News from the Az Center for Rural Health,
Arizona's State Office of Rural Health
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AzCRH Highlights

Arizona Rural Health Conference

Due to ongoing social distancing guidelines, the 47th Annual Arizona Rural Health Conference, originally scheduled for July 30-31 will be held at a later date, to be announced. Please stay well and we will see you when it is safe to gather in large groups again!

The Arizona Center for Rural Health Stands for Equity

We, the faculty and staff of the Arizona Center for Rural Health, wish to state unequivocally that we stand against racism.
Recently, communities and individuals across the country reacted with righteous outrage and grief about the death of George Floyd and other Black Americans who have been the victims of racism and police violence. 

COVID-19 is a disease that has disproportionately affected Black, Latino, Indigenous, and People of Color. Racism is a root cause of the health inequities that contribute to public health crises and must be addressed. 

Black, Latino, Indigenous, Immigrant and People of Color have long endured systemic and institutional oppression. We agree with the American Public Health Association APHA Statement on Racism
“Racism is a longstanding systemic structure in this country that must be dismantled, through brutally honest conversations, policy changes and practices. Racism attacks people’s physical and mental health…. We see discrimination every day in all aspects of life, including housing, education, the criminal justice system and employment. And it is amplified during this pandemic as communities of color face inequities in everything from a greater burden of COVID-19 cases to less access to testing, treatment and care.” 

» Continue reading the complete statement with links to helpful resources

Operationalizing COVID-19 antibody testing across Arizona

AzCRH Director, Dan Derksen traveled 2,200 miles across Arizona to connect with and set up testing sites with partners in over 30 sites across all 15 Arizona counties.
» View this slideshow of pictures from his travels.

Amanda Aguirre, CEO RCBH with Dan Derksen MD, AVP UArizona Health Sciences.

This AZPM report on UArizona serum antibody testing is well worth the time (< 8min) to watch. 

Click for more COVID-19 Updates and Information

Landmark Study Establishes that Cloth Masks are Very Effective, High ROI

Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19
Renyi Zhang, Yixin Li, Annie L. Zhang, Yuan Wang, Mario J. Molina
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Jun 2020, 202009637; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2009637117
Study link:
» Read more on Will Humble blog post:

From Social Distancing to Disinformation, COVID-19 Shows How History Repeats

Three scholars in the UArizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences see several parallels between today's pandemic and ones from centuries past.

AzMAT Mentors Program

The Arizona Center for Rural Health invites you to participate in the AzMAT Mentors Program! The program is designed to match new MAT providers with experienced MAT providers. Experienced MAT providers will offer support and guidance by answering questions, demonstrating MAT delivery, and connecting you with resources and support services. The goal is to increase access to opioid use disorder treatments across Arizona.

Program participants will receive:
  1. Access to resources and supports
  2. 1:1 Support via two collaborative consultations from an experienced MAT provider (estimated timeframe: July 2020-August-2020), and
  3. Ongoing technical assistance from the Arizona Center for Rural Health and Opioid Assistance and Referral line. 
Please complete this brief interest form using this link
If you would like additional information, please visit the program website or contact Bridget Murphy at

Jun 10, 2020  :  Hospitals adapt to keep beds available as surge in COVID-19 cases tests system
Jun 7, 2020  :  AZPM story on UArizona serum antibody testing
May 27, 2020  :  College of Medicine-Tucson Convocation - Remarks by Dan Derksen, M.D.
May 19, 2020  :  Matt Horn: “Antibody testing rolling out across Arizona.
May 17, 2020  :  UArizona COVID-19 antibody testing to expand with state funding
May 15, 2020  :   “UArizona Health Sciences Awarded $1.35M.” White Mountain Independent 
May 15, 2020  :  Daniel McFarland: “UArizona COVID-19 antibody testing to expand with state funding.” News 4 Tucson, KVOA. (1min:35sec)
May 12, 2020  :   “UArizona Health Sciences awarded $1.35M in COVID-19 relief funds for rural hospitals in Arizona.” Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent.  
May 11, 2020  :  Mark Brodie: “How Rural Arizona Health Care Is Holding Up During the Pandemic.” Fronteras, KJZZ. (7min:2sec) 
May 9, 2020  :  Allison Stevens: “Lawmakers press Congress for more relief cash for rural America.” Nevada Current. ; Wisconsin Examiner; Michigan Advance        
May 5, 2020. :   Delilah Friedler: “Navajo Nation Is Behind Only New York and New Jersey in Rates of COVID-19 Infection. What Happened?”  

NOTE: Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, in-person events have been cancelled, modified or postponed. 
Aug 20 2020
 : 5th Annual Rural Women’s Health Symposium
Sep 12 2020 : 2020 16th Annual Mobile Health Clinics Forum
Oct 15 2020 : 13th Annual National Harm Reduction Conference
Oct 26 2020 : 2020 NARHC Fall Institute

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Application Deadline: July 20, 2020
FORHP will hold a webinar for applicants on Tuesday, June 23 at 2:00 pm EDT
The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (RCORP-NAS). HRSA will award approximately 30 grants to rural consortia to reduce the incidence and impact of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).
Successful RCORP-NAS award recipients will receive up to $500,000 over a three-year period of performance to conduct a combination of prevention, treatment, and recovery activities designed to improve systems of care, family supports, and social determinants of health. While the focus of RCORP-NAS is primarily opioid use disorder (OUD), applicants may also choose to address additional substances of concern or substance use disorders (SUDs) among the target population.  The target population is pregnant women, mothers, and women of childbearing age who have a history of, or who are at risk for, SUD/OUD and their children, families, and caregivers who reside in rural areas.

View the funding opportunity on

Tribes and Tribal Organizations Education and Outreach Programs for Dental Health Aide Therapy 
Grants to support education and outreach on Tribal dental therapy programs. The overall goal of the program is strengthening efforts and launching new efforts to enhance federal, state, and Tribal policies supportive of dental therapy within the Indian Health System.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Jul 20, 2020
Sponsor: National Indian Health Board
Indigenous Communities Fellowship 
Fellowships for Native individuals who propose innovative solutions to address barriers and issues that are experienced by indigenous communities. The primary question fellows are asked to solve is, "How can Native innovators in the U.S. use traditional knowledge and technology to drive social, environmental, and economic impact in their communities?"
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Jul 7, 2020
Sponsor: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Business and Industry CARES Act Loan Guarantee Program 
Program for lenders to guarantee their loans to rural businesses and agricultural producers to supplement their working capital to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Sep 15, 2021
Sponsors: USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA Rural Development, USDA Rural Utilities Service

Railroad Trespassing Suicide Prevention Grant Program 
Grants for outreach campaigns to reduce the number of railroad-related suicides that involve railroad trespassing. Addressing the disproportionately high fatality rates on rural transportation infrastructure is of critical interest, as well as collaborative efforts with transportation entities, state/local government, communities, and/or other suicide prevention or safety organizations.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Aug 10, 2020
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Transportation

There are many trying to make and donate PPE to healthcare workers and others in most need. Please find a one stop shop where and how you can best contribute. The site breaks down PPE donation sites by county, tribal health center, and underserved populations. There are also places to request PPE for providers/first responders, especially those in rural and tribal areas. 

If you know of a county, tribe, or group collecting donations to give to underserved populations and those most in need, please let us know! We would be happy to add relevant information to this resource hub. 
Check out

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): See the resourcesevents, and news sections on this guide for the latest COVID-19 information added to RHIhub.

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Copyright © 2020 The University of Arizona Center for Rural Health, All rights reserved.
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