Dear Advocate,
The evolving COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of having the right people on your team to do the vital frontline work for underserved communities. This week, the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved is highlighting opportunities to learn from leaders to support your team and use the STAR² Center's tools to recruit and retain your workforce to care for the underserved.
ACU Virtual Conference a Wonderful Success
Last week ACU was pleased to host its first ever virtual conference, bringing attention to emerging issues and innovative practices in delivering health care to the underserved. With three primary educational tracks, workforce, disparities and practice models, the conference provided more than twenty educational workshops, general sessions and keynote presentations, many of which provided CMEs to participants. The conference kicked off with keynote remarks from Dr. Gary Puckrein, President and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum, who addressed the needed transformation of our health care system to achieve health equity in the age of pandemics. ACU was fortunate to host speakers from organizations ranging from the NAACP, the Bureau of Health Workforce, VotER and others. Finally, to close out the week, Dr. Nwando Olayiwola, Chair and Professor of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the Ohio State University, shared in inspiring professional journey in caring for the underserved and provided a critical call to action that we all take immediate steps to create true health equity now! A huge thank you to all who were able to join us for the conference and to our incredible panel of speakers and subject matter experts who provided just rich and inspiring content!

If you missed this year’s virtual conference but would be interested in accessing the full library of content, email us at ACU@clinicians.org for more information and member/nonmember prices to access.
ACU Response to HPSA RFI
Earlier this year, HRSA put forward a Request for Information (RFI) regarding Health Profession Shortage Area (HPSA) scoring criteria in an effort to understand and potentially revise the current criteria used for HPSA designation. As ACU advocates are aware, HPSA scoring has a significant impact on programs like the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and the ability of health centers and other organizations caring for the underserved to leverage NHSC support and resources. Working with members of leadership, our member network and partners, ACU was able submit comments and recommendations in response to the RFI with recommendations intended to improve scoring criteria and enable greater access to care and resources for the underserved. You can read ACUs comments and recommendations on the Policy Updates page of our website.
Brand New Look - Beautiful New Website
Not only did ACU host its first ever virtual conference last week, we also unveiled a brand-new look and ACU logo along with a beautifully updated website. ACUs new design celebrates the union of providers, patients, and partners necessary to achieve true health equity. While we’ve refreshed our brand, our transdisciplinary commitment to improve care for the underserved remains our guiding mission. If you haven’t had a chance yet, visit the new ACU website to learn more and help us spread the word about the important work of the ACU. 
STAR² Center - Retention & Recruitment Plan Template
Strategic planning for workforce recruitment and retention forms the foundation of the STAR² Center's resources and training opportunities. Our Retention & Recruitment Plan Template is a comprehensive and customizable resource that can help health centers build a workforce plan. The Template walks through critical steps from conducting a practice assessment, onboarding new staff, succession planning, and more. Be sure to check out the supporting resources for this template to share with your team.
Now, as always, the ACU is here to support your vital work to improve care for those who need it most in underserved areas. Your feedback always improves our work, and we encourage you to contact our Executive Director Amanda Pears Kelly with any suggestions to inform our efforts. Thank you for providing a lifeline of support for patients and providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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