COVID-19 Vaccines for Children, Health Workforce Funding Opportunity and Loan Repayment Programs, and more

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

 November 4, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

Associate Administrator of HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau Michael D. Warren, MD, MPH, FAAP

A letter from Dr. Michael D. Warren, Pediatrician and Associate Administrator for the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) at HRSA

The time has finally come when we can expand COVID-19 vaccination efforts down to age 5! Please help support and promote vaccination for children ages 5 through 11 so we can protect as many children and families as possible from COVID-19.

Read Dr. Warren's letter.

HRSA Strategic Plan FY 2022 - Interim

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We are issuing an interim update to the FY 2019 – 2022 HRSA Strategic Plan to ensure alignment with Administration and HHS priorities, such as the emphasis on health equity, and the expansion of HRSA's program responsibilities, including activities associated with COVID-19 public health emergency response and the American Rescue Plan Act. 

Congratulations to Dr. Reem M. Ghandour, 2021 Sammies Winner

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We're proud to share that our own Dr. Reem M. Ghandour, Director of the Division of Epidemiology in our Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), is a 2021 winner of the prestigious and highly selective Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal. These awards, also called “Sammies,” are considered the “Oscars” of government service.

Dr. Ghandour received this award for her work leading the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). Since 2013, she has transformed the NSCH, conducting the survey annually starting in 2016 and introducing a mail and web-based reporting system to increase response rates. For the 2021 survey, she also added new questions to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and families. 

NSCH data are used to support performance measures for a number MCHB’s programs and multiple Healthy People objectives, and are regularly cited by media and external organizations to influence policy and programmatic efforts. 

Learn more at Partnership for Public Service.

Three HRSA Health Workforce Loan Repayment Programs Open

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Our National Health Service Corps (NHSC) opened its application for three of its loan repayment programs and plans to award a significant number of eligible providers. With an additional $800 million made available through the Biden-Harris Administration’s American Rescue Plan (ARP), this year’s awardees will add to the largest number of NHSC clinicians in history. 

Eligible clinicians providing primary medical, dental, behavioral health care services, or evidence-based substance use disorder treatment can qualify for loan repayment of up to:

Application Due Date: Thursday, December 16, 7:30 p.m. ET.

New Rural Health Workforce Funding Opportunity

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Our Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is now accepting applications for the Delta Region Rural Health Workforce Training Program.

We plan to make three awards totaling $1.4 million to support education and training for current and future health professionals in the rural counties and parishes of the Mississippi River Delta Region and Alabama Black Belt.

Application Due Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

Join the technical assistance webinar on Wednesday, November 10, 2 p.m. ET. For more information visit our Rural Hospital Programs webpage.

HHS Releases New Health Workforce Strategic Plan

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Read the recently released HHS Health Workforce Strategic Plan (PDF - 755 KB). The plan provides a forward-looking framework for health workforce improvements focused on four key goals:

  • Expanding supply
  • Ensuring equitable distribution
  • Improving quality
  • Enhancing the use of data and evidence to improve program outcomes

Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Reporting Period

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Providers with outstanding reporting requirements should visit the PRF Reporting Portal and submit their report on use of funds by Tuesday, November 30, 11:59 p.m. ET.

Providers who do not submit a completed report by the end of the 60-day grace period for PRF Reporting Period 1 may be subject to enforcement actions such as repayment or other debt collection activities.

All unused funds must be returned by Thursday, December 30. View instructions on how to return unused PRF funds.

National Rural Health Day is November 18

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Join us as we celebrate National Rural Health Day on Thursday, November 18. Acting HRSA Administrator, Diana Espinosa, will kick off the day with opening remarks at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Federal panelists will share strategies, activities, and resources related to achieving health equity in rural communities.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) grantees will share best practices in their projects focused on health equity during a panel discussion.

We will host a variety of events throughout the week. View the agenda for information and a schedule of events.

Emergency Preparedness and Response with Focus on Maternal and Child Health Populations

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The HHS Maternal-Child Health (MCH) Emergency Planning toolkit is designed to improve the capacity of health care, public health, and social services professionals to address maternal and child health in emergency preparedness, response, and mitigation activities. 

The toolkit outlines basic planning steps, highlights key resources and promising practices, and explains critical data and information to be integrated into emergency planning for MCH populations.

Our Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs Region 9 and HHS’ Office on Women’s Health will host a webinar on Wednesday, November 10, 2 p.m. ET. Presenters will discuss their mitigation efforts and experiences during recent wildfires.

New HHS Initiative to Strengthen Primary Health Care

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HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) has launched an initiative to strengthen primary health care.

In its recent report, Implementing High-Quality Primary Care: Rebuilding the Foundation of Health Care, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine called upon HHS to take a leadership role in increasing access to high-quality primary health care.

Using the report as a roadmap, a team led by OASH’s Dr. Judith Steinberg (former Bureau of Primary Health Care Chief Medical Officer) will work with federal partners and stakeholders to develop HHS’ plan of action.

Direct Care Health Workforce

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The health care industry has long experienced challenges in recruiting and retaining direct care workers due to low wages, high physical demands, and lack of upward mobility. 

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it a surge in demand for direct care workers while other industries experienced significant layoffs and business closures because of physical distancing restrictions and the economic downturn.

This National Governors Association issue brief provides a series of multi-sector state and employer strategies to address recruitment and health sector retention of direct care workers while balancing workforce needs, job quality, and wages.

HRSA’s National Organizations of State and Local Officials Cooperative Agreement provided support for this resource.

State Cross-Agency Collaboration during the COVID-19 Pandemic Response

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State COVID-19 response relies on intensified cross-sector collaboration that supports timely, flexible, targeted action in the midst of quickly-changing circumstances. This National Academy for State Health Policy report examines the efforts of three states on their approaches to cross-agency COVID-19 response.

HRSA’s National Organizations of State and Local Officials Cooperative Agreement provided support for this resource.

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  • Veterans Day (11) 
  • National Rural Health Day (18) 
  • Thanksgiving (25) 

Funding Opportunities


Health Centers

Fiscal Year 2022 Ending the HIV Epidemic – Primary Care HIV Prevention - apply by December 14

Fiscal Year 2022 Health Center Controlled Networks - apply by January 4

Health Workforce

National Health Service Corps Students to Service Loan Repayment Program – apply by November 4

Primary Care Training and Enhancement - Physician Assistant Rural Training (PCTE-PAR) Program - apply by December 9

Graduate Psychology Education Program - apply by December 9

Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) - apply by January 13

State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) - apply by April 8


Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program HIV Care Grant Program – Part B States/Territories Formula and AIDS Drug Assistance Program Formula and ADAP Supplemental Awards  - apply by November 8

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part B AIDS Drug Assistance Program Training and Technical Assistance - apply by November 22

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C Early Intervention Services Program: Limited Existing Geographic Service Areas - apply by December 10

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C Early Intervention Services Program: New Geographic Service Areas - apply by December 10

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) Access, Care, and Engagement Technical Assistance Center (ACE TA Center) - apply by January 21

Emerging Strategies to Improve Health Outcomes for People Aging with HIV: Capacity-Building Provider - apply by January 25

Emerging Strategies to Improve Health Outcomes for People Aging with HIV: Evaluation Provider - apply by January 25 

Emerging Strategies to Improve Health Outcomes for People Aging with HIV: Demonstration Sites - apply by January 25

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part D Coordinated HIV Services and Access to Research for Women, Infants, Children, and Youth (WICY) Existing Geographic Service Areas - apply by January 28

Maternal and Child Health

Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Innovation Award – General Data/Technology Innovations (Track One) - apply by November 26

ARP Act Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Innovation Award – COVID-19 Related Data/Technology Innovations (Track Two) - apply by November 26

Family-to-Family Health Information Centers - apply by January 5

Emergency Medical Services for Children Data Center - apply by January 18

Regional Hemophilia Network - apply by January 24

National Hemophilia Program Coordinating Center - apply by January 24

Maternal and Child Health Secondary Data Analysis Research (MCH SDAR) - apply by January 26

Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Program - apply by February 1

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Rural Veterans Health Access Program - apply by December 10

Rural Residency Planning and Development Program - apply by December 20

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation - apply by January 13

Delta Region Rural Health Workforce Training Program - apply by January 25

Rural Health Network Development Planning Program - apply by January 28

View All Funding Opportunities