HRSA eNews October 1, 2020

A Message from the Administrator

HRSA Administrator Thomas Engels

At HRSA, we celebrate families every day. The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) administers programs, supports research, and invests in workforce training to fulfill its mission of safeguarding and improving the health and well-being of mothers, children and families throughout their lives. In partnership with states and communities, MCHB promotes health care and public health services for an estimated 55 million people nationwide.

In honor of Child Health Day October 5, HRSA will launch a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #5forKidsHealth. Every day next week, our Twitter feed will highlight the ways our programs support maternal and child health. We will announce the annual data release for MCHB’s National Survey of Children’s Health, the only national and state‐level survey on the health and well‐being of children, their families and their communities. We will highlight the work of our Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, and share how we are leading the way with our Emergency Medical Services for Children program. We will also officially release the newly-funded Newborn Screening Information Center, which provides parents and caregivers critical information about the conditions newborn screening can detect, as well as the treatments and referrals necessary to promote early and effective intervention.

These are the fundamental ways we support the health of mothers, children and families every day. Please join us next week to celebrate this mission by supporting Child Health Day on Twitter. #ChildHealthDay #5forKidsHealth.

Thank you,
Tom Engels

HHS Awards $2.24 Billion in Grants to Help Americans Access HIV/AIDS Care, Support Services, and Medication

A group of diverse people

October 1 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), today announced approximately $2.24 billion in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program grants were awarded to cities, counties, states, and local community-based organizations in fiscal year (FY) 2020. This funding supports a comprehensive system of HIV primary medical care, medication and essential support services vital to improving the health quality of more than half a million people with HIV in the United States.

Today’s announcement builds on HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program FY 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act awards made in April and the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America initiative awards made in February, reflecting a total FY 2020 investment of approximately $2.39 billion.

“HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program plays a pivotal role in improving health outcomes for Americans with HIV and has helped lay the groundwork for our initiative to end the HIV epidemic by 2030,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “More than $2 billion in grants through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program in 2020 are helping to continue the program’s incredible track record of viral suppression that saves lives, keeps communities healthy, and slows the spread of the virus.”

Read the release.

HRSA Issues Proposed Rule to Ensure Affordable Access to Lifesaving Medications

photo of someone writing on a prescription pad

September 24 - Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to increase access to affordable insulin and injectable epinephrine for low-income Americans in health centers nationwide.

"The Health Center Program provides preventive and primary care services to nearly 30 million medically underserved people annually, including more than 2.7 million people with diabetes," said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels. "Expanding affordable access to lifesaving medications like insulin and injectable epinephrine can significantly improve the health status of patients with chronic diseases, ultimately reducing or even eliminating health disparities that acutely impact underserved and minority communities nationwide."

Read the release.

HHS Awards Nearly $360 Million to Programs Supporting Maternal and Child Health

photo of a dad, mom, and child

September 22 - Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced approximately $341 million in funding to 55 states, territories and nonprofit organizations through the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, and approximately $16 million in funding to the State Maternal Health Innovation (State MHI) Program to improve maternal health outcomes.

Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program

These funds support communities to provide voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to pregnant women and parents with young children up to kindergarten entry.

"We know that home visiting programs are an effective way to improve moms' and kids' health and well-being, and they continue to play a critical role addressing needs during the pandemic," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "In addition to tackling the pressing challenge of maternal and child health, these awards support exactly the kind of person-centered program that we believe can help foster long-term health and independence."

Read the release.

New Rule Expands the Scope of Reimbursable Expenses for Living Organ Donation

photo of six smiling people

September 18 - In support of President Trump’s Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has finalized a new rule to expand the scope of qualified reimbursable expenses incurred by living organ donors to include lost wages, child-care and elder-care expenses. The new rule amends regulations of the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984, as amended.

"Over the past year, the Trump Administration has taken more action to advance American kidney health than we've seen in decades," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "By finalizing this new rule, we’re dramatically expanding support for living organ donors — like the generous donor who saved my father's life — to save more lives and ensure Americans who wish to donate don't face unnecessary financial barriers to doing so."

Read the release.

HRSA Plans October 5 Release of 2019 National Survey of Children’s Health Data

photo of seven children

HRSA will release 2019 data from the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) on October 5, which is also National Child Health Day. The NSCH provides the latest national and state-level data on the health and health care needs of children as well as information about their families and communities.

Survey topics include:

  • Children’s physical and mental health;
  • Health insurance status;
  • Access to and use of health care services, including:
    • Receipt of preventive and specialty care;
    • Patient-centered medical home; and
    • Services to support transition to adult health care for adolescents;
  • Lifetime exposure to adverse childhood experiences, and more. 

The NSCH is funded and directed by HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, which oversees sampling, survey administration and the production of a final data set for public use.

Look for the release on our social media channels (@HRSAgov), and like and share to show your support of Child Health Day.

Learn more about the National Survey of Children’s Health.

Funding Opportunity from the U.S. Department of Labor

photo of a female health care worker

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of up to $40 million in funding in the Rural Healthcare Grant Program to address workforce shortages in communities across the country.

Learn more about this funding opportunity.

State Roles in Preventing and Improving Foster Care Placements for Children with Medical Complexity

photo of a dad helping his kids get ready for school

The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) published a new issue brief that explores how states can leverage federal and state policy tools to improve options for children with medical complexity in or at risk of foster care placement.

The issue brief was supported by HRSA’s cooperative agreement with the National Organizations of State and Local Officials (NOSLO), 

Read the issue brief.

Supporting Maternal and Child Health During COVID-19

photo of a pregnant woman with a doctor

The National Governors Association (NGA) surveyed executive branch officials from 38 states and territories regarding state policies to safeguard against COVID-19 for pregnant women, postpartum women and infants.

The survey was supported through HRSA’s cooperative agreement with the National Organizations of State and Local Officials (NOSLO),

Read the survey results.

Obstetric Emergencies in Rural Hospitals: Challenges and Opportunities

photo of several health care workers

A new report describes the challenges rural hospitals face in providing emergency obstetric care and highlights resources to help rural hospital more safely respond to obstetric emergencies.

Rural hospital nurse managers and emergency department administrators reported common concerns such as:

  • Lack of specialty care providers;
  • Lack of skills to address emergency birth; and
  • Insufficient medical equipment and supplies.

One opportunity for improvement in addressing the need for increased clinical experience in obstetric care could be enhancing rural family medicine or emergency medicine residencies. The report, published by the HRSA-funded University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, builds on the center’s extensive work around obstetric services and access to care. 

Read the report.

Date Last Reviewed:  October 2020

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