HRSA eNews October 15, 2020

A Message from the Administrator

HRSA Administrator Thomas Engels

As we wrap up another fiscal year, I am proud of the tremendous work you've done, particularly in such challenging times. I want to extend a special thank you to our health care providers, who are working tirelessly to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities across the country. Without a robust and skilled health workforce, we can’t achieve our vision of healthy communities and healthy people. That’s why investments in programs like our Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program are so critical. Nearly $60 million supports the training of more than 700 residents in 23 states – mainly in community-based settings rather than hospitals like traditional residency programs. That translates to better distribution of the primary care workforce in underserved areas and increased access to primary care services.

The breadth of our pipeline programs ensure that even as we work to train the next generation of quality health care providers, we are also supporting those already in the field. The strength of our workforce continues to grow, and even this unprecedented year is no exception. I am pleased to announce that, as of the end of the fiscal year, over 16,000 National Health Service Corps members are providing care to more than 17 million patients. And over 1,700 Nurse Corps clinicians care for more than 1.8 million patients. I would like to thank our trainees, sites, clinicians, faculty and Corps members who make up our health workforce. Your impact is felt across the nation in providing critical care that otherwise may not have been available. Your dedication to serving high-need communities is admirable and greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Tom Engels

HHS Awards Nearly $500 million to Support Primary Health Care Workforce Nationwide

National Health Service Corp

October 15 - Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced nearly $500 million in awards to support, recruit and retain qualified health professionals and students through its National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Nurse Corps programs.

"National Health Service and Nurse Corps clinicians have been heroic frontline providers in high-need rural, urban and tribal communities for decades, and their service has proven only more essential during the COVID-19 pandemic," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "This year's nearly half a billion dollars in awards will help Corps clinicians continue their work as part of HHS's efforts to address health disparities, tackle substance abuse, and expand access to care for vulnerable Americans."

Read the release.

HRSA Releases 2019-2020 Report on Health Equity: Special Feature on Housing and Health Inequalities

Health equity report 2019-2020

October 14 - The Health Resources and Services Administration, through the agency's Office of Health Equity, today released the HRSA 2019-2020 Health Equity Report: Special Feature on Housing and Health Inequalities. The report indicates substantial progress has been made nationally for all Americans in vital indicators including life expectancy, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and influenza and pneumonia; while health inequities between population groups and geographic areas persist.

The report will help HRSA and others build upon the agency's mission to improve health outcomes and address health disparities through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce and innovative, high-value programs.

"This remarkably comprehensive report captures a vast range of data on a wide array of health indicators which will help scholars and policy makers track and gauge our nation’s progress to improve the health and well-being of all Americans," said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels. "HRSA is committed to continuing this research in order to build upon its efforts to build a healthier and more equitable future for all."

Read the release.

New Newborn Screening Resource

three newborn babies

HRSA recently unveiled the Newborn Screening Information Center, an online guide to newborn screening services. Newborn screening involves checking babies for a number of serious health conditions and identifying those needing early intervention and treatment. It is the only way to detect these conditions before obvious symptoms appear or cause problems. The new resource provides background on conditions screened, the screening process and options for treatment. HRSA supports newborn screening in all states nationwide.

Explore the Newborn Screening Information Center.

2019 National Survey of Children’s Health Data

photo of four elementary school aged children

The Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau released the latest data from the 2019 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) on October 5. The NSCH provides annual, national and state-level data on the health and health care needs of children, as well as information about their families and communities. The NSCH covers a broad array of health-related topics impacting children and families such as mental and behavioral health.

The survey data reveals that 13.2 percent of children aged 3-17 years in the U.S. (about 8 million children) had a current diagnosed mental or behavioral health condition. The most common condition was anxiety, which affected 8.5 percent of children, followed by behavior disorder at 6.8 percent and depression at 3.8 percent.

The data also shows that 66.5 percent of children aged 6-17 years met all criteria for flourishing, a term describing children who have positive health and are thriving.

Learn more about the 2019 National Survey of Children’s Health data and how it can provide information for program and policy decision-making, implementation, and evaluation.

New Phase of Provider Relief Fund Opens for Applications

a pen lying on a piece of paper with the word 'apply' written on it

Safety net providers are encouraged to apply for the latest round of Provider Relief Fund (PRF) support. Applications will be considered regardless of whether your organization was previously eligible for, applied for, received, accepted, or rejected prior PRF payments.

For this new phase, funding will be allocated to providers based on assessed financial losses and changes in operating expenses caused by COVID-19.

Apply here HRSA Exit Disclaimer through November 6 and register for the webcast HRSA Exit Disclaimer on October 15 at 3 p.m. ET to learn more.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

photo of a woman comforting another woman

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a form of domestic violence perpetrated by a current or former partner or spouse. It may include physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, or psychological harm. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men experience IPV in their lifetime. And during the COVID-19 public health emergency, increases in domestic violence have been reported across the U.S.

To respond to this critical health issue, HRSA's Office of Women's Health led the implementation of the HRSA Strategy to Address Intimate Partner Violence (PDF - 428 KB). This effort included the development of a toolkit HRSA Exit Disclaimer to help health centers address intimate partner violence, which now includes a resource page related to COVID-19 HRSA Exit Disclaimer In addition, HRSA partnered with the Administration for Children and Families in May to host a webinar entitled Shelter in Place, Violence and the Healthcare Response. You can register to watch it on demand HRSA Exit Disclaimer. Together, HRSA's Bureaus and Offices are working to ensure that IPV is addressed in the context of COVID-19.

October is SIDS Awareness Month

photo of an infant sleeping on their back

October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month. Sleep-related infant deaths are the leading cause of infant death after the first month of life. Through effective programs and policies, HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau encourages parents and caregivers to follow safe infant sleep practices. These practices include putting babies to sleep on their backs, on separate firm and flat sleep surfaces such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib and without any loose or soft bedding.

Join the national conversation on social media this month using the #SafeSleepSnap Digital Toolkit and posting using #SafetoSleep  and #SIDSAwarenessMonth.

Moving Upstream: The Urgency of Transforming Systems

HRSA's Warren Pens Blog Post for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF)

photo of five children on a playground

The latest issue of the Administration for Children and Families’ blog features a post by MCHB Associate Administrator Michael D. Warren, MD, MPH, FAAP, on the importance of preventing disease and harm before it happens.

The piece discusses how MCHB programs incorporate this primary prevention approach to support healthy child development and avoid child maltreatment. Programs highlighted include the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, the  Infant-Toddler Court Program (PDF - 259 KB) and Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS).

A Fight on Two Fronts: COVID and HIV

photo of several health care workers

Strained by COVID-19, HRSA-supported clinics and organizations have instituted new measures to ensure that the half-million patients in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program continue to receive care – including telehealth check-ups, self-testing kits, prescriptions by mail and more.

And while the latest available data show that some 87 percent of program clients are virally suppressed – a far higher rate than the national average – the convergence of the two viruses continues to bring about groundbreaking change in care delivery​.

"The novel coronavirus has affected our lives, communities, friends, patients and loved ones," said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels. "We fully recognize the profound impact this public health crisis has had ... The efforts of our grant recipients and organizations with which they work have been nothing short of inspiring."

Read more about COVID-19 and HIV.

Webinar: Social Determinants of Health in Rural Populations

a hispanic american family

Social determinants of health are "the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age." Many of these elements are less favorable for rural populations compared with people living in urban areas.

Understanding the Ground: Social Determinants of Health in Rural Populations HRSA Exit Disclaimer from the HRSA-funded Rural Health Research Gateway is a free webinar on November 17 at 1 p.m. ET that will review some of the key elements associated with health across rural white and minority populations, such as education, incom, and health facility availability.

HRSA's 2018 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program AIDS Drug Assistance Program Annual Client-Level Data Report Now Available

photo of a stethoscope lying on top of data charts

HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) has released the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Annual Client-Level Data Report, 2018. The report is the second publication of national ADAP client-level data submitted through the ADAP Data Report (ADR) system. In 2018, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program ADAPs served approximately 285,000 people with HIV.

Access the RWHAP ADAP Annual Client-Level Data Report, 2018 (PDF - 1.6 MB).

HRSA Announces Two New Aging with HIV Reference Guides

photo of an older american woman walking her dog

People with HIV are living longer. In 2018, 46.1 percent of HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program clients were aged 50 years and older. As people with HIV age, their health care and social needs change. All member of the health care team can assist in the care and treatment as people age with HIV. This month HRSA HAB released two new aging with HIV reference guides to assist health care professionals in supporting this growing population.

Incorporating New Elements of Care (PDF - 130 KB): This reference guide identifies commonly occurring health care and social needs of people aging with HIV and highlights the screenings and assessments for these needs.

Putting Together the Best Health Care Team (PDF - 137 KB):  This reference guide discusses how all members of the health care team can contribute to the care of people aging with HIV.

Date Last Reviewed:  November 2020

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