Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Two National-Level Organizations Supporting Rural Postpartum Health Across the United States

 These case studies from the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center profile two national organizations doing unique work in the area of rural postpartum health: MomMoodBooster and Pack Health. Both organizations aim to improve postpartum mental health through online content delivery combined with peer coaching support. These may serve as examples to others considering this work.

The CDC Awards for High Obesity Program

  This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced awards totaling more than $11 million for its program specifically designed to reach U.S. counties with high rates of obesity.  Most awards for the five-year program are in rural areas, cited by the CDC as having a higher obesity prevalence.  Sixteen land grant universities will work with local cooperative extension services to increase the availability of affordable, healthy foods and safe, convenient places for physical activity.

The American Cancer Society Colorectal Cancer Screening Interventions Project Has Launched

American Cancer Society (ACS) is recruiting health centers with colorectal cancer screening rates less than 40% (consideration for those less than 60% will be given) for the 2023-2024 Screening Interventions Project. This project leverages quality improvement (QI) strategies and resources to support public health agencies, healthcare providers, and screening advocates across the nation to promote and deliver cancer screening appropriately, safely, and equitably. Quality improvement projects are based on previous structured intervention projects done through shared learning. Healthcare systems will have the opportunity to engage with national partners to share best practices, challenges, and celebrations. ACS staff will provide strategy, materials, training and technical assistance, data and measurement tools, and the latest research to maximize project outcomes. Depending on availability, funding may be available to support health centers participating in this project. Please join PACHC and ACS for a project preview on July 18, from 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm, registration is availableIf you are unable to attend and would like to learn more, contact: Kacie Jankoski.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Goes into Effect Next Week

Mark your calendar: The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) goes into effect on June 27. Under the PWFA, employers with 15 or more employees must engage in the interactive process with pregnant employees and make reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions — as long as the accommodations do not pose an undue hardship on the employer. Read this article on the PWFA from HRMorning.

American Cancer Society Colorectal Cancer Screening Interventions Project Has Launched

American Cancer Society (ACS) is recruiting health centers with colorectal cancer screening rates less than 40% (consideration for those less than 60% will be given) for the 2023-2024 Screening Interventions Project. This project leverages quality improvement (QI) strategies and resources to support public health agencies, healthcare providers, and screening advocates across the nation to promote and deliver cancer screening appropriately, safely, and equitably. Quality improvement projects are based on previous structured intervention projects done through shared learning. Healthcare systems will have the opportunity to engage with national partners to share best practices, challenges, and celebrations. ACS staff will provide strategy, materials, training and technical assistance, data and measurement tools, and the latest research to maximize project outcomes. Depending on availability, funding may be available to support health centers participating in this project. Please join PACHC and ACS for a project preview on July 18, from 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm, registration is availableIf you are unable to attend and would like to learn more, contact: Kacie Jankoski.

Anti-Bias Rules Set to Take Effect in Pennsylvania

More than a year after they entered the regulatory pipeline, the state’s strongest-ever protections for LGBTQ people are slated to take effect in August. The anti-discrimination rules expand the definition of sex to include sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Other provisions provide expanded definitions for race and religious creed. Previously, the terms had been largely undefined in the state’s two main anti-discrimination laws, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and the Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act. The laws bar discrimination in employment, education, housing, commercial property, and public accommodations. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission published the new rules in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The rules are scheduled to take effect on August 16. State lawmakers, meanwhile, are still hoping to pass a bill called The Fairness Act, which would ban discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity, real or perceived.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Goes into Effect Next Week

Mark your calendar: The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) goes into effect on June 27. Under the PWFA, employers with 15 or more employees must engage in the interactive process with pregnant employees and make reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions — as long as the accommodations do not pose an undue hardship on the employer. Read this article on the PWFA from HRMorning.

Providing High Quality Obstetric Care to American Indian/Alaska Native People in Rural Kotzebue, Alaska

 For American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) birthing people, the risk of pregnancy-related death is two to three times higher than that of white birthing people. In Alaska, the disparity is even greater; Alaska Native birthing people have the highest rates of pregnancy-associated mortality, at over five times higher than white birthing people. This case study from the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center examines the strengths and challenges for a hospital-based Tribal maternity unit located in Northwestern Alaska.