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HHS announced a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for health coverage through the Marketplace from February 15 – May 15 due to the COVID-19 emergency.

RWJF Leadership Development Programs – apply by March 17. 

Save the date: Building Partnerships for Recovery Friendly Workplaces (RFW), March 18, 1-2:30 pm. Learn more and register.

Rural health podcast series examines challenges and success stories of mental health, health equity, COVID-19, and more.

CDC reports an increase in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids.

Driving While Black examines the connection between racial issues and Black Americans’ ability to move freely. Watch the documentary on iTunes or Amazon.

Updated Poverty Guidelines determine financial eligibility for federal programs.

Minority Race/Ethnicity and Cancer Disparities in Rural Areas of the United States – Read the article.

CRS report provides an overview of federal programs designed to expand broadband in minority communities.

Two policy briefs evaluate critical access hospitals and alternatives to hospital closures.

Free continuing education credits are available for nurses, physicians, social workers, and marriage/family therapists who complete an online program on providing trauma-informed care.

Learn how HRSA-funded health centers have made an impact in Ending the HIV Epidemic by serving undiagnosed people, including minority populations.

Mobilizing Health Care Workforce via Telehealth features up-to-date information on emergency regulation and licensing by state and connects volunteer health care professionals to state agencies and health care entities.

CMS released the annual Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule, prioritizing primary care and chronic disease management by increasing payments to physicians and other practitioners for the additional time they spend with patients, especially those with chronic conditions. Read the full release here.

A new CMS final rule will give state Medicaid agencies greater flexibility to tailor their managed care programs to fit their specific populations. Read more.

The goal of the Making It Work: Models of Success in Rural Maternity Care case series is to describe key factors that underlie three successful models of rural maternity care. Download the publication here.

The Trump administration finalized a rule requiring health insurers to disclose price and cost-sharing information. Read the CMS fact sheet.

The USDA is investing $3 million to construct a healthcare clinic in Willard, MO. Read the release here.

Both the Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have  lists of tools and trainings.

Funding Guide: PPE and Financial Resources for Specialized Transportation Providers (PDF)

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Rural Action Plan.

A Guide to Medicare Benefits

New report identifies behavioral health crisis in agriculture in Missouri and high incidence of suicides among farmers and ranchers. Read report.

How will Medicaid Block Grants impact Missouri? Find out.

Your Community Cares Rural Health Coalition recently released ‘Not My Child’ PSA: Watch here.

A Blueprint for Improving Care for Patients with Mental Health Conditions and Substance Use Disorders who Present to the Emergency Department – Learn more.

Rural Health Research Gateway archived webinars – Check them out here.

In Missouri, the top 10 counties for heart disease mortality are rural counties. Read more.

FCC launches $20 billion digital fund. Learn more.

Government phases out DUNS number. Learn more.

Rural Health Discussion on The Randy Tobler Show – Listen here and learn more.

Helpful resources from National Volunteer Transportation Center

County Health Rankings and Roadmaps Selects New CEO

Opioids & The Workforce Conference (Your Community Cares Rural Health Coalition) – Watch video.

ReImagine Rural Health 2020 — Gov. Mike Parson Delivers Video Address

Medicaid Expansion – Kaiser Health News (KHN)

Why Doctors Should Consider Giving Patients a Ride – Politico Magazine

Medical Transportation Service is a Lifesaver for Rural Missourians – The Rural Monitor

Health-Related Consequences for Not Having Transportation – RHI Hub


CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Toolkit

Overview of Direct Order Process for COVID-19 Therapeutics

Health Center Resource Clearinghouse COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Resources

Burnout & Healing in the Face of a Global Pandemic features guest speaker Benjamin Anderson, VP of Rural Health & Hospitals for Colorado Hospital Association. Register here.

FCC extends deadline to accept comments on COVID-19 Telehealth Program.

CDC reports racial and ethnic disparities in pandemic-related stress and suicidal thoughts.

State-level policy allowing paramedics and first-responders to administer vaccines. Learn more.

February 26 – Federal COVID-19 Health Equity Meeting will provide recommendations on pandemic responses in underserved communities. Register here.

An Emergency Declaration amendment allows additional categories of health care professionals, including some with recently expired licenses, to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

Rural residents appear to be more vulnerable to COVID-19. Learn more.

Strategies for Building Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines – See the interactive web summary.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Missouri Hospital Association partnered to connect business and health care professionals to information about the COVID-19 vaccination process. Read the article.

The Find a Health Center Tool identifies COVID-19 screening and testing near you.

V-safe uses texts and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

The Rural Health Information Hub provides a collection of Rural-Specific Considerations for COVID-19 Vaccine. Advancing Population Health in Rural Places: Key Lessons and Policy Opportunities – Read the paper.

Rural hospitals have higher percentages of patients with COVID-19. Learn more here.

The FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 for individuals 16 years of age and older caused by SARS-CoV-2. Read the FDA’s press release here. Read the Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccine Providers) here.

The Department of Mental Health’s Show Me Hope program provides a free, confidential, multilingual helpline available 24/7 for anyone experiencing emotional difficulties due to the pandemic.  All Missourians are eligible to use it, and it connects individuals to the DMH system of care.  The number is 800-985-5900.

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting isolation guidelines can increase mental health issues and thoughts of suicide, and increased substance use, especially for addicts. Find more information on treatment, services, and support here.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is urging nursing home staff, residents and visitors to follow established guidelines for visitation and adherence to the core principles of infection prevention. Read the press release.

The CDC confirmed that COVID-19 cases and deaths are highest in small cities and rural communities, a trend underscored by the ongoing rural hospital closure crisis and rural communities being ill-equipped to deal with surges. Read more.

New telehealth platform mobilizes health care during COVID-19.

CMS COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Billing

Helpful Rural Health Resources at

Check out this site and these informative FAQ tools.

American Heart Association issued this Rural Health Advisory/Call-to-Action.

Addiction Resources shares how to treat substance abuse during a pandemic.