July 2020

July 2020

Dear Flex Coordinators,

Thank you all for submitting your Flex Non-Competing Continuation (NCC) Progress Reports, Natalia and I were very impressed to read about your continued efforts in the Flex Program and how many of you have adjusted your work plans to incorporate COVID-19 initiatives.

I am excited to announce that we have a new addition to the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) Hospital State Division! Laura Seifert will be a Project Officer for the Flex team as well as the Program Coordinator of the Flex Monitoring Team. Please see her bio below:

Laura holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of New England, as well as a Master’s of Arts in Bioethics from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.   Laura, a former Peace Corps member, comes to Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) after serving in Ancash, Peru, as a Public Health Educator with extensive experience providing health outreach activities in low resource environments. While serving in the Peace Corps, she facilitated and lead public health outreach programs with a focus on Maternal and Child Health and STI/HIV prevention, implementing both the “Healthy, Strong and Intelligent Children Project,” a program targeting families with infants to reduce malnutrition and promote cognitive development, as well as “Steps Forward,” a project in mentoring teens on birth control, ST/HIV prevention, and overall life planning skills.  In 2018, she was selected to be the Lead Volunteer and was responsible for managing and training a team of 40 volunteers across 4 programs, coordinating with community leaders and key government officials, and recruiting local community partners. More recently, this past spring, Laura volunteered in Costa Rica, partnering with the Four Seasons Hotel to aid in the creation of a luxury surfing school. She also worked for Chicago-based NowPow, a healthcare technology company, as part of their initial response to COVID-19. She was working to connect providers to community based organizations in order to address many of the social determinants of healthcare that had been affected drastically due to the pandemic.

At the Flex Virtual Reverse Site Visit (RSV) next week, I am looking forward to introducing you to the new FORHP Flex Team. I will also be sharing the new map of Project Officer assignments that will be in place as we move into Year 2 of the Flex Program. In the meantime, please continue to reach out to me or Natalia if you have any questions.

I cannot wait to “see” you all next week! The TASC team and the RSV Committee did a fabulous job putting together a great agenda that was seamlessly converted to a virtual format.

Stay Healthy,


This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB1RH24206, Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees, $1,009,121 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.