Iowa Community Health Conference

IARHC appreciates the partnership with the Iowa PCA and the Iowa Rural Health Association on the Iowa Community Health Conference, held this year on October 12-13,2022.

To find more information about the Iowa Community Health Conference visit

Rural Health & IARHC Sessions:

Wednesday, October 12

1:30-2:30pm Child & Maternal Health Panel
Increasingly in small towns and rural areas, OB and maternal/child health operations are closing their doors. Faced with workforce shortages, lower patient volumes, limited reimbursement and soaring liability costs – some rural hospitals and clinics are choosing to get out of the business. But not everyone! A panel of experts and providers will discuss innovative approaches to child and maternal health in rural areas. From policy strategies to care delivery solutions, this discussion will focus on a key issue facing rural Iowa.

Bill Menner, Executive Director, Iowa Rural Health Association

Ebonie Bailey, CD(DONA), Black Doula Collective
Megan Aucutt, Healthy Birth Day, Inc. 
Stephanie Trusty, RN, BSN, Iowa Department of Health and Human Services
Dr. Amy Jochims, MD, Avera Medical Group Spencer


2:45-3:45pm Behavioral Health in Rural Iowa: A Discussion in the Issues, Observations, and Innovations 
Join us for this panel discussion with a variety of subject matter experts who will share their perspectives on behavioral health needs in rural Iowa. Youth suicide, opioid overdoses and fatalities, and social isolation are just a few of the growing behavioral health concerns. This session will focus on the needs and disparities, resources available, and approaches underway to address these behavioral health concerns and access issues in rural communities across Iowa.    

Deb Kazmerzak, Iowa Association of Rural Health Clinic

Sue Gehling, Founder, Classroom Clinic
Angela Schindler-Berg, MS, LMHP, CRC, CPC+ Project Lead, Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC)
Peggy Huppert, Executive Director, National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI) Iowa
Becky Shelton, Director of Crisis Services, Infinity Health
Isaac Hooley, PHD, UIowa Telepsychology Training Clinic


Thursday, October 13

9:00-10:00am National and State Policy Updates for Rural Health Clinics
Sarah Hohman, Deputy Director of Government Affairs, National Association of Rural Health Clinics
Amy Campbell, Partner, The Advocacy Cooperative 

Sarah Hohman of NARHC and Amy Campbell of The Advocacy Cooperative will provide an overview of the most up-to-date information about legislative and other healthcare policy decisions happening in both Iowa and Washington, D.C. Things are moving and changing at a fast pace and it can be challenging for busy clinicians and administrators to keep up with important news and opportunities to impact policy. Plan to attend so you can share information with your RHC. 


10:15-11:15am Keeping Up with RHC Compliance
Christy Stewart, Director Clinic Division, The Compliance Team

In this session, Christy Stewart of The Compliance Team will walk attendees through how to do a mock survey with their RHC. Stewart will discuss other compliance related issues and how you can increase the quality of your clinic. Plan to attend so you can be in the know and share information with others at your organization. 


11:15am-12:30pm IARHC Annual Meeting
The Iowa Association of Rural Health Clinics will host their annual meeting led by the IARHC Board President Ann Wise, Vice President Elisa Perry, and Secretary/Treasurer Jillissa Chvala. Jennifer Vermeer, Iowa Plan President of Molina Healthcare will share remarks with the group, as well as Megan Meacham with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. 


12:45-1:45pm Managing RHCs After the Consolidation Appropriations Act and the End of the PHE
Gretchin Heckenlively, CPA, FHFMA, Eide Bailly

The COVID-19 PHE brought many necessary waivers for RHCs to manage their patents and practitioners during unprecedented times.  With the end of the PHE nearing, make sure your RHC team is prepared to meet the RHC CfC once the waivers expire.  Also during the PHE, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which created one of the largest RHC payment system changes since inception.  Understand the impact on your RHC payments, learn how to actively manage changes in your reimbursement rates and how to look for opportunities for both free-standing and grandfathered RHCs.  For facilities wanting to initiate or increase their RHC footprint, we will discuss the current RHC location eligibility criteria in Iowa and upcoming changes in the release of 2020 Census data information. Gretchen Heckenlively of Eide Bailly is the presenter of this session.