Vaccine updates, new rural funding opportunity, and more

April 15, 2021

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra Announces Expansion of COVID-19 Vaccine Program to all Community Health Centers Across the Country:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced that all HRSA-funded health centers and Health Center Program look-alikes (LALs) will now be invited to participate in the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program. These health centers will have the opportunity to join the program as soon as they are ready, increasing the total number of health centers that have been invited to 1,470 nationwide. This expansion will be made through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This expansion of the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program is part of President Biden’s commitment to ensuring that all of the nation’s underserved communities and those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 are equitably vaccinated. This voluntary program started on February 9 with 250 select health centers, then expanded on March 11 to invite an additional 700 health centers. For this phase, an additional 520 health centers that operate over 2,500 service delivery sites are now eligible to participate. Approximately 70 percent of those who have received a vaccine through the program are racial or ethnic minorities.

New Funding Opportunity for the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) Program:

Three RMOMS award recipients will each receive up to $1 million annually for a four-year period of performance to improve maternal obstetrics care in rural communities.

Award recipients will dedicate the first year to planning and the second through fourth years to activities that implement the program’s focus areas, including:

  • risk appropriate care approaches in rural regions,
  • continuum of care through network approaches,
  • telehealth and specialty care, and
  • financial sustainability.

The program will allow awardees to test models in order to address unmet needs for their target population, which could include populations who have historically suffered from poorer health outcomes, health disparities and other inequities. Read the release.

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) New Site Application Open, Inactive Sites May Apply

2021 NHSC new site application cycle is now open for eligible health care sites that have never been approved as NHSC sites. This year’s application is also open to formerly-approved NHSC sites that have become inactive. Eligibility includes health care sites that provide outpatient, ambulatory and primary health care services (medical, dental, and behavioral health) in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). Eligible site types also include facilities providing general substance use disorder (SUD) Treatment, a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program or an Opioid Treatment Program (OTP).

Applications are due May 25, 11:59 p.m. EDT. Learn more about the NHSC new site application.