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HRSA eNews January 7, 2021

A Message from the HRSA Administrator

HRSA Administrator Thomas Engels

As we begin a new year, I want to express my gratitude for the commitment and dedication you've shown under the most extraordinary circumstances.

For almost a year now, you have navigated uncharted territory with perseverance, creativity, and hard work.

I will always remember and share how you have risen to the occasion for the American people and worked tirelessly during this challenging time. The work we have done together makes me immensely proud.

I encourage you to take a moment to look at our 2020 Year in Review infographic (PDF - 1 MB).

Thank you for your dedication to improving the health of all Americans.

Be safe and stay healthy,
Tom Engels


Health Center Efforts During the COVID-19 Pandemic

clipart of a microphone

Authors from CDC and HRSA used data from the weekly health center COVID-19 survey in two articles recently published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR):

  • Telehealth Practice among Health Centers during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Describes health center telehealth service use over a one-week time period in July. Almost all health centers that reported to the survey delivered at least some visits by telehealth. Findings underscore the importance of telehealth as a promising modality for expanding access and care delivery, while opportunities remain for further adoption.
  • Health Center Testing for SARS-CoV-2 during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Reviews SARS-CoV-2 testing figures and positive test results (PCR or antigen) by race, ethnicity, and state of residence. Study results highlight health centers as important access points for SARS-CoV-2 testing and suggest that health center efforts can reduce transmission of COVID-19 among racial and ethnic minority populations.

Learn more about the weekly health center COVID-19 survey or interact with dashboards about health center operational capacity data impacted by COVID-19 and current testing data broken down by race and ethnicity.


Outpatient Monoclonal Antibody (mAb) Therapeutics

icon of a iv and pills

As part of the COVID-19 response efforts, HRSA’s Health Center Program is working in collaboration with the Federal response and State Primary Care Associations (PCAs) to identify health centers to pilot the administration of outpatient monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutics to high-risk COVID-19 positive patients in outpatient settings. As of January 4, OWS has reported that 36 health centers have been allocated Bamlanivimab under the SPEED mAb Program in the following 21 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Read more about mAb therapeutics.


Telehealth Broadband Pilot Program to Address Gaps in Rural Telehealth

photo of two people on their laptop

Next week, HRSA will announce funding awards for the Telehealth Broadband Pilot program.

The program will assess the broadband capacity available to rural health care providers and patient communities to improve their access to telehealth services.


Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project: Technical Assistance Application Period Open Through January 16

photo of several health care workers

The competitive application period is currently open for technical assistance support under the Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project HRSA Exit Disclaimer. The program provides technical assistance to eligible small rural hospitals and rural health clinics (RHCs) HRSA Exit Disclaimer in strengthening key elements of value-based care: quality, efficiency, patient experience and patient safety. Technical assistance is designed to give hospitals and RHCs a clear understanding of value-based care and the strategies they can implement to be effective. 

Interested hospitals and RHCs that meet the eligibility requirements can submit an application HRSA Exit Disclaimer now through January 16


HRSA Announces Loan Programs for Health Professions Schools

photo of a woman in the hospital talking with two health care workers

Colleges and universities: Take advantage of HRSA’s School-Based Loan Programs. These four programs give schools funding to offer low, fixed-rate loans to students pursuing a wide range of health care careers. Applications accepted until Thursday, February 25, 11:59 p.m. ET.

For more information, visit: HRSA School-Based Loans.


Women's Health Leadership Series

photo of a female doctor with a female patient

HRSA’s Office of Women’s Health (OWH) is introducing a pilot communications initiative: the Women's Health Leadership Series.

In observance of Cervical Health Awareness Month in January, the series will launch Tuesday, January 19, 3 - 4 p.m. ET with the webinar New Cervical Cancer Guidelines for Screening and Management During COVID-19 and Beyond. It will focus on practical information related to implementing new clinical guidelines for cervical cancer screening and management and related health center perspective during the COVID-19 pandemic. Register for the webinar HRSA Exit Disclaimer.

Throughout the year, HRSA OWH will host similar webinars to highlight innovations on important women's health topics such as domestic violence, the response to COVID-19, and health disparities. To receive updates about this series, email us your name, email address, and organization.


Navigating Caring for Women with Opioid Use Disorder: An Introductory Webinar

photo of two health care workers talking

The HRSA Office of Women's Health will lead this webinar January 28, 3 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET. It will provide tips for navigating the recently released Caring for Women with Opioid Use Disorder: A Toolkit for Organizational Leaders and Providers (PDF - 6 MB).

Register for the webinar HRSA Exit Disclaimer. For questions or comments related to the toolkit, contact us.


Social Determinants of Health: Challenges and Opportunities in Rural America Webinar Recording Now Available

photo of a family sitting on the porch with their dog

This webinar, hosted by the HRSA-funded Rural Health Research GatewayHRSA Exit Disclaimer explores various social determinants of health. For rural populations, many of these elements are less favorable than in urban areas. Access the webinar recording, presentation slides, and transcript HRSA Exit Disclaimer to learn about some of the key elements associated with health across rural white and minority populations, such as education, income, and health facility availability.

Two companion research recaps are also available: Rural Ethnic/Racial Disparities: Social and Systemic Inequities HRSA Exit Disclaimer and Rural Ethnic/Racial Disparities: Adverse Health Outcomes HRSA Exit Disclaimer.


Wanted: Your Thoughts and Opinions on Health

photo of a mom and child on a telehealth call with a doctor

HRSA is seeking English-speaking individuals to participate in upcoming virtual discussions about health from any of the following groups:

  • Parents or guardians of children ages 6 months to 3½ years
  • People with HIV
  • People living in rural areas
  • HRSA health center patients
  • Adults ages 45 years and older

Patient feedback will help HRSA create easy-to-understand health materials for everyone. We’ll hold 90-minute Zoom sessions in January, March, and May. Participants will receive monetary payment. If you or someone you know are interested, please have them email Heidi Palacios or call (972) 503-3100 x407.

Please respond by Monday, January 11, for the January discussion groups, and by Sunday, February 28, for the March and May groups. Note: Not all who express interest will be able to participate, as we are aiming to speak with individuals representing a variety of backgrounds.


Check Out Healthy People 2030’s New Features

Check out the leading health indicators. This subset of objectives will help you focus your efforts to improve health and well-being for all

The HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has launched the Healthy People 2030 Leading Health Indicators (LHIs) and Overall Health and Well-Being Measures (OHMs). Together, LHIs and OHMs will help you set priorities and track nationwide progress toward improving health and well-being.

LHIs are a small subset of high-priority Healthy People 2030 core objectives that help you focus resources and efforts on critical public health issues to improve health and well-being in your community.

OHMs are broad, global outcome measures that help health professionals evaluate the health of the nation. When OHMs improve, it reflects efforts to achieve Healthy People objectives, particularly LHIs. And improvements in OHMs mean the nation is moving closer to fulfilling the Healthy People 2030 vision: “A society in which all people can achieve their full potential for health and well-being across the lifespan.”


Strategies for Managing a Surge in COVID-19 Cases

photo of a person in a car getting tested for COVID-19

In response to a surge in COVID-19 cases in many areas of the country, the federal Healthcare Resilience Working Group has released guidance detailing strategies to help healthcare providers manage patient surge (PDF - 197 KB). State, local, tribal, and territorial governments can use these strategies to enhance their health care capabilities and support a more comprehensive healthcare system response.


Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation Webinar January 26

photo of a sunset over a field

On January 26 at 1 p.m. ET, HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will hold an hour-long webinar for applicants of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation (RCORP-Implementation) FY 21 new funding opportunity. A recording will be made available for those who cannot attend.

RCORP-Implementation will make approximately 78 awards of up to $1 million each to implement substance use disorder and opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery activities in rural communities.  The funding opportunity is open now through March 12.


State Strategies to Support Substance Use Disorder Treatment in the Primary Care Safety Net

photo of several health care workers

The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) released a toolkit, “State Strategies to Support Substance Use Disorder Treatment in the Primary Care Safety.” It features lessons learned from five states (Alabama, Illinois, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wisconsin) that strengthen the capacity of health centers to deliver substance use disorder care.

The toolkit was produced through HRSA’s cooperative agreement with National Organizations of State and Local Officials.

Check out the Toolkit HRSA Exit Disclaimer.


Ending the HIV Epidemic Through Community Engagement

red ribbon

The Association for State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) published a blog post that outlines the importance of community engagement in addressing the severe disparities in new HIV diagnoses as a part of the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America.

The toolkit was produced through HRSA’s cooperative agreement with National Organizations of State and Local Officials.

Read the blog post HRSA Exit Disclaimer.


Claims Reimbursement: Testing, Treatment and Vaccine Administration for Those Without Health Care Coverage

photo of a health care worker making a heart symbol with her hands

Health care providers who have conducted COVID-19 testing, provided treatment for uninsured individuals with a COVID-19 diagnosis, and/or incurred vaccination administration fees on or after February 4, 2020 can request claims reimbursement through the HRSA COVID-19 Claims Reimbursement to Health Care Providers and Facilities for Testing, Treatment, and Vaccine Administration for the Uninsured program. 

More than $2.8 billion in claims have been paid for COVID-19 testing and treatment of uninsured individuals. Get started today to receive reimbursement typically within 30 working days.

Learn more and apply for claims reimbursement.

Date Last Reviewed:  January 2021


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