Weekly E-Blast:  
Voicing the latest news on Communities in Need
In This Issue
Enrollment until March 31, 2014
Have news to share with us? Want to be featured on our next E-Digest? Want to read about something in particular? Please email us at 

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October 4, 2013 
Community Health Center Spotlight
Congratulations Henrietta Johnson Medical Center on their Level Three Patient-Centered Medical Home designation by National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)


Henrietta Johnson Medical Center (HJMC) was recently recognized as a patient-centered medical home. It is being recognized as a Level Three Patient Centered Medical Home by The National Committee  

for Quality Assurance (NCQA). HJMC is the first in the area to achieve this distinction. NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations including hospitals, clinics and insurance companies.
NCQA's Level Three Recognition is the highest in the organization's rating scale. To earn a Level Three designation, a practice must score high marks in NCQA's nine elements of quality care. Some of the elements are: access and communication, patient self-management support, electronic prescribing, and advanced electronic communications.
The concept of a patient-centered medical home is focused around teamwork, quality care, chronic disease management and prevention. Instead of only treating a person when they are sick or injured, the medical home seeks to advise and educate to keep its patients healthy.



We will continue to highlight and support all the wonderful achievements of Health Centers!


You could be next! Please contact Aneeqa Chowdhury at to be placed on the SPOTLIGHT!
MACHC Happenings
Thank you so much for attending 
MACHC's Annual Conference 2014
We hope you found the sessions helpful and informative.


(2) National Health Service Corp Webinar

 When: October 10, 2013, 10:00 am to 11:00 am

The National Health Service Corp (NHSC) is hosting  Corps Community Day on October 10th, 2013. This year's theme is "Access Today. Healthy Communities Tomorrow." To celebrate Corps Community Day, the Office of Primary Care Access is partnering with the Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers to provide an overview "Coffee talk" webinar about the National Health Service Corp. 

The webinar will include: 

- Overview and History of the National Health Service Corp

- Overview of NHSC Loan Repayment and Eligibility

- Overview of the NHSC Scholarship Program. 

Please register for this webinar to learn more about NHSC to help expand access in your community!! ***Click here to register now!


(3) Region III - DHMH Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness Regional Conference

When: October 11, 2013, 8:30 AM - 4:30 AM

692 Maritime Boulevard
Linthicum Heights, Maryland 21090-1952

Region III -  DHMH Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness Regional Conference

This year's OP&R Regional Public Health and Medical Preparedness Conferences will be one-day interactive strategic planning workshops designed to build and enhance our healthcare coalitions.  The workshops will be composed of a series of highly interactive exercises facilitated by senior leaders from the National Healthcare Coalition Resource Center (NHCRC).  Faculty will assist coalition partners with developing a shared vision and future directions for the coalition.  A detailed after action report, with a summary of findings and recommendations for future action, will be provided to each coalition. 

Click HERE to register.


(3) 27th Annual AIDS Walk Washington  

October 26, 2013 

Freedom Plaza 

The 27th annual AIDS Walk Washington will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Freedom Plaza. Activities begin at 7:00 am. The 5K timed run begins at 9:15 am with the Walk stepping off at 9:20 am. Click here to register, donate or volunteer.

(4) Addressing the Mess: A Delaware Hoarding Symposium
November 4, 2013, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
John H. Ammon Medical Education Center at Christiana Hospital. 
$20.00 registration fee includes lunch. 
Call 800-223-9074 or 302-255-9390 for a registration form or to be a vendor at this event OR visit the following website:
(5) SAVE THE DATE: Employee Retention Webinar

Date and Time: Wednesday November, 6, 2013 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. 

The Health Systems and Infrastructure Administration (HSIA) and the Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers (MACHC) are hosting an Executive Employee Retention Webinar. The webinar is being provided for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Hospitals, Local Health Departments and Health Clinics to learn strategies to retain health providers. 

Richard Finnegan an employee Retention Consultant from The Retention Institute will be facilitating the webinar. 

The Seminar will cover the following topics/activities:

  • Group discussion regarding which of the principles and strategies are most driven by human resources
  • Prioritizing exercise regarding which strategies are most important
  • Identification of tactics to achieve strategies
  • Determination of schedules, sequences, and responsibilities
  • Identification of the cost of turnover
  • Outcomes will include a shift in thinking from programs to processes and if necessary from HR being solely accountable for engagement and retention to a specific model of share accountability
  • Brief overview of the value of cultural competency training 

Registration information TBA on the next E-Blast or check MACHC website.



(6) Uniform Data System (UDS) Training 2013

December 4th, 2013 8:00 AM - 
4:00 PM
Harbourtowne Golf Resort
9784 Martingham Circle
St. Michaels, MD 21663
Aimed at those who are responsible for gathering and reporting the data elements. The Uniform Data System (UDS) in-person training is a full day program covering the preparation of the 2013 UDS Report.  The training addresses each of the tables, including a discussion of the changes that have been made and the definitions necessary to complete the reports. The UDS training is aimed at those who are responsible for gathering and reporting the data elements included in the UDS report, as well as management and clinical staff who need to understand the definitions and concepts used.
Click here to register.
Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
National News
As of midnight Monday, the deadline to agree upon a Continuing Resolution (CR) passed and the federal government officially shutdown for the first time in 17 years. For a review on how Congress arrived at the shutdown and what the impact will be for health centers and their operations read the full update here.
A wide majority of Americans disapprove of shutting down the federal government over differences about the 2010 health care law, including a majority of those who oppose the law, according to the latest CBS News poll. Americans are also overwhelmingly dissatisfied, and increasingly angry, with the way things are going in Washington. More than 4 in 10 now say they are angry, up 13 percentage points since March. 
The online marketplaces, also known as exchanges, sell plans effective as soon as Jan. 1. But they got a rocky launch, with software glitches in some cases and implementation delays in others.
Last Week NACHC held a TeleForum
Last week, health center advocates received the latest updates on health center policy, what to expect from Congress this fall and advocacy action steps to support your health center. You can access a recording and transcript from last week's call here - be sure to sign up for future TeleForums here. Advocates should be prepared for Advocacy Calls to Action coming very soon. Our October petition drive has launched and House letter will begin circulating over the next couple of weeks. We need EVERY ADVOCATE to TAKE ACTION when you receive the next Advocacy Action Alert.  Sign up to be a health center advocate here.


Take Action! Sign Our Petition to tell the President and Congress to stop Health Centerfunding Cuts. Despite a strong record of providing quality care to America's communities, Community Health Centers are facing a nearly 70% cut in funding in FY2016. Such a dramatic funding cliff would SERIOUSLY THREATEN the future of our health centers and could result in closures, layoffs, and service reductions in many American communities. Help us send a clear message to Congress and the President that the time to fix the Health Centers "funding cliff" is now! Sign the Health Centers petition and help us meet our goal of 25,000 signatures collected during the month of October. If we can achieve this goal,we hope to earn a response from the White House about how they will address this critical issue. Click HERE to sign the petition now and THEN ask your friends, family and colleagues to sign it in support of Health Centers.


Hoping to ease confusion regarding the Affordable Care Act and new health insurance purchasing options, Maryland and other marketplaces across the country are working feverishly to train assisters who will guide consumers through the process.  


Before committing to a new insurance plan, be sure to evaluate provider and prescription drug coverage, as well as overall customer satisfaction rates for the plan you are considering.  


Kaiser Health News staff writer Sarah Varney, working in collaboration with NPR, reports: "Have you heard of the young invincibles? That's the name given to young people who think nothing bad can happen to them -- healthy people whose enrollment in Obamacare insurance is key to offsetting the costs of older, less healthy buyers. Brad Stevens is a 54-year-old, not-so-young invincible- recently reformed".

State News
Budget writers from Delaware's legislature met Thursday to consider how to curb spending on the state's Medicaid program, which is costing state taxpayers about $700 million a year. State Medicaid director Stephen Groff briefed members of the Joint Finance Committee on how the subsidized health care program for the poor and disabled operates and outlined some of the biggest cost drivers, including a 40 percent increase in enrollment over the past five years 

DELAWARE releases QHPs
ChooseHealth Delaware released a market overview of their Qualified Health Plans on October 2, 2013. For the individual marketplace, certified plans were submitted by three medical issuers (Highmark BlueCross BlueShield Delaware, Inc., Coventry Health Care of Delaware, Inc., and Coventry Health and Life Insurance Company) and three dental issuers (Delta Dental of Delaware, Inc., Dentegra Insurance Company, and Dominion Dental Services, Inc.). The plans will begin to be offered in the beginning of 2014. 

Be on the lookout from MACHC for a Delaware ACA toolkit, coming soon!


Maryland's online marketplace for health insurance is working better after technicians found the cause of a bottleneck that hampered efforts to create accounts online, the executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange said Thursday, but visitors to the website were still running into delays

A Message from the Maryland Health Connection:

Maryland Health Connection Sees Improvements, Important Updates (October 3, 2013)
Maryland Health Connection is reporting improvements in the website today. Overnight, our IT vendors identified the cause of the unexpected bottleneck in the account creation feature and began taking steps to improve performance. In the few hours immediately following the initial improvements, more than 1,000 users created new accounts.
Today, users have continued to create accounts, determine eligibility, and compare and choose plans. We are closely monitoring the user experience, and are working to improve the efficiency and performance of the system.
In order to perform routine maintenance, certain functions of will be unavailable from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily through the month of October. will remain open for general information during maintenance hours. 
Consumer assistance is available throughout the state. Our Customer Support Center (855-642-8572) has extended hours during open enrollment (Mon.-Fri. 8am-8pm, Sat. 8a-6pm and Sun. 9a-2p). Consumer assistance organizations, Local Health Departments and Departments of Social Services provide in-person assistance as well as authorized insurance brokers statewide.
We appreciate the tremendous interest in, and support of, We will address issues as they arise, and will continually improve the function of the website so that Marylanders can access quality, affordable health coverage.



Finance & Business

The online state health marketplaces that launched Tuesday to qualify and register applicants for health insurance are difficult to use, say IT experts. They say the sites' goal of guiding applicants through a complex process is being defeated by poor navigation and pages cluttered with too much information. But a CIO who built one state marketplace says that design decisions were hampered by strict government guidelines on how information could be presented. 


The District of Columbia's Medicaid program, which covers around 220,000 low-income and disabled city residents, said Thursday it is stopping paying health providers until the federal government shutdown is resolved. Many D.C. government services such as trash pick-up have continued to run because the city is drawing on a $144 million contingency fund to pay for them in the absence of being able to use its 2014 budget, hamstrung by the budget showdown.

The Latest News on ACA
What's the LATEST 
on the ACA this week?

Update on the Marketplaces as Open Enrollment Week Kicks off 

Surprising even some of the most optimistic proponents of the Affordable Care Act, consumers have flooded new online marketplaces over the past three days, causing many systems to crash from overuse.

That was putting pressure on the federal government and the states that are running their own insurance exchanges to fix the problems amid strong demand for the private insurance plans.

The delays that continued Wednesday offered one good sign for President Barack Obama and supporters of his signature domestic policy achievement, demonstrating what appeared to be exceptionally high interest in the new system. But the problems also could dampen enthusiasm for the law as Republicans use it as a rallying cry to keep most of the federal government closed.      

Government Continues Streamlining New Health Exchanges

Health insurers and individuals began reporting a trickle of enrollments in the new online marketplaces created by the health-care law, as federal and state officials scrambled to try to fix technical problems that have prevented many consumers from buying coverage. The White House has declined to release any national statistics on sign-ups, saying complete information was not yet available  


Obamacare enrollment figures likely coming next month 

While White House officials have already begun to espouse the success of new insurance marketplaces, hard numbers will most likely not be available until some time in November. According to one HHS official, "we don't plan to do hourly or daily data releases, but anticipate sharing updates at regular intervals. It will likely be released in the middle of the following month to ensure accuracy."


While millions of consumers stared down error messages on the online insurance marketplaces launched this week, some did make it through to shop the slate of coverage choices under the new federal health law. Leslie Foster, a 28-year-old freelance filmmaker in Hollywood, is among the first to sign up for an insurance plan  


 For helpful outreach and enrollment resources, please click here.


Grants & Funding Opportunities

Debunk the Myths: Grant Application Video Series

Federal grants can be excellent funding opportunities for your project, but not understanding the process can lead to a great deal of frustration. This video series will debunk common myths and assist you with your grant applications.

FY 2014 Service Area Competition (SAC) Technical Assistance

Service Area Competition - New, Competing Continuation, and Supplemental (HRSA-14-021, HRSA-14-022, HRSA14-023, HRSA-14-024, HRSA-14-025, HRSA-14-026, HRSA-14-027, HRSA-14-028)

Through the Service Area Competition (SAC), HRSA will award approximately $468 million in funding to an estimated 310 SAC applicants. A SAC application is a request for Federal financial assistance to support comprehensive primary health care services for a competitively announced underserved area or population. All available service areas (see below) are currently served by Health Center Program grantees whose project periods are ending in FY 2014.

Application Deadlines

Project Period Start DateHRSA Announcement Deadline (11:59 PM ET)HRSA EHB Deadline (5:00 PM ET)
November 1, 2013HRSA-14-021July 24, 2013August 7, 2013
December 1, 2013HRSA-14-022July 31, 2013August 14, 2013
January 1, 2014HRSA-14-023August 14, 2013August 28, 2013
February 1, 2014HRSA-14-024September 11, 2013September 25, 2013
March 1, 2014HRSA-14-025October 9, 2013October 23, 2013
April 1, 2014HRSA-14-026October 30, 2013November 13, 2013
May 1, 2014HRSA-14-027December 4, 2013December 18, 2013
June 1, 2014HRSA-14-028January 8, 2014January 22, 2014

*Please click on the title for more information regarding the various grants. 



AHRQ Disseminating Patient Centered Outcomes Research to Improve Health Care Delivery

Application Deadline: September 27, 2013

Grants to leverage the capacities of existing broad-based networks of providers and other key stakeholders to disseminate and implement existing evidence for improving the quality of care delivery. Spread of evidence to support change in care delivery requires coordination, buy-in and active participation by diverse providers across multiple settings of care, collaboration with other key stakeholders (including payers and consumers) who are instrumental in shaping care delivery, and adaptation of interventions to local conditions. In recognition of these well-documented challenges and needs, this funding opportunity requires that applicants represent existing networks of providers and other stakeholders that have the knowledge, on-going relationships, expertise, infrastructures, past experience and understanding of local needs and constraints to maximize buy-in, collaboration, and appropriate adaptation to local conditions. 


Bureau of Primary Health Care Loan Guarantee Program

Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Loan program to Section 330 health centers to obtain a loan guarantee for the financing of a medical facility construction, renovation and modernization.
Has your FQHC joined the 
National Branding Campaign?


With more than 43 billion people  eligible to enroll in private insurance starting this October 1, FQHCs strive to create an identifiable unifying identity for themselves. This is where the National Branding Campaign for Our Health Centers comes into place. 

The campaign is a national branding effort to strengthen recognition of our Health Centers as a unified and nationwide network of quality community-based primary care providers.  Initially created at the state level by the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers (PACHC) and its membership, the National Association of Community Health Centers has expanded the campaign nationwide.


The FQHC Brand Components  

MACHC recently hosted a Branding Webinar for MD and DE Health Centers with CEO of PACHC, Cheri Reinhart and Event and Communications Coordinator, Kirsten Keyes, as guest speakers. If you missed the webinar and would like access, please click here.


*MACHC will bring back Cheri Reinhart, CEO of Pennsylvania PCA present and lead a workgroup during MACHC's Annual Conference on Thursday - September 19, 2013! 

Health Observances This Week

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month


When it comes to breast cancer, spreading the word means spreading the cure so talk with your loved ones this month about the importance of breast cancer screenings and the risk factors associated with the disease.

Despite progress in the fight against the disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year more than 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. The American Cancer Societyestimates that about one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time in their lives.

The chance of breast cancer increases with age. A woman in her 70s is twice as likely to have breast cancer than a woman in her 40s. But incidence numbers tell only half of the story.

Equally important are rates of survival. Due in part to public awareness campaigns, more women are beating breast cancer by taking charge of their own breast health. According to the American Cancer Society, about 67 percent of women aged 40 and older in the United States had a mammogram in the past two years, compared to only 29 percent in 1987. Today, the five-year survival rate of women who are diagnosed early is more than 90 percent, and the primary reason is early detection.

Risk Factors

Although no one knows yet how to prevent breast cancer, certain risk factors have been linked to the disease. They include:

  • Age: the chance of getting breast cancer increases as a woman gets older
  • Family History: having a mother, sister or daughter who has had breast cancer
  • Long-term usage of hormones (HRT); oral contraceptive agents
  • Longer time menstruating: women who started menstruating before age 12 or continued after age 55 are at greater risk
  • Having no children or had their first child after age 30
  • Personal history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer
  • Lack of breast feeding
  • Genetic conditions (e.g., BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes), but this only applies to about 1 percent of women with breast cancer
Screening is Key

Screening is key for early detection. Different organizations have different recommendations for screening, so women should talk to their doctors about their risk to determine the right age to begin breast cancer screenings. "High-risk" women may need mammograms at an earlier age or more often than "average-risk" women.

Mammograms are not foolproof. They can be normal when breast cancer is present, so women should see their doctor right away if they find any change in their breasts, such as a lump or nipple discharge that is not breast milk.

In addition to screening, it is a good idea to incorporate a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of breast cancer. This includes limiting alcohol, controlling weight by eating less fat and more fruits, whole grains and vegetables, and exercising.

African-American Women at Risk

Screening is important for all women, especially for African Americans. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among African-American women with an estimated 27,000 new cases this year.

Although at lower risk of actually developing breast cancer than Caucasian women, African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer. The American Cancer Society states that part of the reason is that African-American women have faster-growing tumors so the cancer spreads more quickly, which makes screening tests even more important. Hispanic, Asian and Native-American women have a lower risk of getting and dying from breast cancer.

Spread the Word

Recognizing October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a good reminder for everyone to create awareness about the importance of breast cancer screenings and for women to talk with their doctors about breast health. By spreading the word, you can help efforts to reduce the number of diagnoses and deaths from breast cancer.

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