Dear Advocate,

2020 was a year of crisis, from the emergence of COVID-19 to funding instability for key health programs. Yet our community demonstrated exceptional resilience, and there were successes: although the pandemic remains with us, so, too, will renewed funding for the National Health Service Corps and the spirit of Dr. Jack Geiger. In this last week of 2020, the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved is unveiling our Annual Report and offering new resources to improve our shared work to achieve health equity for all.
Read ACU's Annual Report
ACU is proud to release our yearly report showcasing selected accomplishments and initiatives from 2020. These achievements range from our work to connect health centers with vital personal protective equipment in response to COVID-19 and our STAR2 Center's workforce trainings which reached more than 2,100 attendees to our redesigned website and brand. The report also highlights other program and educational milestones, including our first Virtual Conference, providing of $60,000 in grants to help FQHCs start vision services, and training of 1,700 providers and team members in suicide prevention in primary care.
Don't Forget: Free TA Available to Help FQHCs Start Eye Health & Vision Care Programs
ACU is offering a variety of resources to help your health center expand eye health and vision care services for the underserved. In addition to our white paper examining the need and best practices for delivering these services as part of integrated care models and our archived webinar with the American Optometric Association, we're also offering free, tailored technical assistance. Additionally, stay tuned for more information about our 2021 grants.
Last Chance to Apply for the Staff Wellness & Satisfaction Learning Collaborative
There are just nine days left to apply for the Staff Wellness and Satisfaction Learning Collaborative. From March-August 2021, this collaborative will unite 20 health center teams to learn about and test new interventions to prevent burnout, boost staff wellbeing, and improve care. Apply by Jan. 8 to join this national effort: participating FQHCs will receive a one-time payment of $2500.
Kick Off 2021 with our Next PCA & HCCN Workforce Professional Development Series Webinar: Jan. 14
Our STAR² Center's monthly series exploring comprehensive workforce initiatives and plans continues on 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 member FQHCs to develop comprehensive workforce plans in a robust "train the trainer" series. Did you miss earlier sessions? Recordings are available.
Learn About the Impact of COVID-19 on FQHCs in Our Latest STAR2 Center Talks Workforce Success Podcast
The second season of our podcast exploring health center workforces kicks off with a look at the professional and emotional impact of COVID-19 on FQHCs. Listen to a conversation with Julie Meiman, Chief Human Resources Officer at Family Health Centers in KY, about the realities of the pandemic, the importance of self care, and what managers can do to support their teams.
$1B in Extended Funding for the NHSC Is Here: Thank You, Advocates!
After months of fierce advocacy led by ACU in support of the National Health Service Corps, Congress's newly passed omnibus funding bill collectively includes more than $1.06 billion in NHSC funding! This omnibus bill and three-year funding extension will provide critical support for organizations and clinicians caring for the underservedespecially those who depend on the NHSC for workforce recruitment and retention. Find details and a funding breakdown on our website.
A Farewell to a Warrior for the Underserved: Read ACU's Statement on the Passing of Dr. Jack Geiger
ACU mourns the loss of Dr. Jack Geiger, the very definition of a clinician for the underserved. His compassion and humanity challenged us to view healthcare as an instrument for social change, and his legacy lives on in every community served by the health centers that he and Dr. Count Gibson helped to make a reality. Read our statementand join us in renewing our commitment to achieve true health equity.
What We're Reading: Health Equity and COVID-19's Toll on Providers
COVID-19 illuminated racial fissures in our healthcare system, and now its vaccine is posing crucial questions in terms of equity: who will have access to them, and will racial injustices of the past make some patients reticent to receive them? Recent articles spotlight the impact of the pandemic on Black Americans and providers in generalas well as hope as more Americans become willing to receive vaccinations:

2021 awaits, and the struggle to achieve health equity for patients in underserved communities continues. ACU wishes you a wonderful new year, and we will remain here to support you in your practice and advocacy. If you have feedback to guide our efforts, please contact our Executive Director Amanda Pears Kelly. Thank you for all that you do.
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