Weekly E-Blast:  
Voicing the latest news on Communities in Need
In This Issue

Open Enrollment Countdown has officially started:

Days to NOVEMBER 1:
12 days
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 aneeqa@machc.com. 

October 19, 2015
Kudos to Baltimore Medical Systems & Greater Baden Medical Services for joining your attendance at the DHMH Regional Annual Conference!
Each Friday in the month of October, DHMH's Office of Preparedness & Response held each Region's Annual Conference. These conferences included presentations by The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), State Medical Director from the State Preparedness Office, and updates from each regional coordinator. The conference perfectly tied every facility together as equal and vital partners and the importance of working collaboratively at the regional coalition level.
Reminder, the last Region IV Conference is coming up THIS FRIDAY, October 23rd. Full details (in bold and red below)

Important note: As part of MACHC's Emergency Preparedness (EP) Workplan for BP3 and in effort to increase FQHC Regional Coalition participation, an amendment has been made to the Memorandum of Understanding between Health Centers and MACHC explaining the importance of participation of FQHCs at regional meetings with an incentive of mini grants from MACHC. The mini grants towards health centers is to go towards EP Regional Coalition meeting travel expeneses. The regional coalitions receive dollars from DHMH OP&R to contribute towards the participating coalition partners (note: there numerous Ebola grants info to look out for at your coalition). All request for PPE for FQHCs needs to be addressed during these coaltion meetings, to be put into the coalition agenda and application. Please note, the MACHC grant from DHMH is primarily for Technical Assistance and Trainings. A call to for all EP POIs will be hosted in the coming weeks.


(1) Outreach & Enrollment Call 
Friday, October 23rd, 2015
1-866-740-1260 Access 4319483
Who: Outreach Staff
As you are aware, there have been some changes for the 2016 ACA Open Enrollment Period. With these changes come the need for client recertification through the MD Healthcare Exchange. This mandate presents opportunities for the FQHC's to get a head start on their enrollment counseling. For this year's campaign, MACHC is working with Patrice Wallace again on a new broadcast and print creative (as discussed during the last call); and, a new radio format that will not only reach our target demos but will enhance the diversity of the demos. Please attend the call for some more details. Remember, those who want to join the call have to submit their decisions for the campaign NO LATER THAN THIS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23rd. If you do NOT inform Aneeqa Chowdhury (aneeqa@machc.com)  via email, then you will miss out on this MACHC funded OE opportunity for your health center!
Also, a representative from The White House may be joining our call so I highly suggest high participation (you and/or others from your health center), to join this call! 

Outreach & Enrollment Call 
Friday, November 13th, 2015
1-866-740-1260 Access 4319483
Who: Outreach Staff
Discuss state updates, best practices, barriers/issues that need attention and provide any support and advocacy where needed.

(2) Communifire Training
Please join MACHC on Friday, October 23, 2015 at 12:00 noon. for a webinar on using its social intranet platform, Communifire!  This is an important tool for communication for MACHC members and staff.
1.  Please join my meeting.
2.  Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) - a headset is recommended.  Or, call in using your telephone.
United States: +1 (312) 757-3119
United States (toll-free): 1 877 309 2070
Access Code: 441-870-269
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting
Meeting ID: 441-870-269

(3) Incident Command System 100 Training - Webinar
Tuesday, November 10, 2015; 12 am - 2pm  Register here
ICS 100, Introduction to the Incident Command System, introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. This course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). 
The Emergency Management Institute developed its ICS courses collaboratively with: 
National Wildfire Coordinating Group
U.S. Department of Agriculture 
United States Fire Administration's National Fire Programs Branch

(4) Registration is now OPEN!!!
Operations / Leadership Conference  
Dec 3rd, 2015;  8:00AM -5:00PM
Turf Valley Conference Center
2700 Turf Valley Road
EllicottMD 21042
The learning sessions promise to be informative and empowering for our membership, partners, and collaborators to learn from one another and leading experts in areas of:
Advanced Access, Payment Reform, Human Resources/Workforce Development, Operationalizing Fee Scales, Shared Services, Care Coordination Complexity Scale, Pathways of Communication for Referral, Making the Leap to Becoming ACO's, Maximizing Your Human Capital, Community Partnerships / Collaboration, Fostering Innovations in Your Clinic or Health Center, Leading with Laser Focus and Growing Your Health Centers Footprint Strategically.
Register HERE
Quarterly Conference Fees:
Operations/Leadership Conference
Member Price$ 175.00
Operations/Leadership Conference - Non Member Price$ 200.00
Operations/Leadership Conference and UDS Training Member Price$ 400.00
Operations/Leadership Conference and UDS Training Non- Member Price$ 450.00
Staff and Speakers$ 0.00

(5) Registration is now OPEN!!!
UDS Training
Dec 4th, 2015;  8:00AM
Turf Valley Conference Center
2700 Turf Valley Road
Ellicott, MD 21042
Register  HERE
UDS Training Fees:
MACHC Member Fee$ 250.00
Non-Member Fee$ 275.00

Board of Directors Meetings:
(Third Friday @ 11:00 a.m.)


  • (1) Hypertension Protocol Learning Collaborative
    Monday, October 26, 2015
    12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EST
    Webinar will be live at https://webinar.cms.hhs.gov/mhlc4/ For Audio, Dial 1-877-267-1577 enter meeting ID 991 125 805 followed by # An Attendee ID is not needed to join the call.

    (2) 2015 Rural Health Conference
    Navigating the Present and Building the Future of Rural Health 
    October 29-30, 2015

    Orlando, Florida
    November 2-3, 2015

    (4) 2015 PCA & HCCN CONFERENCE
    Delray Beach, Florida
    November 16-18, 2015

    (5) Getting to Know the Federal Government and Funding Opportunities Webinar, Thursday, November 5, 2015, 3:30pm - 5:00pm, ET - HHS's Office of Minority Health is hosting a federal funders panel webinar to reveal best practices for responding to federal funding announcements. Opportunities for federal funding will be identified.

    (6) Managing Ambulatory   Health Care I: Introductory Course for Clinicians in Community Health Centers
    Delray Beach, Florida
    January 11-18, 2016
    Register here

    (7) 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference will be held on December 6-9, 2015 in Atlanta, GA,
    Apr 10 - 12, 2016
    Cambridge, MD 
    Type: Conference/Meeting
    Sponsoring organization: Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center

    Emergency Preparedness Events: 

    Improving Health Outcomes through Violence Prevention: Promising Strategies from Community Health Centers Webinar -  Wednesday, October 21, 2015 2:30pm - 3:30pm, ET

    The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has launched
    The Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange
    (TRACIE) which now allows health and emergency preparedness professionals access to the nation's most comprehensive system of resources designed to help communities better manage the health impacts of disasters.  TRACIE features resource materials, a help line, just-in-time suggestions, and tools to share information gleaned from real-life experiences in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters.To learn more about preparedness, response and recovery from the health impacts of disasters, visit the HHS public health and medical emergency website via clicking on the title above.

    Save the Date:
    ASPR TRACIE Webinar on Strategic Development for Building Operational Healthcare Coalitions    Register Here

    Webinar on November 17, 2015, 2:00-3:00pm ET
    Healthcare Coalitions (HCCs) across the country have been tasked with supporting disaster response and recovery operations in their communities during and after events. For many HCCs, the transition from serving as a planning entity to an operational entity is challenging. ASPR TRACIE is hosting a series of webinars for 

    What we learned from Ebola
    It was the largest Ebola epidemic in history. It took thousands of lives. It was a wakeup call, and today we are better prepared because of it.
    In the year since Ebola spread through three West African countries and into the United States, we've taken a coordinated approach to be better prepared today for the threats of tomorrow. We implemented a screening process for travel from West Africa to the United States. We've strengthened our hospital system and have given U.S. hospitals the resources they need to care for someone who might have Ebola. Today, we're on the tail end of clinical trials for two vaccines and a treatment in West Africa. We learned that with good medical care Ebola is a survivable disease.

    Important Announcement for Maryland FQHCS
    Please get in touch with your Regional Coordinators if you have not already done so and be more active in your Regional Coalition. MACHC has reached out to you in order to make sure you know who your coordinators are and has planned MINI GRANTS as incentives to help with travel for the Coalition meetings.
    You should already have their contacts in emails I have sent within this year numerous times. Please find them below: 
    Regions I and II Health Care Coalition 
    [Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington Counties]
    Alison Robinson
    Allegany County Health Department
    12501 Willowbrook Road
    Cumberland, MD  21502
    301-759-5238 (Office)
    443-934-2232 (Mobile)
    301-777-2069 (Fax)

    [Baltimore City; Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties]
    Edward Johnson
    Harford County Health Department
    120 S. Hays Street, Suite 230 
    Bel Air, MD  21014 
    410-877-1031 (Office)
    443-388-6290 (Mobile)
    Region IV -
    [Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester Counties]
    Kristin McMenamin
    Kent County Health Department
    A.F. Whitsitt Center
    300 Scheeler Road, P.O. Box 229
    Chestertown, MD  21620
    410-778-4861 (Office)
    443-690-3091 (Mobile)
    410-778-4862 (Fax)
    Check out the DHMH's Ebola Table Top Exercise's After Action Report RIGHT HERE!!!

    Preparedness Resources 
    September is National Preparedness Month, a time for everyone to plan how to stay safe and communicate during the disasters that can affect your community. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) developed resources that can help you spread the word about preparedness in your community.
    , and public service announcements. 

    What to look forward to:
    MACHC has been working diligently to finalize this year's Emergency Preparedness Plan. The tentative goal for us is to 1.) increase participation at DHMH Regional Meetings (we are looking into mini grants to incentivize this effort further; we will keep you posted) 2.)  Gather the number of FQHCs that have existing MOUs and those who are currently working/partnering with a neighboring hospital/clinic (please email this information to Aneeqa Chowdhury at aneeqa@machc.com with the subject: EP MOU Status) and 3.) Conduct two Tabletop exercises and two Functional Exercises this year. The focus of our exercises this year will be mass care, ebola and pathogen illnesses. 
    Please remember to participate during Fall Regional Public Health and Medical Preparedness Conferences. The DHMH HPP Regional Preparedness Conferences are being held in October 2015. Please see below for schedule:

    Region IV
    October 23, 2015 / Princess Royale Conference Center (Ocean City, MD)

    Items on this year's agenda: Ebola "In Progress" Review; Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Planning; Regional Updates; 3M Fit Testing and PPE Donning & Doffing Training
    Who should attend: acute care and specialty hospitals, DHMH state facilities, community health center/FQHCs, local health departments, regional healthcare coalition members (current and prospective)
    To register, visit the DHMH/OP&R Events Calendar:

    Region V  Emergency Preparedness Coalition
    [Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George's and St. Mary's Counties]
    Casey Owens
    Office of Preparedness & Response
    Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
    300 W. Preston Street, Ste. 202
    Baltimore, MD  21201 

    How Prepared Is Your Community for an Emergency? 

    Download the kit checklist: 

    Family communication and evacuation plan: 


    MACHC's Table Top Exercise (see slides attached) After Action Report Improvement Plan (AARIP). Please find AARIP attached here. Additionally, the Situational Manual discussed during the discussion is attached here

    *** Look for the latest EP related updates RIGHT HERE!
    Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
    National News
    Utah To Argue It Has Right To Block Planned Parenthood Money 
    State attorneys will try to convince a judge on Thursday that Utah's decision to block federal money from going to Planned Parenthood is not unconstitutional and allowed under contracts with the organization. A judge ruled late last month that the money should temporarily keep flowing to Planned Parenthood, but that order expires Thursday and the organization wants to see it extended.

    Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Monday proposed repealing and replacing President Barack Obama's health care law, which some call Obamacare, with one that would increase tax credits for individuals, allowing them to buy coverage protection against "high-cost medical events." But the two-page proposal, which would give more power to states to regulate health insurance, contained no specific details on how many people could be left without coverage. It does, however, guarantee coverage for people with pre-existing health conditions, which is part of Obama's federal health care law. Bush was expected to release more details Tuesday, during a three-day swing through New Hampshire. 

    Trying to quell the controversy over its use of fetal tissue, Planned Parenthood announced Tuesday that it would no longer accept reimbursement for the costs of providing the tissue for medical research. The move comes after months of attacks on the group, beginning with the release in July of undercover videos by anti-abortion groups. The videos seemed to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the procurement of fetal tissue, which led to an unsuccessful Republican effort in Congress to end its federal financing.

    Caught in the crossfire of the legal dispute is the Alzheimer's Disease Collaborative Study, a $100 million-plus research effort to test new drugs, formed between the University of California, San Diego and the National Institute on Aging, a federal agency, and partly funded by corporate grants from companies like Eli Lilly & Co. Neither the companies nor the NIH are named as defendants.

    In the first large, controlled study of Bayer AG's sterility device Essure, researchers found that women who have had it implanted were 10 times as likely to need new operations as women who got standard sterility surgery. Women have spoken of debilitating pain and allergic reactions to the Essure implants, including at a Food and Drug Administration workshop last month. Some 750,000 or more women world-wide have gotten the Essure implants, but it has been difficult to assess the scope of the problem until this study. 

    Now that California has legalized aid in dying, advocacy groups are planning statewide education campaigns so doctors know what to do when patients ask for lethal medication to end their lives. One of the first stops for doctors new to the practice is a doctor-to-doctor toll-free helpline. It's staffed by physicians from states where the practice is legal, who have experience writing prescriptions for lethal medication
    Thursday was the start of the annual open enrollment period for Medicare, the federal health plan for people over age 65. If you have traditional fee-for-service Medicare and you are satisfied with your coverage, you don't need to change anything. But if you also buy a stand-alone prescription drug plan, or if you are enrolled in a private Medicare managed-care plan - known as a Medicare Advantage plan - health experts say you should review your policy and compare options, even if you are happy with your current coverage. 
    The Democratic debate made clear that the two leading candidates for the party's presidential nomination both would allow illegal immigrants to buy coverage on government websites, but not much more. That's about the same as the status quo. The 2010 health-care overhaul - supported by all the candidates on the stage Tuesday night - requires people to prove legal residency to shop for coverage on HealthCare.gov or obtain tax credits to help pay premiums. They also can't enroll in Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor that also locks out many legal immigrants. The Obama administration extended those rules to children granted immigration enforcement reprieves under a 2012 executive action, and has said it would do the same for adults.
    On Theranos Inc.'s website, company founder Elizabeth Holmes holds up a tiny vial to show how the startup's "breakthrough advancements have made it possible to quickly process the full range of laboratory tests from a few drops of blood." The company offers more than 240 tests, ranging from cholesterol to cancer. It claims its technology can work with just a finger prick. Investors have poured more than $400 million into Theranos, valuing it at $9 billion and her majority stake at more than half that. ... But Theranos has struggled behind the scenes to turn the excitement over its technology into reality.
    State News
    The Delaware Health Department has won a $898,324 federal grant to help expand services for people with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.
    Delaware was one of 11 states, along with Alzheimer's Associations and universities, to win the award.
    Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country. Currently,17,000 Delawareans live with it. The national Alzheimer's Association estimates that by 2050, nearly 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer's disease. About 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 live with early-onset Alzheimer's today.

    A 26-year-old New Castle County man who was not vaccinated is the first confirmed influenza case in Delaware this season, according to the state Division of Public Health.
    The man visited an emergency room Oct.8, but was not hospitalized and is now recovering at home, the division said Friday. According to the hospital report, he did not have any underlying conditions such as diabetes or lung problems. Such conditions make people more at risk for flu-related complications. He contracted H1N1, a typical type A influenza, said Emily Knearl, chief of risk communications for the division.
    Will Hogan protect public health from dangers of fracking?
    My home is Western Maryland so I am closely following issues pertaining to hydraulic fracturing or fracking. The Sun has not yet reported a study released last week by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study found a significant increase in pre-term births by women living near fracking sites in Pennsylvania. It concerns me that Maryland is purportedly in the process of writing regulations to permit fracking, yet state agencies may be ignoring information like this. Can we trust that regulation writing process? Will fracking regulations really protect the health and safety of Marylanders?

    Concerted Care Group announced plans Monday to open two new integrated medical centers in the Baltimore metropolitan area. CCG opened its first Baltimore Center in February, a 10,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility at 428 E. 25th Street. At a combined investment of $8.6 million, these two new Centers will bring CCG's total Maryland investment in integrated medical care to more than $12 million.
    Finance & Business
    Ten years after a prescription drug benefit was added to Medicare, 39 million older or disabled Americans have coverage to help pay for their medicine, including most of the 17 million with private insurance policies known as Medicare Advantage, an alternative to traditional Medicare.
    The annual enrollment period for these private drug and Advantage plans for 2016 starts Thursday and runs through Dec. 7.

    But 2016 might not be anything like 2015 for some 30% of Medicare beneficiaries - roughly 7 million or so Americans. That's because premiums for individuals could increase a jaw-dropping 52% to $159.30 per month ($318.60 for married couples). And for individuals whose incomes exceed certain thresholds, premiums could rise to anywhere from $223.00 per month up to $509.80 (or $446 to $1,019.60 for married couples), depending on their incomes.

    UnitedHealth Group Inc. said revenue soared 27% in its third quarter, as the company continues to benefit from momentum in its health-services business. UnitedHealth, the largest U.S. health insurer, is also being helped by increased membership in its insurance operations, and its recent deal to buy pharmacy-benefit manager Catamaran Corp. 
    Latest News on ACA

    FY 2016 Outreach and Enrollment Supplemental Funding Opportunity 
    HRSA released the FY 2016 Health Center Outreach and Enrollment Assistance Supplemental Funding Opportunity to support health centers that received initial Health Center Program operational funds in FY2015. These funds are targeted to raise awareness of affordable insurance options and provide eligibility and enrollment assistance through in-reach with uninsured patients of health centers and outreach to residents in approved service areas. 
    Applications are due in HRSA's Electronic Handbooks (EHB) by 5:00pm, ET on Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

    Marketplace Updates   (Delaware)
    • Updates
      • CMS began sending notices (in English and Spanish) to a small number of consumers in federally facilitated marketplace (FFM) states who were enrolled in both marketplace coverage with financial assistance and Medicaid/CHIP coverage.
        • Consumers in this situation will likely have to pay back all or some of their advanced premium tax credits for the months they were simultaneously enrolled in marketplace coverage and Medicaid/CHIP. 
        • Remember to communicate with consumers to let them know to cancel their marketplace plan if they enroll in Medicaid/CHIP. Many of these consumers are likely enrolling in Medicaid/CHIP because their income has decreased, which makes them eligible for Medicaid/CHIP.  
        • For more detail on this, see these frequently asked questions that CMS sent to state Medicaid and CHIP agencies. Or tune into CMS' webinar this Friday at 2pm EST. 
      3.    Resources
      • Enroll America has three updated resources on our Enrollment Assister Resource Center: Get Ready to Get Health Coverage (bilingual); Health Insurance Options for Latinos (English and Spanish version); and Health Insurance Basics: Key Words and Phrases You Need to Know (English and Spanish version). Stay tuned: we'll be posting updated materials in the coming weeks to help everyone get ready for open enrollment. 
      • Last week, the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) released a great new tool: detailed  state and county-level coverage estimates for 2013 and 2014. Each state has a 2-page profile showing uninsured rates that are broken down by certain characteristics, such as age, race, and income. Check out this tool to view county-level data on how much progress we are making in reaching uninsured consumers. 
        • You may be familiar with Enroll America's maps that show changes in uninsured rates at the county level from 2013 to 2014. Keep in mind that these estimates are slightly different than SHADAC's estimates; Enroll America looks at the uninsured rate for just the non-elderly adult population while SHADAC looks at the full population. For example, our Senior Policy Analyst, Elizabeth Hagan, is from Cuyahoga County in Ohio, and here is how her county looks different in the two datasets: with Enroll America's data, her county goes from 18 percent uninsured in 2013 to 11 percent uninsured in 2014. With SHADAC's estimates, her county changed from about 11 percent uninsured in 2013 to 8 percent uninsured in 2014. 
      • The Commonwealth Fund and Health Affairs each released publications this week highlighting some of the work enrollment assisters across the country are doing. 
      • Enroll America published an issue brief and blog looking at the intersection between health coverage and tax-filing. In it, they have a number of policy suggestions for leveraging the tax-filing moment. 

    Marketplace Call Center and SHOP Call Center Hours
    Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center: For customer service support, to start or finish an application, compare plans, enroll or ask a question. 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).  Available 24/7. Closed Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
    SHOP Call Center: For customer service support, including assisting employers and employees apply for and enroll in SHOP. 1-800-706-7893 (TTY: 711).  Available M-F 9:00 am-7:00 pm EST. 
    MACHC Conference Call Updates
    Join MACHC's next IMPORTANT O/E Call THIS FRIDAY, October 23rd!  (see events section for full details--rescheduled again due to the MHBE CAC Training last week)
    As you are aware, there have been some changes for the 2016 ACA Open Enrollment Period. With these changes come the need for client recertification through the MD Healthcare Exchange. This mandate presents opportunities for the FQHC's to get a head start on their enrollment counseling. For this year's campaign, MACHC is working with Patrice Wallace again on a new broadcast and print creative (as discussed during the last call); and, a new radio format that will not only reach our target demos but will enhance the diversity of the demos. Please attend the call for some more details. Remember, those who want to join the call have to submit their decisions for the campaign NO LATER THAN THIS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23rd. If you do NOT inform Aneeqa Chowdhury (aneeqa@machc.com)  via email, then you will miss out on this MACHC funded OE opportunity for your health center!
    Also, a representative from The White House may be joining our call so I highly suggest high participation (you and/or others from your health center), to join this call! 

    Maryland--Call Center Note:
    Direct Line for Navigators and CAC to MHBE Call Center--Regarding the Call Center # 844-224-6762 It should be noted that: If you need customer assistance from the call center, CAC's should call this number.
    Grants & Funding Opportunities

    Service Area Competition (SAC) Funding Opportunity Announcement May 1, 2016 Starts  PHC released the FY 2016 SAC funding opportunity announcement (HRSA-16-007) for service areas with a May 1, 2016, project period start date. 
    Applications are due to Grants.gov by 11:59pm, ET on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 and in HRSA's Electronic Handbooks (EHB) by 5:00pm, ET on Thursday, December 17, 2015. Technical assistance materials are available on the SAC technical assistance website.

    Does your health center offer substance abuse services? Yesterday HRSA announced a new funding opportunity to section 330 grantees for up to $325,000 per year for a two-year (2016-2018) project period.  Applications are due September 28th. Click here for more. 

    Fiscal Year 2016 MAERDAF Grant
    For FY16 the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF) Grant received $167,000 in funding.  During this grant cycle, the Rural Maryland Council received 53 applications with requests amounting to over $850,000.
    The MAERDAF Grant Review Board made full or partial grant awards to 16 organizations.  The Grant Review Board was created in statute and consists of Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Business and Economic Development, Housing and Community Development, Health and Mental Hygiene, and Natural Resources or their designees.
    Administered by the Rural Maryland Council, MAERDAF provides grants to rural-serving nonprofit organizations that promote statewide and regional planning, economic and community development, and agricultural and forestry education.  Also eligible are rural community colleges that support small and agricultural businesses through enhanced training and technical assistance.
    MAERDAF's goal is to increase the overall capacity of rural-serving nonprofit organizations and community colleges to meet a multitude of rural development challenges and to help them establish new public/private partnerships for leveraging non-state sources of funding.

    The National Council on Aging is accepting applications for qualified organizations and agencies to become BECs. BECs help low-income seniors and persons with disabilities find and enroll in all the benefits programs for which they are eligible, and create coordinated, community-wide systems of benefits access. Up to 8 grants of $100,000 each will be awarded; proposals are due on Friday, November 13, 2015. 

    Application Deadline: None  
    Eligible state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations, including health centers, can obtain property that the federal government no longer needs through the Federal Surplus Personal Property Donation Program.

    Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
    Funding for hunger prevention, self-sufficiency, healthcare, and education to those who are underserved. 

    Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
    Provides seed funding to emerging nonprofits, or to new projects of established organizations in the areas of education; environment; health and human services; and hunger and nutrition. Pennsylvania is one of 13 eligible states.

    Application Deadline:  Applications Accepted on an Ongoing Basis
    The Community Response Fund supports organizations, activities, and events that address access to needed oral health care and community resources that improve oral health. Programs that address an immediate response to an urgent issue that impacts access to clinical care, provide short-term access to needed care for the underserved, or sustain organizations experiencing short-term challenges are the focus. A limited number of program concepts that provide longer term solutions or essential services for particularly underserved populations will also be considered. The program will also support Missions of Mercy clinics.

    Rural Health Funding Opportunities
    Walmart Foundation Community Grant Program
    Application deadline: Dec 31, 2015
    Grants to support the needs of local communities in the areas of hunger, nutrition, women's economic empowerment, career opportunities, and sustainability.

    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grants to community collaborations and initiatives that have used shared data and information to increase their capacity for planning, implementing, and evaluating health improvement activities. These community collaborations would be part of a nationwide learning collaborative that would create a cadre of lessons learned and promising practices.

    Community Response Fund
    The Community Response Fund supports organizations, activities, and events that address access to needed oral healthcare and community resources that improve oral health. Programs that address an immediate response to an urgent issue that impacts access to clinical care, provide short-term access to needed care for the underserved, or sustain organizations experiencing short-term challenges are the focus. A limited number of program concepts that provide longer term solutions or essential services for particularly underserved populations will also be considered. The program will also support Missions of Mercy clinics.
    DEADLINE: ongoing basis
    ELIGABILITY: The DentaQuest Foundation makes grants to a variety of organizations that are engaged improving oral health. Grants are not made to individuals.
    CONTACT: Matthew Bond, Grants and Programs Manager: Matthew.Bond@DentaQuestFoundation.org 

    Substance Abuse Service Expansion
    Funds to support the improvement or expansion of substance abuse services in existing Health Centers, with a specific focus on treatment of opioid use disorders in underserved populations. Programs should establish a new, or enhance an existing, integrated primary care/behavioral health model of care in order to coordinate the services necessary for patients to achieve and sustain recovery.
    Total funding available: $100,000,000
    Number of awards: Up to 310 awards
    Award amount: Up to $325,000 per year for 2 years
    DEADLINE: Sep. 28, 2015
    ELIGABILITY: Existing Health Center Program award recipients that currently receive funding under section 330 of the Public Health Service Act. Health Centers that received new start/new award funding in FY 2015 are not eligible to apply.
    CONTACT: For business, administrative, or fiscal questions:
    Joi Grymes-Johnson
    For programmatic or technical assistance questions:
    Shannon McDevitt

    340B Peer-to-Peer Program
    The purpose of the 340B Peer-to-Peer Network is to connect 340B entities and stakeholders with high performing sites, called leading practice sites that have exemplary 340B pharmacy service offerings. These sites serve as guides for covered entities that are interested in improving patient care. This approach provides the opportunity for practice sites to reach their peers and strengthen the 340B program from inventory management to quality care initiatives.
    Sites that receive the status of a 340B Peer-to-Peer recognized site will be asked to dedicate two members of their team to share their expertise and leading practices - for a limited amount of time per month - with other safety-net organizations to help these organizations achieve results and establish sound business practices.
    FUNDING AVALIABLE: Peer-to-Peer annual stipends of $10,000/year
    ELIGABILITY: Applications must be submitted by a 340B entity listed on the Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) 340B database as a participating 340B entity.
    Healthcare Connect Fund
    The Healthcare Connect Fund provides funding to healthcare providers for telecommunications and internet access services, as well as network equipment, at a flat discounted rate of 65%. Participants can apply as a member of the consortium or a stand-alone entity.
    FUNDING AVAILABLE: Participants will receive a flat rate discount of 65%. There is an annual spending cap of $400,000,000.
    ELIGIBLITY: Rural public or nonprofit healthcare providers (HCPs) are eligible. Consortia may be comprised of both rural and non-rural HCPs. All consortia must consist of more than 50% rural participation within three years of receipt of the first funding commitment obtained through the HCF Program. Connections to, and equipment located at, eligible off-site data centers and administrative offices are eligible for support.
    CONTACT: rhc-assist@usac.org

    USAC Rural Health Care Telecommunications Program
    Health care providers are permitted to apply to receive reduced rates for a variety of telecommunications services under the Rural Health Care Program. Health care providers may seek support for multiple telecommunications services of any bandwidth and for monthly Internet service charges.
    FUNDING AVALIABLE: The level of support depends on the HCP's location and the type of service chosen. Health Care Providers are permitted to apply to receive reduced rates for a variety of telecommunication services under the RHCD program. HCPs may seek support for multiple telecommunications services of any bandwidth.

    As a result of recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) action, health care participants may be eligible to receive a 25% discount on their monthly Internet service charges. These services are limited to the monthly Internet net access charge, monthly charges for web hosting and web addresses.
    ELIGIBILITY: Community health centers or health centers providing health care to migrants
    CONTACT: rhc-admin@universalservice.org

    Wells Fargo Corporate Giving Programs
    Wells Fargo supports nonprofit organizations that work on a community level in the areas of human services, arts and culture, community development, civic responsibility, education, environmental consciousness, and volunteerism.
    CONTACT: Ashley Williams -- Community Support Rep -- Wells Fargo

    Maryland Small Grants Program
    The Maryland Small Grants Program awards funding to nonprofit organizations that provide direct services to poor and vulnerable populations.
    FUNDING AVALIABLE: Award Ceiling: $50,000
    CONTACT: Amy Kleine, Program Director, Basic Human Needs
    410-654-8500, ext. 268
    Email: akleine@hjweinberg.org

    Accelerating Community-Centered Approaches in Health
    Accelerating Community-Centered Approaches in Health will support innovative population health programs and policies that work to improve health at the community level, including the use of new financial models to achieve cost effective solutions.
    CONTACT: Phone: 248.643.9630

    Commonwealth Fund Health Grants
    The Commonwealth Fund promotes a high performing healthcare system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including people with low-incomes, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, people with disabilities, and the elderly.
    The Fund supports independent research on healthcare issues and makes grants to improve healthcare practice and policy. The Commonwealth Fund actively seeks to support projects on innovative approaches to addressing problems within its areas of focus.
    CONTACT: Email: grants@cmwf.org
    Phone: 212.606.3800

    USDA Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program
    The USDA Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program provides loans, grants, and loan guarantees for essential community facilities in rural areas. Priority is given to healthcare, education, and public safety projects. Funds may be used to construct, enlarge, or improve facilities.
    AVALIABLE FUNDING: Amount varies. Grants are authorized on a graduated scale. Applicants located in small communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants.
    CONTACT: Bill McGowan, State Director
    1221 College Park Drive, Suite 200
    Dover, DE  19904
    Voice: (302) 857-3580 www.rd.usda.gov/de
    PCMH Corner 
    2015 Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month to Celebrate Healthcare's Brave New World in October 2015 Derby, CT, August 20, 2015 
    The 9th annual Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month campaign will emphasize that when healthcare professionals, patients and family members courageously engage with each other as partners, healthcare interactions are more constructive, experiences are more positive and outcomes improve. The theme of this year's campaign, organized annually by Planetree, Inc. is Healthcare's Brave New World: Patient-Centered Care. Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month is an awareness-building campaign commemorated globally every October to engage all healthcare stakeholders in adopting and advancing patient-centered approaches to care. The term patient-centered was coined by Planetree nearly 40 years ago to describe an approach to care that is 1.) organized around the needs of the patient; and 2.) promotes relationships between patients, their families and their healthcare teams that nurture trust, transparency and collaboration. This year, campaign activities will challenge patients, family members, healthcare professionals and communities to venture bravely into a dialogue about how engaging differently with each other can transform the healthcare experience - and outcomes. 
    Clinical Quality 
    Community Health Center, Inc. an FQHC in Connecticut, was among several organizations across the U.S. highlighted for best practices among hospitals and health systems by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) as part of their Initiative in Promoting Inter-professional Collaboration Practices.  The report notes that inter-professional collaboration between and among physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and other clinical and administrative professionals is playing an increasingly important role in the future of health care delivery. "Collaboration improves quality of care and patient outcomes, promoting healthier communities and a culture of health, all of which are at the center of CHC's mission," noted Mark Masselli, CHC's president and CEO. 

    The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released today a final recommendation statement on screening for high blood pressure in adults. Screening adults ages 18 and older received a Grade A recommendation.  
    Health Observances This Week

    Health Literacy Awareness Month
    Health Literacy Heroes are individuals, teams, and organizations who identify health literacy problems and act to solve them. There are many ways to do this. Here are examples of ways to help promote health literacy:
    • Raise awareness about why health literacy matters. 
    • Create materials that are easy to read, understand, and use. 
    • Partner with communities and colleagues to advance health literacy. 
    You can help. There are lots of ways:
    • Encourage others to be Health Literacy Heroes. 
    • Give an award to those you consider Health Literacy Heroes. Publicly thank those who are making a difference. 
    • Inspire others to take action. 

    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.

    Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers | | aneeqa@machc.com |