August 2019 edition
Note from DCPCA CEO, Tamara Smith
Summer Greetings,

It has been a busy summer with much activity from the Mayor’s Commission on Healthcare Systems Transformation. DCPCA and our health centers are well represented with Don Blanchon, Kelly Sweeney McShane, Maria Gomez, Vince Keane and me sitting on the Commission and serving on the Value Based Purchasing, Workforce Development, ED Overcrowding and Equitable Distribution of Care subcommittees. Recommendations are expected in late September. Reach out with any questions. More information can be found at:

Also, special acknowledgement to all of the health centers who have hosted back-to-school festivals, back pack drives and who are committed to supporting the needs of children and families in our area. Your support makes such a difference.

Keep cool, enjoy the remainder of the summer. I look forward to continuing our many partnerships.

Member Spotlight
2018 UDS Results Highlight Health Center Quality of Care
Aggregate results for 2018 quality measures for all Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) have been released! UDS measures are standardized performance metrics that assess quality of care for health centers across a variety of dimensions. Explore these reports and gain understanding of our progress in improving health outcomes.

  • Click here for an aggregate trend report showing UDS data combined for all District FQHCs from 2016 - 2018. Also available as a downloadable file.

  • Click here for individual reports for each health center along with an aggregate Excel showing each health center compared to each other.

Congratulations to our members who received Health Center Quality Improvement FY 2019 Grant Awards  in acknowledgment of their high quality, efficiency, and value as measured via 2018 UDS standards.

Total Funding to District of Columbia: 8 health centers received awards totaling $653,103
  • Access Enhancers: 5 health centers received awards totaling $45,000
  • Advancing Health Information Technology (HIT) for Quality: 8 health centers received awards totaling $41,000
  • Clinical Quality Improvers: 4 health centers received awards totaling $136,548
  • Health Center Quality Leaders: 2 health centers received awards totaling $48,055
  • Health Disparities Reducers: 4 health centers received awards totaling $52,500
  • Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition: 7 health centers received awards totaling $280,000
  • Value Enhancers: 2 health centers received awards totaling $50,000

Unity is Hosting a Job Fair Tomorrow!
Unity is Hiring! Unity is hosting a job fair Thursday, August 22 from 3 pm - 7 pm.

Unity Healthcare
1100 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20003

Read a full list of available career opportunities   here .
DCPCA Department Round-Up
DC Connected Care Network (DC CCN)
Allyson Smith joins as Director of Population Health
The DC Connected Care Network (CCN) is excited to welcome Allyson Smith as the Director of Population Health. Allyson is coming from Holy Cross Hospital with tremendous experience in epidemiology, biostatistics, disease management and quality improvement. Allyson is board certified in infection control and epidemiology, holds a Masters of Public Health from George Washington University School of Public Health and a Bachelors of Science from Xavier University of Louisiana. Allyson will be primarily responsible for CCN reporting and report distribution, performance tracking, and population health analytics. Allyson can be reached at
Using DIRECT Messaging for e-Referrals
eHealthDC has been leading the District’s efforts to implement HISP DIRECT communications protocol as a standard protocol to support the sending of referrals and referral results electronically among providers across the District. Working in collaboration with CRISP DC and the DC Hospital Association, the eHealthDC team recently participated in a third meeting with the health systems to discuss progress in implementing the use of DIRECT for communicating with external providers. 

The eCW EHRs for all DCPCA member health centers have been configured for the use of DIRECT by health center providers for secure communications. eHealthDC is currently conducting DIRECT pilot programs and testing between health enters and a number of health systems affiliates to ensure that the various EHR systems are properly capturing transitions of cares/referrals as required to meet Stage 3 Promoting Interoperability/ Meaningful Use objectives. Thus far, testing has been completed between a number of health centers and Medstar Health, Howard University’s Faculty Practice Plan, Children’s National Medical Center, and United Medical Center’s Ambulatory Clinic. Current plans are for health centers to begin using DIRECT through the eCW EHR within the next 30 days once related health system DIRECT accounts are loaded in the eCW Provider Directory. 

For more information, please contact eHealthDC at or 202-552-2331. Visit us at:  
Sharing Behavioral Health Data through the Capital Partners in Care HIE
On October 1, 2019 the Capital Partners in Care (CPC) HIE will begin exchanging behavioral health information for patients served by CPC-HIE participants. Behavioral health information will be accessible to all authorized providers who access patient clinical information through the CPC-HIE as well as through CRISP DC HIE tools such as the Patient Care Snapshot and Health Records. 

Consistent with the requirements established by the “Mental Health Information Disclosure Amendment Act of 2018”, CPC-HIE participating organizations are modifying their Notices of Privacy Practices (NPP) to ensure that all patients are informed of the intent to share behavioral health data through the HIE and provided the opportunity to opt out of further HIE participation. We expect all NPPs to be updated by September 15, 2019 to ensure participant readiness for our planned October 1 behavioral health data exchange ‘go live’ date. 
Quality Improvement
Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes in Primary Care
Million Hearts
On August 18 th 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) hosted a Million Hearts meeting in Chicago to highlight the work of Year 1 Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes in Primary Care projects and discuss the aim for Year 2. In attendance were 29 health centers across the nation and project leads from 7 Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCN).

Congratulations to Community of Hope, Elaine Ellis Center of Health, Unity Health Care and Family and Medical Counseling Service Inc. for the work they have done on this project to-date to improve care for hypertension. The DC project is facilitated by our HCCN ("Qual IT") team comprised of HeathEfficient and DCPCA.

Meeting attendees discussed progress in Year 1 across the three projects:
  1. Statin Therapy Project - Improving Appropriate Use of Statin Therapy: developing and testing a HIT-based algorithm to identify high-risk patients who would benefit from statin therapy medications;
  2. Improving Blood Pressure Control for African Americans Project: implementing evidence- based practices to improve blood pressure control in African American patients; and
  3. Scaling HIPS/Strategies to Reduce Undiagnosed Hypertension Project: detecting and diagnosing patients “hiding in plain sight” with undiagnosed hypertension.

For Year 2, DCPCA will continue to support health centers with their implementation framework, team engagement and training, workflow analysis, data collection and as well as cultivating opportunities of peer sharing and community building.

If your health center that is interesting in participating in Year 2, contact Berlinda Olivier, Quality Improvement Specialist at .
QI Tip of the Month: CRC Screening Messaging Guidebook   
The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) has released a messaging guide designed to help health centers communicate the importance of colorectal cancer screening. 
Policy and Advocacy
Maternal Health Equity Action Lab
Following the launch of the Maternal Health Equity Action Lab in June, the team of maternal health context and content experts has moved into the Design Team phase. DCPCA is supporting three teams:

  • Team Postpartum Supports
  • Team Awareness and Access
  • Team Respectful Care

The Postpartum Supports team created a survey to better understand the most important postpartum supports for black mothers in DC. Please share the DC Postpartum Care Survey. with black mothers who want to influence the interventions the Postpartum group designs!

The Respectful Care Team is planning a mother’s brunch and focus group with black mothers in the District to get feedback on a Respectful Care Check List for providers. Black mothers in the District Register Here .

Stay tuned for The Awareness and Access team’s test of a text-messaging service to link women to needed information and services.
CoRIE Survey to Impact District Investment in Health-Related Social Needs Technology
DCPCA, in partnership with DC’s Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF), is leading a research initiative as a first phase of development for the Community Resource Inventory Exchange (CoRIE) . One of this project’s main objectives is the development of Community Resource Inventory infrastructure to facilitate the sharing of information about the health, human, and social services available to DC residents.

DCPCA has been collaborating with Open Referral, a community of practice for information and referral systems practitioners, to engage with staff maintaining resource inventories of human, health, and social services in the District across multiple public, non-profit and commercial organizations. We have interviewed over a dozen staff involved in this data maintenance, and are analyzing nine databases of resources to assess opportunities for increased data quality and decreased data maintenance burden. We are now planning for a convening of these practitioners on September 5 th , where we will reflect on the findings from our first phase of research. We expect to have actionable next steps for participants and recommendations for future investment and policymaking on community resource inventory. 

If you or someone in you know produces a resource inventory for use in referring your patients or clients, or if you would like to learn more about the CoRIE project, please contact David Poms at or 202-552-2305. 
News - District
2019 DC Health and Medical Coalition (HMC) Health Emergency Preparedness Summit
Please join DC Health and District partners at the DC HMC Health Emergency Preparedness Summit. We will provide an educational forum for the public health and healthcare community to share best practices and lessons learned as it relates to emergency preparedness, response, and mitigation. The Summit will feature speakers from around the nation and the National Capital Region who will address key considerations in emergency management to include Highly Infectious Disease Response, EMS response to a complex coordinated attack, Emergency Support Function-8 disaster coordination and recovery from cyber-related incidents affecting the healthcare facilities. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019
Union Station Events in the East Hall.

Following the conclusion of the conference, DC Health is hosting an open house from 4-6pm at DC Health, 899. North Capitol St. Washington, DC 20002.

Hear the Results of the District Community Health Needs Assessment
Explore the findings from the District's 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) via a series of interactive webinars. The DC Health Matters Collaborative designed our assessment using a health equity lens and focused on four priority areas: Mental Health, Care Coordination, Health Literacy and Place-Based Care. The 2019 CHNA findings are grouped into a rich collection of 28 top themes. The full report is available on .

The first session begins September 4th at 2 pm.

Mayor Muriel Browser's National Maternal & Infant Health Summit: September 2019
Join Mayor Muriel Bowser at the National Maternal & Infant Health Summit to build on the growing public awareness and interest in this important issue and the District's new approach to ensure the health of women, babies and families.
  • The summit is an opportunity for elected officials, health officials and DC residents to explore strategies to improve perinatal health and address racial disparities in birth outcomes.
  • The event will feature panel discussions, a luncheon, and workshops focused on successes from around the country that could serve as models for best practices.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 | 9:00 am
Walter E. Washington Convention Center | 801 Mt. Vernon Place NW | 3rd Floor Ballroom Washington, DC 20001

HRSA News and Resources
HRSA delivered a presentation on strategic goals and what this means for PCAs and health centers. To download this infographic and to read about HRSA's strategies moving forward, click here.
Sigounas Steps Down as HRSA Administrator
Thomas Engels was named Acting Administrator for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on Aug. 1 and will oversee the execution of HRSA's $11.7 billion annual budget. Mr. Engel's predecessor, Dr. George Sigounas, has been reassigned to an advisor role in the office of the HHS Secretary. Before joining HRSA six months ago as Principal Deputy Administrator, Mr. Engels was Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services from 2015 to 2019. He was an active member of the Governor's Task Force on Opioid Abuse and also chaired the Governor's Human Resources Shared Services Executive Committee. Read more .
Comment Now on Proposed Changes to 2020 UDS
HRSA is soliciting comments on proposed changes to the 2020 UDS, which Health Center Program awardees and Look-Alikes would be required to report on in February 2021. Review the 2020 UDS Proposed Changes Program Assistance Letter and submit comments through the Health Center Program Support form (select "Uniform Data System (UDS)" from the issue type category). Deadline for comments is September 24.
To catch up on HRSA news, check out the latest edition of the Bureau of Primary Health Care, Primary Care Digest.
Training and Events Spotlight
Active Shooter Preparedness Workshop
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is hosting a one-day workshop to enhance preparedness against active shooter incidents through:
  • Developing an Emergency Action Plan with guidance from expert instructors
  • Identifying strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in physical security and planning considerations via break-out sessions
  • Learning how to prevent active shooter incidents by recognizing behavioral indicators on the pathway to violence
  • Understanding the history of significant active shooter incidents through survivor stories and expert perspectives

September 13, 2019
The Fairmont Hotel
2401 M Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20037

Registration for this event is free.
Telehealth Office Hours
NACHC now offers monthly Telehealth Office Hours for health center, PCA, and HCCN staff who have questions or want to share information about telehealth-related policy and operational activities. In addition to updates and Q&A, each session will focus on a specific topic of concern.

Sessions convene the second Thursday of every month at 2:00 PM Eastern.
Participation is free and there is no pre-registration required

For more information contact .
Webinar Series on Building an Inclusive Organization
ACU's STAR² Center is looking forward to kicking off the new program year with our new learning collaborative, Building an Inclusive Organization . With the help of our guest faculty from Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC), we will be taking a look at policies and procedures that impact diversity and inclusion in health centers.

The 3-month/6-session series begins September 12th
All sessions will be held from 2:00-3:00 pm EST.

Register at the link above or contact Mariah Blake with any questions.
DCPCA Upcoming Events and Trainings
For all events, trainings, and Peer Groups, check out our website at . The calendar includes group trainings, often available to all members. Note that trainings specific for a member organization will not appear on our website. 
There are numerous ways for our members to engage in our ongoing trainings and technical assistance opportunities - so many that it warrants a separate newsletter! Check out the latest edition of our monthly Training and Technical Assistance Newsletter .

For more information, contact Megan Loucks, Director of Quality Improvement, at
We Want to Hear From You!
Do you have a great article, story, or health center highlight that you would like to be included in next month’s newsletter? Send to . Seeking past editions of DCPCA Connections? Click here !
| DC Primary Care Association (DCPCA) |

This publication is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $565,223. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit
News - District