Dear Advocate,

Health equity faces many challenges, from a lack of essential services like vision care to difficulties in building effective clinical workforces, especially in rural areas. As we prepare to celebrate National Rural Health Day, we're unveiling a variety of resources this week to improve your practice in medically underserved communities nationwide, including a new webinar on eye health and vision care for the underserved, our oral health workforce learning collaborative, critical recruitment and retention webinars, and more.
Join Our Upcoming Webinar on "Integrating Eye Health and Vision Care for Underserved Populations into Primary Care Settings" at 3 p.m. ET on Dec. 1
Vision and eye health play a critical role in overall health and quality of life, but many people still face barriers to accessing eye health and vision care. Federally qualified health centers are uniquely positioned to improve access to such care in underserved communities. Join our free webinar with experts from the American Optometric Association and Shasta Community Health Center to learn about the eye health and vision care needs of the underserved, challenges to care delivery, and best practices for integrating eye health and vision care into comprehensive care models. Attendees will also learn about a new resource, technical assistance, and funding opportunities to help establish new eye health and vision care programs.
Call for Applications Now Open for Our Oral Health Workforce Learning Collaborative with NNOHA
The ACU's STAR² Center is partnering with the National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA) to offer a new learning collaborative for health centers interested in developing recruitment and retention (R&R) plans for oral health workforces. Taking place virtually from January to June 2021, this collaborative will give project teams the ability to produce and share a clear outline for their R&R plans. We invite health centers to participate in this free initiative supported by NNOHA's National Training and Technical Assistance. Accepted health centers must identify a team to take part in five one-hour sessions. Applications are due Dec. 11.
Join the STAR² Center's Ongoing PCA & HCCN Workforce Professional Development Series
If you missed our kickoff webinar, you can still join the next session in our STAR² Center's monthly series exploring workforce initiatives and how to develop comprehensive workforce plans! We invite primary care association and health center controlled network staff to learn about new developments from the Bureau of Primary Health Care in a robust "train the trainer" series aimed to help PCAs and HCCNs strategically support recruitment and retention at health centers. Register now for the next webinar at 3 p.m. ET on Dec. 10. One registration saves your spot for the entire series.
Webinar Recording Available: If you missed the first session in our PCA & HCCN series, you can now view the archived recording and slides.
Another Vital Workforce Resource: The Health Center Provider Retention and Recruitment Plan Template
Don't forget: our STAR² Center offers a comprehensive health center provider R&R template designed to be easily modified to the unique conditions of your health center. This working document provides resources and charts to walk you through each aspect of a healthy R&R plan, exploring practice assessment for provider capacity and demand; care teams and provider mix; provider satisfaction; and more.
What We're Reading: Inequities, Solutions, & COVID-19 in JHCPU Spotlight
The November issue of the ACU's official publication, the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, spotlights research on challenges to health equity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, rural healthcare needs, and more. In addition to an ACU column exploring the critical need for clinicians to foster civic engagement in the underserved, recent articles include:

ACU members have free access to the Journal by logging into our member portal and clicking the link. Interested in becoming a member? Contact us!
Join Us in Honoring National Rural Health Day
Rural communities are all too often medically underserved. A lack of providers coupled with fundamental barriers to access pose serious threats to achieving health equity in these areas. Tomorrow, Nov. 19, join the ACU in honoring National Rural Health Day (NRHD) and recognizing the unique healthcare needs of rural communities. Find more resources on the official NRHD website and learn more about rural health issues at HRSA. Interested in bringing your healthcare expertise to a rural community? Don't miss HRSA's next Virtual Job Fair tonight from 6:45-10:45 p.m. ET featuring a variety of rural career opportunities.
NHSC Loan Repayment Program Application Deadline Extended!

It's not too late to apply to the National Health Service Corps' Students to Service Loan Repayment Program! The deadline has now extended to Dec. 3. If you are a student in your last year of medical, dental, or nursing school, you may be eligible to receive loan repayment assistance of up to $120,000 in exchange for at least three years of service at an NHSC-approved site in a Health Professional Shortage Area. Apply now.
ACU Members: Attend IHI Events for Free with our Scholarships

Reminder: Did you know that our members can attend Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) events for free through Safety Net Endowment scholarships? We've partnered with Kaiser Permanente to offer free access to IHI's trainings, including their National Forum on Dec. 6-9. There's still time to apply for this and other events! Apply now and indicate that you are applying through the ACU membership hub.
Before, during, and after the pandemic, the ACU will remain here to support you in our shared mission to care and advocate for patients in underserved communities. Our field is ever-evolving, and we depend on your feedback to guide our efforts: please contact our Executive Director Amanda Pears Kelly with any suggestions. Thank you for all that you do.
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