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HRSA eNews August 6, 2020

A Message to Our Grantees

HRSA Administrator Thomas Engels

For more than 50 years, community health centers have delivered comprehensive, high-quality preventive and primary health care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. The program has grown from just two clinics in 1965 to nearly 1,400 health centers operating approximately 13,000 delivery sites and serving almost 30 million people.

Next week is National Health Center Week. This year more than ever, HRSA recognizes community health centers across our country and the important work they do to protect and promote the health of America. Health centers have played an important role combatting the opioid epidemic, implementing the Administration’s Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, and most recently providing testing and care for those affected by COVID-19, while continuing to provide quality primary health care services for the nation’s underserved. Health centers have administered more than 2 million COVID-19 tests to date, and HRSA recently updated its Find a Health Center tool to include a filter for health centers that provide COVID-19 testing, so that prospective patients can more easily locate these locations.

To the nearly 253,000 health center providers and staff who dedicate their lives to helping patients access quality, value-based health care, we thank you for making a difference in your communities.

Thank you,
Tom Engels

HHS Awards Over $101 Million to Combat the Opioid Crisis

photo of a family meeting with a health professional

August 6 - Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health and Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded over $101 million to combat substance use disorders (SUD) and opioid use disorders (OUD). The awards support 116 organizations in 42 states and the District of Columbia, with many targeting high-risk rural communities.

“President Trump has focused on expanding access to treatment for Americans with substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder, and that commitment continues during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.  “The pandemic has created particular stresses for many Americans struggling with substance use disorders, and these HRSA awards will help strengthen prevention, treatment, and recovery services, especially in rural America, at this difficult time.”

Read the release.

Ten States Receive 2020 Top Performing State Awards

map of the united states

HRSA’s Federal Office for Rural Health Policy (FORHP) presented ten states with the 2020 Top Performing State Awards as part of the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP).

These awards reflect state efforts to increase reporting rates and levels of improvement in rural Critical Access Hospitals. The top performers—Virginia, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Idaho, Michigan, Georgia, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Utah—built on their previous achievements through activities that lead to high-quality care for rural residents. States work collaboratively with every Critical Access Hospital and their partners to share best practices and use data to drive quality improvements. HRSA also recognized leaders from Idaho and Wyoming with the MBQIP Spirit Award for making remarkable strides in quality measurement and improvement in their communities.

National Minority Donor Awareness Month

celebrate national minority donor awareness month

Did you know that African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Hawaiian Natives/Pacific Islanders, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives make up 60% of all people on the national organ transplant waiting list?

Although organ transplants can be successful regardless of the race or ethnicity of the donor and recipient, there’s a greater chance of longer-term survival if the shared genetic background of the donor and recipient are closely matched.

Learn more about National Minority Donor Awareness Month.

Rural Health Surge Readiness Web Portal

photo of a thresher in a field

We know rural health care faces unique challenges in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Healthcare Resilience Working Group (HRWG) has developed the Rural Health Surge Readiness web portal HRSA Exit Disclaimer, a collection of essential rural health care resources, tools, and training that health care workers and organizations – including EMS & 911, inpatient & hospital care, ambulatory care, and long-term care – can utilize to prepare for and respond to COVID-19.

This one-stop shop for rural health care lets users quickly find the information they need to prepare for or respond to surge events, navigate financial challenges related to the pandemic, and can enhance their capacity and capability to provide lifesaving care to Americans who live in rural areas across the country.

Check out the portal HRSA Exit Disclaimer. For more information, contact the Federal Healthcare Resilience Working Group.

Alaska: 2020 Virtual Forum on Intimate Partner Violence, Human Trafficking, and Domestic Violence

photo of a person sitting alone

August 17 and 18
9 a.m. - 3 p.m. PDT / Noon - 6 p.m. EDT.
Register now HRSA Exit Discliamer.

HRSA's Region 10 is hosting this virtual forum to highlight promising practices, community resources, and social supports around intimate partner violence (IPV), human trafficking, and domestic violence. The audience is primary care, behavioral health, and public health professionals, as well as community organizations and practitioners.

Learn more about the virtual forum.

#WellChildWednesdays Campaign Extended to Support Catch-up Visits and Immunizations

photo of a young girl being examined by a doctor #wellchildwednesdays

HRSA’s #WellChildWednesdays social media campaign, encouraging families to visit their pediatric provider for well-child visits and immunizations, kicked off in June, and due to its success is now extending into mid-August. The focus of an additional 3 posts will be to remind families to “catch up” on any missed appointments and vaccines.

The campaign has generated more than 400 new posts using the #WellChildWednesdays hashtag. More than 600 health centers in nearly every state, as well as federal agencies, the U.S. Surgeon General, and maternal and child health organizations nationwide have amplified the posts on social media. The posts offer families the information and support they need to make well-child visits a priority. Please continue to RETWEET and SHARE the messages on @HRSAgov Twitter HRSA Exit Disclaimer and Facebook HRSA Exit Disclaimer.

HRSA-Funded Health Centers Support Flu Immunization for our Nation’s Vulnerable Pediatric Population

photo of the cover of vaccine journal

A new study published in the journal Vaccine estimates that pediatric patients at HRSA-funded health centers received influenza vaccines at higher rates than the national average for all U.S. children. While the national average was 62.6 percent in 2018-2019, the health center average was 67.8 percent in 2014, the most recent year of data available.

The study also shows a dramatic increase in the provision of influenza vaccines at health centers -- from 46.6 percent of pediatric patients in 2009 to 67.8 percent in 2014.  Results suggest that HRSA-funded health centers are well positioned to further increase vaccination rates among children living in underserved communities.

View the abstract HRSA Exit Disclaimer in Vaccine.

HHS Telemedicine Hack

photo of a woman on a telehealth call with a doctor

HHS has put together a 10-week learning community to accelerate telemedicine implementation to ambulatory providers, called HHS Telemedicine Hack.

Key components of the HHS Telemedicine Hack include:

  • Five teleECHO sessions on key topics (e.g., workflows, documentation, reimbursement) highlighting best practices and case studies from the field.
  • Five virtual “office hour” discussion panels with case presenters, government agencies, topical experts, and stakeholder associations responding to your questions.
  • Inter-session peer-to-peer learning facilitated via virtual discussion boards and ad hoc interest groups.
  • CME/CEU credits are available for attending, at no cost to participants.

Learn more (PDF - 853 KB) and register HRSA Exit Disclaimer.

Healthy People 2030 Launch

Healthy People 2030

August 18, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. EDT

On August 18, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will unveil the latest edition of Healthy People.

Healthy People 2030 is a set of science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving health and well-being in the United States. During the webcast, we’ll highlight the new Healthy People 2030 goals and objectives and provide an overview of the development process. We’ll also feature guest speakers from HHS who will discuss Healthy People 2030 data, social determinants of health, health equity, and more.

No registration is necessary. Just visit on August 18 at 1 p.m. EDT. We hope to see you at the virtual launch event.

Celebrating 30 Years of the Ryan White CARE Act

Photo of the HIV/AIDS quilt laid out on the National Mall in the 1980s

On August 18, HRSA will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act. This landmark legislation created the largest Federal program focused exclusively on providing care and treatment to people with HIV – the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP).

Today RWHAP funds grants to cities, states, counties, and local community-based organizations across the country. Vital to the public health response to HIV in the U.S. over the last 30 years, the program provides a comprehensive system of HIV primary medical care, medication and essential support services to more than half a million people with HIV in the U.S each year. The program is also a critical component of the Administration’s Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America initiative.

In honor of this milestone, HRSA encourages RWHAP recipients and stakeholders to wear red on August 18 and to share a photo with @HRSAgov with the hashtag #30YearsofCARE.

2020 National Ryan White Conference

Ryan White 2019 - 30th Anniversary conference logo

We are only five days away from HRSA’s 2020 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment. The National Conference will take place virtually August 11 - 14. The theme is “30 Years of Innovating Care, Optimizing Public Health, Ending the HIV Epidemic.”

HRSA will be live tweeting throughout the conference, and we encourage you to follow us on Twitter at @HRSAgov HRSA Exit Disclaimer. To share your favorite National Conference experiences, make sure to use the hashtag #RyanWhite2020.

HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Launches PLOS Special Collection

red ribbon

This week, HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau launched a new special collection of manuscripts in PLOS HRSA Exit Disclaimer, highlighting the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program’s innovative approaches for data utilization and engagement of people with HIV who are not in care and not virally suppressed, critical components of the Administration’s Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America initiative. 

This open access special collection addresses how RWHAP uses data to facilitate care at state and local levels; clinical, population, and geographic differences among RWHAP clients; implementation science initiatives; health care workforce; health care systems differences in outcomes; and other key strategies such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

To review the PLOS manuscript collection, visit the HIV/AIDS Bureau's eLibrary.

IOWA Program Promotes Dental Care for Children, Pregnant Women, and Adults

Iowa Department of Health Campaign logo - I-Smile: From Little Smiles to Lifelong Smiles, improving the health of Iowans.

Through HRSA’s cooperative agreement with National Organizations of State and Local Officials (NOSLO), the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) conducted a case study on Iowa’s I-Smile program.

This unique partnership between Iowa’s Medicaid Program and public health agencies addresses the disproportionate impact of dental disease on low-income individuals.

Read more about the I-Smile program HRSA Exit Disclaimer.

Date Last Reviewed:  August 2020

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