Annual NRHI President & CEO Letter

December 22, 2020

Dear Members,
It is with profound gratitude and honor that I get to reflect and report on the year we have had as a network working diligently to improve health and healthcare in this country. This year has tested and challenged all of us. We have had to be nimble and vigilant while encountering daily hurdles. We are navigating through a pandemic, a racial justice movement, while also enduring an incredibly tense political landscape and election period. Despite great adversity, there have been triumphs abound. Below are some noteworthy highlights specific to our collective efforts.

  • January of 2020 now feels like a very long time ago, and yet, NRHI was diving into strategic planning with Sirona Strategies and our newly elected 10-person board. As input to our planning, we were able to collect 75% of NRHI members’ strategic plans. Access to this level of information on the membership’s priorities and key areas of focus gave us great insight, fueling our passion for serving your regional efforts.
  • At the outset of this year, NRHI created the Emerging Leaders Council (ELC), a committee aimed to support the network with new perspective and thought leadership while also fostering the skills of rising leaders by providing opportunities for professional development and a deeper understanding of the national network. The ELC members meet monthly and come with a willingness to share in the exchange of knowledge and expertise. They work with the NRHI team on matters related to programming, business development, and communications. They orchestrated a fantastic health equity focused event in early November as one example of their success. We are now accepting emerging leader nominations from NRHI member leaders, contact Jolie Ritzo if you have a nomination.
  • The pandemic has caused everyone in this country to pivot and adapt. In March, NRHI recognized this need and knew it was our responsibility to share how health collaboratives were responding to COVID-19. It is safe to say our network has been activated. NRHI has hosted 17 Collaboratives in Action: Responding to COVID-19 programs featuring many of our members and covering a wide range of critical topics.
  • During this time, we also lead a qualitative research project in partnership with NRHI member Qualidigm. The Off-Site COVID-19 Testing Project has not only given us great insight into how to lead off-site testing despite having limited resources and how to support the most vulnerable populations, but it also has been an opportunity to show the importance of having a national network such as ours. We were able to respond to this project because NRHI members have quick access to key stakeholders. The toolkit that emerged from this work is impressive and has been the catalyst for many important and exciting partnerships, most recently with The Rockefeller Foundation.
  • Though the pandemic has commanded our attention in more ways than one, NRHI has continued to lead other significant multi-site initiatives. The QPP SURS Program is in its fourth year of delivering support to nearly 3,000 providers in small rural practices and underserved areas of Utah, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska. NRHI in partnership with Comagine Health and Mountain-Pacific Quality Health are contracted to provide technical assistance to MIPS eligible practices through February 2022. The Healthcare Delivery Systems Analysis project funded by AHRQ, and under a no cost extension through March 31, 2021, continues with NRHI and its member RHICs exploring key issues- pediatric care; relationship between patient experience, quality, cost and utilization; healthcare system structure and healthcare costs- to better understand delivery system variation across and within states.
  • The NRHI team has never worked harder to communicate about our thriving network. Just this year, we revamped, increased our social media presence significantly, achieved amazing engagement metrics with our national newsletter, and had numerous national media mentions. Additionally, we compiled a 10-year Impact Report featuring our many successes and the overall influence NRHI has created in the industry.
  • The NRHI team has put forward a monumental effort to secure funding for new multi-site initiatives. The current funding landscape for health and healthcare, as you likely know, is incredibly competitive. Though we have not secured all of awards we have reached for, we have won some, and we have fostered critical relationships which will support our overall sustainability.
  • I will note that the NRHI membership grew this year. We have seven new members, all of who are well-aligned with our mission and vision, and who will continue to add to the vibrancy of our network. The collective thought leadership and incredible will that is harnessed by our coming together gives me tremendous hope.
  • As we move into next year, I am excited to have the talent and commitment of two new board members, Lisa Braddix and Tanikka Price, and three newly appointed board officers. I also want to acknowledge Kate Kohn-Parrott and Tyla Housman for their service to the NRHI Board as they go on to pursue other endeavors. The Board will have a great deal to tackle in 2021 as we contribute to health improvement and building a better path forward.

Never has our collective work been more important than now. COVID-19 has disrupted healthcare more significantly than anything else in our lifetimes. As we enter a new year all eyes are on opportunities for reinvention and improvement. With this, I thank you for your commitment to making health and healthcare better and for your tireless efforts and contributions to the NRHI network. We look forward to working alongside you to advance our collective mission in 2021.

With great appreciation,

Craig Brammer
President & CEO


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