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HRSA eNews January 21, 2021

HHS Awards $90 Million to Support Health Centers in Addressing Hypertension Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities

photo of a person's hand holding a toy heart next to a stethoscope

January 19 – Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded nearly $90 million in funding to 496 health centers across 48 states, the District of Columbia, Federated States of Micronesia, Puerto Rico, Palau, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. HRSA-funded health centers will use these funds to increase the number of patients diagnosed with hypertension who have controlled blood pressure.

Today’s funds will support HRSA-funded health centers that could benefit the most from assistance to improve blood pressure control. The three-year project will include the use of self-measured blood pressure (SMBP) technology to increase the number of adult patients with controlled hypertension. SMBP, also known as home blood pressure monitoring, can improve access and quality of care for patients with hypertension while making blood pressure monitoring more convenient.

Read the release.


 

Nationwide Study Shows Continued Rise in Opioid Affected Births

photo of a person holding a stethoscope to a pregnant woman's belly

January 12 - A new study conducted by researchers at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows that the rates of pregnant women diagnosed with opioid use disorder and of babies born with withdrawal symptoms increased from 2010-2017. The study, published today in the Journal of American Medicine indicates that mothers with opioid-related diagnoses documented at delivery increased by 131%. Additionally, the incidence of babies born with withdrawal symptoms, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome or NAS, increased by 82% nationally over the same period. Increases were seen for nearly all states and demographic groups.

Read the release.


 

HHS Invests $8 Million to Address Gaps in Rural Telehealth through the Telehealth Broadband Pilot

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January 11 - Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded $8 million to fund the Telehealth Broadband Pilot (TBP) program. The TBP program assesses the broadband capacity available to rural health care providers and patient communities to improve their access to telehealth services.

"HHS has made it a priority to transform rural healthcare, including through innovations like telehealth, where we've seen many years' worth of progress in just the past year," said HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan. "As someone who hails from rural America, supporting delivery of care in the most remote parts of America, like Alaska, is a personal passion of mine, and telehealth is a crucial part of that work. This telehealth pilot program is part of the Rural Action Plan that HHS launched this past year, which lays out a path forward to coordinate agency efforts to transform and improve rural health care in tangible ways."

Read the release.


 

Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program Now Open

NHSC logo with photo of a health professional

The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP) is now open. What’s new this year? Nurse Corps LRP has special funding for nurses and nurse faculty who specialize in women’s and behavioral health. Through the awards, Nurse Corps LRP will help combat disparities that put women at risk before, during, and after pregnancy. LRP funding will also promote the integration of mental health, substance use disorders, and other behavioral health services into primary care across the nation.

The program offers loan repayment to registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses and nursing faculty in exchange for a two-year service commitment at a health care facility with a critical shortage of nurses, or, for nurse faculty, an eligible school of nursing. We are accepting applications through February 25.

Find out more about the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program.


 

New Telehealth Tools on Telehealth.HHS.gov

photo of a woman on a telehealth call

Telehealth.HHS.gov has added two new telehealth resources for health care providers supported by HRSA’s Licensure Portability Program and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. 

ProviderBridge.org HRSA Exit Disclaimer is a platform that assists with mobilizing volunteer health care professionals to treat patients during public health emergencies. The site supports medical license portability to connect health care professionals with state agencies and health care entities to increase access to care for patients in rural and underserved communities. The site also provides state-by-state telehealth information and resources to assist providers with telehealth licensure questions.

Another tool, licensureproject.org HRSA Exit Disclaimer, provides up-to-date information on emergency regulation and licensing for psychologists, occupational therapists, physician assistants and social workers. Resources include state-specific tools related to licensure, telehealth and COVID-19 as well as online and phone support.


 

HRSA Telehealth Learning Series

photo of a woman on a telehealth call

Join us for a webinar on Telehealth Models for Workforce Recruitment, Retention, and Development January 27 at Noon EST. Hear from presenters from the University of New England and Rutgers University who will discuss various programs to enhance nurse workforce recruitment and retention and identify challenges associated with telehealth care in an underserved urban region.

This webinar is part of HRSA’s Telehealth Learning Webinar Series, which aims to highlight successful projects and best practices as well as resources to promote the use of telehealth technologies for health care delivery, education and health information services.

Register for the webinar HRSA Exit Disclaimer.


 

Telebehavioral Health Webinar Series - Part I

photo of a woman in a telehealth appointment

Join us for a webinar on Addressing the Behavioral Health Needs of Unsheltered and Vulnerable Populations during the Pandemic on January 28 at 1 p.m. EST. The webinar will highlight promising practices for engaging unsheltered and vulnerable populations in substance use disorder treatment during the pandemic as well as describe adaptations to ongoing services to improve access to behavioral health care during the pandemic.

This is the first in a series of webinars from HRSA’s Office of Regional Operations highlighting innovative work addressing behavioral health and substance use disorder by HRSA grantees in the context of COVID-19.

Register for the webinar HRSA Exit Disclaimer.


 

The Role of Critical Health Literacy in Addressing Social Determinants of Health: A Workshop

map of the us with a stethoscope lying on top of it

The National Academy of Medicine will host a free online workshop The Role of Critical Health Literacy in Addressing Social Determinants of Health January 27, 3 – 4:30 p.m. EST. This HRSA-supported event will examine the ways that health literacy empowers individuals, communities and organizations to take action to improve health outcomes.

Learn more and register for the workshop HRSA Exit Disclaimer.


 

Five States Break Down Interagency Silos to Strengthen their Health and Housing Initiatives

clipart of a cityscape

The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) released the Health and Housing Institute Final Report, which details how Ilinois, Louisiana, New York, Oregon and Texas have worked to improve health through housing, including in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report was produced through HRSA’s cooperative agreement with the National Organizations of State and Local Officials,

Read NASHP’s Report HRSA Exit Disclaimer.


 

New Program and Funding Opportunity: Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) Psychostimulant Support

photo of a man standing outside in the sun

HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) is making approximately 15 awards of up to $500,000 each available to rural communities through the new RCORP-Psychostimulant Support grant program

The goal of this new effort is to strengthen and expand prevention, treatment, and recovery services for rural individuals who misuse psychostimulants, and to enhance their ability to access treatment and move toward recovery.

Learn more about the RCORP initiative.

Date Last Reviewed:  January 2021


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