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) has developed a website to help organizations transition to ICD-10. The website contains tools and resources for physicians, healthcare provider organizations, health plans, academic institutions, and long-term care.

To view the AHIMA website, click here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

FTEs Needed to Remove Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Area Designation, November 2011

The map below shows the primary care health professional shortage areas in Oklahoma shaded according to FTEs needed to remove their primary care shortage designation (also known as the de-designation threshold). These values are calculated by HRSA. This map is for illustrative purposes only. For more information about HPSAs, visit the Health Resources and Services Administration website.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas by Priority Score, November 2011

The map below shows the primary care health professional shortage areas in Oklahoma shaded according to their priority score. HPSA Priority Scores are developed for use by the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) in determining priorities for assignment of clinicians. Scores range from 1 to 25 for primary care and mental health, 1 to 26 for dental. The higher the score, the greater the priority. All Federally Qualified Health Centers and those Rural Health Clinics that provide access to care regardless of ability to pay receive automatic facility HPSA designation. These facilities may have a HPSA score of 0. This map is for illustrative purposes only. For more information about HPSAs and priority scores, visit the Health Resources and Services Administration website.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Garfield County (Oklahoma) Medical Society Presentation

Presentation given by William J. Pettit, D.O., Associate Dean for Rural Health at the OSU Center for Health Sciences, to the Garfield County Medical Society in Enid, Oklahoma.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

OSU in Tulsa Lunch and Learn Spotlight Series Presentation

Presentation given by William J. Pettit, D.O., Associate Dean for Rural Health at the OSU Center for Health Sciences, as part of OSU in Tulsa's Lunch and Learn Spotlight Series.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rural Under Siege

From the October 2011 edition of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association's Oklahoma D.O., Val Schott, M.P.H., director of rural health policy and advocacy at the OSU Center for Rural Health and director of the Oklahoma Office of Rural Health, explores the salient policy and legislative issues facing the future of healthcare delivery in rural America.

Clicking the image will open the article as a PDF.

OHEC Meeting to Discuss How “Place” Impacts Your Health

The Oklahoma Health Equity Campaign (OHEC) partners will meet this month to screen and discuss part of the PBS documentary series “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?” with a focus on the segment “Place Matters”. The public is invited to attend and provide ideas on how to get involved in making changes to improve the health of families and local communities in Oklahoma. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. in Room 314 at the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 1000 N.E. 10th St. in Oklahoma City. Videoconference locations are available (See below).

OHEC Steering Committee Members Dan Schiedel and Richard Marshall will facilitate the discussion “Beyond Medical Care, Lifestyles and Genes.” Discussions encourage the community to get involved in developing and changing local policies, educational and community projects to improve life where they live, work and play.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Guest Post from the Student Osteopathic Rural Medicine (StORM) club at OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hi Ya’ll!

My name is Leslie Hardee, and I’m a second year osteopathic medical student (OMSII) at the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine this year. I am also the Student Osteopathic Rural Medicine (StORM) club Treasurer and the Student Osteopathic Medicine Association (SOMA) Rural Health Fair Chair for the 2011-2012 school year. I wanted to write a quick up-date to let everyone know how StORM has really been kickin’ up some dirt and getting our boots dirty this year!

To start with, we are really pleased to say that we had nearly the whole MSI (first year medical students) class join StORM this year! So, we’ve been busy recruiting this year. Also, to date we’ve already participated or hosted two Rural Health Fairs – one in Jay, Oklahoma at Farm Fest, and the other at the Creek County (Oklahoma) Fairgrounds during their annual Free Fair. We had a great time at both of these events!

In Jay, StORM teamed up with Association of Native American Medical Students (ANAMS), and handed out information about smoking, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, becoming more physically active, cancer, importance of sunscreen, and many other important topics. While there, we provided free health screenings that included blood pressure readings, pulse-oximetry, and height and weight measurements, and gave tours of our Telemedicine Bus. Although this was a small event, we had the privilege of serving almost 40 Jay residents. The chili judgin’ contest was also lots of fun, and very tasty!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program Grants Due November 22, 2011

The Office of Rural Health Policy's (ORHP) Outreach Program supports projects that demonstrate effective models of outreach and service delivery through collaboration, adoption of an evidence-based or promising practice model, demonstration of health outcomes, replicability and sustainability. Proposed projects will have an outcomes-oriented approach that will enhance and sustain the delivery of effective health care in rural communities by tracking specific health indicators that will demonstrate the impact of their project at the end of their grant period. They will be based on evidence-based or promising practice models in order to avoid "reinventing the wheel" and demonstrate health status improvement in rural communities. Proposed Outreach projects can take the framework of an evidence-based or promising practice model and tailor it to their community's need and organization.

Applicants may propose funding for up to three (3) years from May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2015. The maximum award is up to $150,000 per year. ORHP expects to fund approximately 80 grantees.

Friday, September 30, 2011

NHSC Corps Community Day to be held on October 13, 2011 as part of the 13th annual National Primary Care Week

Join the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) for the first Corps Community Day on October 13, 2011, during the 13th annual National Primary Care Week. NHSC is conducting a variety of events and activities nationwide on this day in an effort to recruit additional committed health professionals to serve communities in need and to strengthen the public’s understanding of the importance of access to primary care.  For more information about the NHSC and Corps Community Day, please visit their website.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Top Ten Current Practice Locations of Graduates from all Oklahoma Medical Schools

Currently, there are 8,165 active physicians in the United States that graduated from a medical school located in Oklahoma. While Oklahoma has managed to retain 3,869 (~47%) of those graduates, the remaining 4,296 (~53%) are practicing in another state or territory. These data include all physicians regardless of their current nature of practice (office-based, hospital staff, research, etc.) or current training status (residency, fellowship, etc.).

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Efficacy of Telemedicine in the Provision of Mental Health Services to Rural Areas: A Systematic Review of Literature

Although the prevalence rates of mental illness are similar in rural and urban areas, rural residents often underutilize mental health services and/or delay treatment. The lack of access to mental health services faced by many rural families has led both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association to identify mental health as a top rural health concern and to further identify telemedicine as a potentially effective way to deliver services. The research on telemedicine applications is growing rapidly and there are now a number of recently published clinical trials that compare the outcomes of face-to-face treatment with tele-therapy. The purpose of this session is to present the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that will shed light on the question; Is telemedicine as effective as face-to-face interventions for the delivery of mental health services to rural Oklahomans?

View the presentation given Denna L. Wheeler, Ph.D., at the 2011 Rural Health Association of Oklahoma Annual Meeting in Norman, Oklahoma that begins to answer this important and timely question.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Oklahoma House and Senate Joint Health Care Committee Launches Website

The Oklahoma House and Senate Joint Health Care Committee recently launched a new website that allows citizens to follow the proceeding of the committee. Included on the website are video archives of the committee's various meetings and a schedule of future meetings. The committee was established to explore the mandates of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the level of flexibility Oklahoma has a state. The goal of the committee is to preserve the private health care system in Oklahoma and to protect the rights of Oklahoma citizens, while exploring all of the state's options concerning federal law. Visit the website.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Practice Locations of Active Dentists in Oklahoma, September 2011

The map below shows the practice locations of active dentists in Oklahoma as of September 2011. The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry supplied the data. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

National Health Service Corps Adds CAHs as Eligible Sites

The National Health Service Corps recently expanded eligibility for the National Health Service Corps loan repayment program so that Critical Access Hospitals can use these loans to recruit new physicians. This program will help more than 1,300 CAHs across the country recruit needed staff.  To be approved, CAH sites must:
  • Meet all NHSC site eligibility requirements;
  • Demonstrate affiliation (either through direct ownership or affiliation agreements) with an outpatient, ambulatory care clinic; and
  • Demonstrate that it provides comprehensive primary care and related inpatient services.
The NHSC will hosting a webinar to provide CAHs with detailed information about its change in policy, the NHSC, and the site application process.  The webinar will also provide CAH staff with an opportunity to ask questions about the program. The webinar will be hosted on two dates, so please plan to attend one of the following sessions:

Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Time: 10 am-11 am ET
Phone Number: 1-888-790-2045
Passcode: 22277


Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Time: 2 pm-3 pm ET
Phone Number: 1-888-396-9931
Passcode: 44466

For more information on the physician loan repayment program for CAHs, please see this handout from the National Health Service Corps.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

FTEs Needed to Remove Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Area Designation, August 2011

The map below shows the primary care health professional shortage areas in Oklahoma shaded according to FTEs needed to remove their primary care shortage designation (also known as the de-designation threshold). These values are calculated by HRSA. This map is for illustrative purposes only. For more information about HPSAs, visit the Health Resources and Services Administration website.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas by Priority Score, August 2011

The map below shows the primary care health professional shortage areas in Oklahoma shaded according to their priority score.  HPSA Priority Scores are developed for use by the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) in determining priorities for assignment of clinicians. Scores range from 1 to 25 for primary care and mental health, 1 to 26 for dental.  The higher the score, the greater the priority. All Federally Qualified Health Centers and those Rural Health Clinics that provide access to care regardless of ability to pay receive automatic facility HPSA  designation. These facilities may have a HPSA score of 0. This map is for illustrative purposes only. For more information about HPSAs and priority scores, visit the Health Resources and Services Administration website.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Community Health Needs Assessment

The Oklahoma Office of Rural Health (OORH) at the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Health Sciences and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service at OSU Stillwater have collaborated for more than seventeen years to provide a Community Health Engagement Process (CHEP) in rural towns.[1] The CHEP has been a popular program since its inception, with more than 60 communities across the state having completed the process (some more than once). The overall goal of the process was to create awareness of the local health sector, identify new services, and link local residents to local health services. Completing the CHEP took about four to six months with a total of five to seven meetings. The process resulted in the following deliverables:
  1. An analysis of the economic impact of the local health sector that quantifies the impact of the health sector; 
  2. A health services directory that lists current services and providers;
  3. A survey of local residents on their usage of health services and what additional services they would like to see offered; and 
  4. A county-specific data and information report that includes economic, health and behavioral, education, crime, and traffic data.

    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    Agenda for the 20th Annual Rural Health Association of Oklahoma Conference

    The Rural Health Association of Oklahoma, Inc. will hold its 20th annual fall conference at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman, Oklahoma. The conference runs from September 19-21, 2011. Rural health leaders from across the nation and the state will be in attendance. Oklahoma's own Paul Moore, PharmD of the Office of Rural Health Policy is scheduled to give the keynote address. Oklahoma State Representative Scott Martin is scheduled to provide a legislative update, followed by a presentation from Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak regarding the impact of Health Care Reform on rural Oklahoma. The complete agenda can be downloaded here. The early bird registration discount ends September 8, 2011 as do discounted room rates at the Embassy Suites in Norman (subject to availability). Register as a conference participant here and book a room here.

    Learn more about the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma,Inc. by visiting their website.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2015 Hometowns

    The interactive map below shows the self-reported hometowns for medical students in the Class of 2015 enrolled at the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. The symbols are scaled proportionate to the total number of students from each community. By clicking on a symbol, you can access a pop-up menu that lists the community and number of students. The zoom tools allow you to focus on a particular region.

    Of the 104 students in the class, 86 list Oklahoma hometowns, 15 list hometowns in other U.S. states (Texas=6; Arkansas=2; one each from California; Kansas, Louisiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Utah, & Virginia), and 3 students report international hometowns (one each from Cameroon, India, and South Korea).

    View Larger Map

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Debt Burden of U.S. Medical School Graduates, 2003 to 2011

    The chart below shows all educational debt of U.S. medical school graduates from 2003 through 2011. The bars show the distribution of debt in $49,000 increments. While the proportion of students with no educational debt declined over the period (16.9% in 2003 to 14.9% in 2011), the proportion of medical students with over $200,000 of educational debt increased from 6.3% in 2003 to 28.1% in 2011. The red and green lines show the average educational debt of all medical students and the average debt of indebted medical students, respectively. The average debt of all medical students increased from $91,000 in 2003 to $118,000 in 2011. For indebted students the average debt load increased from $109,000 in 2003 to $161,000 in 2011. The data used to construct this chart is collected as part of the Association of American Medical College's (AAMC) annual Graduate Questionnaire (GQ).

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Jobs and Economic Security for Rural America

    The Jobs and Economic Security for Rural America  report, focuses on 5 critical areas:

    1. Creating jobs & promoting economic growth;
    2. Improving access to quality health care & education;
    3. Fostering innovation;
    4. Expanding outdoor opportunities; and
    5. Supporting veterans and military families

    Moving forward, the information included in the report on the specific needs as well as unique opportunities found within rural America, will guide the Rural Council as we work to drive job growth and tackle some of the toughest challenges facing our rural communities.

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    $10,000 in Prizes Available to Osteopathic Medical Students, Interns, and Residents through the AOA’s Annual Essay Contest

    To encourage osteopathic medical students, interns and residents to study their profession’s past struggles and achievements, the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic History and Identity is conducting its seventh annual history essay competition. The deadline for submitting essays is Monday, October 3, 2011.

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Understanding Local and Community Health through Public Data

    From the July/August 2011 edition of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association's Oklahoma D.O., Jeff Hackler, J.D., M.B.A., director of grants and research at the OSU Center for Rural Health, explores public data sources that can be used to help understand local and community health.  Clicking the image will open the article as a PDF.

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    Drumright Regional Hospital Featured in Becker's Hospital Review

    Since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 first outlined the incentives providers would be able to receive for "meaningful use" of certified electronic health record technology, hospitals, physicians and other healthcare organizations have been gearing up and trying to figure out what the law will mean for them.

    Those that are farthest along in the journey toward meaningful use are not necessarily the usual suspects like large integrated systems. Just ask Darrel Morris, the CEO of Drumright Regional Hospital, 40 miles west of Tulsa, Okla. Drumright is proof that even a small, rural critical access hospital can take the lead in implementing meaningful healthcare information technology improvements.

    OSU College of Osteopathic Alumni Currently Practicing In Oklahoma, Graduating Classes 1977 - 2010

    The bar chart below shows the proportion, by graduating class, of OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine graduates currently practicing in Oklahoma. The average rate for physicians graduating in the 1970s is 47%, followed by 46% for graduates from the 1980s, 55% for 1990s graduates, and 60% for those graduating in the 2000s. The rate for 2010 graduates is 64%.

    Data source is the American Osteopathic Association's Physician Masterfile. 

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Modernizing Rural Health Care: Coverage, Quality & Innovation

    A new report from the UnitedHealth Group examines the distinctive health needs of America's rural population, and how well  the health care system is currently able to respond. The report presents new data on rural care quality; on the views of people living in rural areas; and what their physicians see as the major challenges to overcome.  Select this link or click the image to view the entire report.

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    Cauthron Completes Externship for Rural Health Option program

    Staff Reports
    Claremore Progress

    CLAREMORE — Holly Cauthron is a second year medical student at Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.  She is a graduate of Broken Arrow High School, Southern Nazarene University, and Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.

    Holly recently completed a three week Summer Rural Externship at OMNI Medical Group, where she worked under Dr. Gary Steinbrook.  She chose to complete this program to learn more about rural practice in Oklahoma and as a requirement for the Rural Health Option program.

    Holly plans on practicing in a rural area after graduation and completion of residency.

    The Summer Rural Externship Program is coordinated by the Oklahoma Area Health Education Center (OKAHEC), a division of the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Rural Health. OKAHEC is a community-state-federal partnership established in 1984 at the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.

    The distributed offices of OKAHEC, located in the four quadrants of the state, facilitate a regional approach to multidisciplinary and community-based health professional recruitment, education, and training.

    OKAHEC’s central goal is to improve access to health care by improving the quality, distribution, and supply of primary care providers in rural and underserved communities, and to reduce disparities in access to health care between Oklahoma’s rural and urban populations. More information about OKAHEC is available at

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    CMS Releases Answers to FAQ for the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted on its website answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs. The FAQs include questions such as:
    • For the 2011 payment year, how and when will incentive payments be made?
    • What cost report data elements are used in the EHR incentive payment calculation for Medicare Subsection (d) Hospitals?
    • How are Medicare EHR Incentive Payments Calculated for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)? 
    • What costs can be included in the Critical Access Hospital’s Medicare EHR incentive payment?
    • To meet the meaningful use objective “capability to exchange key clinical information” for the EHR Incentive Programs, can different providers of care share EHR technology and successfully meet this objective?

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    OSU Center for Health Sciences Rural Health Training Sites, 2011

    The map below shows the rural clinical rotation sites available to medical students at the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.  These sites are critical components of the school's mission to educate and train primary care physicians for rural Oklahoma. Every medical student at the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine is required to complete 4 months of rural clinical rotations prior to graduation. Click here for more information about rural medical education at OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Smoking Prevalence Among Oklahomans, 2003 - 2009

    Daniel Kraft: Medicine's future? There's an app for that

    At TEDxMaastricht, Daniel Kraft offers a fast-paced look at the next few years of innovations in medicine, powered by new tools, tests and apps that bring diagnostic information right to the patient's bedside.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Smoking Prevalence Among Females in Oklahoma, 2003 - 2009

    Medical Summer Camp Gives Students Hands-on Experience

    Tulsa World
    By SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
    Published: 6/22/2011  2:22 AM
    Last Modified: 6/22/2011  2:34 AM

    It's one thing for a student to be told how to treat and dress a wound. It's another for the student to practice it hands-on, complete with fake blood.

    High school students from across the state have been studying math and science this month by learning how they are applied when working in the health-care field.

    The five-day summer camp is hosted by Tulsa Community College's Area Health Education Center and is serving about 50 students who went through an application process. It is funded through a grant from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

    At the end of the camp, which is free to attend, the students get a $150 stipend.

    "They're learning that math and science are crucial," said Pat Turner, director of the Area Health Education Center.

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Osteopathic Graduate Medical Education Training Programs in Oklahoma, 2011

    The map above shows the locations of osteopathic graduate medical education programs in Oklahoma as of June 2011.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Change in Female Life Expectancy by County, 1987-2007

    Data published by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation shows that the life expectancy of females living in Oklahoma decreased by 0.6 years between 1987 and 2007. The map above shows the life expectancy change over the same period by county. Mayes County recorded the largest increase in life expectancy for females at 1.5 years while Beckham County recorded a decrease of 1.3 years.Change in Female Life Expectancy by County, 1987-2007

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Jeff Hackler among “The Tulsa 40”

    Jeff Hackler

    Tulsa, Okla. – Jeff Hackler, J.D., M.B.A., director of Rural Grants and Research for the Center for Rural Health at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, is among the Tulsa Business Journal’s The Tulsa 40 honorees.

    The Tulsa 40 is the business-to-business newspaper’s annual effort to recognize outstanding up-and-coming professionals in the Tulsa area. A luncheon for honorees is from noon to 1:30 p.m. June 7 at the Hyatt Regency Tulsa.

    Hackler is recognized for his work in support of the OSU Center for Rural Health mission to improve healthcare for rural Oklahoma.

    He is active in the Tulsa Area United Way, the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Area Health Education Center and the Oklahoma Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center
    Hackler is a Tulsa native. He earned a degree in Economics from Tulane University. He earned a Juris Doctorate and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma. He joined OSU in 2002. 

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    OKAHEC Saved by Oklahoma State Legislature

    On the last day of the legislative session, the Oklahoma state legislature approved state funding for the Oklahoma Area Health Education Centers (OKAHEC) to help it maintain its operations for at least one more year. Last year, OKAHEC lost all of its state appropriated funding from the legislature, which threatened to close OKAHEC offices. The loss of state-appropriated funding last year also endangered OKAHEC's ability to accept federal grant funding for its program because it would not be able to satisfy the requirement to provide state matching funds. The Oklahoma State University - Center for Health Sciences (OSU-CHS) was able to provide interim funding for OKAHEC out of its own budget last year to help OKAHEC continue services for one year and satisfy its state match. This year's arrangement with the Oklahoma State Legislature and OSU-CHS will ensure that OKAHEC has one more year to secure more permanent funding from the state.

    Richard Perry, Director of the OKAHEC Program, thanked legislators and the Rural Caucus, in particular, for coming up with a novel solution for ensuring that OKAHEC could remain open.  Mr. Perry also expressed his gratitude to supporters who contacted state legislators and the Governor and praised the leadership of OSU-CHS who worked with the legislature to make funding possible. After learning that OKAHEC would be able to continue without closing any regional centers, Mr. Perry stated "We look forward to working closely with OSU-CHS and the OSU Center for Rural Health to encourage and assist the youth of Oklahoma, especially rural, minority, and disadvantaged students, to choose a health career, stay in school, and return 'home' as health professionals to serve Oklahomans."

    For more information on how the state legislature and OSU-CHS saved OKAHEC in the waning hours of its regular session, please see the article, Two State Health Education Centers Will Remain Open, which appeared in the Enid News and Eagle on May 26, 2011.  For more information on OKAHEC and its programming, please visit the OKAHEC website.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    First OSU-COM Medical Students Graduate with Rural Health Option

    The Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Rural Health at the OSU - Center for Health Sciences is proud to announce its first graduates from the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) to have Rural Health Option noted on their transcripts.  The six students are Lori Arney, Kara Beair, Amanda Bighorse, Beth Hites, Joanna Reusser, and Krystal Vonfeldt. 

    The Rural Health Option is a specialized course of medical education designed to provide training specific to rural, primary care practice.  The evidence-based course of study was developed with the following goals: 
    1.     Attract students from rural;
    2.     Provide rural-specific training;
    3.     Provide as much training as possible in the rural areas where they expect to practice; and
    4.     Support students with a group of rural peers and mentors.

    OSU Branding Success Campaign - Rural Health Scholarship Impact

    Kara Beair, D.O. addresses faculty and staff at OSU Center for Health Sciences, regarding the Branding Success Campaign. Dr. Beair, a recent graduate of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, explains how scholarships have impacted her life.

    2011 OSU CHS Rural Health Awards

    William J. Pettit, D.O., Associate Dean for Rural Health, honors the inaugural "Rural Health Option" class at the 2011 OSU CHS Graduation Awards Banquet.

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Two State Health Education Centers will Remain Open

    By Joe Malan, Staff WriterEnid News and Eagle

    ENID — Oklahoma Area Health Education Centers will not have to close its two southern offices after all.

    OKAHEC has secured $360,000 in
    funding for the upcoming fiscal year, said Andy Fosmire, director of Rural Health Projects and NWAHEC. Obtaining the funding means SWAHEC in Lawton and SEAHEC in Poteau will remain open.

    The money OKAHEC is receiving is coming from Oklahoma State University Medical School in Tulsa. The school agreed to give OKAHEC $360,000 in exchange for getting that amount back in the upcoming fiscal year.

    “We’re going to stay whole,” Fosmire said. “The centers will be able to remain open.”

    Last week, OKAHEC asked the Legislature for $360,000, after previously asking for more than double that amount.

    At the end of the legislative session last week, senators and other legislators went to Sen. David Myers, chairman of the senate appropriations committee, and asked to find a solution in order to fund OKAHEC, Fosmire said.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    More Primary Care Tied to Lower Death Rates

    Seniors living in areas with more primary care have slightly lower death rates and are less likely to end up in the hospital with a preventable disease, U.S. researchers have found.

    In contrast to some earlier studies, which have yielded mixed results, the new work looked at how much primary care was actually delivered to patients -- not just how many primary care physicians were in a certain area.

    "The magic is not in how many primary care physicians there are, it is what they do," said Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Primary Care Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, who was not involved in the study.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Partnering Urban Academic Medical Centers And Rural Primary Care Clinicians To Provide Complex Chronic Disease Care

    Many of the estimated thirty-two million Americans expected to gain coverage under the Affordable Care Act are likely to have high levels of unmet need because of various chronic illnesses and to live in areas that are already underserved. In New Mexico an innovative new model of health care education and delivery known as Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) provides high-quality primary and specialty care to a comparable population. Using state-of-the-art telehealth technology and case-based learning, Project ECHO enables specialists at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center to partner with primary care clinicians in underserved areas to deliver complex specialty care to patients with hepatitis C, asthma, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, pediatric obesity, chronic pain, substance use disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular conditions, and mental illness. As of March 2011, 298 Project ECHO teams across New Mexico have collaborated on more than 10,000 specialty care consultations for hepatitis C and other chronic diseases.  From the May 2011 issue of Health Affairs

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    2011 John Conley Ethics Essay Contest for Medical Students

    Each spring, Virtual Mentor poses a question in medical ethics or professionalism as the topic for that year's ethics essay contest. All current U.S. medical students (MD and DO) are invited to submit essays of up to 2,000 words in response to the question. Essays are judged on clarity of presentation, writing style, and applicability of the argument to actual decision making. The author of the best essay receives an award of $5,000, and, when more than one exceptional entry is received, authors of up to three runner-up essays receive $1,000 prizes. Students are encouraged to use some of the funds to attend an ethics conference of their choice. Winning essays are published in Virtual Mentor.

    Trying to stay running: OKAHEC asks for $360,000 in funding

    ENID — After asking for a $693,000 line item in a budget limitation bill earlier this month, Oklahoma Area Health Education Centers now is asking for half that amount in an effort to keep state AHEC locations running.

    In order to prevent OKAHEC from shutting down its southwest and southeast offices, it has reduced its request from $693,000 to about $360,000.

    OKAHEC currently has about $330,000 in private donations to work with for fiscal year 2011-12. If the organization secures the $360,000 it is requesting, the federal government would match that by an approximate 2:1 ratio.

    In the worst-case scenario, if OKAHEC wasn’t able to get state and federal money, SWAHEC in Lawton and SEAHEC Poteau would be closed, and although NWAHEC in Enid and NEAHEC in Tulsa would remain open, the ability to help recruit doctors to rural areas would be significantly diminished, said Andy Fosmire, executive director of Rural Health Projects and NWAHEC.

    2011 FLEX Coordinator Manual

    The 2011 Flex Coordinator Manual is a manual for those intimately involved with the Flex Program. We hope this document is useful both as a resource for current Flex Program staff and as an orientation manual for new staff.  Courtesy of the National Rural Health Resource Center.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Medicare Shared Savings Program and Rural Providers

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recognizes the unique needs and challenges of rural communities and the importance of rural providers in assuring access to health care. Critical access hospitals (CAHs), federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), and rural health clinics (RHCs) play an important role in the nation’s health care delivery system by serving as safety net providers of primary care and other health care services in rural and other underserved areas and for low-income beneficiaries. On March 31, 2011, CMS released proposed new rules to help doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers better coordinate care for Medicare patients through Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The proposed rule includes four specific provisions designed to increase rural participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program).

    The Evolving Landscape of American Medical Education 100 years after the Flexner Report: Perspectives on Spatial Trends Past, Present, and Future

    View the poster that Chad Landgraf, M.S. presented at the 2011 National Rural Health Association Annual Conference.

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2011 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 2011. The symbols are scaled proportionate to the total number of graduates in each community and shaded according to the number of graduates training in primary care specialties (orange) or non-primary care specialties (blue) or unknown (green).

    Of the 86 graduates in the class, 51 are entering primary care GME programs. Thirty seven graduates will enter Oklahoma-based primary care GME programs with 9 graduates matriculating to rural locations (Durant=4; Enid=2; and Tahlequah=3). The Class of 2011 marks the fifth consecutive graduating class with more than 50% of its members entering primary care GME programs upon graduation.

    As for the 65 Oklahomans in the Class of 2011, 47 will enter Oklahoma-based GME programs (with 33 choosing primary care).

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    A Better Way to Teach?

    A new study published in ScienceNOW shows that students learn much better through an active, iterative process that involves working through their misconceptions with fellow students and getting immediate feedback from the instructor.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    MyHealth Access Network Provider Summit 2011

    On Friday, May 13th, MyHealth Access Network (formerly Greater THAN) will be unveiling the tools your practice will need to connect with your colleagues and patients and meet Meaningful Use requirements, with the help of some very distinguished national speakers. Dr. Mark McClellan, former director of CMS and the FDA will kick off the event by describing the ways that MyHealth will help your practice to respond successfully to the many health policy changes that have occurred recently. Dr. David Eddy, a founder of the healthcare quality movement, will demonstrate individualized guidelines tailored to each patient, ensuring that we treat the right patients at the right time. Click here to see the full agenda.

    OKAHEC May Lose Funding

    Oklahoma Area Health Education Centers is in danger of not receiving any funds from the state for the second year in a row.

    If that happens, the organization will have to slash some of its programs, its national president said.

    Andy Fosmire, executive director of Rural Health Projects and Northwest Oklahoma AHEC and president of the national AHEC, sent out an e-mail Monday stating the organization is requesting a budget limitation bill with a line item of $693,000 in the state Health Department’s budget appropriation. The amount is the same level of funding the organization had in 2009-10.

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Snapshots: Health Care Spending in the United States & Selected OECD Countries - Kaiser Family Foundation

    Health spending is rising faster than incomes in most developed countries, which raises questions about how countries will pay for their future health care needs. The issue is particularly acute in the United States, which not only spends much more per capita on health care, but also has had one of the highest spending growth rates. Both public and private health expenditures are growing at rates which outpace comparable countries. Despite this higher level of spending, the United States does not achieve better outcomes on many important health measures. This paper uses information from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to compare the level and growth rate of health care spending in the United States to those of other OECD countries.

    Rural Health Information Technology Network Development (RHITND) Program

    The purpose of the RHITND Program is to expand access to, coordinate and improve the quality of essential health care services, and enhance the delivery of health care in rural areas. The program will support rural providers who work in formal networks, alliances, coalitions or partnerships in their effort to effectively acheive "meaningful use" requirements. Funds provided through this program are not used for direct delivery of services. Upon completion of the grant program, a network should have completed a thorough strategic planning process, business planning process, and have a sounds strategy in place for sustaining its operations. Applications are due May 27, 2011.

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    The Opportunities and Challenges for Rural Hospitals in an Era of Health Reform

    Rural hospitals are a vital yet vulnerable component of the American health care system. They provide their patients with the highest quality of care while simultaneously tackling challenges due to their often remote geographic location, small size, limited workforce, and constrained financial resources. Courtesy of the American Hospital  Association.  Download the brief here and a MS PowerPoint "chartpack" here.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    New Directions in Medical Liability Reform

    This study in the New England Journal of Medicine reviews what is known about the effectiveness of various strategies for liability reform and the implications for the future direction of reform.

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Regina Holliday's Medical Advocacy Blog

    Regina Holliday, patient rights art advocate and keynote speaker at the 2011 Oklahoma Rural Hospital Conference, discusses the role of the patient in relation to quality and health information technology.  Regina discusses her trip to Oklahoma and a painting she drew while attending the conference in this entry in her blog.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Health Information Technology in Support of Patient-Centered Medical Homes Is Low among Non-metropolitan Family Medicine Practices

    This rural health policy brief from the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis finds that the use of HIT applications that support patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) is low among family medicine practices; non-metropolitan physician practices are less likely than metropolitan practices to be using HIT applications that support PCMHs, and that current use of electronic information is predominantly for administrative purposes, not patient care.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Health Resources County Comparison Tool

    Provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Health Resources Comparison Tool allows users to access an array of health and socioeconomic data for every county in the U.S. Further, the tool permits a simultaneous comparison among four different counties and generates a list of "peer counties" which have similar data profiles.

    2011 State Physician Workforce Data Release

    The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) published its 2011 State Physician Workforce Data Release.  In the release, the AAMC reports that Oklahoma ranks 45th in the country for its rate of active physicians per 100,000 population.  Without Oklahoma's extremely high rate of active osteopathic physicians per 100,000 population (3rd in the nation), Oklahoma would have ranked last in the country for active physicians per 100,000 population.

    Presentations & Handouts from the 9th Annual Oklahoma Rural Hospital Conference

    Download copies of the presentations and handouts from the 9th Annual Oklahoma Rural Hospital Conference held in Oklahoma City (April 11-13, 2011). Courtesy of the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality (OFMQ).

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Reducing Hospital Readmissions - Lessons from Top-Performing Hospitals

    The Commonwealth Fund has published four case studies on hospitals that have been successful at reducing hospital readmissions.  Review these case studies from the Commonwealth Fund's health care quality improvement website, "Why Not The Best," to learn how your hospital can reduce readmission rates.

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Place­based Policies and Public Health: The Road to Healthy Rural People and Places

    Effective place-based policies can influence how rural and metropolitan areas develop, how well they function as places to live, work, operate a business, preserve heritage, and more. Properly  designed public policies can integrate federal programs and contribute to the prosperity, equity, sustainability, and livability of places. Published by RUPRI.

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Changes in Obstetrical Services among Critical Access Hospitals

    Obstetrical services are important health services to communities. Previous surveys by the Flex Monitoring Team have found that obstetrical services are a line of service commonly discontinued by Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). Furthermore, in a recent survey of financial improvement strategies, administrators of CAHs reported “increasing OB beds” as having a negative impact on financial performance.

    Thursday, March 31, 2011

    Evaluating the Medicare Pilot Programs: Comparing ACOs and Bundled Payments

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act health reform legislation created several new types of provider arrangements that many hospitals and physician groups are evaluating. These organizational structures are intended to enhance the ability of hospitals, physicians and other types of providers to work together to enhance quality and reduce costs.

    Crossroads: A Documentary Film About Rural Health Care In America

    Healthcare is one of the paramount concerns of our times. Providing all Americans with access to quality healthcare is one of the most complicated social policy issues faced by our nation.  The unfortunate truth is not all Americans have access to basic care.  In the United States, the divide is not just between rich and poor or the insured and uninsured. It is also about where you live –- in an urban or rural area. No place on earth exemplifies this fact more starkly than the poverty stricken areas of the Mississippi Delta.  Vision Project’s documentary follows the doctors, nurses, community organizers and patients who are part of an innovative and well-planned healthcare network. Instead of focusing on the difficulty of the situation, they have chosen to focus on a solution.

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    OSU CHS Ranked #19 in Rural Medicine According to US News & World Report

    US News & World Report released its annual medical school rankings, and OSU CHS is ranked #19 in rural medicine (tied with A.T. Still University of Health Sciences and the University of Missouri). Please note that a subscription is required to view the rankings.

    2011 County Health Rankings - Oklahoma

    The County Health Rankings show us that where we live matters to our health. The health of a community depends on many different factors – ranging from individual health behaviors, education and jobs, to quality of health care, to the environment. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is collaborating with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute to develop these rankings for each state’s counties.

    Physicians Strengthen Oklahoma’s Economy

    Oklahoma’s office-based physicians ensure the health and well-being of their communities. A recent report by The Lewin Group proves they also strengthen Oklahoma’s economy by creating jobs (35,000), purchasing goods and services ($7.5 billion economic impact or 4.9% of state GDP),

    HRSA in Your State

    Find real time data and information about HRSA funded programs in Oklahoma and other states.

    Implementing the Medicaid Primary Care Rate Increase: A Roadmap for States

    The roadmap can help states: (1) understand critical parameters of the increase; (2) identify the operational steps to prepare for and implement the increase and apply for the federal match; and (3) identify potential levers to enhance primary care access and quality. The roadmap is a product of Increasing Primary Care Rates, Maximizing Medicaid Access and Quality, a CHCS initiative made possible through The Commonwealth Fund. CHCS is working with Medicaid stakeholders, including the Medicaid agencies, health plans, physician organizations, and health policy experts, to maximize the long-term impact of the primary care rate increase on health care quality and access.

    Medicare Physician Compare

    Find physicians and other healthcare professionals in your area that accept Medicare.

    Call for Proposals: Health Impact Project - Advancing Smarter Policies for Healthier Communities

    The Health Impact Project: Advancing Smarter Policies for Healthier Communities, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, encourages the use of health impact assessment (HIA) to help decision-makers identify the potential health effects of proposed policies, projects and programs, and make recommendations that enhance their health benefits and minimize their adverse effects and associated costs. This CFP will support organizations that wish to undertake an HIA of a proposed policy, project or program currently or soon to be under active consideration by a decision-making body. The CFPs are due June 1, 2011.

    Student scholarship opportunities available for NRHA's Annual Conference

    The leadership of the Rural Training Track Technical Assistance Program, a cooperative agreement between NRHA and HHS Office of Rural Health Policy, is offering a funding opportunity for current medical students interested in practicing in rural America. As a condition of this scholarship

    Oklahoma Critical Access Hospitals and SHIP Grantees, August 2010

    Map showing critical access hospitals (CAH) in Oklahoma and those hospitals receiving funds through the small hospital improvement program (SHIP).

    Quick Reference Grids to Navigating the Meaningful Use and Standards and Certification Criteria Final Rules

    Three quick reference "grids" developed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to help guide the implementation of meaningful use. The "EH & CAH/Inpatient Setting Only Grid" is particularly useful for critical access hospital administrators.

    Evaluation of the Flexibility Critical Access Hospital Health Information Technology Network Implementation Program

    This evaluation assessed the 16 Flex CAH HIT grantees’ ability to design, create, and implement functioning CAH HIT pilot networks that help improve coordination of care for the rural population served by the participating CAH(s).

    Registration Open is Open for Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program

    The official web site for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and CAHs as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. Participate early to get the maximum incentive payments!

    Critical Access Hospital Replacement Resources

    A HRSA maintained website that provides resources for critical access hospital (CAH) replacement, including a replacement process roadmap, a replacement process manual, and an example of a typical CAH.

    Meaningful Use and Critical Access Hospitals: A Primer on HIT Adoption in the Rural Health Care Setting

    This Primer provides critical access hospitals (CAHs) with an introduction on a broad spectrum of HIT adoption issues and considerations, in addition to identifying open-ended questions that can help CAHs further define their own roadmap for adoption.

    Share Medical Center CEO Tells of Changes

    From the Alva Review-Courier, this article profiles the new CEO of the Share Medical Center in Alva, Oklahoma and details the hospital's efforts to gain critical access status.

    CMS Delays Enforcement of Supervision Requirements of Therapeutic Services in Critical Access Hospitals

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has decided to delay enforcement of the physician supervision requirements of therapeutic services provided to outpatients in critical access hospitals. CMS will not enforce the supervision requirements for all of CY 2010.