Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

CDC Guidance on Monkeypox Released

 Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerted clinicians for signs and symptoms of the infection that, as of June 14, has appeared in 65 cases in the United States.  No deaths have been reported globally from the current outbreak; for reporting purposes, the CDC clarifies criteria for suspected, probable, and confirmed cases that should be reported through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System.

Severe Weather Causing Serious Financial and Health Problems

A new poll asked U.S. adults about their experiences and found that 78 percent of those asked had recently experienced a severe weather event –tornado, hurricane or tropical storm, wildfire, major flooding, major drought, and severe cold/winter storms.  More than half said that extreme heat was the most impactful weather in the last five years, and nearly a quarter of the survey respondents reported that climate change is threatening their health a great deal or a lot.  The report is a joint project from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Public Radio, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

A New Study is Published: Trends in Access to Care among Rural Patients Served at HRSA-Funded Health Centers

Researchers found that rural patients seeking care at health centers funded by HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) experienced lower unmet and delayed medical care and reported that they were more likely to obtain a flu vaccine. At the same time, researchers identified decreases in Pap tests, mammogram screenings, and an increase in emergency department visits. This indicates that health centers in rural areas may still face barriers to providing timely or accessible preventative services that would reduce their patients’ need for acute medical care. Research findings highlight the importance of HRSA’s continued investments to increase access to preventive and primary care services in rural areas. To read this article, and other articles about quality care delivered by health centers, visit BPHC’s Health Center Library.  

The HUD Commits $54.5 Million to Rural Housing and Social Supports

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a broad, new initiative to connect individuals and families to housing, health care, and supportive services.  Total funding of $322 million is a supplement to HUD’s Continuum of Care (CoC) Program, with $43 million for incremental housing vouchers for at-risk households, and $54 million set aside for projects in rural areas.  The Supplemental to Address Unsheltered and Rural Homelessness requires collaboration among housing authorities, health care organizations, and those that provide support for individuals and families facing issues that often lead to homelessness – such as domestic violence, youth trauma, and substance use disorder.  HUD will hold a 90-minute Kick Off Webinar on Tuesday, June 28 at 2:30 pm ET.   Next week, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will provide further details for rural health providers in a webinar on Thursday, June 30 at 2:00 pm ET. 

New Issue of OSAP’s Infection Control in Practice is Released

A new issue of the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP) Infection Control in Practice – Team Huddle has been released. This issue re-emphasizes respiratory hygiene and highlights diseases that a respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette program can prevent. A workplace scenario challenges the dental team to evaluate the cost-effective use of consumables for infection prevention and what to consider when deciding to use a reusable item or its disposable counterpart. Learn more about OSAP by clicking here.

How to Identify the Oral Health Signs of Child Maltreatment

The Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center has released a tip sheet about the oral health signs of child maltreatment, specifically as they relate to physical and sexual abuse. There are resources for working with families to help prevent child maltreatment, recognize oral health signs of child maltreatment, and understand the requirements for reporting suspected child maltreatment to state child protection agencies. It is part of the Brush up on Oral Health series.

AmeriCorps Behavioral Health Service Program Begins

The National Nurse-Led Care Consortium (NNCC) is excited to announce a new AmeriCorps State Program to support the recruitment, training, and development of a new generation of public health leaders to support behavioral health service programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. NNCC’s AmeriCorps members will serve in the community to learn how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the utilization of behavioral health services and establish a catalog of local resources. These members will expand the capacity for organizations to screen and refer individuals for substance use disorder and mental health treatment and identify critical services needed in response to the ongoing pandemic. To learn more about how the program can benefit your health center click here.