Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Talking to Youth and Young Adults to Prevent E-Cigarette Use

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) article looks at the issue of youth e-cigarette use. About 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2020. Any tobacco use by youth and young adults, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe. Most e-cigarette products sold contain nicotine, which is the same addictive drug found in other tobacco products, including cigarettes and cigars. The nicotine content information on e-cigarette packaging is often misleading or inaccurate. This resource provides information about e-cigarette products and gives examples of what they can look like.

Click here to read the article.

Oral Health Access Teledentistry User’s Guide 

The National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA) released a new “Oral Health Access Teledentistry User’s Guide.” Teledentistry is an emerging trend to help improve access to oral health care, improve the dental care delivery system, and lower costs. NNOHA has worked with health centers since Spring 2020 to develop and test a variety of strategies to deliver dental services via synchronous teledentistry. This guide gives an overview of teledentistry, describes its use in health center dental programs, and includes practical tools for implementing teledentistry.

Click here to read the guide.

New Report: Oral Health Care of People with Special Health Care Needs

The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) released a report, “Best Practice Approach: Oral Health Care of People with Special Health Care Needs (SHCN).” People with SHCN often have complex medical and behavioral issues that require specialized training and appropriate settings to provide comprehensive oral health care. This report describes a public health strategy and uses practice examples to illustrate successful implementation.

Click here to read the report.

Kinship Care Highlighted Nationally Throughout September

September is National Kinship Care Month – a time to recognize, celebrate and support the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives (as well as non-relatives with a meaningful connection to the child or family) who care for children when they cannot safely remain with their parents.

It is critically important for these children to be able to live with someone they know, trust, and have a connection to, as these relationships provide a sense of security, community, cultural identity, and can reduce the trauma of being removed from their home. Unfortunately, not all children who are removed from their parents are provided the opportunity to live with kin.

National Kinship Care Month is a reminder that we must work together to find policy solutions to keep children connected to their kin. Additionally, we should thank those caregivers who are supporting abused or neglected children both inside and outside of the child welfare system.

Pennsylvania’s KinConnector program provides valuable resources to kin who are caring for children formally through the child welfare system, or informally. Every Wednesday in September, the program is hosting virtual information forums on a variety of topics of interest: financial assistance, legal rights, education and child care, and mental health, among others. Registration for these events is now open to the public.

USDA Seeks Applications to Spur Job and Economic Growth in Rural Areas

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson announced that the department is accepting loan and grant applications for projects that create jobs and economic growth in rural communities.

Funds are being made available under the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program. Through the REDLG program, USDA provides zero-interest loans and grants to Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Electric Program and Telecom Program borrowers who will use the funds to help local businesses finance projects that will create and retain jobs. Projects must be located in rural areas or towns with a population of 50,000 or less.

Funds may be used to support:

  • business startup costs;
  • business expansion;
  • business incubators;
  • technical assistance feasibility studies;
  • advanced telecommunications services and computer networks for medical, educational and job training services; and
  • community facilities projects that spur economic development.

Eligible applicants include current, former and potential borrowers of Rural Development’s Electric Program and Telecommunications Program.

Applications are being accepted continuously with funding competition deadlines on Sept. 30, 2021; Dec. 31, 2021; March 31, 2022; and June 30, 2022.

Applications submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. local time on the deadline dates to the USDA Rural Development State Office where the project is located and will compete for the available REDLG funds in that quarter.

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact their local USDA Rural Development State Office well in advance of the application deadline to ask questions about their project, the program or the application process.

Additional information is available on page 50015 of the Sept.7, 2021, Federal Register. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

CMS Releases Medicaid and CHIP Guidance Targeting Vaccination and Testing for COVID-19

To help states support families and communities and to continue to address health disparities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is providing guidance to states about additional funding for states to promote the importance of COVID-19 vaccination for eligible individuals enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  CMS’s new guidance also highlights Medicaid and CHIP coverage for diagnostic and screening COVID-19 testing in a variety of settings, including schools.

3RNET Recruiting for Retention Academy – October 4

The National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network (3RNET) designed this learning opportunity for recruiters, medical directors, and others seeking to employ health professionals in underserved areas.  A series of live webinars lasting up to 90 minutes each will take place between October 5 and December 14.  Attendees will get access to national experts on rural/underserved recruiting and retention. Find more information here.