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HRSA eNews April 2016

HRSA Surveys Grantees

Survey Aims to Improve the Quality of Services, Assistance, and Support

Picture of a customer survey with a pen in a hand checking a box. There is a pair of glasses next to the survey form..Some 4,500 grantees across all agency programs were invited last week to complete the second annual Grantee Satisfaction Survey.

The survey aims to give agency program staff and decision-makers benchmarks in such areas as efficiency, timeliness, responsiveness, quality, and overall satisfaction with HRSA programs, products, and services

“This is a chance to interact with our grantees in a very direct and meaningful way, both on what we’re doing well and where we could improve," said HRSA Acting Administrator Jim Macrae. “And because it goes out to everyone, it represents a valuable snapshot in time as we continue our quality improvement efforts.”

The survey, administered by the Office of Planning, Analysis and Evaluation (OPAE), will run for about four weeks. Last year, nearly six out of ten survey responders replied -- with overwhelmingly positive results: More than 90 percent of grantees reported that they were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” on 28 questions. OPAE is working with CFI/Federal Consulting Group to field the survey, and grantees should have received an invitation from CFI requesting participation. 

April is National Donate Life Month

April is Donate Life MonthNational Donate Life Month features an entire month of local, regional, and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors. It also celebrates those who have saved lives through the gift of donation.

Currently, more than 121,000 men, women, and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States.

Learn more about organ donation and registration.


CDC Releases New Opioid-Prescribing Guidelines

Prescribing Opioid Painkillers Called, “a Momentous Decision”

“We know of no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently,” CDC doctors reported on March 15, in a gravely-worded commentary accompanying the release of new guidelines on the use of opioid painkillers.

The commentary particularly addressed primary care clinicians, as more than one in four patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain management not related to cancer are thought to be dependent on the drugs. Overall, 1 of every 550 patients started on opioid therapy dies of related causes in a median of 2.6 years.

“The U.S., with about 7 percent of the world's population,” notes one physician, “is responsible for 80 percent of the planet's opioid use.”

Resources are available to help improve communication between providers and patients about the risks and benefits of opioid therapy for chronic pain, improve the safety and effectiveness of pain treatment, and reduce the risks associated with long-term opioid therapy, including opioid use disorder, overdose, and death.

Read the CDC Guidelines

Read "Reducing the Risks of Relief — The CDC Opioid-Prescribing Guideline" by CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. and Dr. Debra Houry, M.D., M.P.H.

April is Autism Awareness Month

1 in 68 eight-year-olds has autism spectrum disorderDid you know approximately one in 68 eight-year-olds in the U.S. has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau implements the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act, known as the Autism CARES Act, through training, research, and state implementation and planning grant programs.

Check out our Autism Awareness Month Infographic (PDF - 539 KB) to learn more about HRSA’s work to address ASD.


Coverage to Care

Man and woman holding a sign that reads, "From Coverage to Care"From Coverage to Care is an HHS initiative to help people with new health care coverage understand their benefits and connect to primary care and the preventive services that are right for them, so they can live a long and healthy life. Coverage to Care has developed written resources, videos, and provided ways to connect. Share these resources with consumers, and help them on their journey from coverage to care.

Learn more about Coverage to Care.

HHS Releases Guidance for Syringe Services Program

In March, the Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance regarding the use of Federal funds to implement or expand Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) for people who inject drugs. 

Federal funds can now be used to support a comprehensive set of services, but they cannot be used to purchase sterile needles or syringes for illegal drug injection.

The guidance states that state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments must consult with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and provide evidence that their jurisdiction is (1) experiencing, or (2) at risk for significant increases in viral hepatitis infections or an HIV outbreak due to injection drug use before applying for funding.

HRSA will be developing specific SSP guidance for its grantees regarding which specific programs may apply and the application process.

Read an overview or the complete guidance.

Date Last Reviewed:  April 2017

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