Organization Newsletter

May 2017

In this issue...

  1. Executive Director's Message
  2. The Scoliosis Specific Exercise method: A specialized treatment for scoliosis 
  3. North Valley Hospital District's Vocational High School NAC Program going strong!
  4. CMS' Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program
  5. Be a Single Tasker!
  6. Rural Health Funding Opportunities
  7. Get Involved!!
  8. Upcoming Educational Events
  9. Keeping You in the Know
  10. LifeLine Ambulance Moves to New Location


Welcome to the
May 2017 issue of the Washington Rural Health Association e-Newsletter.
Inside this issue you will find news and information from the new Executive Director and board of directors, members, and community partners from across the state of Washington. 

If you would like to submit your own story, please click here.

The WRHA e-newsletter is a publication of Washington Rural Health Association, a not-for-profit association composed of individual and organization members who share a common interest in rural health. This e-newsletter seeks to disseminate news and information of interest to rural health professionals and stakeholders to help establish a state and national network of rural health care advocates.

WRHA Members

WRHA members include administrators, educators, students, researchers, government agencies and workers, physicians, hospitals, clinics, migrant and community clinics, public health departments, insurers, professional associations and educational institutions. If you are interested in joining or renewing your membership with WRHA click here.




Submitted by: Beionka Moore, Executive Director
[email protected]

Hello and Welcome to Spring!

The Washington Rural Health Association’s Board has had a very active and productive first quarter. But before diving into that update, I first want to thank the conference planning committee for successful production of the NW Rural Health Conference, a job well done!  The committee Chair was Lindy Vincent, Washington State Department of Health.  Congratulations on such a successful event.  The Conference was very well organized, both logistically and in terms of its content (reports, panels, etc.).  On behalf of the Board and the members of WRHA, thank you to committee chairs, committee members, conference support, registration management and the many organizations that contributed to this triumphant annual event. 

As Executive Director, I’ve been involved in rural health issues for many years.  I’m currently busy executing WRHA strategies and initiatives of understanding, while promoting advocacy and education for rural issues in Washington, and providing support to improve delivery of health care in our rural communities. 

Although we continue to address rural health issues at a national level, we also continue to engage extensively at the state and local level.  I am extremely passionate about the sustainability and providing access to quality healthcare in rural communities.  This has kept us engaged in state policy discussions on rural issues directly affecting the communities we reside in. 

We are pleased to report that several of the significant bills WRHA supports made it through both the House and Senate and have a final version agreed upon by both bodies, and are now headed to the governor for his action.  Many other bills WRHA supported have passed both chambers but have yet to have a final version agreed upon by the House and Senate.  Our work and advocacy efforts continue. 

The WRHA membership has had significant growth in the past few months.  The Association has obtained four new organizational sponsors.  They all contribute to ensuring the sustainability of the WRHA and increase of attention on rural Washington.  The WRHA now has a strong social media presence.  You can find us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter. This allows for increased awareness of rural health issues, relationship building and driving new membership growth. 

We have four new board members this year and said farewell to some others whose term was ending, but our board is strong, engaged and dedicated.  Some of the new board members have come from the ranks of our general membership, which is very heartening to see.

Another area of focus is convening a statewide meeting with local rural healthcare leaders. We intend to be proactive on rural issues by holding this forum.  Our hope is to generate an active, informed interest in rural health care issues at the local, state, and regional level. That will lead to a transformed, sustainable rural health delivery system. The forum will provide an opportunity for local rural healthcare leaders and other rural health supporters and experts to discuss challenges and successes that have policy implications. The Washington State Department of Health has agreed to collaborate with the WRHA on this event and is heavily involved in planning. We are looking at late Fall 2017 for scheduling. 

Thank you for taking time to read the WRHA e-Newsletter; I hope you found something helpful and informative. All of us at the Rural Health Association welcome your feedback and urge you to contact us if you need more information. Without such dialog between the Association and its external constituencies we cannot succeed at collaboratively strengthening and improving the health of rural communities.

Finally, please let us know of your interest in helping to make WRHA a thriving organization for the advocacy of rural healthcare in Washington. I’m excited about the growth and revitalization of the WRHA and what’s to come!  Please join me, and visit the Committees’ page of our website at if you are interested in serving in some capacity on a committee. 

Best regards,

Beionka Moore 

Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] to find out more information.  

Like, follow or connect to WRHA now on Facebook, Linked-In and Twitter! 

P.O. Box 882
Spokane, WA  99210

return to the top

The scoliosis specific exercise method: A specialized treatment for scoliosis

Submitted by: Damon Pilgrim  [email protected]

At Shriners Hospital for Children, Spokane, we are committed to providing our patients with the best and most up-to-date methods of care. It was no surprise, then, when Rachel Maki, one of our 8 physical therapists, dedicated herself to become certified in the Scoliosis Specific Exercise (SSE) method of scoliosis treatment. This 3-D treatment approach pioneered by Katharina Schroth, is a curve-specific and comprehensive conservative treatment program for children diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The Spokane Shriners Hospital is the only pediatric treatment facility in Eastern Washington that offers this method.

We have an interdisciplinary team of surgeons, physician assistants and physical therapists who work together to help patients and their families successfully navigate their scoliosis journey.  As part of the Schroth-based method, patients are taught to actively correct posture using scoliosis--specific exercises.  In other words, each patient is taught exercises that are chosen specifically for them, given their particular curvature and goals (some goals can include aesthetic, respiratory, or emotional improvement, pain relief or, in some cases, even to avoid surgery).  This is an important component of the conservative management of scoliosis.  "The kids who walk through the door motivated to take control of their spinal posture thrive in this program," said Maki.  This is not a passive method of treatment, so it takes a high level of commitment from the patient in order to be successful.  "The cool part is that it empowers kids to take control of what they can," Maki added.  "I love watching as they realize their own improvement.  We take before and after pictures and once they see that improvement, their eyes light up; they are instantly hooked."

The primary focus of the SSE method is to slow the progression of the spinal curve through exercises that elongate the trunk and correct imbalances of the spine.  The goal is to develop the inner muscles of the rib cage in order to change the shape of the upper trunk and to correct any spinal abnormalities.  The physical therapist will instruct the patient in specific exercises to straighten, centralize and de-rotate the spine.  Used to treat scoliosis patients 10 years and older, this method can be utilized in all stages of scoliosis, including surgery.  Depending on individual differences, the program can take around 8 weeks.  After that 'training period', patients will have the skills they need to continue the program on their own.  What these kids learn, beyond just the exercises, but about themselves, lasts a lifetime.  "As a therapist, watching my patients blossom as their confidence in their appearance, they gain ability to correct their posture, and their dedication to a home exercise program is extraordinarily rewarding.  Watching my patients succeed is one of my biggest joys," Rachael admits.  Her sentiments echo those of everyone on our team.


return to the top

North Valley Hospital District's Vocational High School NAC Program going strong!

Submitted by:  Mikaela Marion
[email protected]

Five students to attend the first class will be prepared and eligible to take the Washington State Exam for Certification upon successful completion. North Valley Hospital District has implemented a new Nursing Assistant Vocational Class to 5 Tonasket High School students. Classes began January 30th, 2017 and will be held the entirety of the high schools second semester with a set completion date of June 9th. The class will be instructed by Marcia Naillon, RN, North Valley Hospital's NAC Educator, Employee Health & Infection Prevention Nurse. "The Nursing Assistant Certification will afford the students many employment opportunities and is a great way to invest and collaborate with our local school. The class introduces students to career development in the healthcare field while growing our own quality NAC workforce within our community." Marcia Naillon, RN North Valley Hospital District is proud to encourage young adults on a path in the medical field and to be able to provide the resources to become successful. As we understand, we are currently the only public hospital and high school NAC program partnership in the State of Washington. "We think this new program is amazing. We're so excited about the opportunity for our students. THS is thrilled to have the chance to continue working with the Hospital. The job shadowing was so successful and we had interested students, so it was a perfect marriage!" says Kristi Hutchins, Counseling Secretary at Tonasket High School. "Growing Healthcare Close to Home".  If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Mikaela Marion at 509-486-3163 or email at [email protected].


return to the top

        CMS' Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program

Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Overview
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is conducting the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program, which was originally authorized for a 5-year period by section 410A of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), and extended for another 5-year period by sections 3123 and 10313 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act). Section 15003 of the 21st Century Cures Act, enacted December 13, 2016, again amended section 410A of the MMA to require another 5-year extension period for the demonstration.

Section 15003 of the Cures Act allows for hospitals that were participating in the demonstration as of the last day of the initial 5-year period or as of December 30, 2014, to participate in this second extension period, unless the hospital makes an election to discontinue participation.

Section 15003 also requires that no later than 120 days after enactment of the Cures Act that the Secretary issue a solicitation for applications to select additional hospitals to participate in the demonstration program for this second 5-year extension period so long as the maximum number of 30 hospitals stipulated by the ACA is not exceeded.

The MMA requires testing the feasibility and advisability of establishing rural community hospitals to furnish covered inpatient hospital services to Medicare beneficiaries. The demonstration tests payment under a reasonable cost-based methodology for Medicare inpatient hospital services furnished by rural hospitals with fewer than 51 acute care inpatient beds, that make available 24-hour emergency care services, and that are not eligible to be, or have not been designated as, Critical Access Hospitals (CAH).

CMS has conducted 3 previous solicitations for applications – in 2004 and 2008, in accordance with the MMA, and in 2010, upon re-authorization by the Affordable Care Act. 

The MMA requires the demonstration to be budget neutral. Each year since 2004, CMS has included a segment specific to the demonstration program in the proposed and final rules for the Medicare inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS). On an annual basis, this segment has detailed the status of the demonstration, as well as the methodology for ensuring budget neutrality. CMS intends to continue this approach of proposing the budget neutrality methodology in annual IPPS rulemaking.

The MMA also requires a Report to Congress with recommendations for such legislation and administrative action as the Secretary determines appropriate. This evaluation will assess the impact of the demonstration on the financial viability of participating hospitals as well as their ability to serve the needs of the community.

Provisions of the 21 Century Cures Act
Section 15003 of the 21st Century Cures Act provides for the following regarding the second 5-year extension period:

  • Hospitals that were participating as of the last day of the initial 5-year period or as of December 30, 2014, will be allowed to participate in the second extension period, unless the hospital makes an election to discontinue participation.
  • Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment (December 13, 2016), the Secretary is required to issue a solicitation for applications to select additional hospitals to participate in the demonstration program.
  • The requirement in the Affordable Care Act remains that the total number of hospitals participating in the demonstration at the same time not exceed 30.
  • A newly selected hospital may be located in any state; however, priority for selection is to be given to hospitals located in one of the 20 states with the lowest population densities (as determined by the Secretary using the 2015 Statistical Abstract of the United States).
  • Applicant hospitals must meet the eligibility criteria in the original authorizing statute.
  • Rural hospital closures in the 5-year period immediately preceding the date of the enactment of the Cures Act and the population density of the state may be considered in selecting hospitals.
  • The Secretary shall submit a report to Congress no later than August 1, 2018.

Demonstration Payment Methodology
Hospitals participating in the demonstration will receive payment for Medicare inpatient hospital services, with the exclusion of services furnished in a psychiatric or rehabilitation unit that is a distinct part of the hospital, using the following rules:

  • For discharges occurring in the first cost reporting period on or after the implementation of the extension, their reasonable costs of providing covered inpatient hospital services;
  • For discharge es occurring during the second or subsequent cost reporting period, the lesser of their reasonable costs or a target amount. The target amount in the second cost reporting period is defined as the reasonable costs of providing covered inpatient hospital services in the first cost reporting period, increased by the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) update factor (as defined in section 1886(b)(3)(B)) of the Social Security Act for that particular cost reporting period. The target amount in subsequent cost reporting periods is defined as the preceding cost reporting period’s target amount increased by the IPPS update factor for that particular cost reporting period.

CMS will develop a participation agreement specifying payment principles, as well as administrative, auditing, and reporting requirements. This participation agreement will apply to each hospital participating in the second extension period. CMS will communicate with the hospitals on policy and operational issues.

Extension Period for Previously Participating Hospitals under the Cures Act
In general, each hospital that participated in the Affordable Care Act-authorized extension period began its period of performance under the extension period with the start of its cost report period (in 2010, 2011, or 2012 depending on when the hospital was originally selected), and concluded with the end of the fifth consecutive cost report period. Accordingly, hospitals ended their periods of performance under this first extension period on a rolling basis from December 31, 2014 through December 31, 2016. Twenty-one hospitals remained in the demonstration for the duration of their hospital-specific 5-year periods for this first extension period. 

CMS is seeking public comment in the Fiscal Year 2018 IPPS proposed rule (CMS-1677-P) with regard to the initiation of the period of performance for those among these previously participating hospitals that decide to participate in the extension period authorized by the legislation. CMS is proposing that the 5-year period of performance for each of these hospitals, as well as for each of the additional hospitals newly selected would begin with the start of the first cost reporting period on or after October 1, 2017 following upon the announcement of the selection of additional hospitals. More information about this proposal can be found in the Fiscal Year 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS proposed rule. CMS is accepting comments through 06-13-2017.

Request for Applications
The Request for Applications solicits information from interested hospitals regarding their financial and service-oriented challenges, as well as strategies and proposals for addressing them. We are also asking hospitals to describe the impact of rural hospital closures on the needs of their service area, and problems posed by the need to serve a sparse population.

As permitted by the 21st Century Cures Act, additional hospitals selected for the demonstration under this solicitation may be located in any State. 

The solicitation identifies the 20 states with lowest population density according to the most recent data source, i.e., population estimates from the Census Bureau for 2013, from the ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2015. The U.S. Census Bureau no longer publishes the Statistical Abstract; instead, ProQuest compiles data and tables from the Census Bureau and produces this compendium. These 20 States are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. CMS will give priority for selection among the highest scoring applications to applicants from these States.

The following eligibility requirements must be met for a hospital to be considered for participation in the demonstration. These requirements are specified in section 410A of the MMA, the original authorizing legislation. An applicant must be a hospital that:

  • Is in a rural area (as defined in section 1886(d)(2)(D) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395ww(d)(2)(D)) or treated as being so located pursuant to section 1886(d)(8)(E) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 1395ww(d)(8)(E)));
  • Has fewer than 51 acute care inpatient beds, as reported in its most recent cost report (not including beds in a psychiatric or rehabilitation unit of the hospital which is a distinct part of the hospital);
  • Makes available 24-hour emergency care services; and
  • Is not eligible for Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation, or has not been designated a CAH under section 1820 of the Social Security Act.

The due date for applications to CMS is May 17, 2017. The Request for Applications is available at The goal is to finalize selections by June 2017.

return to the top


Be a Single-Tasker!

Submitted by:  Trevor Davis, Psy. D, Clinical Psychologist, Telehealth Manager Pacific Rehabilitation Centers

Be a Single-Tasker

Many of us think we can multi-task.  The truth is no one can.  Our brain can only do one thing at a time. When we are “multi-tasking” our brain is really switching quickly between different tasks.  That takes a lot of mental energy.  Most of us know multi-tasking is stressful, but it is often a habit (some even call it addicting).  Even though we know it is stress inducing we often can’t help ourselves. Maybe we feel productive, but are we really productive with multi-tasking? Probably not.

Mindfulness can help us to slow down.  When we slow down we are actually more productive.  Practice focusing on a single task at a time.  Notice when that urge to do something else shows up.  Notice when you’ve started multi-tasking and then compassionately direct yourself back to the single-task of the moment.

Here are a few ideas that might help with single-tasking:

1) Keep a time journal or schedule. Plan ahead and know what it is that you need or want to be working on.

2) Try grouping tasks into categories. For example, put together emails, phone calls, errands, or meetings (if you can). Putting similar tasks together can help us from switching between emails and calls to running an errand.

3) Turn off the distractions (as much as possible). If it is email time, turn the cell phone on silent. Meeting time? Leave your cell phone or computer (if you don’t need it). If you’re using a computer for a meeting or appointment have all other non-essential windows or applications turned off or minimized. Focus on the meeting rather than sitting in a meeting and trying to email at the same time.

4) Practice mindfulness in your breaks or between tasks. Take a few deep breaths (remember those 4-7-8 breaths?), stretch, or take a quick walk.


return to the top


 Rural Health Funding Opportunities

Submitted by:  Beionka Moore, Executive Director
[email protected]

Northwest Health Foundation Event Sponsorships 
Provides sponsorship for events that promote health or contribute to the determinants of health in Oregon or southwest Washington.
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsor: Northwest Health Foundation

Sunderland Foundation Grants 
Supports capital improvement projects in the areas of higher education, churches, youth serving agencies, health facilities, community buildings, museums, civic projects, and energy efficient housing projects.
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsor: Sunderland Foundation

Washington J-1 Visa Waiver Program 
Offers a J-1 Visa waiver to foreign physicians who commit to serving for 3 years in an underserved area of Washington, allowing them to remain in the United States.
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsor: Washington State Department of Health

Wells Fargo Corporate Giving Programs 
Funding for nonprofit organizations in the areas of community development, education, human services, arts and culture, civic responsibility, housing, and environmental consciousness.
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis

Healthy Hearts Northwest: Improving Practice Together 
Provides 15 months of technical assistance to small-to-medium-sized primary care practices in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Practices will create plans to utilize health information technology and data reporting for quality improvement, and will receive assistance in implementing external practice quality improvement related to heart health.
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsor: The MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation

Northwest Health Foundation Event Sponsorships 
Provides sponsorship for events that promote health or contribute to the determinants of health in Oregon or southwest Washington.
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsor: Northwest Health Foundation

Rural Cooperative Development Grant

What does this program do?
The Rural Cooperative Development Grant program helps improve the economic condition of rural areas by helping non-profit corporations or higher education institutions in the startup, expansion or operational improvement of rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses through cooperative development. Grants are awarded through a national competition. Each fiscal year, applications are requested through a notice published in the Federal Register and through an announcement posted on

Application DeadlinePaper: June 2, 2017 | Electronic: May 26, 2017
Who may apply for this program?
Nonprofit corporations and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply for this program. Public bodies, for-profit business, and individuals are not eligible.
Estimated Program Funding:  $5.8 million
Maximum Grant Amount: $200,000

Rural Access to Emergency Devices – Opioid Overdose Reversal Grant Program

Eligible applicants include community partnerships comprised of local emergency responders, and other local non-profit and for-profit entities involved in the prevention and treatment of opioid overdoses. One organization in the partnership will be the lead, submit the application, and have responsibility for all aspects of award management.

Sponsor information:  Health Resources and Services Administration
Grantor Contact Information:  Michele Pray, 301-443-7320, [email protected]

Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program

Professional Track Accredited institutions of higher education or accredited behavioral health professional training programs in behavioral pediatrics, social work, school social work, substance use disorder prevention and treatment, marriage and family therapy, occupational therapy, school counseling, or professional counseling.  Programs must require a pre-degree clinical field placement in behavioral health as part of the training and a prerequisite for graduation. Accredited schools of masters or doctoral-level training in psychiatry, psychiatric- nursing programs. APA-accredited doctoral level schools and programs in health service psychology or school psychology programs with a practicum of ten or more hours per week for two semesters, and APA-accredited doctoral internship programs in professional psychology.

Total Program Funding:  $44,000,000
Application deadline June 12, 2017
Sponsor:  Department of Health and Human Services
Contact Nicole Wilkerson at (301) 443-7759 or email [email protected], Health Resources and Services Administration

 return to the top

 Get Involved, Join A Committee!


Submitted by: Weston Davis, President
[email protected]

It takes you to make a difference!

Would you like to have a greater impact on the future of rural health and the direction of the Washington Rural Health Association?  If so, I invite you to review the following list of Standing Committees and their charges, and consider joining us.

The WRHA is seeking volunteers to join the following committees:

•    Awards Committee – selects WRHA rural health award winners and presents awards at the 2018 Northwest Rural Health Conference in March.
•    Membership/Development Committee – this committee is charged with advancing new initiatives. I call it the “Idea Committee.”  This group has been brainstorming ideas and concepts to broaden our financial base, as well as pursue activities to enhance active membership.
•    Legislative Committee – If you have questions or hear of legislation that we should know about, please let us know. There’s always something happening here. Mainly active during the legislative session, this committee reviews the Bill Tracking Report, compiles a list of bills to be tracked, and works for legislative event planning.
•    Bylaws Committee – headed by the WRHA president, this committee meets every two years to review Association bylaws and make necessary recommendations to the Board and review petitions.
•    Finance Committee – we are entering a time of change and current sources of funding are certainly changing. Assists the treasurer in developing an annual budget, review disbursements, makes recommendations to the Board, and manages additional revenue and makes recommendations to the Board for long-term financing of the Association.

To request to join or for more information about WRHA Committees, please click here!

return to the top

Upcoming Educational Events

Submitted by:  Beionka Moore, Executive Director
[email protected]

Below is a short list of upcoming Rural Health conferences that you may find beneficial.  Happy Training & Education!

May 9, 2017
NRHA 22nd Health Equity Conference
San Diego, CA

May 9-12, 2017
NRHA 40th Annual Rural Health Conference
San Diego, CA

May 20 - 23, 2017
NWRPCA Spring Primary Care Conference
Spokane, WA 
Sponsoring organization: Northwest Regional Primary Care Association

Jun 14, 2017
Behavioral Health - Brief Interventions for Integrated Settings Webinar Series 
Type: Webinar
Sponsoring organization: Northwest Regional Primary Care Association

June 25- 28, 2017
WSHA and AWPHD 41st Annual Rural Hospital Leadership Conference
Campbell's Resort
Chelan, WA
Sponsoring organizations: Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts, Washington State Hospital Association

July 11-12, 2017
NRHA State Rural Health Association Leadership Conference
Nashville, Tenn.
July 12-14, 2017
NRHA Rural Quality and Clinical Conference
Nashville, Tenn.

Jul 25 - 26, 2017
Region E SORH Regional Partnership Meeting 
Bellingham, WA 
Type: Conference/Meeting
Sponsoring organization: National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health

Aug 9, 2017
Behavioral Health - Brief Interventions for Integrated Settings Webinar Series 
Type: Webinar
Sponsoring organization: Northwest Regional Primary Care Association

Sep 13, 2017
Behavioral Health - Brief Interventions for Integrated Settings Webinar Series 
Type: Webinar
Sponsoring organization: Northwest Regional Primary Care Association

Sep 25 - 28, 2017
National Tribal Health Conference
Bellevue, WA 
Type: Conference/Meeting
Sponsoring organization: National Indian Health Board

Sept. 26-27, 2017
NRHA Rural Health Clinic Conference
Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, Mo.

Oct 12 - 13, 2017
85th Annual Washington State Hospital Association Member Meeting 
Seattle, WA 
Type: Conference/Meeting
Sponsoring organization: Washington State Hospital Association

Oct 20 - 23, 2017
23rd Annual Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living Conference 
Spokane, WA 
Type: Conference/Meeting
Sponsoring organization: Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living

Oct 21 - 24, 2017
Annual Fall CHAMPS/NWRPCA Primary Care Conference 
Call for Abstracts - Deadline: Jun 26, 2017
Seattle, WA 
Type: Conference/Meeting
Sponsoring organizations: Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States, Northwest Regional Primary Care Association, Western Clinicians Network

Nov 8, 2017
Behavioral Health - Brief Interventions for Integrated Settings Webinar Series 
Type: Webinar
Sponsoring organization: Northwest Regional Primary Care Association

Dec 13, 2017
Behavioral Health - Brief Interventions for Integrated Settings Webinar Series 
Type: Webinar
Sponsoring organization: Northwest Regional Primary Care Association

return to the top

 Keeping You in the Know

Hospital News!

EvergreenHealth again earns designation as a baby-friendly hospital: EvergreenHealth recently was re-designated a Baby-Friendly Hospital, its 21st year of holding the designation since it was named the first Baby-Friendly hospital in the United States in 1996.

Grays Harbor Community Hospital's post-visit automated calls lower likelihood of patient readmissions: The trial, according to the hospital, indicated that those who answered and participated in the voice call system were 69 percent less likely to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge.

Maple Valley couple part of second kidney swap on the West Coast: The double transplant is the first performed by The University of Washington’s Medical Center and it is only the second one performed in the west coast. The doctors cheered when they first realized this double transplant was a possibility.

Olympic Medical Center named to top 20 rural community hospital list: The National Rural Health Association (NHRA) recently announced Olympic Medical Center one of the Top 20 Rural Community Hospitals in the country.

Population health nurses populating in Bremerton:  In an effort to enhance the overall patient experience, population health nurses recently joined the primary care team at Naval Hospital Bremerton’s medical home ports.

Students get time with health professionals at Providence Centralia: Thirteen local high school students had the opportunity to shadow medical professionals as they treated patients at Providence Centralia Hospital on April 13. The hospital has worked with Centralia College to offer this program the last three years.

UW Medicine works with Island Hospital for smooth transition of Orcas Medical Center: UW Medicine has begun work with Island Hospital to transition the management of a primary care clinic located on Orcas Island from Island Hospital to UW Medicine.

Submitted by:  Susan M. Skillman, MS, Deputy Director, Center for Health Workforce Studies, Associate Director, WWAMI Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

Since last summer, Washington’s Health Workforce Sentinel Network has been gathering input from across the state in order to identify signals of the emerging workforce needs of healthcare employers. The Sentinel Network has been identifying health workforce needs around the state and these findings are being reviewed by the state Health Workforce Council, the leadership of Accountable Communities of Health, community college deans and health program directors, among others to address emerging issues. Examples of general findings to-date include:

  • Registered nurses are among the top three occupations with "exceptionally long vacancies" in all 9 of Washington’s Accountable Communities of Health.
  • There is increased demand for mental health counselors in behavioral health and community health care settings.
  • Social workers with additional chemical dependency treatment skills are needed in some settings.
  • Sentinels from small hospitals in rural areas have voiced difficulty competing with urban facilities for staff, among other recruiting barriers.

There’s still time to add more rural voices to the statewide tracking of health workforce needs! The deadline to submit data to Washington's Health Workforce Sentinel Network about occupations, skills and roles needed at your organization has been extended through May 7. Follow this link: and click "Register Now". 

Findings to-date can also be viewed on the Sentinel Network website. Don’t miss this opportunity to let educators, policymakers, and others around the state know about your needs.  Your information will be kept confidential by combining it with other Sentinels' data from across the state.   

Questions? Contact us at:  [email protected] or 206 543-9797.

Submitted by:  John McCarthy, MD, Assistant Dean for Rural Programs
University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM)

Even though the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) has been recognized for the 26th year as the number one school in rural medicine, a change was made to further strengthen the school’s attention to rural programs.  As was written in the January Newsletter, Rural Programs brought John McCarthy MD on as Assistant Dean of Rural Programs.  Dr. McCarthy worked for fourteen years in Tonasket, WA and has a strong appreciation of the needs of rural providers and systems throughout the state of Washington.  There are three main programs within the Office of Rural Programs:  TRUST (Targeted Rural/Underserved Student Training Track), RUOP (Rural Underserved Opportunities Program), and WRITE (WWAMI Rural Integrated Training Experience).  The Office of Rural Programs has been building their team and would like to introduce them, some with whom you likely have familiarity. 

Dr. Tom Greer and Dr. David Evans co-lead TRUST.  As some of you know, Dr. Greer will be retiring in July and Dr. Evans is poised to take the lead on TRUST at that time.  Dr.  Evans has worked closely with TRUST for 5 years and prior to that worked in Madras, OR doing full spectrum family medicine.  He is the Rosenblatt Family Endowed Professor of Health and has been an outstanding proponent of rural health.  We are continuing to look to hire an operations person to assist with this program.

RUOP will be co-lead by Toby Keys, MPH and Dr. David Evans.  Toby has been with RUOP for years and we are pleased that he is now faculty with the Department of Family Medicine.  He has developed a significant appreciation of medical education in the rural northwest.  He and David have taken RUOP to a level that would impress their late mentor, Roger Rosenblatt, MD.

Interim Director, Dr. Larry Kirven, leads WRITE.  Dr. Kirven has an understanding of WRITE through his work as Wyoming Assistant Clinical Dean and as having practiced full spectrum Family Physician for 30 years in Buffalo Wyoming.  His clinical practice in Buffalo, WY necessitated the kind of creativity we see in rural physicians.  He will be ably assisted Danielle Bienz, MEd who has transitioned from RUOP Programs Operation to WRITE Program Educator.  She will be helping to advance some of the program objectives and educational components of WRITE.  Danielle has helped to bring RUOP to its current position of 165 students traveling out this year to rural/underserved areas, another new record for student engagement.  Thanks to all of you for assisting with this flagship program.  Additionally, we are pleased to have Michelle Fleming joining the WRITE team on May 1st as the Administrator-Program Operations for WRITE.  Michelle has significant experience working with the school of medicine curricular team and we are delighted to be bringing her on board with the Office of Rural Programs.

The Office of Rural Programs is eager create the changes which will allow the UWSOM to further serve the underserved rural communities within Washington state and the WWAMI region.  We are excited to be working with you our colleagues to help produce the workforce needs to serve our patients in the future.  If there are points of contact with any of the rural programs at UWSOM that you would like to explore, please let us know.  We can be reached at Rural Programs at UWSOM or via the email [email protected].  Again thanks for your support for educating the providers of the future.

Courtesy of: The National Rural Health Association
The Journal of Rural Health Recognizes Inaugural “Article of the Year”

The Journal of Rural Health (JRH) will award its first “Article of the Year” at the National Rural Health Association’s Annual Conference on May 11, 2017, in San Diego. The JRH editorial board chose its first Article of the Year from among all articles published in the 2016 issues.

The 2016 JRH Article of the Year is “The Rising Rate of Rural Hospital Closures” by a team of authors at the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program: Brystana G. Kaufman, Sharita R. Thomas, Randy K. Randolph, Julie R. Perry, Kristie W. Thompson, George M. Holmes, and George H. Pink (J Rural Health. 2016; 32(1):35-43).

"A rural hospital closure has a major impact on the community, not only on its health but on its economy. This study was a formative step in understanding recent trends in rural hospital closure. Rural hospitals that closed from 2010 through 2014 had lower levels of profitability, liquidity, equity, patient volume, and staffing. Although half of the closed hospitals continued to provide health care services other than acute inpatient care, many ceased to provide any health services. A deeper understanding of the causes and ramifications of closures is necessary if we are to address this issue,” said Brystana Kaufman, lead author of the study and a graduate student in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina.

The article was first published online July 14, 2015, under the JRH’s “Early View” system that enables quick online publication of articles as they are accepted. It was later assigned to the Winter 2016 issue. Criteria for selecting the Article of the Year included the number of times it was downloaded from the JRH website, the number of times it had been cited, and the importance of the article’s topic to rural health. “The editor of the JRH, and its editorial board, believe that this article addresses a vital issue facing rural health care delivery. Hospital closures will continue to have a detrimental impact if not addressed, and our Journal is pleased to disseminate these important findings,” said Kevin Bennett, Chairman of the Editorial Board.

“The National Rural Health Association is proud to recognize this important research examining recent trends in rural hospital closure,” said Alan Morgan, NRHA Chief Executive Officer. “Our research community plays a key role in the development of good public policy. We are excited to launch this new national recognition which highlights the importance of rural research.”

The JRH is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal published by the NRHA. It is devoted to advancing professional practice, research, theory development, and public policy related to rural health. Ty Borders, PhD, is Editor and Kevin Bennett, PhD, is Chair of the 13-member Editorial Board. Visit the JRH at

Submitted by:  Rebecca Snyders; Communications Principal, Qualis Health
Free Help Available for Practice Transformation

Healthier Washington, in partnership with the State Department of Health, is offering primary care and behavioral health providers across the state help to successfully transition to a new model of payment and health care integration that will:

• Integrate physical and behavioral health.
• Move from volume to value-based care.
• Improve population health through clinical community linkages.

The Healthier Washington Practice Transformation Support Hub connects providers with tools, training and hands-on technical assistance based on their specific practice transformation needs.

Training opportunities and a Web Resource Portal featuring practice transformation tools and resources is available to all interested practices. More in-depth customized assistance – such as technical assistance, guidance for bi-directional physical and behavioral health integration, and process improvement – is available to practices that enroll in the program.

To Enroll or Learn More:

To Access the Resource Portal:

return to the top 

LifeLine Ambulance, Inc. Moves into New Station in Omak, Washington

Submitted by:  Wayne Walker – Paramedic
General Manager, LifeLine Ambulance, Inc.

April 1, 2017 LifeLine Ambulance, Inc., moved into a new station in Omak, Washington.  The new station is 10,000 square feet with 8 bays, spacious training room, and improved crew quarters.  The new ambulance station location offers improved response time to the communities we serve.  It also provides improvement for team members to assist in them getting better sleep during down time with 8 independent sleeping rooms that include black out shades.  Apparatus are now housed inside a climate control bay which protects the units from the extreme hot & cold weather.  The new station also includes a training room to support needs of our team members, as well as the Communities in Okanogan County.  LifeLine hired a new Training Coordinator to improve community training in First Aid & CPR/AED along with development training for EMS professionals.  Okanogan County is very rural which creates travel challenges for EMS professionals to obtain necessary training.  LifeLine sees a critical need to have well-trained community members in First Aid & CPR/AED which is vital to improving patient outcomes in a rural setting.

For more information please visit our website & Facebook page ·

 EMS WEEK May 21-27th 2017

The 43rd Annual National EMS Week.

In 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week to Celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation’s communities.  EMS is as an essential public function and a vital component of medical care.  Each day EMS helps save lives by responding to medical emergencies, traumatic accidents scenes, and cardiac arrests.  EMS cares for their patients’ medical needs and show caring and compassion to their patients in their most difficult moments. 

EMS providers are there for the communities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The men and women who make up EMS give selfishly to help those in need. EMS is what draws us to help, what empowers us to face danger, it is what makes us proud and keeps us humble.

When you see these EMS people during the week of May 21-27th, please take a moment to say thank you to them.  This simple kind gesture makes a different.


return to the top



  Thank you to our sponsors!

Please consider sponsoring the Association today.  Click Here.