September 2019 edition
Note from DCPCA CEO, Tamara Smith
Greetings and Welcome to the Fall Edition of the Newsletter,

A lot has been happening at DCPCA over the summer - a special thank you to the entire DCPCA team who are committed to bringing value to our members and partners.

We are excited to be partnering with DHCF on their recently awarded CMS Demonstration Grant to Increase Substance Use Provider Capacity . The purpose of the planning grant is to increase the capacity of Medicaid providers to deliver substance use disorder treatment or recovery services.
DCPCA will be conducting the SUD provider needs assessment component of the work, with the goal of understanding SUD service needs, and provider capacity, willingness, financial accessibility and care provision barriers to SUD treatment and recovery services. We look forward to working with the provider community to complete this important work.

Member Spotlight
Second Annual La Fiesta del Barrio
La Clínica del Pueblo held their second annual La Fiesta del Barrio on Sunday September 8th. This outdoor block party is an exhilarating celebration of traditional music, arts, and dance that offers a snapshot of our community's identity. The event was a complete success, raising over $30,000 to support our health services and community building. In addition, their Community Health Action team gave around 47 health screenings! For more information, contact Fabiana Cueller, Development Coordinator, at for details.
Mary's Center's New Brand Reflects Growth, Diversity, and Mission
Mary’s Center announced a major rebranding to reflect the organization’s growth, diversity, and ongoing mission of providing high quality services to individuals from all communities across the DC metropolitan region.  
Since its inception in 1988 when Mary’s Center opened a small basement clinic to provide prenatal care to Central American women fleeing war and poverty, the organization has broadened its services and population. Today, Mary’s Center serves over 54,000 individuals a year from more than 50 countries. The new look reflects the organization’s growth, diversity, and inclusivity. 

The new logo uses interweaving, complimentary shapes and colors to demonstrate the supportive relationship between Mary’s Center’s staff and participants guided by the center’s Social Change Model, which creates a web of comprehensive services focused on delivering equitable and quality care.

For more information about Mary’s Center’s new rebranding, visit 
DCPCA Department Round-Up
DC Connected Care Network (DCCCN)
Team Welcomes Mericha Johnson as ED Liaison
DCCCN recently hired Mericha Johnson for the role of Emergency Department Liaison at George Washington University Hospital (GWUH). Mericha comes to the DCCCN from American Medical Response as an Emergency Medicine Technician and has developed great relationships with all hospitals and emergency departments in the District. Mericha started at GWUH earlier this month and will be focused on discharge planning, transitions of care and patient education on appropriate ED use. You can reach Mericha at
LANE Toolkit Under Development
The DCCCN is developing a LANE toolkit consisting of a suite of reports aimed at identifying frequent ED utilizers, report trainings for heath center subject matter experts, and learning collaboratives focused on 8 key Network strategies. Report distribution is slated to go live October 2019, and the first learning collaborative will launch November 2019. 

For more information, please contact Allyson Smith, Director of Population Health, at .
Program Year 2019 Stage 3 Meaningful Use – Final Reporting Period
October 1, 2019 begins the final 90-day reporting period to prepare for Stage 3 Meaningful Use attestation for Program Year 2019. eHealthDC’s Technical Specialists are continuing to assist provider organizations that are participating in the District’s Promoting Interoperability (PI)/Meaningful Use (MU) with implementing clinical workflows and adopting EHR and HIE tools that will help their Medicaid eligible professionals meet Stage 3 MU goals. In particular, we are focusing our technical assistance (TA) efforts on helping providers meet the Stage 3 MU HIE and Patient Engagement objectives that have proved challenging in the past, and can offer workflow guidance and training on solutions that will enable providers to achieve to MU success. 

For answers to MU questions and requests for eHealthDC support, please contact the eHealthDC team at or 202-552-2331. Visit us at:
CRISP Provider Directory Now Available
DCPCA is excited to share that our partner, CRISP, the District’s core Health Information Exchange (HIE) services provider, has introduced a new Directory feature. The Directory offers CRISP DC users the ability to search for and locate peers and other practitioners to facilitate access to providers for transitions of care. It not only displays provider contact information but allows individuals to establish their own communications preferences including, for example, where they want referrals to be sent and whether they are accepting new patients. 

To learn more about the Directory and how to access and use it, please contact CRISP's outreach team, led by Ronald Emeni at .  
HIE Connectivity Services Now Offered to DC Medicaid Provider s
The Department of Healthcare Finance (DHCF) recently kicked off a grant initiative aimed at supporting completion of provider connections to the District’s Core HIE services infrastructure to enable delivery of actionable health related information, whenever and wherever it is needed, for person centered care and improved health outcomes. The grantee team, led by Enlightened, Inc., includes Zane Networks, LLC, DC Primary Care Association, Children’s National Health System, CRISP DC and SmartLink Health, as well as partnerships with national and DC-based health care professional associations. 

Over the next two years, Team Enlightened’s goal is to deliver HIE technical assistance, workflow integration and tailored training services, free of charge, to more than 100 Medicaid provider organizations to help them effectively connect to, adopt and use available HIE technologies. 

To learn more about the services offered through the HIE Connectivity grant and how you can participate, contact Team Enlightened at .  
Quality Improvement
Qual IT Fall Conference
On September 16 and 17, DCPCA along with project partners HealthEfficient and the Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers (MACHC) held our Fall 2019 Qual IT Care Alliance Conference. Over 100 health center staff attended. The conference, designed specifically for health center staff, featured four concurrent tracks (clinical; operations & rev cycle; executives; and IT) with sessions on priority topics for our members, including: 
  • Reducing provider burden 
  • Patient engagement through community partners
  • Guest Expert: Dr Joseph Ravenell, MD, spoke on his groundbreaking work on engaging patients where they are in the community.
  • Risk-stratification and care management 
  • Working with payers to maximize revenue and reduce denials 
  • Oral health integration, including our new HRSA-funded pediatric oral health project
  • Guest Expert: Dr. Bob Russell, DDS, MPH
  • Opioid Use Disorder program expansion
  • Guest Expert: Dr. Erik Gunderson, MD
  • Protecting information related to substance abuse with 42 CFR Part 2

We also kicked off our new 3-year Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN) project period. Our recent award reflects our continued growth in membership and project partners. Our HCCN is now the 4th largest in the country! Join our monthly meetings and look out for future information about project activities.

For those who were unable to attend the conference, please contact Berlinda Olivier, Quality Improvement Specialist, at to obtain copies of presentation slides.
Launch of BOLDplanning Emergency Preparedness Plans
On September 11th and 12th, DCPCA held the first user workshop for the BOLDplanning Healthcare Emergency and Continuity Planning (HCECP) software housed at This web-based planning tool is designed to assist and guide health center staff through the process of developing Emergency & Continuity Plans (ECP). This tool, designed by experts in the field, has been customized to meet CMS Emergency Preparedness standards and organization’s specific planning needs. 

Participants from our member health centers were shown how the system walks planners through each step of the planning process and helps develop a plan designed to respond to and recover from disruptions in operations or unexpected events. We look forward to continuing to support health centers in their development of their emergency plans. Look out for information on Workshop #2 anticipated for November. 

For more information, please contact Megan Loucks, Director of Quality Improvement, at .
QI Tip of the Mont h: Free Antibiotic Stewardship Program
Get the resources and training that your clinical site needs to practice robust antibiotic stewardship by joining a free, 12-month national program starting in December 2019. The AHRQ Safety Program for Improving Antibiotic Use provides participating ambulatory clinics with expert coaching, online education and improvement tools, patient education materials, antibiotic use guidelines, and more to help you prevent harms associated with antibiotics. Participants have the opportunity to earn continuing education credits.
Policy and Advocacy
Maternal Health Equity Action Lab
DCPCA’s Maternal Health Equity Action Lab members hosted a panel at Mayor Muriel Bowser’s National Maternal and Infant Health Summit. The panel, Giving Voice to Mothers: Black women speak out on maternal health care in the District,  used our report Human-Centered Solutions to Improve Reproductive and Maternal Health in Washington, DC and the Giving Voice to Mothers study as a jumping off point. Black mothers with experience of the District’s maternal health system shared their perspectives on what providers and policymakers need to know about maternal health care across the continuum of care. Panelists shared their stories of joy, frustration, connection, and fragmentation, and how listening to women is key to improvement.
Standing: Stephanie Wells (Panelist), Tamara Smith (Moderator) Dominique Lowrey (Panelist) Seated: Chanelle Moore (Panelist), and Nandi Barton (Panelist)

Learn more about supports and services for DC women on Instagram @DCWomensHealth. Share and promote @DCWomensHealth with your clients and patients!

Community Resource Information Exchange Update
On September 5th, DCPCA hosted a working session of community resource inventory (CRI) generators and users to share our research and analysis of the resource inventory ecosystem in the District of Columbia. We explored models to improve the accuracy of CRI data, reduce the burden for CRI maintenance, and increase the sustainability of CRI in the future. Participants determined the strengths and weaknesses of a range of approaches, including commercial vendors, government role, federated approaches, and data utilities. Their input will contribute to the CoRIE Phase One project recommendations for District CRI to be delivered by the end of October. The group expressed hope and optimism, tempered with clear-eyed knowledge of the challenges remaining for robust CRI sustainability.

Policy News of the Month: Washington Makes Plans for Two-Month Government Funding Extension
Washington’s efforts to pass a long-term extension of the FY20 Labor-Health-Education spending bill, which provides $1.63 billion for health centers, along with the other 11 spending bills, remain underway in Congress. Members of Congress continue to work through disagreements over controversial issues including funding for family planning, construction of the southern border wall, and Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program, legislators are crafting a two-month extension of current funding that will avoid touching upon any hot button topics.

At the same time, while Congress continues to discuss a two-month extension of government funding, lawmakers in Washington are also focused on negotiating a long-term funding extension for Community Health Centers, the National Health Service Corps, and Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program. Click here to read the latest on the effort to pass a two-month continuing resolution and prevent a shutdown on September 30th. 
News - District
Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) Application Open
The District of Columbia Department of Health (DC Health) is accepting applications for the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP). The program provides loan repayment services to eligible provider’s practicing in HPLRP-certified Service Obligation Sites (SOS) in the District.

  • New provider applications will be accepted from September 1, 2019 – October 30, 2019.
  • Award contracts will cover two years of participation and award contract amounts will be equivalent to 44 percent of a provider’s total eligible debt - up to a maximum of $66,810 for physicians and up to $36,744 for all other eligible primary care providers.
  • Anticipated contract start dates for selected applicants is March 2020.

For more information please click here or contact the loan repayment program directly at or 202-442-5892. 

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 DC Health Matters.

Maternal and Child Health Needs Assessment
DC Health is conducting a maternal & child health needs assessment! The 3-question Discovery Survey is being distributed to women, youth, parents, community members, and people who work with women and children across the state. Our goal is to make sure we hear about all the needs of women, children and families in DC. Once we have heard back from you, we will compile a list of population needs. After that, we will do additional activities to help us narrow down the list to a set of citywide priorities.

Please share the discovery survey link(s) widely: (English) and (Spanish), and of course, respond to the survey yourself! 

If you have any questions, please contact us at

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.
New Interactive Dashboards on Health Professions Training Programs
New Health Professions Training Programs interactive dashboards are now available in the HRSA Data Warehouse.

The dashboards display aggregated performance data from the Bureau of Health Workforce’s education and training programs for academic year 2012-2013 to present. You can look up data nationwide or by geographic area, including HHS region, state, county, and congressional district. The public dashboards offer more data than ever before available about HRSA's investments; you can use this information to gain insight into the distribution of our health care providers who help and work in our underserved communities.

The HRSA Data Warehouse houses a wealth of data on BHW programs like the National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps, as well as data on health centers and active grants, maps, and much more. Learn more today .

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
CRISP User Conference
CRISP, the District’s core Health Information Exchange (HIE) services provider, is hosting its first annual user conference, specifically for DC users, from 9am-1pm on November 5, 2019 at the Washington Marriott, Wardman Park Hotel. The CRISP User Conference is a free event and open to all clinicians, technologists, population health professionals, support staff, etc. Learn how to maximize use of CRISP services right within your daily workflow. Our goal is to provide attendees with a platform to view CRISP services in action, generate fruitful dialogue and see the future of CRISP through roadmap discussion.

  • Educational credits will be available to all who qualify.
  • Registration requires each person to register separately, there is no "group registration" process.
  • If you have any questions or need additional support, please contact CRISP Marketing and Communications Manager, Ryan Flood at

Fetal Brain Symposium
Please join DCPCA this fall at the International Symposium on the Fetal Brain in Washington DC at the Four Seasons. This year’s symposium on November 21 and 22 will focus on Stress, Anxiety, and Depression in Pregnancy and their Effect on the Fetal Brain.
DCHA Opioid Response Symposium
Join a targeted symposium from the DC Hospital Association for hospital and community-based providers who assist or are involved in treating opioid use disorders in the District. On September 27, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (ET) at Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health, 700 2nd Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002, US. Speakers will discuss the history of opioid addiction in DC, HIPAA/privacy rules for SUD and innovative MAT interventions. For Questions please contact Eden Cunningham  

Join Mary's Center's Project ECHO for OUD
  • Who: Health center clinicians and support staff interested in advancing their knowledge and skills in Opiate Use Disorder (OUD) treatment. This includes waivered and non-waivered medical providers, nurses, medical assistants, community support workers, and behavioral health providers.
  • What: Project ECHO brings together experts, support staff, and primary care providers in a virtual, collaborative learning environment to review patient cases in a de-identified “all teach, all learn” format. Project ECHO is a group learning system designed to widen the scope of practice and improve quality. ECHO sessions will include case consultation, collaborative learning, and knowledge share. 
  • Where: Virtually! Once you sign up, you will receive more information on how to use the Zoom virtual platform and login to sessions. 
  • When: Every other Monday from 12:15 - 1:15 PM ET beginning September 9, 2019 through February 2020. Each of the 12 sessions will last for one hour, with 40 minutes of case presentation and 20 minutes of didactic. See below for schedule and topics (subject to change).

It's not too late to join!
Reach out to Program Coordinator Gretchen Gates at
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

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 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
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