HRSA eNews March 19, 2020

A Message from the HRSA Administrator

HRSA Administrator Thomas Engels

To our Grantees and Stakeholders,

I would like to thank you for all you are doing and will continue to do in response to the unprecedented situation we face as we try to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

I am proud of the work that HRSA is doing to support our grantees and stakeholders as we all respond to the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation within states and communities across this country. As we work to keep the American people safe and informed, your efforts are greatly appreciated.

HRSA appreciates that grantees are facing an array of challenges responding to or otherwise related to COVID-19. We understand the critical role you play in improving health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable—at this time more than ever. We have appreciated receiving your questions and concerns regarding a range of grants-related issues, including required submission deadlines, use of funds, deadlines for competing and noncompeting continuations, and competitive applications. HRSA is committed to flexibility where allowable and reasonable to accommodate the impacts of this evolving national emergency and will provide additional information as it evolves.

Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus (COVID-19) website for the most up to date information on the situation and again, thank you for all you do each and every day.

HHS Takes New Action to Cut Red Tape to Support COVID-19 Response

HHS logo

March 18 - On Wednesday, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) launched an information collection effort to support the Trump Administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, surveying HRSA-funded health centers on their involvement in the COVID-19 response, including whether they are offering diagnostic tests. This effort was made possible by a Paperwork Reduction Act waiver issued pursuant to statutory authorities that became available as a result of the public health emergency declared by HHS Secretary Alex Azar in late January.

Read the news release.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronavirus disease 2019 text over an image of the virus with CDC logo

As a vital component of the nation’s health care safety net, HRSA-supported health centers are well positioned to play an important role in delivering critical services and assisting local communities during an emergency. Information on relevant HRSA policies for health centers, including guidance for requesting changes in scope or temporary privileging of clinical providers, is available on HRSA’s Emergency Preparedness and Recovery Resources for Health Centers webpage.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at HHS continues to provide updates and insight from medical professionals about how to protect you and your loved ones from COVID-19. See up-to-date information on the status of the virus outbreak from CDC. 

HRSA Takes on Rural Substance Misuse

HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan

After somberly recounting overdose deaths in his own family, HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan delivered a moving appreciation last week of local community leaders and clinicians for quickly responding to a set of HRSA initiatives that have brought care and treatment to small town rural America where once there was none.

Starting in 2015 with fewer than 20 grantees distributing Narcan overdose-reversal kits in remote towns, HRSA's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) has grown its recovery effort into the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program. It now involves nearly 250 grantees with counselors and outreach workers in 1,000 communities in 47 states.

Read more about HRSA's efforts to take on rural substance misuse.

Medical and Dental School Students, Apply Now to the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program

photo of a medical student in graduation cap and gown

Do you want to provide care where you’re needed most? We will support you by paying your tuition, fees and other educational costs and provide you a living stipend. In exchange, you agree to serve at least two years at NHSC-approved sites in underserved rural, urban, and tribal communities.

Applications are due April 23.

Learn more about applying to the NHSC Scholarship program.

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program Now Open

photo of a medical professional

The Nurse Corps Scholarship Program is now accepting applications! If you are a nursing student enrolled in a diploma, associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree program, you may be eligible for funding. Scholarship support includes payment of tuition, fees, other reasonable educational costs, and a monthly living stipend. After graduation, scholarship recipients need to work at an approved health care facility with a critical shortage of nurses.

Applications are due April 30.

Find out more about the Nurse Corps Scholarship Program.

Reaching 80%: A Health Center Discussion on Colorectal Cancer Screening

photo of a female doctor with a female patient

Our next interactive session in HRSA’s Data for Decision-Making Speaker Series focuses on practices for improving colorectal cancer screening rates. Learn from NOELA Community Health Center (New Orleans, LA), winner of The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable’s grand prize 80% by 2018 National Achievement Award in 2019. NOELA dramatically increased its colorectal cancer screening rate from 3% in 2012 to 80% in 2018.

Thursday, March 26
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Register HRSA Exit Disclaimer
Submit a CRC question in advance HRSA Exit Disclaimer.

States’ Oral Health Providers Scope of Practice

image of a map of the united states

Supported through HRSA’s cooperative agreement with National Organizations of State and Local Officials, the Scope of Practice Policy website HRSA Exit Disclaimer now includes information on dental hygienists with direct access to initiate treatment without the specific authorization of a dentist. The site also features interactive maps that highlight which states allow dental therapists to practice and which states allow the practice of teledentistry services. 

See the maps HRSA Exit Disclaimer.

Postponed - Healthy People 2030 Launch

Healthy People 2030

POSTPONED – Due to an abundance of caution and in accordance with the National Emergency Declaration concerning the COVID-19, the Healthy People 2030 launch event originally scheduled for March 31 has been postponed.

Sign up for email updates HRSA Exit Disclaimer to receive notification when the event is rescheduled. 

Date Last Reviewed:  March 2020

Sign Up for HRSA eNews

Sign up for HRSA eNews:

eNews Home

Past eNews Issues