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Due to COVID-19, CRH will continue working remotely until further notice.

March 2021 Center for Rural Health Update

FOCUS on Rural Health

Building on Success: Critical Access Hospitals Find Success with CAH Quality Network
The CAH Quality Network has found success after working with Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) for 13 years.


North Dakota Pediatric Mental Health Care Access
This new program connects children and adolescents with behavioral and mental health issues with psychiatry providers in underserved areas of the state.

Behavioral Health Bridge Receives Award, Offers Additional Mental Health Resources
Shawnda Schroeder, PhD, was part of the team that earned a University of North Dakota Founders Day Award for Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Research and Creative Activity for work on the Behavioral Health Bridge (BHB) website. In addition, the BHB has launched new mental health resources, including anonymous, interactive behavioral health screening tools and an Ask an Expert section.

Adamsen Coauthors Report to Improve Cultural Relevance and Accessibility
Collette Adamsen, PhD, along with four other researchers, authored a report for the National Council on Aging.

Funding & Other Opportunities

2021 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health Will Be Virtual
The 2021 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health will be held virtually June 2-4. Don't miss the first keynote, North Dakota's COVID-19 Response and Lessons Learned, presented by Joshua Wynne, MD, chief health strategist for the state of North Dakota and dean of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences.

Oral Health in Primary Care TeleECHO
Join us for this virtual learning series to improve access to oral health care for patients in rural and underserved communities throughout North Dakota. The focus is to build and strengthen capacity among primary care and other providers responsible for supporting patient well-being. Three clinics are scheduled:

  • The Need to Address Oral Health in Primary Care Settings, March 25
  • Completing Pediatric Dental Screens in Primary Care Settings, April 8
  • Applying and Billing for Fluoride Varnish Application in a Healthcare Setting, April 22

Critical Access Hospital Conference 2021
The North Dakota Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program will sponsor one individual from each CAH in North Dakota to attend Eide Bailly's 2021 CAH Conference in April, which focuses on the Medicare cost report and revenue cycle. Those interested in registering can contact Nicole Threadgold at for a discount code.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota Caring Foundation Rural Health Grant Deadline Extended
Applications continue to be accepted for this grant program. The program's goal is to improve the health of people in the state and raise awareness for people of all ages of the importance of daily physical activity and ways to improve their overall wellness.
Deadline: April 29

North Dakota Healthcare Partners Events Calendar
This calendar is designed to connect people in the healthcare and community service fields to events and educational opportunities across North Dakota. This "one-stop shop" format helps effectively coordinate events and enhance their visibility. For more information, contact Ashley Folarin at

CRH Events

March 24 Student Art Showcase
Health Careers students at Dickinson High School worked with the North Dakota Brain Injury Network (NDBIN) to learn about brain injury and brain injury prevention. In turn, the students taught elementary students, who created art focused on brain injury prevention. Virtual art show visitors will get the opportunity to vote for their favorite artwork.
March 25-26 2021 Mind Matters Conference – Virtual
This conference highlights new brain injury research, trends, practice strategies, and collaborative models of care. Participants will learn about innovative approaches and new systems of care for individuals living with brain injuries. Exhibitors will have opportunities to share their websites, display their organizations' names and logos during breaks, and be featured on the Mind Matters website scavenger hunt/bingo and on the conference program.
March 30-31 Age-Friendly Care in the Great Plains Symposium - Virtual
Regional experts will talk about the Geriatric 4Ms: What Matters, Mentation, Medication, and Mobility in patient care specific to Great Plains American Indian populations.
April 7 NDBIN Webinar Wednesdays
Dr. Alexander Balbir will discuss military populations and brain injury.
April 12 Age-Friendly Webinar Series
The second of five monthly age-friendly webinars will focus on medication.
April 28 Statewide CAH and RHC Quality Conference
Preregister for this annual conference, which is an opportunity for all CAHs and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) to come together virtually and discuss patient safety and healthcare quality in North Dakota. Presentations from healthcare quality experts and updates on best practices for both CAHs and RHCs will be part of the conference, which is a complement to the North Dakota CAH Quality Network's quarterly regional meetings but will also include content specific to RHCs.


Rural Early Childhood Health Promotion Toolkit
This new toolkit, produced by the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center in collaboration with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis and the Rural Health Information Hub, provides resources and information focused on developing, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining programs for early childhood health promotion in rural communities.