Dear Advocate,

Underserved populations face countless barriers to care, and we must take innovative, trandisciplinary approaches to better serve them. This week, we're highlighting vital resources to help you do just that, including our new vision services grants for FQHCs, as well as civic engagement tips, new health center workforce courses and webinars, and research from the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.
Looking to Start a Vision Services Program at Your FQHC? Apply for Our Grants by Nov. 6!
The ACU is proud to partner with the Centene Foundation for Quality Health Care to provide $5,000-$10,000 grants to help federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) begin new vision service programs. Numerous barriers hinder underserved individuals' ability to access this care, and FQHCs are ideally positioned to offer these services as part of their integrated care for the underserved. Read about the grants and eligibility requirements and apply by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 6. Please contact Sabrina Edgington with any questions.
The Election Is Nearly Here: Let's Empower Our Patients and Get Out the Vote!
It's not too late to empower underserved patients to civically engage in the run-up to the presidential election! The medically underserved are among the least likely to vote, and COVID-19 has made engagement even more difficult. However, clinicians have a unique opportunity to encourage patients to vote safely even in the midst of the pandemic. View our recent webinars to learn how to become a catalyst for patients' voting through legal, nonpartisan civic engagement activities, and learn what's at stake in our latest policy update.
In Case You Missed It: Read Our New Chief Workforce Officer Toolkit
Community health centers face unique challenges to recruiting and retaining effective workforce leaders, and the ACU and our STAR² Center have partnered with the National Association of Community Health Centers to help address this with our new Chief Workforce Officer (CWO) Toolkit. This resource aims to help community health centers (CHCs) and primary care associations find and retain leaders with the strategic vision to meet the complex needs of the CHC workforce. Read our toolkit to learn CWO core competencies, a job description template, and more. 
Improve Your Health Center's Workforce Retention with STAR² Center Courses and Templates
The STAR² Center is offering new courses on topics impacting retention at health centers. Self-paced, these online modules are designed to fit your schedule and include crucial information on creating compensation packages and engaging high-functioning managers.
Further Recruitment & Retention (R&R) Resources:

  • PCA & HCCN Workforce Professional Development Series: Join the first webinar in our series for primary care associations and health center controlled networks at 3 p.m. ET on Nov. 5! Register for this and other sessions in this "train the trainer" series to help PCAs and HCCNs build effective R&R efforts.
Learn How One Workforce Leader Helped Build a Diverse Workforce at Her Health Center in Our Latest Podcast
We must strive to build workforces at health centers that not only serve their communities, but are reflective of them.
Michelle Fernandez, Senior Training Specialist, explores this topic with Rosa Agosta, Chief Talent and Learning Officer for Urban Health Plan of New York in a recent podcast in STAR² Center Chats with Workforce Leaders series. Listen to the conversation, and don't miss other episodes in this series. Interesting in sharing your own story? Let us know!
NHSC's S2S Loan Repayment Program Applications Still Open

It's not too late to apply to the National Health Service Corps' Students to Service Loan Repayment Program! 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. Learn and apply by Nov. 5.
ACU Members: Attend IHI Events for Free with our Scholarships

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 you free access to IHI's trainings on quality improvement and patient safety, including their National Forum on Dec. 6-9. Apply now and indicate that you are applying through the ACU membership hub!
What We're Reading: Inequities, Solutions, & COVID-19 in JHCPU Spotlight
The latest issue of the ACU's official publication, the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, highlights recent research on what we can do to support our patients even as the pandemic further deepens existing inequities in underserved communities. 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!
The ACU is always here to support your vital work to care and advocate for patients and providers alike in underserved communities. Your feedback is critical: we encourage you to contact our Executive Director Amanda Pears Kelly with any suggestions to inform our efforts. Thank you for everything you do.
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