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Oregon Office of Rural Health announces Critical Access Hospital, Rural Health Clinic grants

The Oregon Office of Rural Health at Oregon Health & Science University has awarded $78,000 in grants to four Critical Access Hospital communities and $99,000 in grants to 15 rural clinics across Oregon.

Critical Access Hospital grants, awarded under the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program, aim to improve health care outcomes for Medicare patients and enable hospitals and their surrounding communities to implement sustainable programs in response to challenges identified through community needs assessments.

Rural Health Clinic grants help to advance identified financial, operational, quality or community engagement priorities. Funded projects reflect a diverse set of needs from health screenings to adoption of health information technology.

By supporting community-driven projects, the Oregon Office of Rural Health helps improve health care coordination in Oregon.

Critical Access Hospital grant awardees

Heppner — Pioneer Medical Center and Morrow County Local Community Advisory Council

Pioneer Memorial Hospital will use funds to improve care transitions and reduce Emergency Department admissions for high-risk patients. A home health nurse/care coordinator will identify individuals from Irrigon Medical Clinic and Pioneer Memorial Clinic with high-risk diabetes, coronary artery disease or multiple chronic conditions. Individualized care plans will be developed for each patient to help coordinate and integrate patient care. The care coordinator will be part of the Morrow County Inter-disciplinary Care Team and will collaborate with them on identifying needs and matching patients with appropriate resources.

Hermiston — Good Shepherd Medical Center

The goal of Good Shepherd’s Healthy Living Communities Project (HLCP) is to enable frail elders to live safely and independently in their own homes. HLCP will employ community health workers to engage seniors in utilizing preventive services and managing their own health problems. HLCP will receive referrals from participating community agencies and work with each senior individually to provide home visits, assessments, educational classes, a referral packet and assistance in enrolling in relevant programs.

Lakeview — Lake County Hospital District and Lake County Senior Citizens Association

Lakeview County Health District’s community needs assessment identified many resources for seniors; however, most of these resources are underused. The Lake County Senior Citizens Association will use grant funds to develop an outreach program to connect seniors with existing resources. Established programs include the Home Delivery Program, transportation services, congregate meals and other outreach programs. With the help of a program navigator, seniors will have the choice of home visits, phone calls or print materials to learn about programs and will receive individualized assistance in accessing and utilizing services.

Lebanon — Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital

Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital will use funds to develop and pilot a financial and operational model for Critical Access Hospitals to provide reimbursed medical nutritional services to oncology patients. In addition to assisting with hospital operations, this project will increase oncology patients’ understanding of nutrition through education services. Samaritan will pilot the program with 50 Medicare-eligible patients (and their caregivers) while they are undergoing chemotherapy in Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital and Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital. Following the pilot, Samaritan will share an evaluation of the program with all CAHs that includes detailed information related to medical nutritional service strategies and insurance billing. This project will be implemented by two clinical dietitians, with support and collaboration by community partners.

Rural Health Clinic grant awardees

Baker — Baker County Health Department

Baker County Health Department received a grant for equipment to support implementation of electronic health records.

Blue River — McKenzie River Medical Clinic

In August, McKenzie River Medical Clinic will hold a health fair to screen community members for undiagnosed chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Burns — Harney District Hospital

Harney District Hospital’s award will provide resources for clinic planning. HDH Family Care is also a Tier 3 Patient Centered Primary Care Home and has been growing rapidly, both in patient population and in the way care is provided to our residents. Due to the recent influx of CCO covered community residents, HDH Family Care has added over 600 newly covered patients.

Condon — South Gilliam County Health District

South Gilliam County Health District is building of a free-to-access wellness facility that will enhance the access to physical activity for Gilliam County and the surrounding communities. The aerobic area will include Fitness on Demand video system, which will provide streaming exercise classes. Over 120 classes for all ages and levels of activity from healthy children to elderly patients with limited mobility will be offered.

Fossil — Asher Community Health Center

Asher Community Health Center will use funds for a telehealth portal in Fossil to increase access to medical specialists. This will allow the two physicians assistants who currently staff the clinic to do on-site consultation, rather than requiring people to travel outside of County.

John Day — Strawberry Wilderness Community Clinic

Strawberry Wilderness Community Clinic will invest grant funds in training for medical assistants.

Lakeview — Warner Mountain Medical Clinic

Warner Mountain Medical Clinic received the grant to fund equipment for adoption of electronic medical records. Warner Mountain Medical Clinic will be the first medical clinic in a 100-mile radius with electronic medical records.

North Bend — Waterfall Community Health Center

Waterfall Community Health Center (WCHC) plans to expand education and screening services in Powers. Proposed activities include a fall health fair and monthly events.

St. Helens — Sacagawea Health Center

Sacagawea Health Center will purchase of a one-year trial of the Rapid Assessment for Adolescent Preventative Services (RAAPS). RAAPS is a cloud-based risk screening and counseling system that is used to identify the top risks and behaviors of youth, which are currently responsible for three out of four deaths in adolescents. The system, intended for adolescents ages 9 to 24, will be completed in the SHC waiting room by all adolescent patients prior to their visit with the SHC FNP/PNP.

Tillamook — Tillamook Regional Medical Center

Tillamook Regional Medical Center received funds to strengthen patient education and health promotion activities, including implementation of the Living Well program.

Vernonia — Vernonia Health Center Board

The Vernonia Health Center Board is using funds to support personnel in developing care models and refining services.

Wheeler — Rinehart Clinic

The grant will allow Rinehart to search for a new medical director.

White City — Community Health Center

The goal of the project is to engage the populations of the Upper Rogue area in awareness activities that will help them identify unmet health care needs and provide resources for them to seek needed medical care. Free screenings and referrals to medical care will be offered at six different community events.

Winston — South River Community Health Center

With the goal of increasing healthy behavior, South River Community Health Center will engage, educate and empower Winston residents through presentations, health promotion tools and interactive activities.

Yamhill — Yamhill School Based Health Center

Yamhill School Based Health Center’s grant will allow them to strengthen outreach with three goals in minds: 1) Foster stronger partnerships between Yamhill Carlton School Based Health Center (SBHC), the Yamhill Coordinated Care Organization (YCCO), and Yamhill Carlton School District (YCSD) to increase utilization rates by 25 percent, 2) Increase students’ and school districts’ awareness and knowledge of SBHC services, and 3) Increase parents’ and community members’ awareness and knowledge of the SBHC services.

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