West Virginia Rural Health Awards 2017 – Nomination Form

The West Virginia Rural Health Association celebrates the accomplishments of outstanding individuals and organizations in the field of rural health, through the presentation of the West Virginia Rural Health Awards each year.

Recipients are chosen through a nomination process, and the winners are announced on Oct. 12 during the annual West Virginia Rural Health Conference at Canaan Valley Resort, Davis.

To nominate a person or organization for a West Virginia Rural Health Award, fill out the form below.
The deadline for nominations is Monday, Aug. 28.

These awards are granted to individuals or organizations deserving of recognition for their rural health efforts in West Virginia.

In addition, the awards may be granted to an individual in a non-health related position, who has carried out exemplary work in promoting health in rural areas; i.e., a physical education teacher who has adopted a unique approach to addressing physical inactivity within their classroom; a minister or faith-based person leading a healthy lifestyle program with a rural congregation; or a private entrepreneur who developed a unique software/app to impact healthy behaviors.

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Nominations are accepted in 3 categories:

WV Rural Health Association Award for Excellence in Rural Health

This award is given to an individual or organization in recognition of exceptionally meritorious contributions to the improvement of health to the people in rural West Virginia. It honors creative work of particular effectiveness in applying knowledge or innovative organizational work to the betterment of community health.

Individuals/organizations nominated for the award will have made significant and well recognized contributions to the improvement of rural health in West Virginia.

Outstanding Rural Health Provider of the Year

This award recognizes a direct service provider who has exhibited outstanding leadership in the improvement of health care services to the rural areas of West Virginia. The nominees can include, but are not limited to, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives.

Outstanding Rural Health Student of the Year

This award recognizes extraordinary student initiated and performed activity demonstrated within the field of rural health. The nominee will have significant accomplishments in rural health. Efforts may include clinical, infrastructure development, research, promotional or volunteer activities.

The West Virginia Rural Health Association will provide a $1,000 cash award to the outstanding rural health student of the year.

To nominate a person or organization for a West Virginia Rural Health Award, fill out the form below.
The deadline for nominations is Monday, August 28, 2017.

2017 Rural Health Awards Nomination Form

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Scholarships Deadline this Friday for West Virginia Rural Health Conference

Photo: FlickrCC

A limited number of scholarships are available for students and community members that want to attend the 25th Annual West Virginia Rural Health Conference in Davis this October.

The scholarships cover the cost of conference registration, and recipients are also afforded lodging at the conference center if the recipient resides 50 miles or more outside the conference area.

The application deadline for scholarships is August 18.

Here’s where you go for more information, and to access the application form.

Fifteen scholarships are available for students, and and five for community members. Scholarships will be awarded based on applicant’s experience, service, and desire to provide health service and/or promote access and the continuation of quality health care to the rural population of West Virginia.

Given the massive health care challenges the state is wrestling with in 2017, it is vitally important that the conversation about health care in West Virginia involve as many people as possible, and include a broad array of experiences, knowledge and viewpoints.

The loss of good paying jobs in the state and a critical shortage of healthcare providers has created a ‘perfect storm’ that has hit West Virginia very hard.

It’s critically important that students and community members are involved in shaping health solutions, and so we absolutely must have them at the table.

The rural health conference in October will dive head-first into some of our most urgent issues, including the future of Medicaid, opioid addiction and recovery, what health reform might look like in rural communities, and behavioural health management.

But if West Virginia was to successfully navigate this perilous year for the health of people in this state, ideas and solutions will have to come from a wide range of West Virginians.

That’s why the West Virginia Rural Health Association provides these scholarships. It’s critically important that students and community members are involved in shaping these health solutions, and so we absolutely must have them at the table.

The deadline for scholarship applications is August 18. Apply now at wvrha.org.

 

Also Seeking Research Abstracts

In addition to a full schedule of expert speakers, the conference will also feature a rural health research poster display and oral presentation session.

Students and health researchers are encouraged to submit abstracts for consideration. Click here for more information about how to submit a research abstract.

The deadline for abstracts submissions is August 20.

The West Virginia Rural Health Association advocates for empowering all West Virginians to advance their quality of life, their well-being and their access to excellence in rural health care. Its mission is to unite people, communities and organizations to strengthen rural health in West Virginia.

Learn more at wvrha.org.

We Explore What Changes to Medicaid Will Mean For West Virginia

Photo by Craig Sunter/FlickrCC

Many West Virginians rely on the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid for their health coverage, and so the current debate in Washington, D.C. about the future of public health care in America will have enormous, and very real, implications for tens of thousands of people in this state.

For example, Medicaid covers more than half of West Virginia’s children.

With a mission to explore the health care issues that matter most to all West Virginians, the West Virginia Rural Health Association is bringing together a remarkable group of public health professionals and experts from across multiple disciplines at the West Virginia Rural Health Conference in Davis this October.

In a session on Changes to ACA and Medicaid: Impact on Rural West Virginia, Kat Stoll, a health policy analyst and the Director of West Virginia Together for Medicaid, and Doris Selko of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, will examine the changes from Washington and what impacts current proposals will have on West Virginians, our rural health care providers, and our state’s economy.

What will federal cuts to Medicaid mean for our ability to address the growing opioid addiction health crisis? Or force the state to limit services to seniors and people with disabilities?

Congress continues to debate dramatic cuts and caps to federal Medicaid funding. These radical changes to the financing of the entire Medicaid program would cost West Virginian billions of dollars.

At stake in the debate is the ability of West Virginia to design a Medicaid program that meets the needs of our state – that helps one-third of West Virginians pay for comprehensive health insurance and that is essential financial support for rural providers.

Exploration of West Virginia specific impacts will be the focus of the discussion. For example, what will federal cuts to Medicaid – the largest payer of substance abuse disorder services in our state – mean for our ability to address the growing opioid addiction health crisis?

How could federal Medicaid cuts force the state to limit services to seniors and people with disabilities?

No group of Medicaid enrollees would be protected from the impact of the federal cuts – including the three-quarters of all West Virginia children whose health care was supported by Medicaid in 2016.

Don’t miss this, and many other, critical discussions about the present and future of health care in West Virginia.

Learn more, and register now, at wvrha.org/2017-west-virginia-rural-health-conference/

WVU School of Public Health: Michael Brumage To Explore New Partnerships With Health Departments

Dr. Michael Brumage. Photo by WVU School of Public Health.

Dr. Brumage will be presenting at the 2017 West Virginia Rural Health Conference on the Roots and Consequences of the Opioid Epidemic in West Virginia. To learn more, visit wvrha.org/2017-west-virginia-rural-health-conference/

By Kimberly Becker/WVU School of Public Health

Building on a strong foundation of practice-based learning, the West Virginia University School of Public Health has added a seasoned practitioner to its leadership team who will help provide faculty and students the opportunity to teach, learn and engage in public health practice.

This month, Michael Brumage, MD, MPH, executive director and health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, joins the WVU School of Public Health as assistant dean for public health practice and service. While Brumage will maintain his role at KCHD, he also will assist the School in building partnerships with health departments around the state and enhancing professional practice opportunities for faculty and students.

“Dr. Brumage is an invaluable addition to the School of Public Health’s leadership team,” said Jeffrey Coben, M.D., dean of the WVU School of Public Health. “He has always been a friend to the school and Health Sciences. Now, in this official role with WVU, Dr. Brumage will open doors to new practice-based experiences for students and find additional ways for faculty to engage in projects that enhance the clinical and health enterprise of West Virginia…”

Read the full story at publichealth.hsc.wvu.edu

At a Critical Moment, West Virginia Rural Health Conference Finds Itself at the Center of National Debate

[Photo by Joseph C. Topping/FlickrCC]

There could be no more critical time for the public health community in Appalachia to come together.

Political battles in Washington, D.C. threaten healthcare for thousands of low and middle income people.

The flood of opioid deaths in West Virginia has the Centres for Disease Control and other agencies reevaluating how doctors and hospitals treat pain and prescribe drugs.

In some parts of rural West Virginia, life expectancy is on par with the third world.

And all the while, rapid transitions in technology, social norms and medical practices are changing the everyday realities for our medical professionals and students trying to battle massive public health challenges.

The annual West Virginia Rural Health Conference faces these challenges head on, and brings together health experts from across the region to explore the pertinent issues of our time.

The 2017 West Virginia Rural Health Conference will be held Oct. 11 – 13 in Davis. Click here for more information, and to register.

The Early Bird Discount runs until Sept. 15, so register now.

Sessions at this year’s West Virginia Rural Health Conference include:

  • Review of CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opiates
  • Changes to ACA and Medicaid: Impact on Rural West Virginia
  • Are You Ready for MACRA?
  • Using Photovoice to Positively Impact Public Health Challenges
  • Improving Access to Care in Rural WV: How Telehealth Can Help
  • S.C.A.L.E. – One Free Clinic’s Answer to the Obesity and CVD Epidemic in West Virginia
  • Evolving Behavioral Health Partnerships in Rural West Virginia
  • Implementing the National Diabetes Prevention Program
  • The Modernization of Advance Care Planning
  • Using Community Health Workers to Deliver Better Care to High Risk Diabetes Patients a Lower Cost
  • Can Health Reform Work in Rural America?
  • Addressing the Roots and Consequences of the Opioid Epidemic in West Virginia

Learn more about the 2017 West Virginia Rural Health Conference, and register, at wvrha.org/2017-west-virginia-rural-health-conference/

Healthcare Dive: 9 Things You Should Know About Proposed New MACRA Rules

NOTE: If you are interested in the proposed changes to Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, the West Virginia Rural Health Conference in October features a presentation on MACRA 2018 and other recent legislative changes. For session information, and to register, visit: wvrha.org/2017-west-virginia-rural-health-conference/

Photo by Royston Kane/FlickrCC

By Jeff Byers/Healthcare Dive

It certainly was a busy few days in Washington for the healthcare sector last week. The Senate revealed the discussion draft of their healthcare reform plan, hoping to come to a vote sometime this week. But in case you missed it, the CMS unveiled another highly-anticipated federal document last week: the 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP) proposed rule.

After having some time to digest the final rule and reactions, here are the most important takeaways from the proposed rule.

In 1,058 pages full of dense legislative language, the agency laid out the ground rules for the second year of MACRA, the rule QPP implements. At the rule’s announcement, the CMS messaged it was allowing flexibility for the rule by proposing the exemption of small providers participating in the program. The agency believes the move will exclude about 134,000 clinicians from the program, adding to the already 800,000 clinicians exempted from MACRA’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

After having some time to digest the final rule and reactions, here are the most important takeaways from the proposed rule:

#1 – Only 36% of clinicians will be eligible for MIPS after all exclusions, but they make up 58% of Medicare Part B charges
MACRA/QPP is a massive piece of legislation.

At it’s core, MACRA will eliminate the sustainable growth rate formula and replace it with a 0.5% annual rate increase through 2019, after which physicians are encouraged to shift to one of two Quality Payment Programs: 1) Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or 2): Alternative Payment Model (APM)…

Read the full story at www.healthcaredive.com