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

Post OE3 Discussion
Join Rachel Linstead Goldsmith, Enroll America's Regional Manager and MACHC at the MACHC OE Call on Friday, March 4th for OE3 discussion! 
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. 

February 23, 2016
Kudos to Community Clinic, Inc on ...
receiving their Joint Commission reaccreditation this past week! Amazing News!

Outreach & Enrollment Call 
Friday, March 4, 2016
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) Policy & Issues (P&I) Forum is OPEN! March 16-20, 2016 in Washington, D.C.
Join MACHC and your FQHC colleagues from across the state and country to get the most up-to-date information and tools to stay ahead, competitive and ready for another year of health center advocacy.

Cultural Competency Conference (Pick one day) - Dover Downs, DE
Thursday, May 5th OR May 6th, 2016

MACHC Clinical Informatics/Quality/Finance Conference 
Thursday, June 16-17th, 2016
Transformation inHealthcare Delivery: Shifting from Volume to Value
The Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers provides an opportunity for community health centers providers / clinicians and other safety net providers to receive professional development and ongoing education while networking with colleagues in the primary care settings across Delaware, Maryland and other states in the region. Transforming health care payment and delivery systems is essential in order to achieve improvements in health care quality and reductions in costs that are needed to achieve the Triple Aim.  This conference seeks to share information and educate attendees on concepts of volume to value in all four breakout tracks - Finance, IT, Clinical and Quality. This is a conference you will not want to miss!


  • (1) 
    Webinar Series:  Population Health Management
    and Health Systems Transformation
    to Insure Value Based Care 

    January 28-March 10, 2016
    NACHC, along with Shannon Nielson, VP of Consulting Services at Centerprise, Inc., is proud to present a five-part webinar series on Population Health Management and Health Systems Transformation to Ensure Value Based Care. The emphasis will be on helping PCAs and HCCNs understand the necessary components for success within Population Health Management at a state level as well as an introduction to how health centers approach these same concepts.  The focus of this webinar series is to partner with PCAs and Health Center Controlled Networks to operationalize the principles of health system transformation and integrated clinical networks to position health centers strongly in a managed care environment.
    Webinar 4 - Health Center Case Studies
    Date/Time: Thursday, March 3rd, 2016 | 12pm -1pm Eastern
    Register Now

    Webinar 5 - Alternative Payment Models and Systems
    Date/Time:  Thursday, March 10th, 2016 | 12pm -1pm Eastern
    Register Now

    (2)  National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Virtual Job Fair for Indian Health Service and Tribal Health Clinic Sites- Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 6:45pm - 10:00pm, ET - The NHSC is hosting a job fair for IHS and Tribal sites to promote vacancies to primary health care providers interested in serving communities with limited access to health care. More here.

    Apr 10 - 12, 2016
    Cambridge, MD 
    Type: Conference/Meeting
    Sponsoring organization: Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center

    (4) Practice Operations Management, Level II(POM II) Training 
    April 20-21, 2016 | Charlotte, NC
    NACHC is pleased to present the Health Center Practice Operations Management Training - Level II (POM II). POM II offers health center Chief Operating Officers, Practice/Clinic and other managers, and Board Members an opportunity to learn and apply the critical management and leadership skills necessary to optimize performance. This training features a multidimensional approach to effective management and continuous improvement the areas in the health center: profitability, staffing, and patient workflow.

    (5) An In-Depth Look at FTCA Coverage for Health Centers.  Learn More
    Nashville, TN - May 4 & 5, 2016
    Philadelphia, PA - June 7 & 8, 2016
    Operating a health center within the confines of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) has never been more challenging. The myriad requirements and involvement of various agencies coupled with increased accountability and responsibility can make providing health care services to your patients a risky proposition. This training provides information from trusted and experienced health center attorneys, Marty Bree, Molly Evans, and Matthew Freedus, who for years have provided advice and counsel on the day-to-day issues that arise around FTCA at health centers.
    Emergency Preparedness Events: 

    Zika Virus: Updates from the Approaches to Managing the Epidemic Meeting
    ***Important information regarding the Zika Virus:
    • Maintained in two cycles: (1) Zika infected-mosquitos to non-human animals, and (2) Zika infected-mosquitos to humans
    • Methods of transmission: Mosquite-borne, maternal-fetal transmission, sexual transmission via semen, blood transfusions
      • o   Theoretical methods of transmission: through transplantation and breast milk
      • Transmission will likely be low within the United States due to a much less aggressive mosquito population
      • The symptoms of Zika virus tend to be mild
      • Microcephaly concerns: Zika virus has been detected in newborn infants as well as amniotic fluid from pregnant women
      • Zika virus diagnosis is made difficult by its similarity to other flaviviruses (Dengue Virus, West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever virus)
      • NSAIDs should be avoided by affected individuals until dengue is ruled out (due to fear of hemorharrages)
      • Advice for individuals visiting Zika-virus affected areas:
        • o   Sexually active individuals should use contraception for the duration of their stay in the zika-affected area and for 14 days after
        • o   To avoid mosquito exposure, wear long-sleeved clothing to cover limbs, stay in enclosed and air-conditioned areas, and use insect repellents 

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Zika Virus Content for Your Website 

    CDC created the Zika Virus Microsite, an embeddable collection of Zika virus resources, which has information about developments in the current outbreak, including prevention, symptoms, treatment and material for travelers and pregnant women.The microsite can supplement a website with CDC's up-to-date, evidence-based content. It is automatically updated on the website in real time as CDC updates existing Zika pages, so staying current is easy and maintenance-free.

    Get to Know Your Regional Coordinators!
    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]
    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]
    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. 

    How Prepared Is Your Community for an Emergency? 

    Download the kit checklist: 

    Family communication and evacuation plan: 

    *** Look for the latest EP related updates RIGHT HERE!
    Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
    National News
    HHS Awards Funding to Flint Health Centers 
    On February 18, 2016, HHS announced $500,000 in funding to help two area health centers increase and expand activities in response to the lead contamination of water in Flint, Michigan. 
    Hamilton Community Health Network, Inc. (HCHN) and Genesee Health System (GHS) will each receive $250,000 in supplemental funding to hire additional personnel and provide more lead testing, treatment, outreach and education to meet the increased need for health services in the Flint community

    340B Recertification Deadline
    HRSA requires all 340B covered entities to annually recertify their program information in order to continue participation in the 340B Program.  To remain in the 340B Drug Pricing Program and continue purchasing covered outpatient drugs at discounted 340B prices, HRSA grantees must complete the annual 340B recertification by Wednesday, March 9, 2016. 
    Currently-certified entities have received their username and password necessary for recertification. Entity Authorizing Officials must log into the 340B database, update information as needed and attest to the entity's compliance with 340B Program requirements.
    For more information about the 340B program and to see a 340B Recertification webinar, visit HRSA's Office of Pharmacy Affairs website. For questions or concerns related to recertification or any other 340B matters, contactApexusAnswers@340Bpvp.com, 1-888-340-2787 or online at www.340Bpvp.com

    HHS Celebrates Black History Month
    Black History Month is a time to celebrate the many black Americans who have made an impact on our nation. It's a reminder of how far we have come as a country, and a call for the work still ahead.
    At HHS, They''re working on a number of initiatives to advance health equity and bridge the gaps in health and well-being that still are too prevalent for the black community.

    Mastectomies Increased 36 Percent From 2005 to 2013 
    While breast cancer rates remained constant between 2005 and 2013, the rate of women undergoing mastectomies increased 36 percent, including a more than tripling of double mastectomies, according to new AHRQ data. Both single and double mastectomies are increasingly performed as outpatient procedures, and the overall proportion of mastectomies performed in hospital-based ambulatory surgery settings reached 45 percent in 2013. "This brief highlights changing patterns of care for breast cancer and the need for further evidence about the effects of choices women are making on their health, well-being and safety," said AHRQ Director Richard Kronick, Ph.D. "More women are opting for mastectomies, particularly preventive double mastectomies, and more of those surgeries are being done as outpatient procedures." Choosing a mastectomy rather than breast-conserving treatment, or electing to undergo a double mastectomy rather than single mastectomy, may be based on physician advice, fear of cancer recurrence or desire for cosmetic symmetry. The choice may also be influenced by a family history of breast cancer, or mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene. AHRQ's analysis shows a twofold increase in double mastectomies for women who don't have cancer, although the number of women making this choice remains low. 

    Psychiatric hospitalizations of Latino children and young adults in California are rising dramatically - at a much faster pace than among their white and black peers, according to state data. While mental health hospitalizations of young people of all ethnicities have climbed in recent years, Latino rates stand out. Among those 21 and younger, they shot up 86 percent, to 17,813, between 2007 and 2014, according to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

    *REMINDER* Medicare Part D Prescribers 
    As a reminder, all providers that prescribe medications for their patients covered by Medicare Part D must be enrolled in the Medicare program by June 1, 2016.  
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a draft Quality Measure Development Plan (MDP) to serve as a strategic framework for transition to the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and alternative payment models (APMs).  In 2019, CMS will apply payment adjustments to eligible professional (e.g. physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants) based on measures across four categories: quality, resource use, clinical practice improvement activities, and meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology.  The Measure Development Plan describes how CMS will work collaboratively with federal and state partners and private payers to create an aligned set of measures that reduces provider burden.  The plan also describes resources and activities that can contribute to the development of measures applicable to a wide variety of stakeholders. More information is available at: Request for Comments: New Quality Measures.  Comments are due March 1.
    State News
    I am a physician assistant who works in Delaware. I see firsthand the need for medical providers. With the Medicaid expansion that comes with the Affordable Care Act, the eligible population in Delaware will increase by 42,000.
    Through practice, it has come to my attention Delaware Medicaid does not enroll physician assistants as individual providers, only enrolled as crossover providers. This means a physician assistant can only see a Medicaid patient if Medicare is the primary insurance. This is an untapped resource caused by labyrinth of antiquated regulations and status quo. Our $707 million tax dollars are not being optimized.
    New TV show about black Baltimore firefighters aims to portray city in positive light
    Baltimoreans seek negative stories about the city, they have plenty to choose from - just turn on the local news or "The Wire," says Steve Yarn.
    But Yarn, an executive producer, thinks TV viewers crave something positive - and that retired African-American firefighters in Baltimore have plenty of inspiration to share.
    Yarn aims to bring those stories to an online streaming service or TV network with "Baltimore Heat," a scripted drama series. The show will be based off the stories of Vulcan Blazers, an advocacy group of local African-American firefighters.
    "One [goal] was change the image of black men in this city, and to change the image of the city away from shows like 'The Wire,'" Yarn said. "'The Wire' has critical acclaim and every time you hear about it you hear it's brilliant. ... But it's done a horrible disservice to this city all over the country."
    Finance & Business
    Nonprofits Grow Wary Of Financial Squeeze
    It was just over a year ago when David Rivel, chief executive of the Jewish Board of Family & Children's Services, got a call that would shape the future of his organization. An official with New York state's office of mental health reached him at home on a Sunday with an urgent request: Could the Jewish Board immediately take on $75 million in social-services programs serving thousands of the state's neediest? The call was followed up the next day by an identical one from the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. What led to the phone calls-and the Jewish Board's decision to say yes-was the sudden closure of another New York nonprofit, Federation Employment & Guidance Service. 

    The New York Health Exchange says more than 2.8 million people have signed up for Medicaid and low-cost insurance through its 2016 open enrollment that ended Jan. 31. According to state health officials, federal data show the number of uninsured New Yorkers has declined by nearly 850,000 since the exchange opened in 2013, dropping from 10 percent to 5 percent by last September.

    Per-Person Health Care Expenses Among the U.S. noninstitutionalized population in 2013, the 1 percent of Americans with the highest health care expenses accounted for nearly 22 percent of the nation's total health care expenditures. Members of that group had annual average expenses of $95,200. 

    Texas Abortion Case On Justices Docket May Have Effects Beyond State Lines
    About 20 women came to the abortion clinic here on a recent morning, hurrying past the shouting protesters as volunteer escorts held up umbrellas to shield their faces. Inside the Reproductive Health Services clinic was Dr. Willie Parker, an Alabama native and one of a few physicians willing to face the professional shunning and the personal threats that come with being an abortion doctor in the conservative Deep South. He travels constantly among three different cities, two in Alabama and one in Mississippi, to provide a service that no local doctors will
    Latest News on ACA

    Healthcare.gov 'Passive' On Heading Off Fraud
    With billions in taxpayer dollars at stake, the Obama administration has taken a "passive" approach to identifying potential fraud involving the president's health care law, nonpartisan congressional investigators say in a report due out Wednesday. While the Government Accountability Office stops short of alleging widespread cheating in President Barack Obama's signature program, investigators found that the administration has struggled to resolve eligibility questions affecting millions of initial applications and hundreds of thousands of consumers who were actually approved for benefits. 

    Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new verification process for consumers who enroll in marketplace coverage through a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). This Special Enrollment Confirmation Process will affect consumers in Federally-Facilitated Marketplace states, and it will require some documentation for the life changes that trigger the most commonly used SEPs:
    • Loss of minimum essential coverage,
    • Permanent move,
    • Birth,
    • Adoption, placement for adoption, placement for foster care or child support or other court order, or
    • Marriage.  
    This process has not yet been implemented and therefore will not immediately impact consumers. We are waiting for specific details including the type of documentation that will need to be provided.
    View the fact sheet from CMS for more information, and we will keep this post updated with information as it becomes clear.

    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 Outreach & Enrollment Call ON FRIDAY, March 4, 2016!  We will have Rachel Linstead Goldsmith, Regional Manager of Enroll America help facilitate this excellent post OE3 Session.
    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. 
    What would you like to included as part of Maryland & Delaware's Outreach & Enrollment assistance from MACHC? Please send Aneeqa Chowdhury an email at aneeqa@machc.com.

    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

    Application Deadline:  March 31, 2016
    The Accountable Health Communities model, as authorized under section 3021 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), provides funding opportunities to community-based organizations, healthcare provider practices, hospitals and health systems, institutions of higher education, local government entities, tribal organizations and for-profit and non-profit local and national entities for the purpose of testing whether systematically identifying the health-related social needs of community-dwelling Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and addressing their identified needs impacts their total healthcare costs and their inpatient and outpatient utilization of health care services.

    Ongoing Accepted Applications

    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

    Eligible applicants, which include FQHCs and RHCs, must be rural. This program will provide funding during federal fiscal years 2016-2019. Approximately $4,150,000 is expected to be available annually to fund up to 21 recipients.  Applicants may apply for up to $200,000 per year for a project period of three years. 

    Rural Health Research Center Cooperative Agreement - applications due March 14, 2016.  FORHP is funding up to seven Rural Health Research Centers to conduct policy-oriented health services research on rural issues and synthesize the issues into publically available policy briefs designed to be easily understood by a non-technical audience.  Applicants can take part in a technical assistance webinar on Wednesday January 27th from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. EST. 

    Building Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Capacity - applications due March 22, 2016. Community-based, faith-based and tribal organizations are among those eligible to apply for funding intended to build national capacity for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) recipients and engage People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) to increase their access to health care.  Funded organizations will work with HRSA, CMS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to assess and disseminate best practices culturally appropriate methods for improving health outcomes of PLWH.  Interested applicants should attend a technical assistance webinar on Wednesday, January 27 from 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET; go to https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/coag/ and enter as Guest. To join the audio, dial 888-603-9810  with participant passcode 1165029.  

    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 
    No new PCMH updates...Check back next week...
    Clinical Quality 

    Millions Hearts Tools You Can Use 

    HHS' Million Hearts program has a number of easy-to-use resources to assist health care providers, public health professionals and the general public. Included among the program's many heart health resources are:
    Heart Age Predicator Using BMI
     Heart 360

    Heart Attack Risk Calculator
     My Life Check

    Health Observances This Week

    February is National AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month. AMD or Age-Related Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss affecting over 15 million adults over the age of 50.To understand how AMD affects your vision. Take your left hand and cover your left eye, now make a fist with your right hand. Take your right fist and place it directly in front of your right eye. The only thing you should see is images in your periphery or side vision. Now imagine that this is how you are to function within the world.
    Age-Related Macular degeneration can develop so slowly that it's not until the vision is getting severely bad that the patient will notice. Age-Related Macular Degeneration primarily destroys the sharp central vision controlled by a spot at the back of the retina called the macula. Sharp central vision is needed to read, drive, identify faces, watch television and perform daily tasks that require straight ahead vision.
    Risk Factors
    The exact cause of AMD is not known. But there are a number of risk factors that may play a role. Some you can help control, some you can't.The same things that put you at risk for heart disease and stroke also put you at risk for AMD. These include:
    * High blood pressure
    * High cholesterol
    * Obesity
    * Smoking
    Risks you cannot control include age, family history, gender and race.

    AMD symptoms include blurriness, wavy lines, or a blind spot. You may also notice visual distortions such as:
    * Straight lines or faces appearing wavy 
    * Doorways seeming crooked 
    * Objects appearing smaller or farther away 
    If you notice any of these symptoms, you should see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. If you are diagnosed with wet AMD, it is important to see a Retina Specialist for the most appropriate care
    Living with AMD
    Make the Most of your Vision. Millions of people have macular degeneration and millions of them continue to do everything they always did. Because you never become blind with AMD, there is always sight available if you know how to use it. 
     The peripheral vision you have helps you to get around the house and outside. There are devices and techniques for everything from reading to cooking to watching sports on TV. You may have to stop driving at some point, but for everything else, there is a solution.
     If you are losing sight, there are some simple things you can do on your own to improve your ability to see. Don't become discouraged! You will probably need to try out multiple devices before you find one that works for you. These range from magnifiers that are held in the hand or suspended on a stand to devices that attach to your glasses or computers that help you to read.
    Things you can do on your own:
    * Improve the lighting in your home and office. This may not necessarily mean that you should increase the lighting or the brightness. Glare is often a problem for people with low vision. You'll need to experiment to see what works best for you. Special lights are available through many catalogs.
    * Use high contrast for reading and writing. Write in large letters with a broad felt tip pen on white or light paper.
    * Use large print books or try other media, like books on tape, disk or mp3. Most libraries have a section of these or you can find them online. There are also special libraries for visually impaired.
    * Use a hand held magnifier. In the beginning, you may find some help at your local drug store by trying out the various small hand-held magnifiers available. If one of them helps your vision, you should certainly use it. Other magnifying devices may be more useful if your vision is very bad.

    One more reason to see your eye doctor regularly for early detection of AMD.
    - See more at: http://www.ehnpc.com/blog/detail/2012/02/22/february-is-national-amd-low-vision-awareness-month.html#sthash.AskX1JYm.dpuf
    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 |