January 2016
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.

Zech's Story - Ramp It Up Program Associate
We're currently recruiting for a Ramp It Up Program Associate with Broome County Council of Churches. View Zech's Story for insight and inspiration from a current AmeriCorps member. Responsibilities include learning the facets of the Faith In Action Volunteers program and the Youth Mentoring Initiative, as well as working with the Coordinator to interact with program applicants (clients), youth and adult volunteers, work teams, and program staff. The Associate will assist with site visits, inventory control, ordering building supplies, maintaining a safe work site environment, and with wheel chair ramp construction at private residences. A general understanding of mechanical drawings and basic construction principles is helpful. The Associate will also prepare reports and evaluations of the program. March - November 2016  (25-35 hours weekly).
Board of Directors Update
Rural Health Network welcomed four new members to the Board of Directors for terms beginning in 2016: Delana Spaulding, FNP, Lourdes Hospital; Tamie MacDonald, NY Connects Coordinator, Delaware County Office for Aging; Cynthia Paddock, recently retired former Director, Binghamton Metropolitan Transportation Study; and, Sandi Sanzo, retired former administrator, Broome County Department of Social Services.
Returning Board members include: Judith Quaranta, PhD, RN, Clinical Associate Professor, Decker School of Nursing, serving as President; and Lenore Boris, PhD, JD, of Upstate Medical University, serving as Vice President; Sister Kathleen Natwin, serving as Treasurer; Sharon Chesna, Executive Director of Mothers & Babies Perinatal Network of SCNY, serving as Secretary; Nancy Eckstrom, Registered Dietitian and retired Food Service Director; Mallory Evans, Relay for Life Specialist, American Cancer Society; Nancy Frank, LCSWR, Director, Lourdes Hospital Youth Services; Luann Kida, Community Schools Director of Broome County Promise Zone program at Binghamton University; Amelia LoDolce, MS, Health Initiatives Manager, United Way of Broome County; Mary McFadden, Supervising Public Health Educator, Broome County Health Department; Johannes Peeters, retired Public Health Director of Tioga County Public Health; and Greg Rittenhouse, retired Vice President and COO, UHS Home Care.
The Board of Directors work diligently during the second half of 2015 to complete the 
2016 - 2018 Strategic Plan.  RHN would like to acknowledge the invaluable service of Lisanne P. Bobby, Director, Strategic Planning & Business Analysis, Lourdes Hospital, who facilitated the strategic planning process.  
Farm to School Partnerships to Expand in 2016
Congratulations to Broome-Tioga BOCES 
(BT-BOCES) and partners for being awarded one of six New York State Farm to School grants under the newly created grant program! Over the next two years, students in the Southern Tier will find more local, healthy fruits and vegetables in their school cafeterias thanks to a regional, collaborative partnership. Serving fresh, local food in school cafeterias helps kids stay engaged in the classroom, develop healthy habits, and improve food security. It also supports our local farms, strengthening the New York State farm economy - a win for students, farms, and communities. 

The Food and Health Network of South Central NY (FaHN) is excited to continue working with BT-BOCES, area school districts, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier.  Broome County Health Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, local producers, and many other partners to bridge connections between the regional farms and schools. The project will build upon current farm to school success and help to expand an innovative distribution model to address the challenges of transporting food from local farms to schools.
Read the official press release on New York State's website.
Check out Fox 40's coverage of the news and watch an interview with Erin Summerlee.

Rural Cultural Competency - Call to Action!
Functional cultural competency has been increasingly recognized as an important part of providing quality care to clients and patients. Through our work in a variety of forums, Rural Health Network has observed the need for a cultural competency training that focuses on rural culture.

Our staff is working to develop a rural cultural competency training to be used both internally and, potentially, externally. We aim to create an interactive and demonstrative training which contains case studies, video clips, and other materials illustrating key concepts of rural culture.  

But, we can't do it alone! We are asking rural health and human services providers to share experiences that clearly portray one or more aspects of rural culture as well as stories that have a teaching component. The focus will be placed on the following concepts: conventional attitudes, isolation, rural poverty, work belief and health, and insider/outsider & old-timer/newcomer.

If you're interested in sharing a story, please follow this link Rural Cultural Competence Case Story to access a template. The template also provides definitions and additional information about the rural cultural concepts outlined above.

Please submit all case stories by February 29, 2016. Stories that are the freshest in your memory will most likely have a greater level of detail. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us:
 Thank you for your contributions! 

The Affordable Care Act's third Open Enrollment Period will soon be coming to a close. New York State residents have until January 31 to enroll in health coverage for 2016.

Notable highlights to the New York State of Health this season include an increase in the federal tax penalty to the uninsured, as well as the addition of the Essential Plan, New York State's Basic Health Program (BHP). The Essential Plan offers low-income individuals with more affordable health care options, resulting in 297,906 individuals enrolled in the plan as of December 26, 2015.

More recently, Governor Cuomo approved Bill S05972 making New York the first state in the country to include pregnancy as a qualifying event for the Special Enrollment Period. Starting January 1, pregnant women may enroll in a New York State of Health plan at ANY time during their pregnancy, enabling all mothers-to-be access to essential prenatal care.

REMEMBER: Although the Open Enrollment Period is wrapping up, certain life events can qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period. For a full list of qualifying events, please refer to the New York State of Health website: https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/.

Connect with Rural Health Network of SCNY

Advancing the health and well-being of rural people and communities.