Save Thursday, November 21, 2002 for the 3rd Annual Massachusetts Rural Health Summit at the Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center in Southbridge, MA. Conference sponsors include the MDPH, the New England Rural Health RoundTable, the MA Rural Health Network, and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.
This summit will be a day of education, discussion, and networking focused on the health needs of rural Massachusetts. Topics will include state and federal rural health initiatives, women's health in rural communities, and Massachusetts bioterrorism preparedness plans. There will also be a special afternoon workshop on developing rural grant applications.
Barry Denk, Director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, will present a longer afternoon workshop on strategies for writing successful rural grant applications and securing funding for rural program needs. He will share his knowledge and years of experience including information on how to find funds, position your project, present your rural uniqueness and needs, use data to support your application, etc. This session will provide useful new ideas and resources for both the novice and the experienced rural grant writer.
The conference brochure will be ready soon. For more information: Pat Dempsey, Office of Rural Health, MDPH, or (508) 792-7880
In our days of significant shortfalls in state revenues resulting in budget cuts in programs, there has still been good news for rural communities over the past few months.
A resourceful mix of local, state, and federal funds was used to double the size of Worthington Community Health Center adding much needed medical, dental, and mental health space. Amid high praise, the ribbon cutting was held October 1st. Next they want to expand their Huntington CHC.
The MDPH State Office of Emergency Medical Services in collaboration with the MDPH Office of Rural Health, Regional EMS Councils, rural hospitals, and public safety officials has received a new federal grant for a Rural Automatic Defibrillator Program.
The MDPH Office of Rural Health, in collaboration with the Mass Hospital Association and rural hospitals, obtained a new federal grant from the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) for hospitals to use towards HIPAA implementation and quality improvement.
Health Professional Shortage applications were submitted to the Federal Bureau of Primary Health Care for the N. Quabbin area and Nantucket County. Two more, S. Berkshire County and N. Berkshire County, are nearly complete. These were a collaborative effort of the local rural hospitals and the MDPH Office of Rural Health and the MDPH Office of Primary Care.
The CHC of Franklin County celebrated its 5th anniversary with a special open house on October 17th. Congratulations to the board, staff, and community!
A new AHEC is opening to serve Southeastern Mass. including Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket, and Plymouth Counties. The new AHEC, a program of Health Care of Southeastern Mass, will promote health careers and placement of health professionals in under-served communities. It is a part of the UMASS Medical School AHEC System.
Martha's Vineyard residents are working together to purchase affordable health insurance for the 3,000 people on the island who lack it, in a project that could become a national model for community-based health care. They intend to launch the Island Health Plan this winter through Neighborhood Health Plan.
The LightHouse Health Access Alliance, a CAP grant of Barnstable County Human Services in partnership with health and human service providers in Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket Counties, is developing tools for an integrated information system. An extensive on-line, searchable database has been developed to help people find detailed information and help in accessing a wide range of services. They are working on the LightHouse Eligibility Wizard, a software tool that will calculate eligibility for federal, state, or local programs such as free care, Medicaid, welfare, fuel assistance, etc