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

ENROLLMENT SEASON is going strong...How is Enrollment efforts going at FQHCs? 
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. 

November 16, 2015
IMPORTANT....Registration is STILL OPEN!
MACHC's UDS & Operations/Leadership Accommodation Info
Hotel Accommodations: Attendees may call directly to the hotel to make their reservations by dialing 410-465-1500 or 1-888-833-8873. Or if you prefer you can make your reservations online at www.turfvalley.com and use group code C/L #27Z876.  


(1) Outreach & Enrollment Call 
Wednesday, December 2, 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.  

OE Tentative Webinar Dates with Enroll America:
  1. December 4, 2015 1pm -2pm
    Latino Outreach & Engagement Webinar
  2. December 11, 2015 1pm -2pm
    Women & Youth Webinar 
  3. December 18, 2015 1pm -2pm
    Youth Engagement Webinar

(2) Registration is still 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

(3) Registration is still 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) Planning, Implementing, and Documenting the Needs of Your Target Population Webinar - Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 3:00pm - 4:00pm, ET 
    The National Center for Farmworker Health (NCFH) is hosting this webinar to discuss the process of planning and implementing an agricultural workers' needs assessment. This webinar will be conducted in Spanish only. Presentation materials will be available in English on NCFH's webinar webpage
    Register Here

    (2) Delaware Faith-Based Summit: Inspiring Healthy Communities
    Thursday, December 3, 2015 10 AM - 3:30 PM Register Here
    1502 West 13th Street, Wilmington DE 19806 (Lunch will be served)
     A day long event to engage local leaders on healthcare issues in communities of faith. Please join to discuss topics including access to care, adherence to treatment and Medicare Part D. Registration is FREE, but space is limited.

    2015 National HIV Prevention Conference will be held on December 6-9, 2015 in Atlanta, GA,

    (4) Managing Ambulatory   Health Care I: Introductory Course for Clinicians in Community Health Centers
    Delray Beach, Florida
    January 11-18, 2016
    Apr 10 - 12, 2016
    Cambridge, MD 
    Type: Conference/Meeting
    Sponsoring organization: Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center

    Emergency Preparedness Events: 

    MACHC's Incidence Command System 100 Training
    Those on MACHC's ICS100 Training on Tuesday, November 10th should have received the ICS Training materials and practice exam questions. Please send an email to Aneeqa Chowdhury aneeqa@machc.com to request materials if you have not received them and are interested. 
    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)

    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 

    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:
    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:


    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
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2015 Report to Congress on Minority Health Activities summarizes programs, policies and initiatives of agencies across HHS that address minority health and health disparities and demonstrate HHS's commitment to reducing racial and ethnic health disparities and achieving health equity. The 2015 report highlights HHS agencies and their programs dedicated to minority health and reducing health disparities in fiscal years 2013 and 2014.
    The report details the significant progress that has been achieved in implementing the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that address health disparities. The HHS Office of Minority Health, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the individual Offices of Minority Health within six HHS agencies, and various other HHS agencies and offices have carried out programs and developed policies to reduce disparities in health and health care for minority populations.  

    Preparing for and Understanding Your UDS Submission
    on Monday, November 16, 2015, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm, ET, the Bureau of Primary Health Care is hosting this webinar to teach health centers the importance of the Uniform Data System (UDS), how to use processes and systems for accurate submissions, and how to understand table-specific considerations.  Join the webinar the day of the session, click here.  For audio, 1-888-989-3416, participant passcode 5998688.

    Budget Period Progress Report (BPR) Noncompeting Continuation (NCC) Submission Schedule 
    BPHC released the FY 2016 BPR NCC application (HRSA-H80-16-007) for grantees with a May 1, 2016 budget period start date. Health centers should check their most recent Notice of Award (NoA) for project period and budget period details.
    BPR submission for May 1, 2016 starts are due in HRSA's Electronic Handbooks (EHB) by 5:00pm, ET on Friday, December 18, 2015. Technical assistance materials are available on the BPR technical assistance website.

    Insurers Add 8 Million Medicaid Patients Thanks To Obamacare And GOP
    The expansion of Medicaid benefits for poor Americans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the general move away from fee-for-service medicine helped boost enrollment in private health plans by 7.8 million beneficiaries in the last year, according to a new report. Managed-care plans are taking on an unprecedented role in providing health coverage to poor Americans thanks in part to more states opting to go along with the Medicaid expansion. ... "Even if no other state expands Medicaid (under the ACA), managed-care is going to increase its market share because states are moving away from fee-for-service medicine," Jeff Myers, chief executive of Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA), the trade group and lobby that represents Medicaid plans, said in an interview. The report was released last week at MHPA's annual conference. 

    Every day it seems there is a  new study about healthcare documenting costs or what does or doesn't work. But a new issue brief from Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured really caught our eye. The brief entitled, "Beyond Health Care: The Role of Social Determinants in Promoting Health and Health Equity," documents the shift toward a broader approach in healthcare that "
    that addresses social, economic, and environmental factors that influence health." Opportunities fostered with the help of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)  have enhanced the focus on prevention and community health, and have led to initiatives at the local, state and national level to address the social determinants of health. The brief also notes:
    "Community health centers (CHCs) can play a key role in addressing social determinants of health given that they serve at-risk and underserved communities with broad needs. CHCs have a long history of meeting both the clinical and non-clinical needs of the patients they serve and collaborating with community and social support services. Building on this role, the National Association for Community Health Centers, in partnership with the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, the Oregon Primary Care Association, and the Institute for Alternative Futures, recently launched a new program to implement, test, and promote a national standardized patient risk assessment protocol to assess and address patients' social determinants of health."

    CMS Offers New ICD-10 Resources
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a
    new Provider ICD-10 Resource Guide & Contact List to help providers find answers to ICD-10 questions. The guide includes Medicare Administrator Contractor (MAC) and Medicaid contact information organized by state. Those with commercial or private health plan claim questions are advised to contact the health plan directly. CMS has established an ICD-10 Ombudsman and ICD-10 Coordination Center to help track, triage, and resolve issues. 
    During the debate. Clinton attacked two key policy Sanders policy proposals - one to make public colleges tuition-free, and another to give all Americans government-run health insurance - as impractical or unfair, in a part of the second Democratic debate seemingly aimed at moderate voters. ... Clinton also criticized Sanders's plan, which he calls "Medicare for All," for essentially eliminating President Obama's health-care law. But Clinton took an unusual tactic: she said Sanders' plan did not build the federal government up enough. It would leave some decisions to the state governments, which might be run by Republicans.     
    November 19, 2015 is National Rural Health Day, an opportunity to "Celebrate the Power of Rural" and to bring to light the unique healthcare challenges that rural citizens face - and showcase the efforts of rural healthcare providers, State Offices of Rural Health and other rural stakeholders to address those challenges
    State News
    Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill and Governor Bacon Health Center Seek Community Donations
    The Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill (DHCI) in Smyrna and the Governor Bacon Health Center (GBHC) in Delaware City are seeking support from the community in "adopting" residents for the holidays who have little family involvement or support.
    DHCI and Governor Bacon rely on the generosity of community members, including neighbors, local businesses, community organizations, and volunteers to help fulfill resident wishes during the holidays. In keeping with the spirit of holiday giving, the nursing facilities ask members of the community to sponsor a resident at either Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill or Governor Bacon.

    Though Delaware's prematurity rate has significantly decreased to about 11 percent from peaking in 2007 at 14.3 percent, experts say a recent premature birth report card from March of Dimes shows there is more to be done to address race and prematurity rates.
    The report card analyzed births from 2013 and found that 12 percent of all African-American babies were born premature. In comparison, 8.6 percent of Caucasian babies, 8 percent of Hispanic babies and 7.7. percent of Asian babies were preterm.
    The primary driver of the disparity is not lack of access to care, said Dr. David Paul, chairman of the Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium. It is poor health, he said.
    Moms-to-be who are in poor health have a higher risk of delivering a baby too early. Chronic health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, smorking tobacco and obesity are among the issues that can contribute.
    Maryland Gov. Hogan says he's 'cancer free' after treatment
    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he is "100 percent cancer free" and in complete remission after receiving cancer treatment.
    The governor made the announcement at a news conference Monday. He says he will continue to get scans on a regular basis and undergo preventive health maintenance.
    Hogan was diagnosed with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma in June. Last month, he completed 30 days of chemotherapy over four months. He told reporters he was "feeling pretty strong" about a week later.
    The Republican governor has continued working.
    Finance & Business
    One month into Medicare's enrollment period for seniors, the federal government announced that Medicare Part B premiums will be going up in 2016 for new enrollees. In 2015, most people paid $104.90 monthly for doctor visits and other medical expenses. Now, new enrollees will pay $122.80 a month

    Lawmakers and the Obama administration are ratcheting up efforts to target pharmaceutical companies over high-priced drugs, a sign that legislators are trying to bridge partisan differences to tackle a key driver of rising health care costs. Some specialty drugs can now run $100,000 or more a year, and the issue has been amplified by several high-profile cases in which makers boosted prices dramatically and rapidly
    Latest News on ACA

    Obamacare Recruiters Seek Uninsured At Food Fairs And Churches
    Their shared goal: Increase the number of Americans buying health plans. It won't be easy. About 1.3 million Floridians signed up for individual coverage during the 2015 open enrollment on the online marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. That was tops in the country - even higher than in California and Texas, which have more people. Like most states, Florida's uninsured rate has fallen sharply - to 15 percent from 22 percent in 2013, according to Gallup

    The third open enrollment for Maryland's state-based marketplace for health coverage begins Nov. 1 with a wide network of consumer assistance workers to help provide greater in-person help for consumers, a more mobile-friendly website and a streamlined application process.
    "Tens of thousands of people now have health coverage who didn't before without worry about pre-existing conditions," said Carolyn Quattrocki, executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. "And it's important to note that nine of every 10 people covered through MarylandHealthConnection.gov received some type of financial help to offset the cost of premiums."
    "We've talked to hundreds of consumers, stakeholders and medical and insurance professionals around the state since the last open enrollment," she said, "and with their input, we've made many improvements to the process for this third year of the marketplace. We're looking forward to another successful open enrollment."
    In 2015, more than 700,000 Marylanders enrolled through Maryland Health Connection in its second year, including 120,000 in private health insurance plans and more than 600,000 in Medicaid.
    Improvements and highlights for 2016 include:
    1.      In-person assistance: More than 1,500 trained experts are available across the state to provide free assistance in enrolling. A list of "connector entity" (regional consumer assistance) offices and hours can be found on MarylandHealthConnection.gov as well as searchable tools to locate participating brokers and navigators nearest you.
    2.      Enrollment fairs: A list of events featuring assisters ready to enroll consumers at major venues across the state can be found at MarylandHealthConnection.gov and will be publicized throughout open enrollment.
    3.      Financial support: Nine in 10 Marylanders qualified for financial help to help lower or even waive the cost of health coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, Marylanders who are not eligible for qualifying health coverage, such as affordable employer-sponsored coverage or a government program such as Medicaid, may apply for an Advanced Premium Tax Credit, or APTC, to offset the cost of monthly insurance premiums. Individuals who have an annual income of less than $47,080 or a family of four whose household income is less than $97,000 may qualify for coverage with financial assistance that begins Jan. 1, 2016, for example. In 2015, more than 60,000 Maryland households have received more than $190 million in tax credits -- an average of more than $3,000 per family --to help reduce the cost of health coverage.
    4.      Website improvements, including a streamlined application, a more mobile-friendly website and more information resources. The site also features a star system to rate the quality of plans. The rating system was produced by the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange with the Maryland Health Care Commission and applies only to Maryland plans.
    5.      Simpler renewal: Most Marylanders who enrolled in a qualified health plan through Maryland Health Connection for 2015 coverage will be renewed automatically in the same plan or a similar plan if their plan has changed.  If they received a subsidy in 2015, in most cases if their income hasn't changed much they will receive a similar one in 2016. Even if they were enrolled this year, consumers may want to shop and compare plan prices since some have increased in price and others have decreased. They may save hundreds of dollars by doing so.
    6.      Small business coverage: The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is open to businesses with 50 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees. The program offers a two-year tax credit to help offset costs for qualifying businesses and more coverage options to offer employees.
    7.      New dental plans: For 2016, Marylanders can enroll online in a dental-only plan or enroll in dental at the same time they enroll in a health plan. Maryland Health Connection offers family and child-only dental plans - 19 plans in all from six participating dental insurers.
    8.      Enhanced links to brokers: In a pilot program, select brokers will be linked directly through the call center in the Broker Assistance Transfer pilot program known as the "BATPhone." Brokers are the only consumer assistance workers who can recommend a specific plan to consumers based on individual needs.
    9.      Coverage is better than a penalty: For 2016, the federal tax penalty for lacking coverage is 2.5 percent of gross household income over the federal income tax filing threshold, or $695 per individual - whichever is greater. That is up from the 2015 penalty of 2 percent of gross household income over the tax filing threshold or $325 per individual. It makes sense to get coverage for your money instead of paying a penalty and not having any. The law provides certain exemptions, including for people below a certain income and those who are without coverage for fewer than three months. The penalty is designed to prompt healthier people to get coverage to keep premium levels sustainable as insurers are now forbidden from turning away applicants due to existing health problems. More people covered also reduces the shared cost of uncompensated care.
    10.  Don't miss the deadline(s): Coverage will begin on Jan. 1 for enrollments completed by Dec. 15, 2015.  Enrollments completed Dec. 16-Jan. 15 will have coverage beginning Feb. 1, 2016. Enrollments completed Jan. 16-Jan. 31, the last day of open enrollment, will have coverage beginning March 1, 2016. 

    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

    Upcoming MACHC Webinar Series on Outreach & Enrollment Efforts in partnership with Enroll American coming up this December! See the Events section for dates and details. SAVE THE DATE! Webinars to take place each Friday at 1 pm in December.


    How can you Ramp Up Outreach & Enrollment Efforts during this Crucial Time?!

    • Leverage Social Media to Get the Word out for Your Health Center:
    • Host Local Meetings with other community advocates and faith-based groups
    • BuildYour Grassroots OE Community Advocate Network
    • Use the Local Media to Tell Your Health Center Story (local newspapers!)

    Join MACHC's next Outreach & Enrollment Call ON FRIDAY, December 2nd!  
    As the new enrollment season kicks off, there will be a significant increase in consumers pouring in for assistance. During this time, it remains vital for Outreach & Enrollment staff to attend the Outreach & Enrollment calls we host to share the latest on the trends, barriers and share best practices. Remember, this is the way we can all be aware of State affairs, assist more seamlessly and learn from each other. Have a representative from your FQHC present on the call if your schedule does not permit attendance. 

    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

    Funded! Now What? Webinar Archive 
    NACHC released this archived webinar focused on what Health Center Program grantees need to do to become operational within 120 days of receiving their Notice of Award using the "Funded! Now What?" publication as the guide. 

    Service Area Competition (SAC) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)
    for April 1, 2016 Starts - Applications in response to the FY 2016 SAC FOA (HRSA-16-008) for service areas with an April 1, 2016 project period start date are due in HRSA's Electronic Handbooks (EHB) by 5:00pm, ET on Tuesday, November 17, 2015. Technical assistance materials are available on the SAC Technical Assistance web site.

    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 

    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 
    4 surprising benefits of PCMH
    1. Better integration of clinical IT into practice workflow -- According to Meucci, pursuing PCMH certification creates an opportunity for providers to rethink their use of IT with the goal of maximizing its use in patient management. Some PCMH standards require providers to report how many patients are missing appointments, for examp le, which in turn forces them to rethink the process they're using to capture and make use of patient information.
    2. Happier patients . . . Really! -- Another part of the PCMH transformation involves measuring patient satisfaction, and for many providers one of the keys to increasing satisfaction, Meucci said, is expanding the access pa tients have both to their doctors and their own health information. Better use of IT enables providers to reduce scheduling barriers, provide post-visit summaries, and reduce wait times, all of which impact how patients perceive their physicians.
    3. Better formal decision making framework -- While not directly related to IT, it's not hard to see how better decision-making is likely to lead to more efficient and effective use of IT.  And, according to Meucci, a big part of PCMH transformation, particularly for multi-clinic organizations, involves the development of formal governance structures that constitute a forum for decision-making that helps organize and unify network practices
    4. Increased practice productivity -- So you wanted to do the right thing by improving patient care. And you wanted to help your bottom line by qualifying for applicable incentives. And along the way you ended up becoming more productive. Meucci acknowledged, the implementation of PCMH is hard, but the results of better IT integration and better care team utilization, once implemented, allow practices to see more patients, reduce wait times and deliver better care. He added that part of the productivity increase providers realize is related to, through more proactive patient outreach and management, keeping patients coming to primary care centers as opposed to waiting too long and ending up in the emergency room.  

    Clinical Quality 
    Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has released its 2015 Annual Progress Report on the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care.  The AHQP report demonstrates progress across select health care process, outcome, and access measures that track improvements aligned with the six National Quality Strategy priorities.  To learn more about the National Quality Strategy, access a National Quality Strategy Stakeholder toolkit and read the 2015 Annual Progress Report on the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care, visit the Working for Quality website.

    Waimanalo Health Center Infographic -AAPCHO released an infographic on the overview of Waimanalo Health Center's care coordination for diabetes management program as a promising practice.  
    Health Observances This Week

    Go Purple with a Purpose for Alzheimer's Disease Awareness and Caregivers Month. President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month in 1983. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer's; today, the number of people with the disease has soared to nearly 5.4 million.  Get involved this month, and help raise awareness for Alzheimer's disease.

    • Turn Facebook purple by changing your profile picture 
    • Turn your office, school or place of worship purple for the month 
    • Post your Purple with a Purpose pictures on our Facebook page or tag us on Twitter

    Take the Purple Pledge! Worldwide, 47 million people are living with Alzheimer's and other dementias. 

    ● Wear purple throughout the month
    ● Ask friends and family to take the pledge and join the cause. 
    ● Turn your Facebook profile purple. 

    Take the 
    pledge today!
    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 |