Organization Newsletter

March 2019

In this issue...

  1. NW Rural Health Conference Coming Soon!
  2. Getting to Know Your Board Member - Brigita Landstrom
  3. Take-Back Boxes Installed
  4. St. Luke's Adds Two Specialty Rehabilitation Doctors to Physiatry Practice
  5. Welcome New & Returning Sponsor and Organizations!
  6. News from WA State Office of Rural Health at DOH
  7. Injured Worker Struggling for Re-Employment?
  8. Opioid Response Program Implementation


Welcome to the
March 2019 issue of the Washington Rural Health Association e-Newsletter.
Inside this issue you will find news and information from the 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.


NWRHC Coming Soon!  Still time to Register!

 2019 NWRHC (NW Rural Health Conference)

The Washington State Office of Rural Health, the WWAMI AHEC Programs, the Washington Rural Health Association, and the Rural Health Clinic Association of Washington are excited to remind you that registrations are still open for our 2019 Northwest Rural Health Conference!

This regional event is the largest rural health conference in the region and draws close to 450 attendees plus exhibitors. Hundreds of rural health professionals attend ranging from rural health administrators, health care providers, board members, educators, EMS Services and access, state and federal staff, public health officers, researchers, information technology specialists, and more.

As an attendee, you'll have the opportunity to learn from other states, share best practices and innovative ideas, make new connections and deepen relationships, and foster cross‐state collaborations. 

Join us to learn more about our efforts, and how you can take action at the local, state, and national level(s).  Plan to join us at the 2019 conference on March 25-27 at the Hilton Hotel & Conference Center, in SeaTac!

REGISTER NOW FOR NORTHWEST RURAL HEALTH CONFERENCE - Please visit our website for registration details:

Conference Registration

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Getting to Know your Board Member!

With each publication, we would like to introduce a member of the WRHA Board of Directors.
This publication we would like to introduce a valuable member of the board,
Brigita Fody Landstrom, Community Health of Central Washington:


1)   Please tell me your name, where you work, title, your role with WRHA and how long you have been a board member:    
      Brigita Fody Landstrom, Community Health of Central Washington, Chief Quality Officer, New Board member 1.24.2019.

2)   How did you first become involved with the Washington Rural Health Association?    
      Major involvement previously with the Rural Health Clinic Association.

3)   There are several rural health organizations in Washington State. Why did you choose to work with WRHA?    
     Local focus with national support to help address unique needs of Washington rural communities.

4)   Why is Rural Health important to you?
      Rural health is national health. Our rural farmers provide for all people. Their work is essential and wholly underappreciated. Rural health providers and centers embody the dedication needed to serve rural populations with dignity. I am proud to be associated with this community.  

5)   What has surprised you most about working with Washington Rural Health Association?
       Looking forward to serving.  

6)   What is the best part of working with WRHA?
      Looking forward to serving with individuals I respect, and serving populations deserving of our best.

7)   What do you see as some of the most challenging issues facing WRHA and Rural Health in our state?
We need to ensure that our issues are heard. Our ability to impact policy is paramount for our success.

8)   What do you wish other people knew about Washington Rural Health Association?
     Not sure yet, but I hope to learn more and be able to champion for our issues.

9)   If you could change one thing about Washington Rural Health Association what would it be?
I do not know….yet

10) Do you volunteer for any other organizations? Why do you feel it is important to volunteer?    
     I have always volunteered throughout my life. I moved to Yakima January 2018. I am currently getting more involved within my new community.

11) How do you like to spend your time outside of work and volunteering?
     I live outdoors. My family and I enjoy hiking, skiing, and gardening.

12) What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
      My whole life was shaped by social justice. Before I understood the title, I idolized civil rights pioneers, such as Josephine Baker and her rainbow tribe. I live my life in accordance. No surprise that my three children are named Bleu, Indigo, and Violeta.

13) What do you think will change about Washington Rural Health Association over the next five years?
Increased focus on providing hands-on training and tools that help rural providers succeed in the Value-Based health care arena.

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Take-Back Boxes Installed

Submitted by: Kelley Robertson, Providence Mt. Carmel
[email protected]

Providence Mount Carmel Hospital in Colville, WA and St. Joseph's Hospital in Chewelah, WA have installed medication take-back boxes.  The boxes offer secure disposal for unused, unwanted or expired medication, helping reduce accidental poisonings and drug overdoses, while also helping protect the environment.  Proper storage and disposal of medications, especially prescription medications such as opioids prescribed for pain control, is an important component of community-wide efforts to reduce illicit use of narcotics. 

"The Take Back Your Medicine kiosk is an important resource for our community," says Ron Rehn, Chief Administrative Officer, Providence Health Care Stevens County.  "It's known that in rural areas, we see a disproportionately higher rate of overdoses.  By reducing the amount of leftover medication in each household, we can help reduce those risks," he adds. 

The medication take-back boxes can be accessed at:

  • Providence Mount Carmel Hospital, Colville:  Main entrance hallway just past main elevator
  • Providence St. Joseph's Hospital, Chewelah: Main entrance waiting room adjacent to out-patient and rehabilitation registration

Accepted items include:

  • Prescriptions (schedule II-V controlled and non-controlled substances)
  • Vitamins
  • Prescription ointments
  • Pet medications
  • Prescription patches 
  • Over-the-counter medicines

Items not accepted include:

  • Needles
  • Inhalers
  • Aerosol cans
  • Thermometers
  • Lotions or liquids
  • Hydrogen Peroxide

St. Luke's Adds Two Specialty Rehabilitation Doctors to Physiatry Practice


Submitted by: Sandra Anderton
Inland Northwest Health Services
[email protected]

St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute welcomes rehabilitation doctors Alicia Fuhrman, M.D., and Michael Goodman, D.O., to their physiatry team.  Treating the full spectrum of patients recovering from disease, injuries or disorders, St. Luke's Physiatry Practice is recognized with a comprehensive approach to recovery. 

  Alicia Fuhrman, M.D.Michael Goodman, D.O.

As a physiatrist, Dr. Fuhrman integrates her passion for quality, meeting patients for the first time for a new chapter in their life and enjoys celebrating all the wins along the rehabilitation journey.  Dr. Fuhrman completed her undergraduate degree at Baylor University in Waco, TX.  Upon graduation with honors, she attended the University of Texas Medical School in Houston.  Dr. Fuhrman was a transitional year intern at Indiana University Methodist Hospital.  After becoming a resident physician in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington, she was appointed the role of co-chair for the Housestaff Quality and Safety Committee.

Dr. Goodman served as medical director of Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital in Tucson, AZ prior to relocating to Spokane and joining the St. Luke's team.  He completed his bachelor's degree from University of Arizona and obtained his medical degree from University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Des Moines, IA.  Dr. Goodman has extensive experience in neurological, amputee and general medical rehabilitation.  Working with a team of professionals to enhance and restore every patient's quality of life is why Dr. Goodman chose the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

For more information about St. Luke's services, or to refer a patient for inpatient or outpatient programs, call (509) 473-6000 or visit

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Welcome and Thank you to New & Returning Members!

Submitted by: WRHA
[email protected]


Washington Rural Health Association would not be able to carry out its advocacy activities and would not be a success without the generous support you have provided us throughout. We deeply appreciate the willingness with which you have and continue to sponsor the efforts that enable us to continue our mission to help improve health for the people living in rural communities. Which will ultimately make our communities a healthier, happier place to live in. We sincerely hope that this association will be maintained and that you will continue to support us in our future endeavors.
Thank you!




Mary Selecky - Colville, WA
Charles Westerholm - Portland, OR
Bridget Garner -  Spokane, WA 


Psych Solutions - Spokane, WA
Pacific Rehabilitation - Bellevue, WA
Community Health of Central Washington - Wenatchee, WA


WWAMI University of Washington
- Seattle, WA

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 WA State Office of Rural Health at DOH News


Submitted by:  Pat Justis
[email protected]

WA State Office of Rural Health released a new report called There's No Place Like Home: Rural Home Health and Hospice in Washington State; A Discussion of Challenges and Solutions.  To receive a copy, please contact Rural Health Executive Director Pat Justis at [email protected] or check the Rural Health landing page.

The Washington Rural Palliative Care Initiative, led by Rural Health with a collaboration of more than 24 public and private partners, released a five and half minute education video called Offering Palliative Care in Rural Communities.  Please view here.

Positive comments from Pennsylvania, Oregon, North Dakota, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Vermont have already come in and the national website 3RNet, focused on rural and medically underserved recruitment and retention, plans to feature the video on their site.  The participating Washington rural communities will use it to educate their health organization and community members.  A new site for rural palliative care resources also went live on the former Practice Transformation Hub for Healthier WA, hosted by the University of Washington.  That is now available for a wider array of health improvement work.

In addition to the public facing page there are password protected "team spaces" for the participants in the first cohort of seven rural communities.  Washington Rural Palliative Care Initiative also kicks off a series of education events on palliative care open to all rural health audiences in WA.  See details on the new site above on the bottom of the landing page.  On the first day of the Northwest Rural Health Conference, half and full day intensives will be featured and we will offer a one day intensive on rural palliative care March 25 in SeaTac. (The conference is March 25-27)

The 2019 National Rural Health Day WA State calendar arrived from the printer and is filled with children's art depicting what helps rural communities stay healthy.  Rural libraries around the state engaged young readers with the art contest and a reading list.  Copies will be available at the DOH table at the Northwest Rural Health Conference March 25-28. 

Coming soon: a brief report on the first 12 sessions of the rural palliative care telehealth case consultation pilot in 2018.

2019 Rural Palliative Care Education Series

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 Have an Injured Worker Struggling to Get Back to Work?


Submitted by: Bobbi Meins
[email protected]

 Pacific Rehabilitation Centers (PRC) is offering hope through telehealth for injured workers covered under Workers' Compensation who are really struggling to get back to work.  Our licensed Psychologists and Behavioral Health Specialists are providing:

  • Psychological testing and assessments
  • Individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to cope with pain, reduce depression and anxiety, manage stress and improve family and social relationships.

Workers' Compensation strongly supports telehealth and views it as an exciting and viable modality to provide Behavioral Health Services in rural areas.  Telehealth services cut down on the distance patients drive and the treatment helps to give new tools to injured workers.  We are currently offering services in Bellingham, Othello, Mattawa and Connell and looking to expand our services.  Workers' Compensation allows patients to participate in telehealth treatment when the patient is located at any of the following sites:

  • The offices of physicians or practitioners Hospitals
  • Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)
  • Rural Health Clinics
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers
  • Hospital-based or CAH-based Renal Dialysis Centers (including satellites)
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs)
  • Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs)

Pacific desires to establish additional telehealth sites in rural Washington.  Patients covered through Labor and Industries are referred to PRC and our intake team will obtain authorization for the patient to see a Behavioral Health Specialist.  Pacific Rehabilitation provides the electronic device to connect with our specialists and asks a 'telepsych assistant' be identified to greet and room the patient.  PRC will provide all training.  PRC bills for the patient, and the patient location clinic can bill for the origination site fee for every encounter.

Please contact Bobbi Meins if you would like more information about becoming a telehealth site. 

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 Opioid Response Program Implementation

Submitted by:  Bonnie Burlingham
WA State Dept. of Health
[email protected]

RCORP Implementation will make approximately 75 awards of up to $1 million each to enhance substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder, service delivery.  The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is available on  If you have any questions about this opportunity, contact [email protected].


Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation (RCORP-Implementation)  – May 6.  The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) will be making approximately 75 awards of up to $1 million each to rural communities to enhance service delivery for substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder.  Over the course of a three-year period of performance, grant recipients will implement a set of core prevention, treatment, and recovery activities that align with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Five-Point Strategy to Combat the Opioid Crisis.   Award recipients are strongly encouraged to leverage workforce recruitment and retention programs such as the National Health Service Corps (NHSC).  

All domestic public and private entities, nonprofit and for-profit, are eligible to apply and all services must be provided in HRSA-designated rural areas (as defined by the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer).   The applicant organization must be part of an established network or consortium that includes at least three other separately-owned entities.   At least two of these entities must be located in a HRSA-designated rural area.  FORHP will hold a 90-minute webinar for applicants on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 from 11:30-1:00 pm ET.  

A recording will be made available for those who cannot attend.  For the webinar dial-in and playback information,  please reference page (ii) in the Notice of Funding Opportunity on  (Click “Preview” on the Package tab, and then “Download Instructions”.)  Contact [email protected] with questions.

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Join the discussion, connect with us! Share your stories and ideas, get the latest news, and act to help preserve rural health care and access in Washington state!  Please head over to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and look us up at WASHINGTONRURALHEALTH!  

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  Thank You to our Sponsors

Please consider sponsoring the Association today.  Click Here.