HRSA's Acting Administrator, marketplace special enrollment period, and more

A Newsletter from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)

February 4, 2021

Meet HRSA's Acting Administrator

Diana Espinosa bio portrait

While we await the appointment of the next HRSA Administrator it is my honor to serve as the Acting HRSA Administrator. HRSA's mission is to improve health outcomes and address health disparities through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce, and innovative, high-value programs. I want to thank you for your partnership in providing care and services to the nation's underserved communities and vulnerable populations.

For those of you who do not know my background prior to taking on this role and serving as HRSA's Deputy Administrator, I have held several positions across the agency. I started in 2007 working in what is now the Bureau of Health Workforce as the Deputy Associate Administrator. I was the Senior Health Advisor to the HRSA Administrator from 2013-2015, before serving as HRSA's Deputy Administrator. Most recently, along with many of my colleagues from across HRSA, I helped stand up the now $178 billion Provider Relief Fund.

Thank you for your dedication and for all you are doing as we work together to achieve health equity and improve public health for all Americans.

Thank you,
Diana Espinosa
Acting HRSA Administrator

HHS Announces Marketplace Special Enrollment Period for COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

CMS announces marketplace special enrollment period for COVID-19 public health emergency

January 28 – In accordance with the Executive Order issued today by President Biden, the Department announced a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals and families for Marketplace coverage in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, which has left millions of Americans facing uncertainty and exceptional circumstances while millions of Americans have experienced new health problems during the pandemic. This SEP will allow individuals and families in states with Marketplaces served by the platform to enroll in 2021 health insurance coverage. Beginning February 15, 2021 and through May 15, 2021, these Marketplaces will operationalize functionality to make this SEP available to all Marketplace-eligible consumers who are submitting a new application or updating an existing application. State-based Marketplaces (SBMs) operating their own platform have the opportunity to take similar action within their states.

"The Department is committed to ensuring that we deploy every available resource during the Public Health Emergency. This Special Enrollment Period will ensure that more individuals and families have access to quality, affordable health coverage during this unprecedented time," said HHS Acting Secretary Norris Cochran.

Read the executive order.

Read the press release.

HRSA Announces Loan Programs for Health Professions Schools

photo of 3 health care workers looking at a chart

Colleges and universities: Take advantage of HRSA’s School-Based Loan Programs. These four programs give schools funding to offer low, fixed-rate loans to students pursuing a wide range of health care careers. Applications accepted until Thursday, February 25, 11:59 p.m. EST.

For more information, visit: HRSA School-Based Loans.

States Begin to Incorporate Children into their COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plans

photo of a child and a health professional with masks on bumping elbows

In a new blog post, the National Academy for State Health Policy describes how states are beginning to incorporate children in their COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans in preparation for when a vaccine is authorized for children under age 16.

The blog post was produced as part of HRSA’s cooperative agreement with National Organizations of State and Local Officials.

Read the blog post.

Webinar: Engaging Research Innovations & Challenges (EnRICH)

photo of a mom and child on a telehealth call with a doctor

HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) invites you to its quarterly webinar, Engaging Research Innovations & Challenges (EnRICH) titled “Advancing adolescent and young adult health in the COVID-19 pandemic: Responses and Adaptations” on Tuesday, February 23, 3 - 4 p.m. EST. Learn how the Adolescent and Young Adult Health Research Network has responded to the challenges the pandemic has posed with technology-driven projects that expand the reach of education, social networks and health care to improve adolescent health and well-being.

Register for the webinar.

HRSA Observes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

photo of an African American couple laughing

On February 7, HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) will observe National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, an opportunity to increase HIV awareness, education, testing, community engagement, and treatment in Black communities across the country.

HRSA’s Ryan White National HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) provides HIV primary medical care, medication, and essential support service for more than half a million people with HIV—approximately half of all people with diagnosed HIV in the United States. In 2019, the RWHAP served nearly 568,000 clients, with more than 46% of those clients identifying as Black/African American. A record-high 85.2% of Black/African American clients receiving care through the RWHAP were virally suppressed in 2019.

The RWHAP continues to focus efforts on key populations where HIV is most concentrated—including Blacks/African Americans, especially among young Black/African American men who have sex with men, and young Black women. The goal is to ensure individuals in these key populations are getting tested for HIV, and getting access to necessary care, treatment, and medication if they test positive for HIV.

Learn more about the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.

National Donor Day

National Donor Day: Keep Love Alive

This Valentine’s Day, share the love by celebrating National Donor Day. This annual observance focuses on five points of life: organs, tissues, marrow, platelets, and blood. Join us in supporting the donors and their families who made the decision to give the gift of life to thousands of people in the U.S. and the medical professionals who made it possible. 

Signing up as an organ donor is the ultimate gift of love and hope to the more than 100,000 people currently on the national transplant waiting list. You can potentially save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of 75 more through organ, eye and tissue donation. Keep love alive: learn more about organ donation and register at and today.

image of a calendar


  • American Heart Month
  • National Children's Dental Health Month
  • Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
  • National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (7)
  • National Donor Day (14)


Funding Opportunities


Health Centers

Fiscal Year 2021 Ending the HIV Epidemic – Primary Care HIV Prevention - Apply by February 8

Service Area Competition - Apply by February 16

Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act - Apply by March 15


Health Workforce

Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) - Apply by February 8

Advanced Nursing Education - Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (ANE-SANE) Program - Apply by February 17

Primary Care Training and Enhancement-Community Prevention and Maternal Health (PCTE-CPMH) - Apply by February 22

Integrated Substance Use Disorder Training Program (ISTP) - Apply by February 24

Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program - Apply by February 25

Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Paraprofessionals - Apply by April 12



Building Capacity to Improve Collecting and Reporting Viral Suppression Data to the Medicaid Adult Core Set - Apply by February 16

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C Capacity Development Program - Apply by February 19

Using Innovative Intervention Strategies to Improve Health Outcomes among People with HIV - Evaluation Center - Apply by March 8

Using Innovative Intervention Strategies to Improve Health Outcomes among People with HIV - Coordinating Center - Apply by March 8

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part F Dental Reimbursement Program - Apply by March 12


Maternal and Child Health

Maternal Child Health (MCH) Research Network on Promoting Healthy Weight among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Developmental Disabilities - Apply by February 3

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND) - Apply by February 16

National Maternal and Child Health Consortium for Oral Health Systems Integration and Improvement - Apply by February 17

Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: Health Integration Prenatal-to-Three Program - Apply by March 15

Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center Program - Apply by April 6

Emerging Issues in Maternal and Child Health - Apply by April 9

Vision Screening in Young Children Program - Apply by April 12

Autism Secondary Data Analysis Research Program - Apply by April 12

Autism Field-Initiated Innovative Research Studies Program (Autism-FIRST) - Apply by April 15

Bridging the Word Gap Research Network (BWG) - Apply by April 22


Rural Health

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program - Implementation - Apply by March 12

Evidence Based Telehealth Network Program - Apply by April 2

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Psychostimulant Support - Apply by April 12


View All Funding Opportunities