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HRSA eNews February 18, 2021

Ensuring Equity in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Engaging Federally Qualified Health Centers

photo of a doctor with a mask on

To ensure our nation's underserved communities and those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 are equitably vaccinated against COVID-19, HRSA and the CDC are launching a program to directly allocate a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine to select HRSA-funded health centers starting the week of February 15.

This will be an incremental effort as more vaccine becomes available and will be carried out in coordination with the jurisdictions and health centers. This program complements existing jurisdictional efforts to ensure equitable and effective access by providing an additional vaccine supply directly to targeted HRSA-funded health centers that specialize in caring for disproportionately affected populations.

Learn more about health center vaccine distribution.


National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine

National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine: Feb 22-24, 2021

Join HRSA Acting Administrator Diana Espinosa and Associate Administrator Jim Macrae at the National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine, a virtual event that will unite representatives from across the U.S. government with tribal, state, local, and territorial leaders and representatives from public health, health care systems, national and community-based non-governmental organizations, education, private industry, unions, and faith-based organizations.

The forum will take place from Monday, February 22, to Wednesday, February 24, and will support implementation of a safe, effective, and equitable COVID-19 vaccination program.

Learn more and register.HRSA Exit Disclaimer


Healthy Grants Workshop Begins in May

hrsa healthy grants workshop web series

The virtual 2021 Healthy Grants Workshop web series begins May 18.

We reviewed your feedback from the 2020 workshop, we learned some valuable lessons, and we’re excited to make this year’s workshop even better!

The web series is for current HRSA award recipients and will offer multiple presentations on how to successfully manage your HRSA award.

In addition to Office of Federal Assistance Management presentations, the web series will feature presentations by the HHS Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources and the Office of the Inspector General, as well as HRSA bureaus and offices, including the Office of Civil Rights, Diversity, and Inclusion, and the Office of Information Technology, among others.

Current HRSA award recipients are encouraged to attend the workshop.

The full schedule and more detailed information will soon be available on the Manage Your Grants Workshop Web page.

Contact the Healthy Grants Workshop team for more information.


Enrollment Period for Marketplace Coverage Starts

ACA Open Enrollment

February 12 - Today, in accordance with the Executive Order signed by President Biden, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing that the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for the Health Insurance Marketplace® will officially be available to consumers in the 36 states that use the HealthCare.gov platform on Monday, February 15, and will continue through Saturday, May 15. At least 13 States plus the District of Columbia, which operate their own Marketplace platforms, have decided to offer a similar opportunity.

"President Biden was clear: we need to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and give more Americans access to health care, especially during this pandemic, which has further demonstrated the importance of having the right coverage. This Special Enrollment Period will give Americans who need affordable, quality health insurance an opportunity to get covered, and we encourage folks to head to HealthCare.gov starting on Monday to explore their options," said HHS Acting Secretary Norris Cochran.

Read the press release.


Cancer Disparities among Rural Racial/Ethnic Minorities in U.S.

photo of a woman talking with her doctor

New research from the University of South Carolina shows that rural Black populations have the highest cancer mortality rate in the U.S.

The report, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, also indicates cancer mortality rates among rural White and Black populations exceed those of their urban counterparts. The report summarizes how racism and social determinants of health disproportionately affect rural racial/ethnic minorities, examining cancer disparities in particular, and offers recommendations to reduce them. The research was funded by HRSA in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute. 

Read the report.HRSA Exit Disclaimer


Cost-Effectiveness of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program

photo of a stethoscope with some charts in the background

This month, HRSA published a pair of manuscripts demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS).

These two papers present findings from the first formal evaluation of the RWHAP’s cost-effectiveness at a national level. The first paper presents a new and innovative mathematical model that can be used as a tool for estimating the cost-effectiveness of the RWHAP under a variety of policy scenarios and assumptions. The second paper compares estimated health care costs and outcomes over a 50-year period in the presence of the RWHAP relative to those expected if the comprehensive and integrated system of medical and support services funded by the RWHAP were not available.

Read the first paper.HRSA Exit Disclaimer

Read the second paper.HRSA Exit Disclaimer


New Research on the Intersection of Pregnancy-Associated Deaths and Intimate Partner Violence

journal of women's health cover

New research examines the three leading causes of pregnancy-associated deaths, describes evidence-based approaches and strategies for prevention and intervention, and makes recommendations for further research.

The research is published in the February 2021 Journal of Women’s Health Special Issue: Maternal Morbidity and Mortality.

The special issue provide a comprehensive review of relevant literature, including biological and physiological risk factors, external risk factors, social determinants of health, and proven and potential interventions.

Sabrina Matoff-Stepp, Ph.D., in HRSA’s Office of Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation and colleagues from NIH, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Virginia collaborated on the research.

Read the article HRSA Exit Disclaimer (PDF - 169 KB) published in the Special Issue.HRSA Exit Disclaimer


New from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL):

Improving Access to Care: Medicaid, Telehealth and Health Workforce 101

A post on the NCSL Blog discusses the policy areas of Medicaid, telehealth and health care workforce capacity;HRSA Exit Disclaimer and includes relevant state examples and select federal resources for state policymakers aiming to enhance access to health care.

Medicaid Policy Trends in 2020: COVID, Coverage and Costs

Another recent post from NCSL highlights Medicaid 2020 legislative actions HRSA Exit Disclaimer across the country from coronavirus to cost controls―trends that are expected to continue into 2021 sessions.

Both NCSL blog posts were produced through HRSA’s cooperative agreement with the National Organizations of State and Local Officials (NOSLO).

Date Last Reviewed:  February 2021


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