A Milestone for BPHC, Flu Recommendations, and More! HRSA PHC Digest

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

HRSA BPHC Primary Health Care Digest

August 31, 2021


An Important Milestone
Today is an important milestone for the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) in relation to our new organizational design. The new design is part of our BPHC Reaching for Excellence and Advancing Community Health (REACH) effort.

We’re now officially using new names for two of our offices:

  • The Office of Northern Health Services is now the Office of Health Center Investment Oversight (OHCIO). This office will support health centers in achieving the outcomes intended by supplemental funding.

  • The Office of Southern Health Services is now the Office of Health Center Program Monitoring (OHCPM). This office will work to ensure health centers comply with base grant funding requirements.

While their names are not changing, the Office of Policy and Program Development (OPPD) and the Office of Quality Improvement (OQI) will join with these renamed offices to enhance BPHC’s work to improve outcomes, performance, and health equity.

The Division of Administrative Operations is now the Division of Workforce Management. This division will implement strategies to achieve excellence in administrative operations and partner with the Office of Strategic Business Operations in a number of areas.

Review the Federal Register Notice that details these changes, particularly with OHCIO and OHCPM. Also, check out the updated organizational chart. As you have heard us share during Today with Macrae webcasts throughout the year, this is just part of our transformation to achieve our goals.

We want to thank the many of you that are contributing along the way. Some of you have participated in pilots of new approaches to our work. Some of you have shared your feedback on our ideas. We know you’re busy, and we’re grateful!

Stay tuned to this newsletter and upcoming Today with Macrae webcasts for more information as we continue to transform.


Praise for Health Centers at NACHC Community Health Institute and EXPO
During his presentation at the National Association of Community Health Centers’ (NACHC) Community Health Institute & EXPO conference, HRSA Associate Administrator Jim Macrae reflected on the amazing contributions of our nation’s health centers. Noting that so many of us have lost family members, friends, and coworkers during the pandemic, he said this public health crisis illustrates how the human element in health care is central to all our efforts: “You reflect on how important people are in terms of the work.”

Health Center COVID-19 Survey data reveal the enormous challenges health centers faced last year. An average of 6.9% of health center staff were unable to work, a figure that rose at its highest to 14.4%. Illnesses among staff members required some centers to limit hours or operations. At one point, 2,073 sites had to shut down temporarily.

Despite these challenges, health centers rallied. They adjusted to the changing landscape by ramping up efforts to deliver virtual services. In fact, one in four patient visits last year were conducted virtually. To date, health centers have delivered more than 14 million COVID-19 vaccines to patients.

Jim also noted that the administration’s fiscal year budget request for BPHC is $5.6 billion. The proposed funding includes $50 million for optimizing virtual care and an additional $50 million for expanding prevention and treatment services to people at high risk for HIV transmission.

NACHC is a HRSA-funded National Training and Technical Assistance Partner (NTTAP).

Flu Season Ahead

2021-2022 Influenza Season: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices updated its recommendations for prevention and control of seasonal flu with vaccines for the 2021-2022 flu season. Influenza vaccination of persons aged ≥6 months to reduce prevalence of illness caused by influenza will reduce symptoms that might be confused with those of COVID-19. See CDC’s interim guidance for immunization services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Important note: CDC has also recently determined that the COVID-19 vaccines may be co-administered with other vaccines.


Jump To:  COVID-19  |  Behavioral Health  |  Hypertension  |  Workforce  |  Oral Health  | 
                Telehealth  |  Additional Resources

What's New

CHQR Badges

Congratulations to Community Health Quality Recognition Badge Recipients!
We are recognizing Health Center Program awardees and look-alikes that have made notable quality improvement achievements with our new Community Health Quality Recognition (CHQR) badges. These recognize achievements in access, quality, health equity, and health information technology for the 2020 Uniform Data System (UDS) reporting period.

Badge recipient information is available at the national, state, and health center levels on the Health Center UDS Data webpages. If a health center has received one or more CHQR badges, the information is displayed on the health center’s profile page.

Learn more:

Join an upcoming CHQR program overview:

Thursday, September 16
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Register here

Service Area Competition-Additional Areas Notice of Funding Opportunity Announcement Released for Colebrook, NH, and San Juan, PR
HRSA released fiscal year 2022 Service Area Competition-Additional Areas (SAC-AA) notice of funding opportunity (NOFO), HRSA-22-106, for the Colebrook, NH, and San Juan, PR, service areas. Find details for the announced service areas on the Service Area Announcement Table.

Applications are due in Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, October 25, and in HRSA’s Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) by 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday, November 15. Technical assistance (TA) materials are available at the SAC-AA TA webpage.

Deadline Reminder: Service Area Competition Applications for March 1 Starts
Service Area Competition (SAC) HRSA-22-004 applications are due in EHBs on Monday, September 13, by 5:00 p.m. ET. TA materials are available on the SAC TA webpage.

UDS Logo

UDS Clinical Tables Part 1: Screening and Preventive Care
Explore 2021 reporting requirements for screening and preventive clinical quality measures across the UDS clinical tables. These include tobacco cessation and screenings for colorectal cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, depression, adult body mass index screening and follow-up, and HIV screening measures.

Thursday, September 23
1:00-2:30 p.m. ET
Register here

View the full 2021 UDS reporting webinar schedule, including the session on counting visits on Wednesday, September 15.

Director of HRSA’s Office of Legislation
HRSA is recruiting a director for its Office of Legislation. This person will be responsible for legislative planning within HRSA to advance the Administration's agenda. See the full job description and application requirements.

Using American Rescue Plan Funds to Build Health Center Value-Based Payment Capability
This document, developed by NACHC, provides guidance on ways that health centers can use American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to develop and expand their value-based payment capabilities. Areas of focus for short-term investments include improving data and IT, integrating services, and improving access and health equity.

Opportunity to Comment on CDC Contraception Guidance Key Questions
CDC is encouraging public comments on revisions to the recommendations and implementation of the contraception guidance: U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use and U.S. Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use. See the notice in the Federal Register.



Special and Vulnerable Populations COVID-19 Forum Webinar Series
Join several NTTAPs to hear discussion of how COVID-19 has impacted health centers and the special populations they serve. Suma Nair, PhD, Director of BPHC's Office of Quality Improvement, will join the sessions. She will provide up-to-date information about assistance for health centers as they recover and stabilize their workforce while continuing to respond to the pandemic. See session dates and register now.

Addressing Tobacco Dependency to Reduce COVID-19 Risks and Complications
Early evidence has found that compared with non-smokers, smokers are more likely to develop serious COVID-19 disease. The National Center for Health in Public Housing (NCHPH) presents a webinar series where speakers will provide examples of cessation plans, best practices, and patient resources to encourage cessation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sessions take place from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET on:

Tuesday, October 12 | Tuesday, November 2
Register here

NCHPH is a HRSA-funded NTTAP.

The Delta Variant: Five Ways Communities Can Protect People Experiencing Homelessness
The recommendations from the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and other federal and national partners are informed by CDC guidance to help communities protect people experiencing homelessness from contracting COVID-19 and becoming severely ill or dying.

CDC Communication Toolkit for Migrants, Refugees, and Other Limited-English-Proficient Populations
This communication toolkit helps public health professionals, health departments, community organizations, health care systems, and providers reach populations who may need COVID-19 prevention messaging in their native languages.

Provider Relief Website Migration
Congress provided $178 billion in funding to establish the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) program that gives financial support to providers who have seen lost revenues and increased expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its inception, HRSA has played a lead role in administering the PRF program and disbursing the funds as quickly as possible. With the expansion of the program, information previously hosted on the HHS website is now available on the HRSA website.

The migration of the content allows HRSA to manage, under its own website domain, all PRF information, announcements, and future funding availabilities including the $8.5 billion from the American Rescue Plan for rural providers. Stakeholders have already been notified of the website migration.

Users who visit hhs.gov/providerrelief (previous URL) will be automatically re-directed to hrsa.gov/provider-relief. All archived content will remain available to the public. For updates about the PRF and other HRSA programs, please subscribe to the HRSA eNews.

CDC Graphic

CDC Report on Vaccination Status and Hospitalizations
CDC recently completed a study quantifying the impact of COVID-19 vaccination on decreasing hospitalizations. See the report.


These COVID-19 related items ran in previous communications from the Bureau of Primary Health Care.

OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard: Clinical, Operational, and Compliance Impact for Health Centers
This archived webinar, hosted by NACHC, provided an overview of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard and a discussion of COVID-19 safety precautions that recognize workforce fatigue. Watch it to learn about finding the appropriate balance between regulatory requirements and workforce capacity.

Reminder: Health Center COVID-19 Survey Due Today
As a reminder, the survey you received on Friday, August 27, is due by 11:59 p.m. your local time today.

Given the changing nature of the pandemic, we added new questions on monoclonal antibody therapies. Read the details in a recent bulletin. We did not make any changes to the survey addendum.

Vaccines and Safe Injection Practices for Community Health Centers
Join the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care to learn how its accreditation standards apply to your vaccination programs and to review the CDC vaccination toolkit. The presenter will discuss how COVID-19 can impact other vaccination timelines and reflect on flu rates in 2020.

Thursday, September 9
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Register here

Behavioral Health

Intensive TA for Practice Change
BPHC’s Behavioral Health TA provides support to health centers to integrate behavioral health services into primary care settings through site visits. Our contractors will:

  • Work with your integrated care team in advance to craft an agenda that carefully considers not just the TA needs, but also the unique characteristics of your organization and how they impact planning for practice change.
  • Pinpoint areas where TA for integrated services would be most effective.
  • Ensure the time invested by staff pays dividends for your organization: building in a concrete plan for progressing the team’s approach to providing services.

TA site visits can be provided virtually or onsite to fit your needs. Get more information.

Supporting Implementation of Smoking Cessation Programs in Public Housing Primary Care Settings Learning Collaborative
NCHPH's learning collaborative will discuss group and individual strategies and best practices to help health center patients to quit smoking. Topics such as stress management, relapse, and quitting strategies for people with substance use and behavioral health disorders will be addressed. Sessions will take place from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET on Wednesdays in September. Register here.

DATA 2000 Waiver Training Payment Program
We are accepting applications for payment from Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) employing buprenorphine waivered providers under a new program, the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) Waiver Training Payment Program. This program gives FQHCs and RHCs the opportunity to apply for a $3,000 payment for each eligible employed provider who attained a DATA 2000 waiver on or after January 1, 2019.

There is no application deadline, but funds are limited and will be paid on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funds are exhausted. We are collaborating with SAMSHA to process these applications. Watch a video on how to apply, and access FAQs.

Addressing Tobacco Dependency to Reduce COVID-19 Risks and Complications
See the announcement above.


Million Hearts Learning Lab

Million Hearts® Learning Lab Registration is Open
The Million Hearts® Learning Lab is a bi-monthly learning series focused on cardiovascular disease prevention and management topics. The series is open to clinicians and quality improvement/other interested staff, with a focus on community health centers. Clinicians may earn 1.0 CME credit per session and up to 5.0 credits for attending the full series through the American Medical Association's EdHub.

Learn more about the 2021-2022 curriculum, see prework and session dates, and register. The first session is Wednesday, September 15.

Heart Health Office Hours

Recording Available: 2020 Heart Health UDS Findings
Our recent session featured a summary of the 2020 heart health UDS measures, trends over the years, and evidence-based strategies to improve heart health in patients. Watch the recording.


Virtual Engagement for Professionals: Center of Excellence Web Series
This web series will identify and promote promising practices for optimal, virtual training and TA engagement. Collaborators will host facilitated discussions, offer peer-learning opportunities, and publish training and TA highlights and successes. See dates and times and register today. This series is hosted by the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium and the Health Information Technology, Evaluation, and Quality (HITEQ) Center, both HRSA-funded NTTAPs.

Several HRSA-funded NTTAPs present learning collaboratives:

  • Childhood Diabetes Prevention
    Hosted by Farmworker Justice, Health Outreach Partners, and the School-Based Health Alliance (SBHA), this opportunity is for community health center primary care and behavioral health providers and outreach staff. The sessions will teach strategies and best practices for identifying and addressing diabetes risks and share experiences with health center peers and experts. Learn more and apply by Wednesday, September 15.

  • Expanding Mobile Medical Units
    The National Health Care for the Homeless Council encourages health centers using ARP funds to expand use of mobile units, or who currently provide this service, to join. Participants will focus on expanding the Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) model of care using mobile service sites. HCH health centers having a history of providing mobile unit health care will serve as mentors and subject matter experts for learning collaborative participants. Apply by Tuesday, September 14.

  • Supporting Implementation of Smoking Cessation Programs in Public Housing Primary Care Settings Learning Collaborative
    See the announcement above.

OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard: Clinical, Operational, and Compliance Impact for Health Centers
See the announcement above.

Oral Health

Teledentistry User Guide

Teledentistry User’s Guide
The National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA) has worked with health centers since spring of 2020 to develop and test a variety of strategies to deliver dental services via synchronous teledentistry.

Their new User’s Guide gives an overview of teledentistry, describes its use in health center dental programs, and includes practical tools for implementing teledentistry. NNOHA is a HRSA-funded NTTAP.


Teledentistry User’s Guide
See the announcement above.

Additional Resources

Healthy Starts, Healthy Hearts: Understanding and Addressing Adolescent Relationship Abuse
SBHA is excited to share this new resource, designed to help health centers collaborate with schools and community organizations to promote healthy relationships and better serve adolescents impacted by relationship abuse. Visit SBHA’s website to download the resource.

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Training & Technical Assistance


Visit the training calendar to learn details about or register for events.

Through September 7

Patient Safety, High Reliability, and the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals for Ambulatory Care
Hosted by The Joint Commission
Thursday, September 2
Noon-1:00 p.m. ET
Register here (for the “Key” field, enter: TJCEd)


Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Office Hours – PCMH Recognition May Be Easier Than You Realize
Hosted by the National Center for Quality Assurance
Wednesday, September 8
11:00 a.m.-noon ET
Register here

Intersection of Substance Use, HIV, and HCV: What Behavioral Health Providers Need to Know

Part 2: Opioids, HIV, and HCV
Wednesday, September 8
2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
Register here

Part 3: Stimulants, HIV, and HCV
Wednesday, October 13
2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
Register here

Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring Forum Meeting
Hosted by CDC and NACHC (using CDC funding)
Thursday, September 9
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Register here

Vaccines and Safe Injection Practices for Community Health Centers
Hosted by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care
Thursday, September 9
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Register here

Better Assess Your Community Using the UDS Mapper
Friday, September 10
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Register here

ONC Information Blocking Webinar (Re: Information Blocking Regulations)
Hosted by HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
Tuesday, September 14
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Register here

Emergency Preparedness Information Session with CMS
Wednesday, September 15
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. ET
Register here

Counting Visits in the UDS
Wednesday, September 15
1:00-2:30 p.m. ET
Register here

CHQR Program Overview
Thursday, September 16
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Register here

UDS Mapper Special Topics: Using the UDS Mapper to Explore Measures of Social Need
Monday, September 20
Noon-1:00 p.m. ET
Register here

Today with Macrae: Health Center Program Updates
Tuesday, September 21
3:00-4:00 p.m. ET
Access details coming soon

UDS Clinical Tables Part 1: Screening and Preventive Care Measures
Thursday, September 23
1:00-2:30 p.m. ET
Register here

Virtual Engagement for Professionals: Center of Excellence Web Series
Hosted by the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium and the HITEQ Center, both HRSA-funded NTTAPs
Thursday, September 23
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Register here (visit to see all dates and times)

Special and Vulnerable Populations COVID-19 Forum
Hosted by several HRSA-funded NTTAPs
Friday, September 24
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Register here

UDS Clinical Tables Part 2: Maternal Care and Children’s Health
Tuesday, September 28
1:00-2:30 p.m. ET
Register here

Supporting Family Caregivers to Provide Oral Palliative Care for Older Adults
Hosted by the National Center for Equitable Care for Elders, a HRSA-funded NTTAP
Thursday, September 30
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Register here

UDS Clinical Tables Part 3: Chronic Disease Management
Wednesday, October 6
1:00-2:30 p.m. ET
Register here

Addressing Tobacco Dependency to Reduce COVID-19 Risks and Complications
Hosted by NCHPH, a HRSA-funded NTTAP
Register here for the series

Part 1:
Tuesday, October 12
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Part 2:
Tuesday, November 2
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Reporting UDS Financial and Operational Tables
Thursday, October 14
1:00-2:30 p.m. ET
Register here

Successful Submission Strategies
Wednesday, October 20
1:00-2:30 p.m. ET
Register here

Webinars are hosted by HRSA unless otherwise noted.