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

Thank you for attending P&I this past week!
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. 

March 28, 2016

In an effort to reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission and increase access to lifesaving treatment, Chase Brexton Health Care has launched the new POWER (Protecting Ourselves With Every Resource) Clinic to offer HIV and sexually transmitted infection testing, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV.   
"We started the POWER Clinic as a dedicated space for people to learn about PrEP without fear of stigma or judgment," said Dr. John Vaz, Director of HIV and Infectious Diseases at Chase Brexton in a statement. "While PrEP has been around for a few years, there still isn't a lot of information out there. PrEP is the newest tool in our toolbox to help stop the spread of HIV."

 Outreach & Enrollment Call 
Friday, April 8, 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.

Cultural Competency Conference (Pick one day) - Dover Downs, DE
Thursday, May 19th AND Friday, May 20th, 2016

MACHC Clinical Informatics/Quality/Finance Conference 
Thursday, June 16th, 2016
Anne Arundel Medical Center, Annapolis, MD
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)  Technical Assistance webcasts for Calendar Year 2017 Requirements for Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Medical Malpractice Coverage Program for Health Centers - In anticipation of the release of 2017 FTCA Deeming Requirements Program Assistance Letter (PAL), BPHC has scheduled three webcasts (Click HERE)
    • General Information and Risk Management,  Thursday, March 31, 2016, 2:00 p.m. -  3:30 p.m. ET 
    (2) Telehealth: Changing the Delivery and Education of Today's Health Care Town Hall Webinar - Thursday, March 31, 2016, 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET
    HRSA's Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) is hosting this webinar to educate participants on the latest, evidence-based telehealth communication tools and modalities.  The webinar will cover the use of telehealth for health education delivery in rural and frontier areas; the value of telehealth to the public health field for improving population health and controlling infectious disease; how telehealth is informing policy; and the future sustainability of telehealth.

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

    (4) Protecting Farmworkers: Revised EPA's Worker Protection Standard - Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET  
    Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN) is hosting this webinar to address the recently revised U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Worker Protection Standard (WPS). MCN will provide participants with resources to help educate migratory and seasonal agricultural workers and their families about pesticide exposure and to assist clinicians in the recognition and management of pesticide exposure. View more information and register for this webinar.

    (5) 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.

    (6) 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: 

    NCDMPH Webinar: Children with Special Healthcare Needs and Disaster Preparedness    Register Here
    March 31st, 2016                               1:00 -2:00 p.m. EDT
    The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH) will host a webinar titled "Children with Special Healthcare Needs and Disaster Preparedness." Even though children comprise 25 percent of the United States' population, there are "significant gaps in pediatric disaster preparedness, especially for children with special healthcare needs". Presenter Rita Burke, PhD, MPH, of Children's Hospital of Los Angeles will discuss "how disaster planners and the healthcare community can establish an effective pediatric management system". 

    CDC's Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) prepares clinicians to respond to emerging health threats and public health emergencies by communicating relevant, timely information related to disease outbreaks, disasters, terrorism events, and other health alerts.

    If you are pregnant or trying 
    to become pregnant ...
    Take precautions to prevent Zika virus infection
    Zika is a generally mild illness currently widespread in Central and South America and the Caribbean.
    There have been reports of serious birth defects linked to the disease in other countries.
    * If you are pregnant, postpone travel to the countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
    * If you are pregnant or may become pregnant and must travel to one of these areas, talk to your doctor first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.
    * If you are trying to become pregnant, talk to your doctor before you travel about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus.
    Travel and transmission advisories
    * If your male sexual partner has traveled to or lives in an area with active Zika virus transmission, condoms should be used for the duration of the pregnancy. Discuss your male partner's potential exposures and history of Zika-like illness with your doctor.
    Zika is a generally mild illness currently widespread in Central and South America and the Caribbean. There have been reports of serious birth defects linked to the disease in other countries.
    * If you are not pregnant, but your male partner lives in or has traveled to a country with Zika, consider using condoms.

    Preventing mosquito bites
    * Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
    * Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
    * Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellents. All EPA-registered insect repellents are evaluated for effectiveness.
    * Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.
    * Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and not able to protect yourself from mosquitos.
    Preventing mosquito bites
    For more information, including a list of countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing, visit: www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/zika.html

    Zika Resources at Your Fingertips 
    There are numerous resources about the Zika virus from the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. These include an overview of public health and healthcare system considerations and implications that are applicable to professionals in those systems, emergency management stakeholders, and other audiences.

    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
    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will fund care for all veterans with Hepatitis C for Fiscal Year 2016, regardless of the stage of the patient's liver disease. View more information on Hepatitis C treatments for veterans.

    C.D.C. Painkiller Guidelines Aim To Reduce Addiction Risk
    In an effort to curb what many consider the worst public health drug crisis in decades, the federal government on Tuesday published the first national standards for prescription painkillers, recommending that doctors try pain relievers like ibuprofen before prescribing the highly addictive pills, and that they give most patients only a few days' supply. The release of the new guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ends months of arguments with pain doctors and drug industry groups, which had bitterly opposed the recommendations on the grounds that they would create unfair hurdles for patients who legitimately have long-term pain. 

    Ex-EPA official defends agency's work in Flint water crisis at Capitol Hill hearing
    Members of a congressional oversight committee excoriated a former Environmental Protection Agency official on Tuesday for not responding more forcefully when she learned last year that Flint, Mich., was not adding a chemical to its new water supply that would have prevented the city's pipes from corroding and leaching lead. The former official, Susan Hedman, testified that limited enforcement options had kept her from acting more aggressively to order corrosion control, saying, "I don't think E.P.A. did anything wrong, but I do believe we could have done more." But committee members from both parties reacted furiously to her explanation, casting Ms. Hedman, who resigned in January as director of the E.P.A. regional office in charge of Michigan, as one of the primary villains in Flint's water crisis and heaping contempt on her for more than four hours. 

    Dems hit GOP for spending Judiciary panel time on abortion
    Senate Democrats are denouncing Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee for holding a hearing on abortion legislation while refusing to consider a Supreme Court nominee. "While the Republicans on that committee say they won't take up the time to do their most important actual job, they were happy to spend their time this morning on their favorite hobby: do everything they can to turn back the clock on women's access to healthcare," said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). 

    Some hospice advocates and providers are concerned that too few Medicare beneficiaries will qualify for a CMS experiment allowing terminally ill patients to continue curative treatment after starting hospice care. Medicare patients currently are required to forgo curative services when they enroll in a hospice program to receive palliative care during the dying process. But studies have found that providing both forms of care concurrently improves quality of life and reduces costs since those patients tend to not make frequent hospital visits

    CY2017 FTCA
    In anticipation of the release of the CY2017 Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Medical Malpractice Coverage Program for Health Centers Deeming Requirements Program Assistance Letter (PAL),  the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) has scheduled three technical assistance webcasts:

    1. General Information and Risk Management,  Thursday, March 31, 2016, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm ET 

    2. General Information and Credentialing and Privileging, Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm ET 

    3. Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance, Professional Liability and EHB Updates,Thursday, April 7, 2016, 2:00 pm- 3:30 pm ET

    IMPORTANT: Deadline for FTCA redeeming applications is May 24, 2016
    Vaccine refusal tied to increased risk of measles and pertussis
    Measles and whooping cough, two infectious diseases US public health officials had gotten pretty good at preventing, have made a disturbing comeback in recent years. Why? Many believe the recent outbreaks were closely tied to people who refuse vaccinations for all kinds of reasons. And a new paper in JAMA confirms they're right. 

    Nicola Lindson-Hawley remembers how hard it was for her mom to stop smoking. "One of the reasons I find this topic very interesting and why I went into it was because my mom was a smoker when I was younger," says Lindson-Hawley, who studies tobacco and health at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford. She remembers helping her mom keep track of the number of days she'd stayed away from cigarettes by putting stickers in a journal. By studying about 700 adult smokers, she found out that her mom quit the right way - by going cold turkey. The results are out in the current issue of Annals of Internal Medicine
    State News
    Take travel precautions to prevent Zika virus infection
    Zika is a generally mild illness currently widespread in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Anyone who lives or travels in the impacted areas could be infected regardless of whether they show symptoms. Only one in five people infected with the disease develop symptoms. However, there have been reports of serious birth defects linked to the disease, which is spread by mosquitoes.
    Those who recently traveled or plan to travel to areas where Zika transmission is ongoing, including, but not limited to, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, U.S. Virgin Islands,
    Jamaica, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and
    Panama could be at risk. For the complete list of Caribbean, Central and South American, and African countries impacted, visit http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
    Because there is neither a vaccine nor antiviral medi-cations available to prevent Zika virus infection, it is highly recommended for women that:
    * If you are pregnant, postpone travel to the coun-tries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
    * If your male sexual partner has traveled to or lives in an area with active Zika virus transmission, condoms should be used for the duration of the pregnancy. Discuss your male partner's potential exposures and history of Zika-like illness with your doctor.
    * If you are trying to become pregnant, talk to your doctor before you travel about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus.
    * If you are pregnant or may become pregnant and must travel to one of these areas, talk to your doctor first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.
    * If you are not pregnant, but your male partner lives in or has traveled to a country with Zika, consider using condoms.

    Take travel precautions to Screening and Reporting Potential Illnesses
    All women who traveled to an area with ongoing Zika virus transmission during pregnancy should be evaluated specifically for Zika virus infection and tested in accordance with the CDC's latest guidance. And, everyone should be screened for travel-related infectious diseases using the link below.
    Zika, and many other mosquito-borne illnesses are consid-ered "mandatory reports," meaning they must be reported to the Division of Public Health (DPH). To report a potential illness or for further information on reporting, call the DPH Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at 302-744-4990.
    For further information and additional resources related to Zika, visit www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/zika.html.
    To screen patients for travel-related infectious diseases, health care providers should visit: http://www.dhss.delaware. gov/dhss/dph/php/files/emergingandtravelrelatedinfdisease screeningtool.pdf

    Building A Ground Army To Fight Heroin Deaths
    A crowd quickly gathers here on one of West Baltimore's many drug-infested street corners. But it isn't heroin they're seeking. It's a heroin antidote known as naloxone, or Narcan. Two city health department workers are holding up slim salmon-colored boxes and explaining that the medication inside can be used to stop someone from dying of a heroin overdose. Most onlookers nod solemnly in recognition. They've heard about the drug. They want to know more. Nationwide, more than 150,000 people received naloxone kits from community outreach programs like Baltimore's between 1996 and 2014, and more than 26,000 overdoses were reversed using those kits, according to a recent survey funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
    Finance & Business
    As has been widely reported in recent months, rural hospitals throughout the country face some daunting challenges. Now a new report helps put the extent of this issue into perspective. According to the study, iVantage Health Analytics' "2006 Rural Relevance: Vulnerability to Value" report, released last month, 673 of 2,078 rural hospitals are "vulnerable or at risk for closure." Of those 673 hospitals, 210 were found to be most vulnerable, with 463 more deemed to be less so but still very much at risk
    Latest News on ACA


    *Please note, the next Outreach and Enrollment QPR (January 1 - March 31) will be available in the Electronic Handbook (EHB) on April 1 and is due April 14, 2016.
    • O/E QPR Reminder-The Outreach and Enrollment (O/E) Quarterly Progress Report (QPR), covering the period of January 1, 2016 through March 31, 2016, is due Thursday, April 14, 2016. Health centers should report only on activities for this specific reporting period. Frequently asked questions and other resources can be found here. Any other questions should be directed to bphc-oe@hrsa.gov.

    FAQ: What Are The Penalties For Not Getting Insurance? by Kaiser Health News
    If you're uninsured, you may have questions about possible penalties for not having coverage. The fine may be bigger than you expect. Here are the details:

    Is everyone required to have health insurance or pay a fine?
    Most people who can afford to buy health insurance but don't do so will face a penalty, sometimes called a "shared responsibility payment." The requirement to have health insurance, which began in 2014, applies to adults and children alike, but there are exceptions for certain groups of people and those who are experiencing financial hardship.

    What kind of insurance satisfies the requirement to have coverage?
    Most plans that provide comprehensive coverage count as "minimum essential coverage." That includes job-based insurance and plans purchased on the individual market, either on or off the exchange. Most Medicaid plans and Medicare Part A, which covers hospital benefits, count as well, as do most types of Tricare military coverage and some Veterans Affairs coverage.
    Insurance that provides limited benefits generally does not qualify, including standalone vision and dental plans or plans that only pay in the event someone has an accident, or gets cancer or another specified illness.
    If I don't have health insurance, how much will I owe?
    The penalty has risen each year since 2014. For 2015, the penalty is the greater of a flat $325 per adult and $162.50 per child under age 18, up to a maximum of $975 per family, or 2 percent of the portion of your family's modified adjusted gross income that is more than the threshold for filing a tax return. That threshold is $10,300 for an individual,$13,250 for a head of household and $20,600 for a married couple filing jointly.
    For 2016, the penalty will be the greater of $695 or 2.5 percent of income.
    Although much of the discussion is often about the flat dollar penalty - $325 in 2015 - many people will be paying substantially more than that. A single person earning more than $26,550 would not qualify for the $325 penalty ($26,550 - $10,300 = $16,250 x 2 percent = $325.) So the 2 percent penalty is the standard that will apply in most cases, say experts. For example, for a single person whose modified adjusted gross income is $35,000, the penalty would be $494 ($35,000 - $10,300 = $24,700 x 2 percent = $494. That same individual would have paid $249 in penalties for 2014.
    The penalty is capped at the national average price for a bronze plan, which the IRS announced was $2,484 for an individual and $12,240 for a family of five or more in 2015.
    Many more people will be able to avoid the penalty altogether because their income is below the filing threshold.
    If I owe a penalty for not having insurance,  how do I pay it?
    If you had health insurance for only part of 2015 or didn't have coverage at all, you'll have to file Form 8965, which allows you to claim an exemption from the requirement to have insurance or calculate your penalty for the months that you weren't covered.
    What if I just realized I face a penalty. Can I do anything to avoid a penalty next year?
    Open enrollment for 2016 coverage ended Jan. 31. However, if you have a change in your life circumstances such as getting married, adopting a child or losing your job and your health insurance, it may trigger a special enrollment period during which you can sign up for or change coverage and avoid paying a fine. In addition, if your income is low and meets guidelines in the law, you can generally sign up for your state's CHIP or Medicaid program at any time.
    What if I have a gap in coverage after open enrollment ends? Will I have to pay a fine?
    It depends. If the gap in coverage is less than three consecutive months, you can avoid owing a penalty. Subsequent coverage gaps during the year, however, could trigger a fine.
    If you have coverage for even one day during a month, it counts as coverage for that month. The penalty, if there is one, would be calculated in monthly increments.
    Are parents responsible for paying the penalty if their kids don't have coverage?
    They may be. If you claim a child as a dependent on your tax return, you'll be on the hook for the penalty if the child doesn't have insurance. In cases where parents are divorced, the parent who claims the child as a tax dependent would be responsible for the penalty.
    Who's exempt from the requirement to have insurance?
    The list of possible exemptions is a long one. You may be eligible for an exemption if:
    • Your income is below the federal income tax filing threshold (see above).
    • The lowest priced available plan costs more than 8.05 percent of your income.
    • Your income is less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $16,105 for 2015 coverage for an individual) and your state did not expand Medicaid coverage to adults at this income level as permitted under the health law.
    • You experienced one of several hardships, including eviction, bankruptcy or domestic violence.
    • You are a member of an Indian tribe, health care sharing ministry or a religious group that objects to insurance.
    • You are in jail.
    • You are an immigrant who is not in the country legally.
    For a more complete list go to the exemptions page at  healthcare.gov or the questions and answers page on shared responsibilities provisions on the IRS website.
    When should I claim or file for an exemption?
    There's no one-size-fits-all answer. You can claim some of the exemptions when you file your tax return in 2016, but for others, you will have to complete an exemption application available at healthcare.gov.
    Are U.S. citizens living overseas subject to the penalty for not having insurance?
    If you live abroad for at least 330 days during a 12-month period, you aren't required to have coverage in the States.
    What happens if I don't pay the penalty?
    The IRS may offset your income tax refund to collect the penalty, but that's about it. Unlike other situations where the tax agency can garnish wages or file liens to collect unpaid taxes, the health law prohibits these activities in cases where people don't pay the penalty for not having insurance.

    MACHC Conference Call Updates
    *Please note, the next Outreach and Enrollment QPR (January 1 - March 31) will be available in the Electronic Handbook (EHB) on April 1 and is due April 14, 2016.

    Join MACHC's next Outreach & Enrollment Call ON FRIDAY, 
    April 8, 2016
    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

    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 PCMH News this week, please check next week :)
    Clinical Quality 

    Staff Satisfaction in Community Health Centers 

    April 14, 2016, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CST

    Join the National Center for Farmworker Health for this webinar to learn about strategies and tools to administer and assess staff satisfactions surveys.  View more information and register for this webinar

    The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary released a National Pain Strategy, outlining a coordinated plan for reducing the burden of chronic pain that affects millions of Americans. Developed by a diverse team of experts from around the nation, the National Pain Strategy is a roadmap toward achieving a system of care in which all people receive appropriate, high quality and evidence-based care for pain. Learn more about the National Pain Strategy.

    National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) Federally Qualified Health Centers and the National
    Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) share a common commitment to providing quality care and protecting patient safety. Health centers query the NPDB during the credentialing process in order to make informed decisions regarding the recruitment and retention of licensed and credentialed staff. Reporting selected adverse clinical privileges actions, as required by law, helps to ensure the accuracy and thoroughness of the information in the NPDB and adds value for others who query the system. For more information on reporting requirements, visit the NPDB website and NPDB Guidebook

    The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Jobs Center 

    Jobs Center  is a free, online resource where NHSC sites can create a marketable profile complete with pictures, brochures, and videos highlighting the community. If you have job vacancies, you can post and update them on the site administrator portal 
    all free of charge.
    Health Observances This Week

    National Poison Prevention Week is observed in the United States the third week of March. The goal of the week is to raise awareness of the risk of being poisoned by household products, medicinespesticidesplantsbites and stingsfood poisoning, andfumes. Awareness being duly raised, it is hoped that this will prevent poisoning.
    On September 26, 1961, the 87th United States Congress passed a joint resolution (Public Law87-319) requesting that the President of the United States proclaim the third week of March National Poison Prevention Week. On February 7, 1962, President John F. Kennedy responded to this request and proclaimed the third week of March as National Poison Prevention Week. The first National Poison Prevention Week was therefore observed in March 1962.
    More than two million potential poison exposures are reported every year to American poison control centers.More than 90% of these poisoning occur in the home, and a majority of these occur with children 5 years of age and younger.
    Though calls regarding children still make up more than half of all calls to poison control centers, they only account for a small percent of the deaths due to poisoning. Poisoning of adults is on the rise in our nation and only stands behind motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths.
    Over 1000 Americans die from poisoning every year

    Poisoning: Prevent It
    The American Association of Poison Control Centers, representing the poison control center network of the United States, offers the following poison prevention tips:
    1. If you think someone has been poisoned, call 1-800-222-1222 right away. Serious poisonings don't always have early signs.
    2. Put the number for your poison control center (1-800-222-1222) in your cell phone and near home phones.
    3. Keep medicines and household products in their original containers in a different place than food.
    4. Always read product labels and follow any directions.
    5. Keep household products and medicines locked up. Put them where kids can't see them or reach them.
    6. Buy products with child-resistant packaging. But remember, nothing is child-proof.
    7. Never call medicine "candy." Poisons may look like food or drink. Teach children to ask an adult before tasting anything.
    8. Learn about products and drugs that young people use to get "high." Talk to your teen or pre-teen about these dangers.
    9. Have a working carbon monoxide alarm in your home.
    Call 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison control center, anywhere in the United States. The call is free, private, 24/7/365, and expert help is available in more than 150 languages.

    HRSA's Poison Control Program encourages Americans to learn more about the dangers of unintentional poisonings and how to take the appropriate preventive measures. When in doubt, check it out.  Call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 or visit  the HRSA Poison Help websitefor resources.
    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 |