Dear Advocate,

COVID-19 vaccinations have begun, but our community is still weathering the worst of the pandemic's storm. To help expand underserved patients' access to vital care during this crisis and beyond, the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved is unveiling new resources to help primary care associations improve their training and technical assistance for health centersand direct assistance for FQHCs seeking to establish new eye health and vision care programs. Learn more below about these and other opportunities.
Review Our New Primary Care Association Training & Technical Assistance Assessment
We're excited to announce our STAR² Center's new PCA Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Self-Assessment Tool. This online resource seeks to help PCA teams assess strengths and weaknesses in their TTA programming for health centers. The tool aligns with ACU's Core Components for a healthy health center workforce and will offer users a snapshot of their organization's TTA program as it relates to leadership investment, workforce planning, and more.
Technical Assistance, White Paper, and More Available for FQHCs Starting Eye Health & Vision Care Programs
The ACU is offering a variety of resources to help your health center expand eye health and vision care services in underserved communities. In addition to our white paper examining the current need and best practices for delivering these services as part of integrated care models and our recent accompanying webinar with the American Optometric Association, we're also offering free technical assistance tailored to your FQHC. Stay tuned for more information on our 2021 grants as well.
Don't Forget to Apply for the Staff Wellness & Satisfaction Learning Collaborative: Participating FQHCs Will Receive $2,500
The ACU invites health center teams to take part in the Staff Wellness and Satisfaction Learning Collaborative from Mar. 2-Aug. 17, 2021. This learning collaborative will unite 20 FQHC teams to learn about and test new interventions to prevent burnout, boost staff wellbeing, and improve quality of care. Part of a unique national effort supported by HRSA's Bureau of Primary Health Care in partnership with John Snow, Inc., this initiative will give participating FQHCs a one-time payment of $2500.
Join Our STAR² Center's Next PCA & HCCN Workforce Professional Development Series Webinar on Jan. 14th
We're excited to announce the next session in our STAR² Center's monthly series exploring comprehensive workforce initiatives and plans on Jan. 14 at 3 p.m. ET! 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 FQHC recruitment and retention. Did you miss earlier sessions in our series? Archived recordings and slides are available.
Call for Podcast Interviewees: Help Our STAR² Center Explore the Impact of COVID-19 on Health Centers
The STAR² Center is seeking health center clinicians and staff to participate in brief interviews for the new season of its podcast, STAR² Center Talks Workforce Success. This season will COVID-19's impact on the FQHC workforce, patients, and community. We are specifically seeking individuals interested in discussing these 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
Are you interested? If so, please simply fill out our form.
What We're Reading: Health Equity and COVID-19's Toll on Providers
As COVID-19 vaccinations begin, the question of how to ensure equity and cultural competence in care has never been more critical. Recent articles have highlighted not only practical strategies to address implicit bias and lack of representation in care during and beyond the pandemic, but also its toll on medical professionals:
New BHW Forum Webinar: Using Medical Scribes to Reduce Clinician Burnout (Dec. 18, 2-3 p.m. ET)
COVID-19 has exacerbated an already stressed health workforce, and as clinicians look for ways to reduce administrative burdens the use of medical scribes is growing. Join the latest session in the Bureau of Health Workforce Clinical Leaders Forum to learn about best practices in a peer-to-peer discussion with leaders in tribal, rural, and underserved communities.
Welcoming Our Latest Members: Cumberland Family Medical Center (KY) and Heritage Health (ID)
We're proud to welcome the two newest members of our ACU community. Founded in 2007, Cumberland Family Medical Center provides a full range of coordinated care to patients and families through more than 370,000 visits each year in south and north central Kentucky. Also joining us is Heritage Health, a premier provider of integrated medical, dental, and behavioral health services in North Idaho which reached more than 28,000 patients in 2018 alone. Are you or your organization committed to improving care for the underserved? Learn more about the benefits of ACU Membership, contact us for more information, and join us today!
Though the pandemic will eventually subside, the mission to care and advocate for patients in underserved communities will continue. The ACU is here to support you in that vital work, and we rely on your guidance to inform our efforts: please contact our Executive Director Amanda Pears Kelly with any suggestions. Thank you for all that you do.
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