It’s National Health Center Week, Important Update on ECV Funding

HRSA Health Center Program Primary Health Care Digest

August 8, 2023

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Jim Macrae

Celebrating YOU During National Health Center Week

Happy National Health Center Week!

For 58 years, health centers have delivered affordable, accessible, and high-quality primary health care to millions of people, regardless of their ability to pay. At the heart of each health center are dedicated people like YOU: primary care providers, nurses, dentists, health educators, social workers, behavioral health staff, quality improvement, administrative, and patient support staff committed to ensuring patients have access to high-quality primary health care.

In 2022, more than 30.5 million people relied on HRSA-funded health centers for care, including:

  • 1 in 9 children
  • More than 24.2 million uninsured, Medicaid, and Medicare patients
  • More than 9.6 million rural residents
  • Nearly 1.4 million patients experiencing homelessness
  • Nearly 1 million agricultural workers
  • More than 952,000 patients served at school-based health center sites
  • More than 395,000 veterans

Of these patients, 90% were at or below 200% of the poverty line.

At the end of fiscal year (FY) 2023, the mandatory funding that provides about two-thirds of the Health Center Program’s budget is set to expire. The President’s FY 2024 budget proposes $7.1 billion for health centers, which includes $5.2 billion in proposed mandatory resources, an increase of $1.3 billion above the FY 2023 enacted level. Please read more about the Biden-Harris Administration’s celebration of the work you do in their recent proclamation.

Throughout this week, be sure to visit HRSA’s social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram) to see data and stories of HRSA-supported health centers that are making great strides in providing equitable care for all. We’re also very excited to release a new video featuring patients celebrating health centers’ positive impact on their communities.

Thank you for all the work that you do to assure every person across this country has access to quality, affordable primary health care services.


Jim Macrae
BPHC Associate Administrator


IMPORTANT UPDATE About the Immediate Use of ECV Funds for COVID-19 Vaccines

HRSA encourages health centers to enroll with their state/jurisdiction immunization program to get COVID-19 vaccines through the CDC Bridge Access Program for uninsured and underinsured adults when available. COVID-19 vaccines may also be purchased from the commercial market.

Health centers with active Expanding COVID-19 Vaccination (ECV) grants may use their funding to purchase COVID-19 vaccines to support equitable and timely access to COVID-19 vaccination for patients and residents of the service area. Health centers can use any remaining ECV funds for immediate purchase of updated COVID-19 vaccines and adjust budgets accordingly. Consult with your Grants Management Specialist if this is a change of more than 25% of your current approved budget.

If you have questions about ECV funding, use the BPHC Contact Form (COVID-19 Funding > ECV). If you have questions about the CDC Bridge Access Program, attend TODAY’s COVID-19 Response Program Office Hours.


TODAY! CDC Joins COVID-19 Response Program Office Hours

A CDC representative will join today to discuss the Bridge Access Program, which will make COVID-19 vaccines available for uninsured persons through 2024.

2:30-3:30 p.m. ET
Registration page

These Office Hours sessions are open to all HRSA-supported health centers, even if you don’t participate in our COVID-19 Response Programs.

Fish River Rural Health

Health Center Innovations Include Urgent Mental Health Care, Teledentistry, a New Model for Integrating Maternal and Child Health, Nutritious Food for Hungry Patients

Check out our Health Center Stories webpage to enjoy these new features:

  • Axis Community Health in California offers urgent mental health care so patients in crisis can get same-day appointments.
  • Patients at Peak Vista Community Health Centers in Colorado are delighted to save time and money by taking advantage of a pioneering teledentistry program.
  • Cherokee Health Systems in Tennessee launched an innovative care model for mothers and children that spans the entire prenatal and postnatal period, integrating pediatrics, maternal care, OB-GYN, and mental health services.
  • Staff members at Fish River Rural Health in Eagle Lake, Maine, were so distressed about hunger among patients that they started an in-house fund to help. The effort now includes donations from local food banks, farmers, and businesses.

Share your center’s success story by emailing

Jump To: Back to School | Behavioral Health | Workforce | Oral Health | Additional Resources |
               Training Calendar

HRSA-funded National Training and Technical Assistance Partners (NTTAPs) host or developed many of these events and resources. For more from the NTTAPs, visit the Health Center Resource Clearinghouse.

What's New

UDS Logo

2022 Uniform Data System Data Now Available

See 2022 Uniform Data System (UDS) data in HRSA’s Data Warehouse on the Health Center Program Data and Reporting webpages.

TODAY! Join our annual UDS trends webinar to hear about highlights from the data, including health center patient demographics, staffing, and clinical quality measures.

1:00-2:15 p.m. ET
Registration page

Deadline Reminders

  • Service Area Competition (SAC) Applications for February 1 and March 1 Starts
    FY 2024 SAC applications for February 1 starts (HRSA-24-067) are due in HRSA’s Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) on Wednesday, August 23, by 5:00 p.m. ET.

    FY 2024 SAC applications for service areas with a March 1 period of performance start date (HRSA-24-068) are due in on Monday, August 21, by 11:59 p.m. ET, and in EHBs on Wednesday, September 20, by 5:00 p.m. ET.

    Technical assistance (TA) materials are available on the SAC TA webpage.

  • FY 2024 Budget Period Progress Report (BPR) Noncompeting Continuation (NCC) for January 1 Budget Period Starts
    BPR submissions for Health Center Program award recipients with a January 1 budget period start date are due in EHBs on Friday, August 18 by 5:00 p.m. ET. TA materials are available on the BPR TA webpage.

Health Center Program 2035 Listening Session

At the end of this month, the National Association of Community Health Centers will hold its annual Community Health Institute (CHI) & Expo conference. BPHC invites attendees to participate in a listening session we will host during the conference. This is your opportunity to give ideas and input on our Health Center Program 2035 initiative. We hope you will join us!

Monday, August 28
4:45-6:00 p.m. PT (CHI takes place in California)
No registration needed – join us in the Solana Beach AB Room of the Manchester Grand Hyatt.
For more information on the session, contact our partners at ATW Health Solution:

Health Center Program 2035 is an initiative to strengthen BPHC's capacity to anticipate and prepare for the future and ensure that the Health Center Program continues its mission of improving the health of the nation's underserved populations. We are engaging perspectives from a wide range of health center staff, patients, partners, and communities to inform this long-term strategic vision.

We focused on Health Center Program 2035 during our July 13 Today with Macrae webcast. Visit our Engaging with BPHC webpage for the recording and slides.

Federal Tort Claims Act Site Visits and Health Center Operational Site Visits: A Comparison Reference Guide

You recommended it, and we delivered! Our new resource helps health centers prepare for both Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) site visits and operational site visits by highlighting the differences between the two. We posted the comparison reference guide (PDF) on our FTCA Site Visit Protocol webpage. We encourage you to share it with health center staff, leadership, and board members.

Policy Did You Know

Policy Tip: Operational Site Visit Process

Health centers have discretion in how they name or title their documentation. They can demonstrate compliance with Health Center Program requirements with a document that has a name or title that is different than the name or title specified in the Site Visit Protocol. When the HRSA site visit team reviews a document, they determine compliance based on the content, not the title.

To learn more about this topic and to find answers to other questions, check out the Health Center Program Compliance FAQs.

Comments Requested: Proposed Changes to Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

CMS invites public comments on the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule for Calendar Year 2024. They’ll use that input to develop the final rule. Visit the CMS website for information about the proposal and submit comments on the Federal Register website by Monday, September 11.

Telehealth-relevant proposals would extend many of the flexibilities available during the COVID-19 public health emergency until the end of 2024.

Back to School

Back to School Toolkit

As families prepare for children to return to school, health centers have an opportunity to share information related to important public health efforts. Resources to support your work are available on:

Behavioral Health

Changes in Federal Regulations Regarding Medical Providers Prescribing Buprenorphine

View a presentation to understand the recent changes in training requirements for providers prescribing medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). Physicians, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, and behavioral health professionals can visit our behavioral health TA website to watch the 11-minute presentation.

Call for Applications: Integration of Behavioral Health and Oral Health Learning Collaborative

The National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA) invites health centers to a learning collaborative on integrating behavioral health and oral health. Participants will learn strategies to implement behavioral screenings in the dental clinic and bi-directional referrals. Visit NNOHA's website for information or to apply by Monday, August 14.


Job Seekers: Register Now for HRSA’s Virtual Job Fair

HRSA’s virtual job fair connects healthcare professionals with representatives from health care facilities across the country. Employer registration is closed.

Wednesday, August 9
6:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Registration page for job seekers

Advancing Health Equity among Hispanic/Latino Populations Series

In this final session, a dynamic panel of HRSA workforce grantees will provide testimonials, highlight HRSA programs and resources to support individuals across health workforce disciplines, and share information about HRSA-supported organizations engaged in the growth and development of the Hispanic/Latino workforce. The session will be presented in Spanish with live interpretation in English.

Tuesday, August 29
1:00-2:30 p.m. ET
Registration page

Oral Health

Call for Applications: Integration of Behavioral Health and Oral Health Learning Collaborative

See the announcement above.

Additional Resources

Health Center and Supportive Housing Capital Development Partnerships Case Study: Denver, Colorado

The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) shares another case study to help health centers consider how to support at-risk populations with collaborations to improve housing stability. Learn more about the key steps and decisions the Denver Housing Authority and Denver Health and Hospital Authority made on their path to building new health and housing co-developments in their community. Visit CSH’S website to access the case study.

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Training Calendar


Visit our online calendar for details on these and all scheduled events.

Through August 15

2022 UDS Trends
Tuesday, August 8
1:00-2:15 p.m. ET
Registration page

COVID-19 Response Program Office Hours
Tuesday, August 8
2:30-3:30 p.m. ET
Registration page

HRSA Virtual Job Fair
Wednesday, August 9
6:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Registration page for job seekers (employer registration is closed)

Contextualizing Our Understanding of Mental Health and Substance Use
Thursday, August 10
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Registration page

UDS Mapper: Office Hours
Monday, August 14
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Registration page


Peer Recovery Support in Integrated Care
Thursday, August 17
1:00-1:30 p.m. ET
Registration page

Today with Macrae: Health Center Program Updates
Thursday, September 14
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Join the day of the session
Join by phone: 833-568-8864
Webinar ID: 160 345 8842

Webinars are hosted by HRSA unless otherwise noted.