Dear Advocate,

Transdisciplinary, integrated care is crucial to improving health equity for the underserved, and eye health and vision care is a critical part of that equation. This week we're unveiling our new publication in collaboration with the American Optometric Association to improve eye health and vision care for the underserved, highlighting new opportunities for health centers to join staff wellness and oral workforce learning collaboratives, and more.
Read ACU's New Publication: "Integrating Eye Health and Vision Care for Underserved Populations into Primary Care Settings"
The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved, in collaboration with the American Optometric Association, has released a new white paper examining the current need and best practices for delivering eye health and vision care services as part of integrated care models. Few health center patients received eye health and vision care in an FQHC setting in 2019, but these organizations are well positioned to improve access to these services due to their reach and integrated approach in underserved communities. Read about the unique eye health and vision care needs of the underserved and best practices to deliver this care in our publication developed with support from the Centene Foundation for Quality Health Care.
Congratulating the Recipients of Our 2020 Eye Health and Vision Care Grants
Eye health and vision care are critical to an individual’s overall health and quality of life, yet many people continue to face barriers in accessing services. In partnership with the Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare, the ACU is working to grow the capacity of our nation’s health centers to provide eye health and vision care to underserved populations. We are excited to announce the most recent partners to receive our 2020 grants to support the costs of establishing on-site eye health and vision care programs:
  • OneWorld Community Health Centers (Nebraska)
  • Heartland Health Center (Nebraska)
  • HealthLinc, Inc. (Indiana)
  • Lanai Community Health Center (Hawaii)
  • North Texas Area Community Health Centers
  • East Georgia Healthcare Center
The ACU will accept applications for 2021 awards early next year. Stay tuned!
In Case You Missed It: View Our Archived Eye Health and Vision Care Webinar
You can now view archived recording and slides from yesterday's presentation, "Integrating Eye Health and Vision Care for Underserved Populations into Primary Care Settings." Featuring experts from the AOA and Shasta Community Health Center, this webinar examines eye health and vision care needs of the underserved, best practices for integrating these services into comprehensive care, and new resources and funding opportunities to help FQHCs establish new programs.
Join the New Staff Wellness & Satisfaction Learning Collaborative: Participating FQHCs Will Receive $2,500
The ACU invites health center teams to participate in the Staff Wellness and Satisfaction Learning Collaborative which will run from Mar. 2-Aug. 17, 2021. This learning collaborative will unite 20 health center teams to learn and discuss the drivers of burnout and test new interventions to improve staff well-being and improve quality of care. Part of a unique national effort supported by HRSA's Bureau of Primary Health Care and in partnership with John Snow, Inc., this learning collaborative will give each participating FQHC a one-time payment of $2500.
There's Still Time to Apply to Join Our Oral Health Workforce Learning Collaborative with NNOHA
It's not too late to join the new learning collaborative of the ACU's STAR² Center and National Network for Oral Health Access! This free initiative is for health centers interested in developing recruitment and retention (R&R) plans for oral health workforces. Taking place virtually from January-June 2021, this collaborative will give teams the ability to produce clear outlines for R&R plans. We invite health centers to participate in this collaborative by identifying teams to take part in five one-hour sessions.
The STAR² Center's PCA & HCCN Workforce Professional Development Series Continues
Don't miss the next session at 3 p.m. ET on Dec. 10 in our STAR² Center's monthly series exploring comprehensive workforce initiatives and 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 to help PCAs & HCCNs support health center recruitment and retention.
What We're Reading: Racial and Rural Equity in Focus in the Wake of COVID-19
COVID-19 has posed a crucial challenge not just to our health care system, but to our conception of it. Recent articles spotlight what our community knows all too wellunderserved patients in rural communities and people of color in general face an uphill struggle toward true health equity, especially during the pandemic:
In addition to perusing these articles, don't forget to read the latest edition of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved: ACU members have free access by logging into our member portal and clicking the link.
Help Support the ACU After Giving Tuesday
While Giving Tuesday's annual day of generosity has passed, you can still support our work to improve health equity for millions of underserved patients across the United States! Please consider donating to aid our cause: together, we can create a more inclusive, equitable, and accessible health care system in our nation.
The ACU remains here to support you in our shared mission to care and advocate for patients in underserved communities. Our work is always more effective with your guidance: please contact our Executive Director Amanda Pears Kelly with any suggestions. Thank you for the life-saving and life-changing work you do everyday.
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