Pivoting due to COVID-19 and Sustainability Planning – Two New Bridge Organization Spotlights from the Accountable Health Communities Model

In the Accountable Health Communities (AHC) Model, community bridge organizations are funded to collaborate with clinical delivery sites and community service providers to address identified health-related social needs (HRSNs) among participating Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. These HRSNs include food insecurity, lack of transportation, and housing instability. For more than a year, AHC bridge organizations have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic, all while starting to plan for sustainability since CMS funding of the model is set to end in April 2022. To highlight promising approaches and strategies for implementing AHC within the post-COVID-19 health care landscape and sustainability planning, CMS recently released two spotlights:

You’ve Got Mail! A Spotlight on Using Email to Screen for Health-Related Social Needs describes the Denver Regional Council of Governments’ innovative email campaign to remotely screen beneficiaries during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Learn more.

Aligning Provider and Payer Activities to Address Social Determinants of Health features Allina Health’s partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, which builds on the accomplishments of the Accountable Health Communities Model, to create sustainable strategies to address social determinants of health. Learn more.

June is National Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

Customized Caregiver Training and Relief Program (CCTRP)

CCTRP, a two-track program, offers caregivers free care consultations, customized in-home care assessments, and training, tools to reduce stress, improve communication, make home safety improvements, and reimburse up to $700 for qualified respite-related expenses, among other free services. 

CCTRP helps caregivers provide the best quality of life possible for their loved ones, struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, while reducing emotional and financial burdens.

Memory Care Home Solutions (MCHS) Caregiver Training Program

Enrollment in the Caregiver Training Program begins with a pre-screening call with a MCHS intake specialist at 314.645.6247. An in-home assessment helps identify unmet needs and develop a customized plan for the caregiver. Training includes materials and resources to assist with daily life, assistive safety devices, and referrals to other support services. Watch this recorded webinar to learn more.

Follow-up calls and visits are made to assess the plan, adjust training, and provide additional resources if necessary.  Most caregivers who participate experience positive results.  Check out this video to learn more.

Click here for more information.


Alzheimer’s Association Caregiver Relief Program

The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Missouri Chapter delivers the Caregiver Relief Program to help caregivers navigate caring for a loved one with dementia. Individualized Care Consultations address unmet needs and link caregivers to resources and support. 
The Caregiver Relief Program also reimburses caregivers up to $700 for qualified expenses including:
  • Assessment and care coordination
  • In-home care
  • Adult day care
  • Incontinence products
  • Safety and supportive programs
  • Education programs
  • Counseling services
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Emergency respite

For more information, contact the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.

Webinar: Large-Scale COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign in a Rural Community

Date: June 29, 2021

Time: 12:00 PM CT


Learn how one rural county worked together to stage large scale COVID-19 vaccination clinics. During the early phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, demand was high and supplies were limited. This was especially true in rural settings. Join this learning event to understand how one small, rural county pooled limited resources, personnel and vaccines to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to county residents.

About the Health Quality Innovation Network 

Led by Health Quality Innovators and its quality improvement partners, the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence, KFMC Health Improvement Partners, and the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative, HQIN is the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Kansas, Missouri, South Carolina and Virginia. To learn more visit https://www.hqin.org

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

June 24, 2021

HRSA Makes Awards for the Rural Health Network Development Planning Program.  The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $1.9 million to 20 awardees for this one-year, community-driven program designed to assist in the planning and development of an integrated health care network at the local level. By emphasizing the role of networks, the program creates a platform for both rural and urban medical care providers, social service providers, and community organizations to coalesce key elements of a health care delivery system for the purpose of improving local capacity and coordination of care in rural communities. Administered by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) at HRSA, the Network Planning program is an opportunity for health care providers to implement new and innovative approaches to care that may in turn serve as a model for other rural communities. The incoming cohort of Network Planning grantees have projects that focus on care coordination, health information technology/data analytics, behavioral health (including mental health and substance use disorder), elder care, and COVID-19. Visit the Rural Health Information Hub online to learn more about successful program models and evidence-based toolkits that have come from the work of FORHP-funded projects.  

An Update on COPDThe rural-focused publication, The Rural Monitor, provides details on recent efforts to close the rural-urban disparity gap for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that disparity in 2017; later that year, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute launched the COPD National Action Plan. A new website from the Dorney-Koppel Foundation provides testimonials from those affected by the disease, as well as links to resources.

UPDATED: CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions.  Includes information on terms and conditions, attestation, general and targeted distributions, and how to report capital equipment purchases. Reporting and Auditing requirements FAQs were updated on June 11.

AHRQ: COVID-Related Hospitalizations in 13 States.  The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) examines the differences in month-to-month hospitalizations by patient location (metropolitan to rural) from April to September 2020.

NACo: Challenges and Opportunities for Rural Counties Post-COVID.  The National Association of Counties (NACo) presents a video recording of testimony from rural healthcare and economic organizations to the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. Topics include rural economic concerns following COVID-19, county-level responses to the pandemic, rural hospitals and workforce issues, broadband access, and federal programs serving rural communities. Transcripts from this hearing are available on the congressional website.

WEBINAR: Let’s Talk About: Mitigation

Date: June 29, 2021

Time: 1:00 PM CT


As you may have noticed from the $100,000 deposit each Rural Health Clinic (RHC) received in early June, the RHC COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation program is now live!

Are you concerned about utilizing the funding appropriately, or unsure of what mitigation means? The National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) is here to help increase your confidence and ensure you use this money to expand your testing and mitigation efforts within your clinics and communities.

Key Points:

  • This Testing and Mitigation Funding is different than the $49,461.42 RHCs received in 2020 for COVID-19
  • Mitigation includes efforts to reduce or prevent COVID-19 transmission:
    • This can include screening, contact tracing, community education, and efforts to improve facilities (just to name a few)!
    • Testing and Mitigation funding does not include direct provider-to-patient vaccine administration (shot-in-arm).
  • Reporting requirements for this program will continue through rhccovidreporting.com.
  • If you haven’t yet received this round of funding, first ensure that you are compliant on https://www.rhccovidreporting.com/ and then contact RHCcovidreporting@narhc.org.
  • While you are permitted to return this funding, it is recommend that you keep it! NARHC is available to help you best understand all requirements and use this money between now and December 31, 2022.


Nathan Baugh, Director of Government Affairs
Sarah Hohman, Government Affairs Associate
Shannon Chambers, NOSORH, Connections for Community Care



WEBINAR: Maternal Health Webinar Series

Date: July 14, 2021

Time: 11:00 AM CT

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA), Office of Regional Operations (ORO) in Regions 5, 6, and 7 invite you to a webinar on Intimate Partner Violence and Maternal Access to Care. This webinar is part of ORO Regions 5, 6, and 7’s Maternal Health Webinar Series. The series’ goal is to highlight innovations and promising practices as well as resources to promote and further maternal health and well-being across the lifespan. 

Topics at a Glance

  • HRSA Strategy to Address Intimate Partner Violence’s (IPV) priority areas, select accomplishments, sustainable elements, and implications
  • HRSA whole-agency approach to a critical health priority
  • Intersections of IPV with other health priorities such as substance use and maternal health
  • Influence of IPV on sexual health
  • Main barriers that prevent a women who has experienced IPV from obtaining healthcare
  • Strategies to support survivors in promoting sexual health and overcoming healthcare barriers

Featured Speakers

  • Stephen Hayes, Public Health Analyst, Office of Women’s Health, Health Resources and Services Administration
  • Dr. Meredith Bagwell-Gray, Assistant Professor, School of Social Welfare, University of Kansas

Register for the webinar hereAfter registering, you will receive the confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar on July 14th.

For more information about the webinar, contact Rae Hutchison at CHutchison@hrsa.gov.  

For more resources and tools about maternal health, visit https://www.hrsa.gov/maternal-health.

New Webpage dedicated to Oropharyngeal (Head & Neck) Cancer

The Office of Dental Health is proud to announce the creation of a webpage dedicated to Oropharyngeal (Head & Neck) Cancer.  Head & Neck Cancer rates are going up dramatically and the American Cancer Society has estimated there could be more than 85,000 cases of Head & Neck Cancers in 2021 and there are steps that can be taken in slowing that increase.

Please check out he new webpage for more information https://health.mo.gov/living/families/oralhealth/head-neck-cancer-hpv.php

Webinar: Large-Scale Vaccinations in a Rural Community.

Large-Scale Vaccinations in a Rural Community. Learn How it was Accomplished.

Date: June 29, 2021

Time: 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM CT


Learn how one rural county worked together to stage large scale COVID-19 vaccination clinics. During the early phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, demand was high and supplies were limited. This was especially true in rural settings. Join this learning event to understand how one small, rural county pooled limited resources, personnel and vaccines to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to county residents.