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Home > News & Events > Online Newsletter
Online Newsletter

June, 2012

NERHRT 15th Annual Symposium and HHS Day

"Improving Health through Innovation"

Telehealth - Behavioral Health Solutions

Thursday, October 25 and Friday, October 26, 2012
Marriott at Sable Oaks
Portland, ME

Keynote Speaker, Thursday:
Kathryn Power, M.Ed,
SAMHSA Regional Administrator

Keynote Speaker, Friday:
Terry Rabinowitz, M.D.,
Medical Director, Telemedicine, FAHC,
Co-Investigator, Northeast Telehealth Resource Center

Save The Date

RoundTable Welcomes New Board Member Matthew Chandler

Matthew Chandler has been named Director of the Rural Health and Primary Care Program at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the Division of Local Public Health. In this position, Matt also becomes an ex-officio member of the RoundTable Board.

Matt comes to his new position with a wealth of health care experience, most of which has been in rural health. He is a 1995 graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. While completing his education at U.S.M., he worked for Shalom House, Inc. in Portland, an agency that supports adults with mental illness. Upon graduation, he assumed the role of Clinical Program Director and held this role until 2004 when he was hired as a Health Program Manager in the Maine CDC, Rural Health and Primary Care Program. While in this position, Matt assisted in the creation of a Maine Critical Access Hospital executive committee, a Director of Nursing forum, and was very much involved in the New England Rural Health Round Table.

He was actively involved in State, Regional and National rural health care organizations, holding board of directors positions from regional representative of the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health to the board chair of the Acadia Health Education Coalition.

More recently, Matt pursued a rural health care consulting career where he authored several state rural health plans, participated in hospital strategic planning and gained great knowledge in rural hospital finance, operations, quality improvement and patient and staff satisfaction.

Coming in August!

Maine Primary Care Association hosts the 2012 New England Clinical Symposium and Workforce Summit

Date: August 23, 2012
Time: 7:45 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Place: Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, ME

This inaugural event is dedicated to the clinicians and administrators of New England's critical access hospitals, community health centers, rural clinics and tribal health centers - and to current and prospective National Health Service Corps scholars and loan repayors.

View the agenda and registration information.

Mid-State Health Center, Plymouth, NH, Named Finalist
in Toyota's 2012 100 Cars for Good Program

And YOU can help Mid-State win one of those vehicles (which is badly needed to help patients with transportation challenges to access their healthcare appointments.)

Here's the deal: Each day, 100 Cars for Good will profile five finalists at Individual members of the public will be able to vote for which nonprofit they think can do the most good with a new vehicle. The nonprofit with the most votes at the end of each day will win one of six Toyota models. Runners-up will each receive a $1,000 cash grant from Toyota.

Now here's where YOU come in. You can VOTE for Mid-State on Sunday, July 29th from 10 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. ET.

Sharon Beaty, Mid-State CEO and President-Elect of the RoundTable is thrilled that her organization is one of the finalists. She'd love for you to mark July 29 on your calendar and cast a vote for Mid-State.

Maine Primary Care Association Seeking CEO

Kevin Lewis, Executive Diector, Maine PCA, is moving to a new position within the organization and thus there is a search underway for a new CEO. See the job posting.

Good News from Connecticut

Greater Torrington Health and Wellness Center, Torrington, CT, Wins $5 million Grant for Expansion of Facilities, Services

In May the Center announced plans to triple its size through the grant, which is funded by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Kathy Grimaud, CEO, said the award will enable the center to add 40 permanent positions to the center's staff, 12 to 20 exam rooms and additional offers of dental care and behavioral health services. In turn, the clientele base will grow.

Expansion of the Center will also create construction jobs, which will benefit the community during these tough economic times.
"This is an area where you can show the cost-effective benefit of [the Affordable Health Care Act]," Rep.Larson said.

The CT State Office of Rural Health, Heather Cappabianca, Director, sent a letter of support for the award.

U.S. Rep. John Larson, (D-CT) presents the check to Kathy Grimaud (l) and staff

Photo source: The Register Citizen (Litchfield Co, CT)

VT Still Grappling with Loss of Psychiatric Beds

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, Vermont lost 54 psychiatric beds in the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury. How to handle the displaced in-patients has caused Gov. Peter Shumlin to make some tough decisions. First was the question of whether to rebuild the Waterbury hospital. And the
VT mental health department is grappling daily with situations in which a psychiatric bed is needed urgently. The state is now contracting with other hospitals for the use of private beds but there is still a shortfall.

A compelling story (written by a Bloomberg News reporter) appeared on June 11 in the Valley News. Although the focus was on a Burlington woman "in crisis", the article presented a good picture of the status of psychiatric care in Vermont and the U.S. as a whole.
The article states, "As the only state with no government-operated psychiatric beds, Vermont's experience reflects a growing realization among mental-health experts and advocates that the decades-long trend toward outpatient care has reached its limit -- and public outcry against the latest round of cuts is beginning to change the game."

Gov. Shumlin initially proposed to restore 36 of the 54 beds, citing the opportunity to provide community-based care. But opposition from mental-health advocates and patients' families helped change his mind; the state now plans to restore 45 beds by 2015.

Read the full story.

7th NE Rural Oral Health Conference

2012 New England Clinician Symposium & Workforce Summit

Registrations are coming in fast for this eagerly awaited event.

Date: Friday, Sept. 7, 2012
Place: Westford Regency Inn and Conference Center, Westford, MA

Marcia Brand, Ph.D., Deputy Administrator, HRSA, is the keynote speaker.

Register now!

Update on Pines Health Center

In the May issue of the newsletter we wrote about the HRSA grant recently awarded to Pines Health Center, Caribou, ME. Jim Davis, CEO, called to remind us that Pines is now a Federally Qualified Health Center (no longer a "look-alike" as we reported) and the number of providers has grown to 45. Thank you, Jim!

NRHA March on Washington

On July 30-31, the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) will host the first March for Rural Hospitals in Washington, D.C., to protect funding for Medicare Dependent Hospitals (MDH) and low-volume facilities across the country.

Did you know there are 10 Medicare Dependent Hospitals in New England? For more information about this designation, go to the NRHA "Action Kit." You can find the list and a map showing these hospitals across the U.S.

Learn More

Maine 3rd Annual State Telehealth Conference

Edwina Ducker, Maine State Office of Rural Health, calls our attention to this conference, now in a new location.

"Creating, Collaborating and Expanding Solutions Across Maine."

Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Colby College, Waterville, ME

Seating is limited; view agenda and registration information.

Sen. Sanders Fights for Access to Dental Care

On June 7, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep.Elijah Cummings (D-MD) introduced sweeping legislation to address the national crisis in dental care.

"When we talk about the health care crisis in America we often ignore a very important aspect of that crisis; that tens of millions of Americans are unable to access affordable dental care and they suffer as a result of that," Sanders told a news conference on Capitol Hill.

Some 37 organizations joined Sen. Sanders in supporting the proposed legislation. The American Dental Association is still evaluating the bill.
The legislation introduced in the Senate and House would expand comprehensive dental coverage to millions of Americans through Medicare, Medicaid, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The measures would authorize funding to increase access to dental services at community health centers and boost support for mobile clinics and dental clinics in schools.

Their twin bills also would address a severe and worsening shortage of dentists in the United States, especially in rural areas and inner cities.

The legislation would expand National Health Services Corps scholarship programs. It also would create new pilot programs to encourage training for specially-trained therapists who can help close vast gaps in patient care by performing some procedures now offered only by dentists.

To integrate oral health care with overall health care, additional support would be authorized for programs to educate non-dental health professionals about oral health.

So - keep your eye on S. 3272.

Read the legislation copy.

Foundation for Community Health (CT) Honors Founding Members

"Mimi" Miriam Tannen of Millbrook, NY and "Bill" John William Gallup, MD of Salisbury, CT were honored at the annual meeting of the Foundation for Community Health Sharon, CT, for their work as founding members of the organization. Incoming Chairperson Kathryn E. Palmer-House, presented gifts to both.

The Foundation for Community Health (FCH) is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the residents of northeastern Dutchess County and southeastern Columbia County in New York and northwestern Litchfield County in Connecticut through funding, advocacy, outreach and collaboration.

RoundTable Board member Gertrude O'Sullivan is FCH's Director of Communications and Special Programs.

Please send your news to Dot Bergin or 781-275-7071.


Marion Pawlek, Executive Director
New England Rural Health RoundTable


The RoundTable's online newsletter is published approximately once a month. Current issues are available in HTML format, with links to additional information. Previous issues are available in printer-friendly Adobe Acrobat format.
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