HRSA eNews September 5, 2019

HHS Awards $107 Million to Support Health Center Quality Improvement

image of four hrsa health center quality badges

August 20 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced nearly $107 million in Quality Improvement Awards to 1,273 health centers across nearly all U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia. Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), health centers will use these awards to improve the quality, efficiency, and value of the health care they provide.

"President Trump's vision for healthcare aims to deliver Americans better value from the care they receive and, ultimately, better health. Community health centers have consistently delivered these kinds of results, including high-quality primary care at a significantly lower cost than their peers and above-average results in controlling chronic conditions," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "This week's awards recognize especially high-achieving health centers. America's health centers are essential to producing results on our actionable public health challenges, like HIV/AIDS and the opioid crisis, as well as to building a healthcare system that delivers better value and puts the patient at the center."

Read the HHS release.

See a list of 2019 Quality Improvement Awards recipients.

Comments Requested: Rural Access to Health Care Services

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

We're seeking input from the public about measuring access to health care in rural communities. This Request for Information (RFI) supports the ongoing work of the HHS Rural Health Task Force that is seeking to identify the needs of rural communities, how to meet those needs, and what HHS policy changes can address those needs. Questions for public comment specific to rural communities include:

  • What are the core health care services needed?
  • What types and numbers of health care professionals are needed?
  • What factors are important to identify core health services?
  • How should access to health care services be measured?

People in rural communities face a range of health disparities, including greater obesity and disease burden in children and adults, higher mortality rates, and shorter life expectancy. Rural areas also have fewer health professionals per person compared to urban areas.

Comments on the questions raised in the RFI are due by October 9.

National Health Service Corps Partners with SAMHSA’s Providers Clinical Support System

photo of two doctors talking

A new partnership between our National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and SAMHSA’s Providers Clinical Support System HRSA Exit Disclaimer (PCSS) connects qualified clinicians to free Medication-Assisted Treatment training and professional development resources, and the opportunity to obtain the DATA 2000 Waiver, which will increase access to quality substance use disorder or opioid use disorder treatment in rural and underserved areas.

Learn more about the NHSC-PCSS Collaboration.

HRSA Study Finds 1 in 4 Children and 1 in 5 Adolescents are Victims of Bullying

photo of a girl looking nervous at two other girls in class who are talking about her

A HRSA study using 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health data highlights the need for universal prevention efforts and targeted services to address bullying among children and adolescents.

The study by HRSA researchers showed that 22.7% of children and adolescents aged 6–17 years were bullied by others, as reported by their parents or caregivers. Bullying victimization was slightly higher among 6-11 year olds than among 12-17 year olds (24.1% vs. 21.1%).

The results also reveal opportunities to improve access to mental health services for youth experiencing bullying.

Read the Journal of Child and Family Studies abstract.

Webinar: HRSA’s Best Practices to Prevent Eating Disorders

clipart of three people having a discussion

Join our preventative medicine webinar on eating disorders September 11, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EDT.

Partnering with CDC, SAMHSA, and the Office of Women's Health, primary care providers will learn about:

  • Evidence-based practices to manage patients with eating disorders,
  • Level of care guidelines for patients with eating disorders, and
  • Best practices for collaborating within an eating disorder specialty team. 

Learn more about the webinar and CEUs.

National Survey of Children’s Health Gives Assessment of Child Health and Health Care in the U.S. Virgin Islands

photo of five children on a playground

Children in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), particularly those in low-income households, experience challenges accessing and using health care services and fare worse than average U.S. children on many measures. The findings are from a study by HRSA researchers who analyzed data on 2,342 USVI children aged 0-17 from the National Survey of Children’s Health.

Their findings will serve as a baseline comparison for an upcoming survey of maternal and child health to be conducted in eight U.S. territories including the USVI.

Read the Maternal and Child Health Journal abstract.

How-To Videos Now Available at

screenshot of how to videos page features short "How-to" videos on popular tools such as the Health Center Locator, Shortage Area Dashboards, Fact Sheets, and more. 

Check them out to learn how easy it is to use the website.

Shortage Designation Modernization Project: Auto-HPSA National Update

screencap of primary care shortage areas

On August 30, HRSA updated all automatically designated Health Professional Shortage Area (Auto-HPSA) scores. With the implementation of this update, for the first time Auto-HPSAs are now scored electronically, not manually, streamlining the process and ensuring that all HPSAs nationwide are in a single online system.

All Auto-HPSA organizations have the opportunity to submit rescore requests via the online Auto-HPSA portal.

Updated scores will be used for the FY 2020 National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program application cycle, which will open in February 2020.

View the announcement HRSA Exit Disclaimer and visit the Shortage Designation Modernization Project for more information about the update.

Webinar: Syringe Service Programs – State and Local Perspectives on the Role of Policy, Funding, and Partnerships

This webinar will use examples from state government to showcase effective implementation of syringe services programs (SSPs) through policy and practice. Presenters will highlight experiences in gaining statewide support and community buy-in, crafting policy and bringing it to practice, and building strong partnerships with local communities to support SSP growth. The webinar, hosted by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, is the second in a three-part series addressing SSPs, an important community-based prevention program that can save lives, combat the nation’s opioid crisis, reduce the transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C and support individuals in accessing substance (SUD)/opioid (OUD) use disorder treatment services.

Monday, September 16
2:00-3:15 PM EDT
Learn more and register HRSA Exit Disclaimer or watch the first webinar in the series on SSPs HRSA Exit Disclaimer.

Technical Assistance Resources

HRSA's Integrated Behavioral Health Resource Library

Browse models and other resources in HRSA's Integrated Behavioral Health Resource Library for resources across many different health topics, clinical practices, and settings. You will find articles on organizational readiness, assessment tools, workforce, and more.

Workshop: Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

The Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders HRSA Exit Disclaimer is hosting its first public workshop on October 15-16. This first workshop will provide an overview of 5 key policy challenges to improve care for people with mental health and substance use disorders. The workshop will explore issues related to:

  • Promoting person-centered care, patient and family member engagement, and shared decision making
  • Defining what constitutes minimally adequate care for mental health and substance use disorders for different types of providers and in different care setting
  • Identifying promising strategies to translate knowledge to practice and to monitor implementation
  • Highlighting innovative practices to facilitate and optimize data collection, integration, and use
  • Improving care spanning the medical, mental health, and substance use disorder workforce and care delivery systems

It is expected that subsequent workshops will continue to build on this foundational work, examining key issues in greater detail.

Register for the workshop HRSA Exit Disclaimer.

Date Last Reviewed:  September 2019

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