Committee on Rural Health (CRH) 2012 Report to the Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice

The Committee on Rural Health has continued to promote issues of importance to rural communities and providers through various avenues and initiatives. The following are some of the highlights from this year:

2012 Convention Programming

  • CRH acknowledges the collaboration of both CAPP and BAPPI in providing one hour of programming each towards the “Assisting Members of Vulnerable/Underserved Populations Affected by Natural Disasters.” The symposium’s co-listers included the following governance groups in addition to CRH: the Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology, the Committee on Aging, and the Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs. The presenters provided examples of recent disasters that have had disproportionate effects on each presenter’s respective constituencies. This symposium was approved for Continuing Education Credit and identified ways in which psychologists can assist vulnerable populations in disaster preparedness and response activities. CRH member Dr. Debra Sheppard presented on the implications for Rural Residents. Former CRH member Dr. James Werth served as symposium Chair.

  • CRH member Dr. Darryl Salvador presented on “Money Matters - Financial Planning and Loan Repayment for Early Career Psychologists,” which highlighted the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program. This program provides loan repayment to psychologists and other primary care providers who agree to work in rural and/or urban, medically underserved, health professional shortage area (HPSA) designated sites.

  • CRH Chair Dr. Diana Prescott presented at a Presidential Program titled “Integrated Care for Women and Children in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).”

  • The State Advocacy Office developed a half-page flyer that was distributed at the APA Practice Directorate booth inviting members to join the APA Rural Health Network Listserv.

National Health Service Corp (NHSC)

  • The Committee as a whole consistently promotes the NHSC in its convention programming and various other communications. Furthermore, Dr. Darryl Salvador is a member of NHSC’s National Advisory Council (NAC on NHSC), a group of clinicians and health care administrators who are expert in the issues medically underserved communities face in meeting their health care needs and serves as a "frontline" source of information to the NHSC senior management.

CRH Open Listserv Rebranding

  • In March 2012, the State Advocacy Office changed the name of the CRH open listserv from CRH@lists.apa.org to APARuralHealthNetwork@lists.apa.org. The name change was to better define the central purpose of the listserv, which is an open forum for SPTA Rural Health Coordinators, psychologists interested in rural health issues, and friends of psychology and rural health. While under a new name, APA Rural Health Network, the Committee on Rural Health 2012 Report to CAPP 2 listserv will still operate as an entity of CRH, whose vision is to achieve the full and optimal impact of the science, practice and advocacy of psychology in rural America. 
  • The APA Rural Health Network Listserv was advertised at Convention 2012 at the APA Practice Directorate booth.

National Health Service Corp (NHSC)

  • The Committee as a whole consistently promotes NHSC in its convention programming and various other communications. Furthermore, Dr. Salvador is a member of NHSC’s National Advisory Council, a group of clinicians and health care administrators who are expert in the issues medically underserved communities face in meeting their health care needs that serves as a "frontline" source of information to the NHSC senior management.

State Leadership Conference 2012

  • CRH Chair Drs. Diana Prescott and Darryl Salvador (in his role as President-Elect of the Hawaii Psychological Association) attended the 29th Annual State Leadership Conference held in Washington, DC on March 10-13, 2012.

  • A Rural Health Coordinators breakfast session was held during State Leadership Conference 2012. The event drew a small gathering who spent the hour discussing the role of Rural Health Coordinators in the States, how the Rural Health Coordinator Program can be re-energized, and a discussion of various issues facing the rural areas of the guests present.

  • The APA Committee on State Leaders (CSL) presented Dr. Michael R. Rosmann, Executive Director of Agriwellness, Inc., with the 2012 CSL State Leadership Award for his extensive work in issues related to behavioral health care needs of agricultural populations and communities.

  • CRH Chair Dr. Diana Prescott was recipient of the Federal Advocacy Coordinator Award 2012.

APA Practice Initiative: State Implementation of Health Care Reform

  • In October 2012, members of CRH joined the APA Communities - State Health Care Reform Group, an ongoing project of the APA Practice Initiative: State Implementation of Health Care Reform.

Use of Electronic Media

  • On May 2, 2012, CRH participated in awareness efforts for the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, sponsored by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. To contribute towards this national campaign and to shed light on the incidence of teen pregnancies in rural areas, the CRH partnered with the APA Public Education Campaign to author a guest post entitled “Preventing Teen Pregnancy in Rural America” on the YOUR MIND YOUR BODY Blog, the official blog of the APA Public Education Campaign. The guest post was a personal account by CRH Chair Dr. Diana Prescott and can be found online.

Suicide Prevention & Awareness

  • CRH has further developed their interest in suicide prevention in rural areas. During the Fall Consolidated Meetings, CRH met with invited guests: a representative from LivingWorks, Inc., a social entrepreneurial company which specializes in suicide awareness and prevention training, and a representative from the University of Montana.

2013 Convention Planning

  • CRH has agreed to co-list with the Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs on a proposed BAPPI sponsored symposium titled, “Indigenous Healing Among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders: Lessons for Western Approaches to Mental Health, Counseling and Psychotherapy.” The symposium will discuss how Native Hawaiian culture, beliefs and philosophy are manifested in a strength-based approach to indigenous healing.

  • CRH was granted one hour of convention programming from CAPP for the APA 2013 Annual Convention in Hawaii. This hour will be used to sponsor a two-hour symposium in co-sponsorship with one programming hour from Division 12 Society of Clinical Psychology, Section VII Clinical Emergencies and Crises, on the topic of rural suicide.

  • CRH will hold an open business meeting during the 2013 convention.

Other

  • CRH continues to work on several longstanding priority areas including issues related to integrated care, telehealth, primary care associations, Federal Qualified Health Centers, and prescriptive authority to increase access to health care in rural areas.

  • CRH is working with the State Advocacy Office on plans to revamp the Rural Health Coordinator Program in 2013. Efforts are being made to enhance communication and collaboration opportunities with APA Practice Public Relations Office Public Education Campaign to strengthen this initiative.

  • The Committee wishes to express its deepest appreciation to Dr. Peter Oppenheimer, CAPP Liaison to CRH. We are grateful to have such a committed advocate for rural health issues and psychologists on CAPP.