HRSA Awards $8 Million to Expand COVID-19 Training and Technical Assistance for Health Centers

June 11, 2020

Today, HRSA awarded $8 million to Primary Care Associations (PCAs) and National Training and Technical Assistance Partners (NTTAPs)* to provide critical support and expertise to advance health centers’ ability to prevent, prepare, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. (*These were formerly called National Cooperative Agreements or NCAs.)

PCAs received nearly $6 million to conduct COVID-19 training and technical assistance (T/TA) activities based on the needs of states and regions. NTTAPs received $2.5 million to enhance their COVID-19 T/TA to health centers, including strengthening health center operations and capacity to ensure access to comprehensive primary care services.

2020 Delta States Rural Development Network Program (Delta States)

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) awarded approximately $12 million to 12 awardees for the 2020 Delta States Rural Development Network Program (Delta States).

The Delta States program administered by HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy focuses on planning, implementation, and development of health care networks in rural Delta communities. FORHP awarded organizations in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee to (i) achieve efficiencies; (ii) expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services; and (iii) strengthen the rural health care system within a health care network.

Delta States awardees foster network and consortium partnerships with organizations, providers, and health care systems within their rural communities, state, and nationally. These network and consortium partnerships are fundamental in addressing chronic disease, chronic care management and the sustainability of improved health outcomes. The grant funding will support a vast range of topics including but not limited to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, diabetes prevention, obesity, school wellness promotion, women’s health, oral health, social emotional learning, mental and behavioral health.

2020 Missouri Delta Grantees:

  • Big Springs Medical Association, Inc. – Ellington
  • County of Mississippi – Charleston

NHSC New Site Application Open

Health care facilities can now apply to be approved as a National Health Service Corps (NHSC) site. Eligible sites includes those that provide outpatient, ambulatory and primary health care services (medical, dental, and behavioral health) to people living in high-need urban and rural areas.

Additional, eligible sites include facilities providing general substance use disorder (SUD) Treatment, a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program or an Opioid Treatment Program (OTP).

Applications are due July 21, 2020.

Learn more about the NHSC new site application.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

June 4, 2020

Awards for Delta States Rural Development Network. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy awarded approximately $12 million to 12 awardees for the 2020 Delta States Rural Development Network Program.  This three-year program will support organizations located in the eight Delta States (Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee) to promote the planning, implementation, and development of health care networks at the community level. These health care networks consist of partner organizations working together to address unmet local health needs and health disparities in the rural Delta region.

HHS Makes Awards to Combat COVID-19 in Rural Tribal Communities.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) awarded $15 million to 52 Tribes, Tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, and other health services providers to Tribes across 20 states to prepare, prevent, and respond to COVID-19 in rural tribal communities. 

HHS Makes Awards to Expand the Addiction Workforce On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) awarded $20.3 million to 44 recipients to increase the number of fellows at accredited addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry fellowship programs. The awardees will train addiction specialists at facilities in high need communities that integrate behavioral and primary care services. Addiction specialists have the knowledge and skills to provide comprehensive behavioral healthcare to under-served populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

TRACIE Report on COVID-19 Challenges to Rural Health.  The Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) is a site created by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.  In this report, TRACIE explains and provides data for pandemic challenges specific to rural populations and health care facilities.  More information and resources for emergency preparation and response can be found on the TRACIE website. 

GAO: Infection Control Deficiencies in Nursing Homes Before the Pandemic.  The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress.  For this report, the GAO found that about 40 percent of surveyed nursing homes had infection prevention and control deficiencies from 2013 to 2019.

ARHQ: Hospital Burden of Opioid-Related Inpatient Stays.  The Agency for Healthcare Research Quality (AHRQ) examines the costs of opioid-related hospitalizations, with a comparison of metropolitan and rural hospitals.  The report is part of AHRQs Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, a collection of data and analysis tools to enable research on a broad range of health policy issues.

Learning About Local Health Workforce Through Commute Patterns.  To learn more about the available supply of nurses and allied health workers at local levels, researchers at the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies looked at commute patterns found in the American Community Survey.  The report says a key takeaway for researchers and workforce planners is a need to measure local supply based not only on where people report working, but also where they live. 

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FAQs for COVID-19.  A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from our grantees and stakeholders, updated regularly. 

COVID-19 FAQs and Funding for HRSA Programs.  Find all funding and frequently asked questions for programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

CDC COVID-19 Updates.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides daily updates and guidance, and ongoing Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA).

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Counties.  The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis provides up-to-date data and maps on rural and urban confirmed cases throughout the United States.  An animated map shows the progression of cases beginning January 21.

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019.  The Rural Health Information Hub has created a guide to help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19.

HHS Awards $20.3 Million to Expand the Addiction Workforce in Underserved Communities

June 2, 2020

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded $20.3 million to 44 recipients to increase the number of fellows at accredited addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry fellowship programs. The awardees will train addiction specialists at facilities in high need communities that integrate behavioral and primary care services.

“This new funding will increase the number of support specialists available to treat Americans with addiction, addressing a serious need that could be exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “President Trump and HHS have prioritized tackling our country’s addiction crisis by increasing access to evidence-based treatment services, and HRSA’s new Addiction Medicine Fellowship will advance that work.”

Read the release.

Grants 101 Virtual Workshop

Date: June 17, 2020

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:45 PM Central

Workshop Topics at a Glance

  • Federal grant application process
  • Federal and local funding opportunities
  • HRSA grant resources and technical assistance
  • Common mistakes and tips for creating a successful grant application

Who Should Attend?

Community and faith-based organizations, hospitals, health centers, rural health clinics, community colleges, and public health departments interested in learning how to register for federal funding opportunities, where to find those opportunities, and how to create a more competitive grant proposal.

Register:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/springfield-grants-101-virtual-workshop-registration-106248235332

If you have questions, please contact HRSAORORegion7@hrsa.gov.

Funding Opportunity: Health Center Program Look-Alikes: Apply Now for Coronavirus Testing Funding

HRSA is now accepting applications from designated look-alikes for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Health Center Program Look-Alikes: Expanding Capacity for Coronavirus Testing (LAL ECT) notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) (HRSA-20-147). The purpose of this funding is to support LALs in expanding their COVID-19 testing capacity. Applications are due in Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 2. More information is available on our LAL ECT Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) webpage.

Funding: HHS Provides $225 Million for COVID-19 Testing in Rural Communities; $17,360,958 Allocated for Missouri RHCs

May 20, 2020

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) provided $225 million to Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) for COVID-19 testing.  These investments will support over 4,500 RHCs across the country to support COVID-19 testing efforts and expand access to testing in rural communities. RHCs are a special designation given to health care practices in underserved rural areas by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that help ensure access to care for rural residents.

This funding is through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act that President Trump signed into law on Friday, April 24, 2020 which specifically directed these monies to be allocated to RHCs. HRSA funded RHC organizations based on the number of certified clinic sites they operate, providing nearly $50,000 per clinic site.

“Today’s funding provides rural health clinics with resources and flexibility to boost their testing capabilities to fight COVID-19,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Further expanding testing capacity, including at RHCs, is a crucial element of safely reopening our country and helping Americans return to work and school. A safe reopening is vital for Americans’ health and well-being, and especially so for those living in rural areas, who may have struggled with access to healthcare long before COVID-19 and found care even harder to access during this crisis.”

HRSA is also awarding $500,000 to support technical assistance efforts to the RHCs as they expand testing capabilities. This includes activities such as conducting webinars, providing resources and guidance for implementation and management of testing programs.

To view a state-by-state breakdown of this funding, visit: https://www.hrsa.gov/rural-health/coronavirus/rural-health-clinics-covid-19-testing-fy20-awards

HHS Announces Details of RHC COVID-19 Testing Fund

HHS has announced details regarding the Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Testing fund in a press release here: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/05/20/hhs-provides-225-million-for-covid19-testing-in-rural-communities.html

All eligible RHCs will receive a flat amount of just under $50,000. Eligible RHCs include all RHCs listed on either:

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Provider of Service file (updated March 2020); or,
  • The CMS Survey and Certification Quality, Certification and Oversight Reports (QCOR) list before May 7, 2020.

Similar to the provider relief fund, these funds will be dispersed electronically to the banking information associated with the organization’s Tax ID Number (TIN). Paper checks will be mailed to RHCs if CMS does not have the RHC’s banking information.

These funds are intended to help RHCs with COVID-19 testing and related expenses. HHS also released the following FAQ document which covers a lot of important information:

https://www.hrsa.gov/rural-health/coronavirus-frequently-asked-questions

National Association of Rural Health Clinics will be partnering with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to provide technical assistance on implementing COVID-19 programs in alignment with the terms and conditions of this fund. We will schedule a webinar within a week on this funding and we expect to schedule several additional webinars over the course of the next few months.

This information provided by NARCH.org.

Funding: Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning

Application Deadline: July 13, 2020

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning (RCORP-Planning).  HRSA will award approximately 50 grants to rural communities to enhance capacity to address substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder (OUD).

Successful RCORP-Planning award recipients will receive up to $200,000 over an 18-month period of performance to conduct a series of planning activities, engage multi-sector consortiums, and participate in the RCORP-Planning learning collaborative.  While the focus of RCORP-Planning is primarily OUD, applicants may also choose to address an additional substance of concern in the target population based on identified needs.

 View the funding opportunity on grants.gov.

All domestic public and private entities, nonprofit and for-profit, are eligible to apply.  Applicant organizations may be located in an urban or rural area; however, all activities supported by this program must exclusively target HRSA-designated rural areas (as defined by the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer).   The applicant organization must be able to provide at least two letters of commitment from organizations located within the target rural service area.

Previous recipients or consortium members of RCORP-Planning, Implementation, and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Expansion awards are eligible, but must clearly demonstrate that there is no duplication of effort between the proposed project and any previous RCORP project.  Before applying for RCORP-Planning on grants.gov, applicants must register in grants.gov, SAM, and DUNS.  These registration processes can take up to a month to complete.

FORHP will hold a webinar for applicants on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.  A recording will be made available for those who cannot attend.  Please see details below and reference page ii in the NOFO for the dial-in and playback information for the webinar.

To learn more about how HRSA is addressing the opioid epidemic, visit https://www.hrsa.gov/opioids.

As always, do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about our programs.

To learn more about our agency, visit www.HRSA.gov