Dear Advocate,

The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved is excited to open our new call for proposals for our ACU 2021 Annual Conference, Mission: Health Equity! From August 1-4, the event will spotlight strategies to achieve true health equity for the underserved, especially BIPOC and other marginalized populations, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to opening our call for abstracts, this week we're spotlighting a new moral injury webinar, a community survey, a look at our recent PPE initiative, and more.
Our 2021 Annual Conference Call for Proposals Is Open!
ACU is now accepting workshop and poster abstracts for our 2021 ACU Annual Conference – Mission: Health Equity! We are seeking practice, policy, workforce, and other proposals highlighting strategies to improve health equity for the underserved, especially BIPOC and other marginalized populations. From August 1-4 at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, D.C., our Conference will unite hundreds of clinicians and public health and industry leaders from across the U.S. to explore real solutions to expand and improve healthcare for underserved patients. Learn more and submit your own abstract by February 26.
We Need Your Feedback: Please Take Our 20-Second Conference Format Survey
ACU is presently planning to hold our 2021 Annual Conference in-person in Washington, D.C., from August 1-4. However, we are monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and public health measures closely to ensure that our Conference aligns with the highest safety standardsincluding the possibility of transitioning the event to a virtual setting or a hybrid event in which keynotes, general sessions, and some workshops are available via streaming. Help inform our decision: please fill out our quick, two-question survey to let us know your thoughts.
Upcoming Webinar: Addressing the Systems that Contribute to Moral Injury and Moral Distress
Join ACU's STAR2 Center and national trauma expert Matt Bennett for a free webinar exploring strategies to address moral injury at 2-3 p.m. ET on Feb. 18. Moral injuries and distress can have profound impacts on health center staff, and this webinar will examine their physiological underpinnings and the role COVID-19 plays in their development. Learn about these key concepts and the critical role health center leaders can play in advancing resilience and post-traumatic growth through systemic change in our new webinar.
Protecting Providers: ACU's PPE Initiative
COVID-19 has posed a critical challenge to providers and organizations working with the underserved. Health centers have confronted a multitude of challengesfrom the need to implement rapid testing and telehealth visits to the ongoing threat of financial uncertainty and provider burnoutbut none of these challenges may have been as immediately pressing as the need for personal protective equipment (PPE). As COVID-19 emerged, ACU connected more than 100 health centers across the U.S. with vital PPE. Learn more about this and other ACU initiatives to address the pandemic.
Read ACU's Statement on the Nomination of Xavier Becerra as HHS Secretary
ACU strongly supports the nomination of Xavier Becerra to be the next Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). ACU was fortunate to work with Xavier Becerra and his colleagues during his tenure as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives on the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Becerra’s commitment to ensure affordable coverage and access to healthcare for those most in need represents exactly the type of leadership and vision needed to lead our nation through this time of challenge and crisis. Learn more.
ICYMI: Read Our NHSC Fact Sheets
Find crucial background information on the history and impact of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) in our recent 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. Our NHSC Funding publication includes further information on the Corps' current and future funding status and the crucial need to expand the program. Sign up to become an advocate and raise your voice in support of the NHSC!
Don't Forget: HRSA Nurse Corps LRP Applications Are Open!
2021 Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP) applications are open for registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, and nursing faculty. In exchange for two-year service commitments, the LRP will help pay recipients' educational loans. This year's LRP allocates special funds for applicants specializing in women's and behavioral health. Apply by Feb. 25 or join an informational call tomorrow, Jan. 28, at 2-3 p.m. ET.
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
Vaccine hesitancy and confidence have come into sharp focus in 2021 as questions of equity and historical bias loom over our nation's ongoing COVID-19 vaccinations. Particularly in BIPOC communities, the need to build confidence and trust in the vaccine and providers alike has never been more crucial. Recent articles spotlight the threat racism poses to public health during and after the pandemic, challenges to vaccine equity, and more:

Long after COVID-19 subsides, ACU will remain dedicated to supporting you in our shared work to achieve health equity for the underserved. To assist you more effectively, we need your guidance: please contact our Executive Director Amanda Pears Kelly with any feedback. Now as ever, thank you for the life-changing work and advocacy you do each day.
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