HRSA eNews July 5, 2018

Charting a Course on Maternal Mortality

HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D. at the podium

HRSA staff and delegates from six foreign countries closed out the international Maternal Mortality Summit last month, after a marathon three days of brainstorming and sharing lessons learned. 

Every day, 800 mothers die worldwide in some phase of their pregnancy, while maternal morbidity affects 50,000 women per year in the U.S, alone.

"Your recommendations will hopefully provide all of us - as well as policymakers and lawmakers both here in the United States and around the world - with a roadmap to develop the initiatives we need to address and lower the rates of maternal mortality and morbidity in a decisive way," said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D.

Read more about the HRSA Maternal Mortality Summit.

Watch highlights from the summit.

MCHB Launching Grand Challenges

mchb four challenges

We need your innovative idea for a health issue affecting moms & kids! 

MCHB Grand Challenges will award up to $1.5 million in prize awards across four competitions launching over the next few months: Using Technology to Prevent Childhood Obesity, Care Coordination for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN), Remote Pregnancy Monitoring, and Preventing Opioid Misuse in Pregnant Women & New Moms.

Learn more and sign up for updates on the Challenges website.

More Providers at Your Site May Soon Be Eligible for NHSC

clipart of a health center

HRSA's National Health Service Corps (NHSC) received $105 million for future NHSC Loan Repayment Program awards that expand and improve access to quality opioid and substance use disorder treatment in rural and underserved areas. New categories of outpatient services may be eligible for funding. NHSC-approved sites are eligible to opt-in if your site provides any of these services:

  • Opioid treatment program (OTP) – Facilities certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) – Outpatient facilities with providers eligible to administer Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
  • Non-opioid outpatient SUD facilities – Outpatient facilities that offer SUD treatment services (that do not provide MAT) as demonstrated

Once you opt-in, providers at your approved site will be eligible for up to $75,000 in loan repayment in exchange for three years of service. Members of the SUD integrated treatment team who qualify for NHSC SUD treatment expansion include: physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants who are eligible to administer MAT, substance use disorder counselors, and behavioral health professionals.

To opt-in, review the Documents Required for NHSC Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Opt-in to submit them through your Customer Service Portal account. The deadline to upload this information is Tuesday, July 17, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Grantee ‘Conference Call and Q&A’ July 18 and 19

Keyboard with a "join us" button

The Division of Grants Management Operations will hold their quarterly “HRSA Grantee Conference Call and Q&A” Wednesday, July 18, at 1 p.m. ET, and again Thursday, July 19, at 9:30 a.m. ET.

The quarterly technical assistance calls provide grantees with reminders, updates, and pertinent information from HRSA’s Office of Federal Assistance Management.

Connection details:

Dial-in Number: 1-800-779-1324
Participant passcode: 1635638

HIV: Get Tested Today

HIV Testing Day

While HIV continues to disproportionately impact men who have sex with men, the disease has been trending younger -- ages 20-29 -- and more densely in the southeastern United States (particularly Maryland, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana). 

Heterosexual contact and IV drug use are responsible for almost one in four cases nationwide, the CDC reports. In each of these instances, routine screening is indicated, said Jonathan Antel in a recent webcast. Antel works as a health trainer for LGBTQ clients in Kansas City, Missouri.

Read more about the need for HIV testing.

Is Your Health Center Disaster-Ready? HHS Wants to Know!


Can you take 15 minutes to complete a survey on disaster readiness? This is your opportunity to shape future technical assistance! HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) is surveying the nation’s health center leaders to understand their disaster readiness needs. Your insights will help ASPR TRACIE identify ways to help your health center better meet your community’s acute and chronic health needs following emergencies. Your input will influence the development of practical resources to improve your readiness.

ASPR TRACIE extended the survey deadline to Monday, July 9, but we hope you’ll take the survey now. If you have any questions, please contact the study administrator.

Call for Reviewers

woman on her laptop

HRSA relies on grant reviewers to select the best programs from competitive groups of applicants. 

Over the coming months, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) will be competing a number of programs, including the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning, and will need more reviewers than usual, particularly those with expertise in rural and mental/behavioral health. 

Reviews are typically held remotely over a period of a few days and reviewers who participate and complete their assigned duties will receive an honorarium. 

Learn more and register to become a potential reviewer. (Registration is easy and does not commit you to serving as a reviewer.)  Please consider lending your expertise to these important initiatives. 

One Mother's Death: Shalon's Story

Kerry Nesseler (OGH). "For your dedication to improve the health of women and families worldwide."

Shalon Irving was curious, precocious, immensely talented and prepared even at a young age to succeed in everything she did.  

A Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and a CDC epidemiologist, she earned a dual doctorate in sociology and gerontology; was an accomplished author and talented chef; skilled photographer and inveterate world traveler; and an ecstatic mother-to-be.

Just three weeks after giving birth to her daughter, however, Irving suffered complications from high blood pressure and died in February 2017. She was just 36.

Today, her mother Wanda Irving is raising her 17-month-old granddaughter Soleil.

At HRSA's international Conference on Maternal Mortality, Wanda Irving spoke about the loss of a daughter she described as a "modern-day Renaissance woman." 

Read more about Shalon's Story.

Date Last Reviewed:  July 2018

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