HRSA eNews November 21, 2019

Mr. Thomas J. Engels Appointed HRSA Administrator

HRSA Administrator Thomas Engels

Thomas Engels was appointed Administrator for HRSA earlier this month. He had been serving as Acting Administrator since August.

Before coming to HRSA, Mr. Engels was Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services from 2015 to 2019, managing a department with more than 6,000 employees and a $12 billion budget. In that role, he championed and oversaw the expansion of the state’s capacity to provide mental health services, the implementation of a statewide electronic health record system and the reduction in staff shortages at long-term care facilities. He was an active member of the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse and also chaired the Governor’s Human Resources Shared Services Executive Committee.

Read his bio.

Today is National Rural Health Day

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy has supported at least 750,000 people each year since 2011 with over 200 grantees

Today we celebrate National Rural Health Day, raising awareness of rural health-related issues and challenges, and recognizing those working to improve the health and well being of the millions of people living in America’s rural communities.

Join our celebration via webcast HRSA Exit Disclaimer today (9:45 a.m. - 3 p.m.), with HRSA Administrator Tom Engels, Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan, and representatives from several HHS agencies.

Check out our rural health infographic (PDF - 2.7 MB) to see how HRSA serves rural communities.

View an interactive map of HRSA grants in rural areas.

World AIDS Day is December 1

World AIDS Day Logo

On December 1st, we commemorate World AIDS Day. The 2019 theme is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community.” The purpose of World AIDS Day is to bring attention to the HIV epidemic, endeavor to increase HIV awareness and knowledge, show support and commitment to helping those living with the disease, and remember those who have died from HIV/AIDS in our country and around the world.

HIV has transformed from what was once a deadly disease to now a manageable, chronic condition if there is access to high-quality health care, critical support services, and appropriate medications. People with HIV who take HIV medication daily as prescribed and reach and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.

This World AIDS Day, HRSA remains committed to ending the HIV epidemic. Earlier this year, the Trump Administration announced the “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America” (EHE) initiative. Through HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and the HRSA-funded Health Center Program, the agency will play a leading role in helping diagnose, treat, prevent and respond to end the HIV epidemic. Learn more about HRSA’s role in the initiative.

Health Professionals Receive Free MAT Training, DATA 2000 Waivers

photo of two doctors talking

HRSA’s National Health Service Corps (NHSC) has teamed up with SAMHSA's Provider Clinical Support System (PCSS) to connect qualified medical and behavioral health providers to free Medication-Assisted Treatment training, professional development resources, and an opportunity to obtain the DATA 2000 Waiver. The collaboration helps increase access to quality substance use disorder and opioid use disorder treatment in hard hit rural and underserved communities throughout the U.S.

Learn more about our NHSC-PCSS Collaboration.

HRSA-wide approach to address intimate partner violence published in Public Health Reports

Cover of the HRSA Strategy to Address Intimate Partner Violence

HRSA’s Christina Lachance, MPH, Sabrina Matoff-Stepp, PhD, Jane Segebrecht, MPH, and Nancy Mautone-Smith, MSW, LCSW coauthored a commentary that describes the development and early implementation of The HRSA Strategy to Address Intimate Partner Violence, 2017-2020 (PDF - 428 KB).

The article highlights key features of an integrated approach to address IPV across HRSA programs and offers recommendations for implementing similar efforts.

Read the article HRSA Exit Disclaimer.

HRSA in Taiwan

group photo from the global health forum

Austin Demby, Deputy Director of HRSA's Office of Global Health and Dr. Jay C. Butler, CDC Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases, met with Taiwan Minister of Health and Welfare, Dr. Shih-Chung Chen and staff during the 15th Global Health Forum in Taiwan on October 21-22. The American delegation joined more than 1,500 scientists and policy makers from more than 30 countries at the conference.

With the ever-increasing migration of populations from rural communities into cities -- a trend throughout the Pacific Rim -- the delegates discussed the challenges of improving health outcomes when overcrowding, poor air quality, and the stresses of urban living are putting tremendous pressure on inhabitants.

Read more about the Global Health Forum.

New Technical Assistance Summary on HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Response to the Opioid Epidemic

HAB Logo

To better understand the impact of the opioid epidemic on the HRSA's Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, the HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) hosted a technical expert panel on the “Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Response to the Opioid Epidemic” and developed an executive summary and new technical assistance document.

The panel convened program recipients and other experts to discuss the intersection of the program and the opioid epidemic and how services for people with HIV who have a substance use disorder could be bolstered to improve health outcomes. The technical assistance document provides examples from the expert panel and follow-up phone interviews with panel participants. It also highlights how Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program providers address clients’ behavioral health needs, including those related to substance use.

Read the summary (PDF - 173 KB).

Requests for Information

Rural Health Grants Eligibility

map of the us with a stethoscope lying on top of it

As part of our ongoing effort to assess the extent to which our rural health grant programs are meeting the needs of rural communities, we've published a Request for Information seeking public comment.

Specifically, we're looking for comments on the eligibility criteria governing the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy's (FORHP) community-based grant programs. Does the eligibility criteria affect the rural communities' ability to leverage FORHP grant funding? If so, how?

Your feedback may be used (without attribution) by HRSA and HHS for program planning and decision making in the future.

Send comments via email with the subject line, “Rural Health Grants Eligibility RFI.” Submissions are due no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on Saturday, November 23, 2019. We will not accept hard-copy responses or other formats.

HRSA Strategy to Address Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

Cover of the HRSA Strategy to Address Intimate Partner Violence

We are seeking information about how the agency could sustain activities described in the HRSA Strategy to Address Intimate Partner Violence, 2017-2020 and/or begin new initiatives to address intimate partner violence in communities served by HRSA programs.

Specifically, we are seeking responses to the “Questions for Public Comment” section of our Request for Information. These responses may inform our decision making related to planning future initiatives.

Comments are due by 11:59 pm ET on December 9

Prevention X

CDC 3 Buckets of Prevention: Traditional clinical, Innovative clinical, and community-wide

The HHS Office of the Chief Technology Officer has issued a Request for Information on PreventionX, which will inform how HHS could catalyze the scaling and deployment of effective prevention strategies into today's social and economic environment. Responses will be accepted until December 13, 2019.

Modern National Resource Allocation System

bag with a label that reads human organ for transplant

HRSA's Healthcare Systems Bureau issued a Request for Information (RFI) November 14th to conduct market research as part of HHS’ commitment to optimize the transplant system and ensure that organs are allocated as efficiently as possible. The RFI seeks information about current and potential IT infrastructures for allocating organs and performing related functions such as patient and donor data management.

As part of that market research, we are seeking information on (1) more effective ways modern IT systems may be able to allocate organs and manage patient and donor data on a national scale; and (2) entities that are capable of developing a system that may be more effective than the one we have today.

We are interested in hearing from all sources, both non-profit and for-profit, to leverage innovation from across all fields and industries.

Learn more about this Request for Information.

Date Last Reviewed:  November 2019

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