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Congratulations to New Certified Phlebotomists

Congratulations to Jalynn Burress, Calandra Traylor, Errion Bells, and Adrienne Williams, who became Certified Licensed Phlebotomist in the month of September. They attended the phlebotomy course at Professional Allied Health, LLC in Memphis. The participants were referred by Kimberly Burse, Staff Development Coordinator, at Pine Meadows Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Bolivar, TN. They have been working with Maddy Rymer and Patty Lane, workforce development staff at the Rural Health Association of TN. 

Delta Regional Authority grant funding made it possible for the RHA workforce team to provide supportive services and case management support for the past six months.  Employees are encouraged to gain additional certifications and credentials along their healthcare journey.

RHA to receive grant to address Substance Use Disorder

Rural Health Association of Tennessee (RHA) has been awarded a $1million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to combat Substance Use Disorder (SUD) in rural Tennessee over the next three years.

The announcement comes during National Recovery Month – an observance to bring public awareness surrounding mental health and addiction recovery. Tennessee, via the Behavioral Health Safety Network, prevention coalitions, and other change agents, have achieved many successes toward reducing Substance Use Disorder in the state. Most notably, opioid prescriptions have decreased statewide, resulting in fewer deaths involving opioids obtained through a prescription. Targeted prevention, treatment, and recovery programs do work.

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Allie Haynes Appointed to Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities

Allie Haynes will represent Rural Health Association of Tennessee on Tennessee Council on Developmental  Disabilities.  The Council, established by the federal Developmental Disabilities Act (Spanish language version of the Developmental Disabilities Act.) and by Tennessee Executive Order 50 exists to:

  • Build bridges between the experiences of real people with disabilities and the policies and service systems that affect their lives.
  • See the big picture across government programs to help connect dots and fill gaps to meet real needs.. 
  • Use these connections to make change toward greater inclusion, independence, and self-determination for people with disabilities in Tennessee.

To learn more about the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities, visit their website.

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RHA Announced as Apprenticeship Ambassador by the U.S. Department of Labor

In November 2021, Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh announced the Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative to bring   together industry, labor, education, equity and workforce leaders to partner with the department’s Office of Apprenticeship to promote Registered Apprenticeships as a valuable workforce strategy in high-demand industries to develop and expand opportunities for people historically underserved.

The goal of RHA’s apprenticeship program is to support the recruitment and retention of entry level healthcare workers such as Certified Nursing Assistants and Community Health Workers. Serving as an “Apprenticeship Sponsor,” RHA assists healthcare employers who need a partner in establishing a program and when possible, finding resources to support apprentices.

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Call for Board Nominations (2023)

From RHA of TN's Past President of RHA of TN's Board of Directors

I am excited to issue a call for nominations from our members that would like to serve on the Board of Directors. The board provides governance, direction, and oversight of the Association and its many programs, projects, and activities. There are 3 seat openings (1 per Grand Region) for the 2023 - 2025.

Board positions are for a three-year term, with an option to renew for another three years after the conclusion of the first term. The commitment involves 4 meetings annually, attendance at the annual conference, and serving on at least 1 committee of the board. To be eligible, an individual must be a member in good standing and live in Tennessee.

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Welcome Engooden Health - Rural Health Clinic Sustaining Parnter

Engooden Health becomes Rural Health Clinic
Sustaining Member!

Engooden Health, a company redefining chronic disease management, today announced a partnership with the Rural Health Association of Tennessee (RHA of TN), granting members access to technology-enhanced chronic care management (CCM) services between provider visits. Engooden will provide association members with the ability to scale personalized interventions for patients living with chronic diseases to help improve their quality of life and health outcomes.

Health disparities within rural communities occur due to social determinants, including geographic isolation, socioeconomic status, and reliable food sources. These factors place larger populations of people at risk for having chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Engooden’s proprietary technology, in partnership with RHA of TN, will help bring more ongoing and equitable care to Tennesseans by providing its members with outsourced services to rising risk patients in between office visits. 


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Introductory Message from our RHC Network Director

Greetings Rural Health Clinics,

Tennessee's landscape is filled with wonders natural and manmade. From Cumberland Gap in the East where nature cut a pass allowing human migration westward to the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee inhabited with people whose character is as strong as the granite in those hills, to the superhighway of rivers, the Mississippi, its riverbanks spotted with those who rely on the river for sustenance and transportation in West, Tennessee is a place where its inhabitants have a long history of self-reliance, resilience, and community.

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Report on Behavioral Health Workforce

Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) and TennCare convened the  Tennessee Public Behavioral Health Workforce Workgroup in June 2021. Serving as convenors and facilitators of this workgroup, the agencies gathered a diverse group of stakeholders and professionals, each of whom was uniquely positioned to provide insight to this critical issue. This report represents the work of the Public Behavioral Health Workforce Workgroup and proposes short-term and long-term strategies that directly address recruitment and retention opportunities that can be implemented by local behavioral health providers, colleges and universities, and various Tennessee State Government Departments.

Pages 17 and 18 name replication of RHA's Apprenticeship program as a key strategy for promoting public behavioral health careers.

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Rural Health leaders honored at annual conference

 

Rural Health Association of Tennessee (RHA) celebrated National Rural Health Day in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, November 18th, 2021 to honor those who work every day to help keep Tennessee healthy. This year's conference was dedicated to local and state health department officials, providers, and advocates who have served on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Missed the event? Copies of presentations are in our Rural Resource Center (login required).

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Welcome our Newest Member, Lifeline Pilots

LifeLine Pilots provides free air transportation for people with medical or humanitarian needs far from home.  Their 10-state midwestern region includes Tennessee.  LifeLine Pilots has more than 270 volunteer pilots, located throughout our region, to help fly people in need.  There is never a cost to fly with us and no limit to the number of times a passenger can fly.
 
Below is a FAQ sheet, for medical professionals wanting more information about our service and a passenger rack card.
LifeLine Pilots_Free Flights for Medical Care.pdf
LifeLine Pilots_Passenger Rack Card.pdf

 For more information contact Lindsey Kerr, Executive Director, LifeLine Pilots
Direct Dial: 309-306-7853  l   Office:  800-822-7972
[email protected]   l   www.lifelinepilots.org  
www.facebook.com/lifelinepilotsusa

2021 Academic Poster Competition

6th Annual Student, Resident and Faculty Virtual Poster Competition Information 

This virtual research poster competition is a low-cost way for students, residents and faculty to share their research without the costs of producing a “hard-copy” poster.  

Division winners and the overall winner will receive a gift certificate or modest cash award (check).

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Department of Labor Recognizes RHA of TN Apprenticeship Program

Rural Health Association of Tennessee (RHA of TN) is proud to have recently received approval as a registered Apprenticeship Program by the United States Department of Labor and a pre-Apprenticeship program by Tennessee Department of Labor.

This spring RHA of TN worked with West Tennessee Healthcare to register an apprenticeship program for Patient Care Tech/Nursing Assistant roles. Apprenticeships are paid on-the-job work experiences paired with mentoring over the course of 2000 hours. When requirements of the program are met, apprentices receive a nationally recognized certificate in their field.

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Call for Board Nominations

From RHA of TN's Past President of RHA of TN's Board of Directors 

I am excited to issue a call for nominations from our members that would like to serve on the Board of Directors. The board provides governance, direction, and oversight of the Association and its many programs, projects, and activities. There are several seats opening for the 2022 term year in each grand division.

Board positions are for a three-year term, with an option to renew for another three years after the conclusion of the first term. The commitment is relatively minimal with quarterly meetings / conference calls and occasional assistance on committees and projects. To be eligible, an individual must be a member in good standing and live in Tennessee.

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Spring 2021 Leadership Academy

Rural Health Association of Tennessee is proud to announce the inaugural class of the Rural Health Leadership Academy! The below individuals were selected for their commitment to rural health and their desire to grow as leaders.

The academy will be led by Dr. Bill Auxier, Executive Coach, CEO and President of Dynamic Leadership Academy, and Executive Director of Rural Health Leadership Radio. Over the course of 10-weeks participants will complete a variety of in-person, on-demand, and group learning modules, earning a certificate in Rural Health Leadership.

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How an $8.5 billion federal COVID-19 relief package could help rural hospitals in the South

The below article written by Maria Clark, published in the Tennessean March 24th discusses the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package executed on March 11th that includes $8.5 billion in funding set aside for rural health providers. 

The article quotes representatives from the National Rural Health Association and Rural Health Association of Tennessee. (Read article here)

2021 State Rural Health Policy Issues

Your Voice. Louder.

We are excited to introduce a new tool for Rural Health Advocates to connect with their state and federal legislators on issues important to improving health and access to care in rural Tennessee.

Visit our Action Center to compose and send a message to your state legislator. On the Action Center Page, click on the "Bills" tab to see the list of bills RHA of TN is following, whether we support or oppose, and link to more information such as who is sponsoring the bill, where it is in committee, and to view the bill in it's entirety.

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Amerigroup donations benefit two West Tennessee organizations

The Rural Health Association of Tennessee in Decaturville received $20,000 for their workforce apprenticeship program, the release says. The program helps build relationships with rural healthcare facilities and educational institutions.

 Read full article: https://www.wbbjtv.com/2021/03/10/amerigroup-donations-benefit-two-west-tennessee-organizations/ 

New RHA of TN Staff!

Director of Membership - West Tennessee - Allica Austin achieved an MBA from Liberty University and BS from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She was recruited from her undergraduate internship to help launch employee health initiatives at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where she moved into roles focused on prevention and reducing chronic diseases. She has articles published focusing on implementing clinical care algorithms and research involving exercise physiology and reduction of long-term cancer side-effects. After hurricane Harvey she returned back to Tennessee to assist in the care if her father and continues to pursue her desire to assist in the reduction of disease in her home state of Tennessee.  Allica will be the project director for the Delta Apprenticeship grant and will support members in West Tennessee.

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Press Release: Rural Health Association of Tennessee Announces New Board Members

Rural Health Association of Tennessee announced the election results for two new additions to the board of directors: Alicia Calloway, Chief Operating Officer of OPYS Physician Services and Barry Cooper, Executive Director of JACOA.

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Interview: Rural Health Leadership Radio

Executive Director, Jacy Warrell, talks with Dr. Bill Auxier, host of Rural Health Leadership Radio. Subscribe to Rural Health Leadership Radio at https://rhlradio.com