Dear Advocate,

In the face of historic uncertaintyfrom the ongoing devastation of COVID-19 to the chaos of civil unrestit has never been more important to reaffirm our unswerving commitment to caring for the underserved. This week we're announcing the addition of four new leaders who will help guide our mission on our Board of Directors and examining the past, present, and future of the National Health Service Corps in updated fact sheets. Find these and other resources, including free technical assistance and webinars, below.
Announcing ACU's New 2021 Board Members
The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved is excited to announce the appointment of four new board members: Ashley Colwell, MS, PHR, of the Illinois Primary Health Care Association, DaShawn Groves, DrPH, of Cityblock, Christian Neal, MD, MPA, of Johnson Health Center, and Shelley Spires, MHCA, of Albany Area Primary Health Care. Learn more about the new board members and find the full 2021 Board of Directors roster in our full announcement.
Read Our New Fact Sheets on the National Health Service Corps
Find crucial background information on the history and impact of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) in our latest fact sheets. Our NHSC Program overview examines the Corps's current programs, field strength, and funding history, as well as a glimpse at the NHSC's diversity and professions. Our NHSC Funding publication includes further information on the Corps' current and future funding status and examines the crucial need to expand the initiative: though the NHSC placed more than 16,000 clinicians in 2020 alone, it would still require an additional 31,627 providers to meet existing needs in federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas. Sign up to become an advocate and raise your voice in support of the NHSC!
Take Advantage of Our Resources to Expand Eye Health & Vision Care Programs During Glaucoma Awareness Month
Join us in recognizing Glaucoma Awareness Month. Glaucoma can cause vision loss and blindness, but half of Americans who have the condition are unaware of it. It is critical to expand access to eye health and vision care for underserved patients to ensure that this and other conditions go neither undetected nor untreated. To that end, ACU is offering free technical assistance (TA) and other resources to help your health center offer these services. Contact us for TA, read our white paper, or view our archived webinar.
Save the Date for the ACU 2021 Annual Conference Call for Proposals!
Our call for proposals for sessions in ACU 2021 Annual Conference will open in late January. Organized around the theme of "Mission: Health Equity" and taking place from July 31-Aug. 4, this year's conference will explore trandisciplinary practices in care for underserved populations, strategies to improve the FQHC workforce, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and much more! Stay tuned for more information about this exciting event.
Don't Miss Tomorrow's Webinar in the PCA & HCCN Workforce Professional Development Series
Our STAR² Center's monthly webinar series exploring comprehensive workforce initiatives and plans continues tomorrow, Jan. 14, at 3 p.m. ET! We invite primary care association and health center controlled network staff to learn best practices in working with FQHCs to develop comprehensive workforce plans in this robust "train the trainer" series. Want to catch up on previous sessions before attending tomorrow's webinar? View recordings.
Call for Podcast Interviewees Still Open: Help Our STAR2 Center Explore the Impact of COVID-19 on Health Centers
The latest season of the STAR² Center Talks Workforce Success podcast explores COVID-19's effects on FQHC workforces, patients, and communities. We're now seeking health center clinicians and staff to share their perspective in brief 10-to-20-minute interviews, especially on the following topics:

  • Vaccination equity and the importance of partnering with BIPOC communities to advance COVID-19 vaccination
  • The role of mental health clinicians in advancing COVID-19 efforts, especially in DEI
  • The dichotomy between clinicians who are reluctant to get the COVID-19 vaccine and their role as trusted voices in influencing patients' decision to get vaccinated
  • Issues such as burnout, trauma, moral injury, moral distress, and compassion fatigue affecting the FQHC workforce as a result of COVID-19
Make your voice heard! Indicate your interest by filling out our form.
HRSA Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program Applications Are Open!
2021 Nurse Corps LRP applications are now open for registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, and nursing faculty. In exchange for two-year service commitments, the LRP offers funds to help pay recipients' educational loans. Additional support is available for those interested in a third year of service. This year's LRP allocates special funds for applicants specializing in women's and behavioral health. Apply by Feb. 25.
New Webinars on Care for the Underserved
Our partners are hosting a variety of webinars of interest to clinicians providing care to underserved populations. A few of these upcoming sessions include:

What We're Reading: Building Equity During and After the Pandemic
As COVID-19 vaccinations continue, the question of health equity has never been more critical. In this delicate time, it is crucial that providers work not only to build vaccine confidence in underserved populations, particularly communities of color, but also to build civic engagement and diversity into our workforce to ensure that present inequities do not continue to haunt our post-pandemic future. Recent articles spotlight issues and solutions:

In this new year, ACU continues to work diligently to support our partners, providers, and patients and to achieve health equity for the underserved. Our efforts are always more effective with your feedback: if you have any thoughts, please contact our Executive Director Amanda Pears Kelly. Thank you for caring and advocating for communities and patients in need.
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