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HRSA eNews December 3, 2020

A Message from the HRSA Administrator

HRSA Administrator Thomas Engels

On December 1, we observed World AIDS Day to show our support and commitment to helping people with HIV and remember those who lost their battle with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and around the world.

For three decades, our Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program has played a critical role in the United States' response to ending the HIV epidemic.

We are closer to ending the epidemic because of it.

HRSA remains committed to working with our many partners to increase access to HIV testing, prevention, care, treatment, and services; and to meaningfully advance the Administration’s ending the HIV epidemic initiative.

I want to recognize the tremendous work of health care providers on the front lines translating the latest science into practice and providing direct patient services. Thank you for working tirelessly to improve the lives of people with HIV. 

In another public health arena with consequences for thousands of Americans, HRSA continues its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with the help of our community health center partners and others on the ground.

About 80 percent of health centers now have COVID-19 walk-up or drive-through testing, for example, and have screened more than 4 million patients for the virus in communities nationwide.

Still, prevention remains our strongest ally in this fight. Through basic precautions, together, we can blunt the spread of the virus until a vaccine arrives.

Please check out the latest prevention guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and always follow the 3Ws – wash your hands, wear a mask, watch your distance.

Thank you,
Tom Engels

HHS Outlines New Plans to Reduce U.S. Pregnancy-related Deaths

photo of a child's hands on a pregnant woman's belly

December 3 - Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an important HHS Action Plan (PDF - 11 MB) and announced a partnership to reduce maternal deaths and disparities that put women at risk prior to, during, and following pregnancy. The U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams issued a complementary Call to Action to Improve Maternal Health (PDF - 6 MB) outlining the critical roles everyone can play to improve maternal health.

Read the news release.

HRSA Announces Highest HIV Viral Suppression Rate in New Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Client-Level Data Report

image of a stethoscope laying on top of a page showing charts and graphs

A new report from HRSA released this week shows that clients receiving Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program medical care were virally suppressed at a record level – 88.1 percent – in 2019.

This means people with HIV who take 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. Led by HRSA's HIV/AIDS Bureau, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Annual Client-Level Data Report, 2019, is the sixth annual publication of national client-level data from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Services Report (RSR).

The RSR is HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau’s primary source of annual, client-level data reported by more than 2,000 funded Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program recipients and subrecipients across the United States. The publication provides an in-depth look at demographic and socioeconomic factors among program clients served, including age, race/ethnicity, transmission risk category, federal poverty level, health care coverage and housing status. The report also assesses the demographics of those receiving services and highlights the progress and disparities in HIV-related outcomes – particularly viral suppression.

Read the report.

New Study on Factors that Influence Children’s Healthy Development

photo of seven children

The ability of 3- to 5-year-olds to practice self-control is an important developmental milestone predictive of later success. Dr. Reem Ghandour, an epidemiologist with HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, collaborated with researchers at the CDC to examine the risks and protective factors that influence this aspect of a child’s development. 

The newly published study, Factors Associated with Self-regulation in a Nationally Representative Sample of Children Ages 3–5 Years: United States, 2016, compared the qualities of parents who identify their preschoolers as “on track” to those “not on track” with this developmental skill. Children described as “on track” more often lived in financially and socially advantaged environments and less often experienced family adversity. Only half of children not “on track” received developmental screening and only 25% of children described as "not on track” received educational, mental health, or developmental services. 

Learn more about the study, or contact Dr. Reem Ghandour.

Medical Journal Highlights HRSA Initiatives in Maternal Health

photo of a mom with her child

HRSA staff contributed to a recently published special supplement to the Annals of Internal Medicine journal, to focus on evidence-based approaches to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates in the United States. Experts at HRSA contributed to the journal articles, which address specific HRSA maternal health initiatives, the impact of opioid use during pregnancy and issues faced by rural populations. External authors include partners from the University of Chicago, Stanford University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Utah and the World Health Organization.

Learn more about the special supplement.

Requests for Nominations for Voting Members on the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV)

photo of four children

HRSA requests nominations for voting members to serve on the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV). The HHS Secretary appoints nine voting members to the ACCV and they cannot be employees of the U.S. Government.

E-mail the nominee’s resume or curricula vitae to Andrea Herzog or mail the nominee’s resume or curricula vitae to:

Director, Division of Injury Compensation Programs
Healthcare Systems Bureau
Health Resources and Services Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Room 08N146B
Rockville, MD 20857

For more information, read the Federal Register notice (PDF - 194 KB) and Frequently Asked Questions (PDF - 195 KB). Contact Andrea Herzog, Principal Staff Liaison at 301-443-6634.

Informing Health Care Policy by Leveraging Data

Cover of the toolkit for states on informing health care workforce policy by leveraging data

The National Governors Association released a toolkit based on lessons learned during a policy academy on health workforce data. The publication highlights:

  •   The types of questions states can address with data,
  •   Information about data sources,
  •   Key stakeholders to engage, and
  •   Examples from states that have maximized their data.

The toolkit was developed as part of HRSA’s cooperative agreement with National Organizations of State and Local Officials (NOSLO).

Check out the toolkit HRSA Exit Disclaimer.

Date Last Reviewed:  December 2020

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