Member Spotlight
Award-Winning Broadcaster Interviews Dr. Robert Smith for New Series Focused on Health Care
Award-winning broadcaster Soledad O'Brien interviewed Dr. Robert Smith, CEO at Central Mississippi Medical Clinic, at the health center last week about the history of health care in Mississippi for those underserved. The episode is part of a new series Ms. O'Brien is producing. More details about the network and date of broadcast will soon be announced.
Opportunity: Next Tuesday, Feb. 12th at 11 a.m.
Tougaloo College alumnus Dr. Obie McNair, COO at Central Miss. Medical Services joins Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Dobbs, and fellow Tougaloo College alum Dr. Myrna Nikens to discuss the COVID-19 impact on minority groups in Mississippi. If you have a question to ask the panel, please email to the organizers at Tougalook College here by noon, tomorrow Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021.
Watch the live stream here on Tuesday, Feb. 12th.
Please continue to keep Dr. Geroldean Dyse lifted up in prayer.
You are also invited to share the information about the bone marrow match testing. Contact 601-815-6748.
340B Recertification Deadline March 1

The 340B recertification process is open February 1 - March 1, 2021. Covered entities that do not recertify by the deadline of Monday, March 1, will be terminated from the HRSA 340B Program starting on Tuesday, March 2. They will require a new registration and will not be eligible to participate in the 340B Program until July. To recertify, Authorizing Officials and Primary Contacts must first set up user accounts by visiting the HRSA 340B Office of Pharmacy Affairs Information System (340B OPAIS) and choosing “I am a participant.” It is the covered entity’s responsibility to ensure they have created their accounts before recertification to allow for successful completion of the process. For questions or assistance, email the 340B call center or call 888-340-2787, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.




Direct Relief, CHCAMS Provide Grants to CHCs to Address Hunger
Direct Relief and CHCAMS have partnered to provide mini-grants to 5 health centers. The grant will support activities that address food insecurity among patient populations. Congratulations to ACCESS Family Health Clinic, Coastal Family Health Center, Central Miss. Medical Clinic, G.A. Carmichael Family Health Center, and MississippiCare.
Live Fierce
Go Red for Women: One is Too Many
National Wear Red Day February 5, 2021
National Wear Red Day is the icon day of American Heart Month. On February 5, wear red and help raise awareness of women’s number 1 killer -- cardiovascular disease.

Please share your health center photos on social media for Go Red Day Awareness!
Buprenorphine Waiver Changes for Healthcare Staff
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a rule change to allow physicians to prescribe buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) without a waiver. The move by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) eliminates the eight-hour X-waiver course physicians were required to complete by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) before prescribing buprenorphine treatment. Physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other approved advanced practice nurses will still need to obtain an X-waiver before prescribing buprenorphine for the treatment of OUD. For more information on this change, please visit the HHS website.
340B Regulation Frozen
by New Administration
on EpiPens and Insulin
The new administration has frozen a rule that would adversely impact Community Health Centers and the nearly 30 million patients they serve – a majority of whom are living in poverty or are uninsured. The regulation, which was based on an Executive Order issued last July, was based on a fundamental misunderstanding that would have imposed extensive administrative burdens and targeted EpiPens and insulin dispensed by health centers and purchased under the federal 340B drug discount program. The stated aim was to cut drug prices. However, it triggered alarms among safety-net health care providers and bipartisan lawmakers, because it would accomplish the opposite of what the Trump Administration intended — ultimately making it harder for health centers to provide affordable life-saving services and prescription drugs — especially during the pandemic. To be clear, the insulin and Epipen regulation that was frozen by the Biden Administration only affects medications purchased through the 340B drug discount program at health centers

The overall prices of insulin and Epipens across the country are not affected by the Trump Administration regulation or the recent action by the Biden Administration.
Biden Reopens ACA Insurance Marketplaces
President Joe Biden signed an executive order Thursday, Janury 28, 2021 to reopen federal health insurance Marketplaces for an additional three months. The new Special Open Enrollment period will begin February 15 and run through May 15. During this time, anyone who is uninsured or missed the original open enrollment period may enroll in coverage through Healthcare.gov.
President’s COVID-19 Plan Calls for “New Partnership” with Community Health Centers
On his first full day in office, President Biden unveiled a 100-plus page national strategy and signed 10 Executive Orders for defeating COVID-19. In the plan, the President proposes to “Launch a new partnership with Federally Qualified Health Centers nationwide” (see page 43.) Highlights of this proposed partnership include:
  • Explicitly naming FQHCs as partners in vaccination efforts and in efforts to ensure access for underserved populations.
  • Giving FQHCs direct access to vaccines, instructing HRSA and the CDC to “launch a new program to ensure that FQHCs can directly access vaccine supply where needed.”
  • Encouraging jurisdictions to include FQHCs in their overall jurisdictional plans for battling the pandemic.
  • Providing TA and “other resources” to support FQHCs’ vaccination efforts by instructing HRSA to “launch a new program to provide guidance, technical assistance, and other resources to prepare and engage [FQHCs] nationwide” on vaccination efforts.
  • Charging FQHCs with caring for COVID “long-haulers.” The Executive Order “Improving and Expanding Access to Care and Treatments for Covid-19" instructs HRSA and SAMHSA to expand “access to programs and services designed to meet the long-term health needs of patients recovering from COVID-19, including through technical assistance and support to community health centers.” Note that FQHCs are the only provider type explicitly named for this purpose.
  • “Increased funding” for FQHCs generally. Under the heading of “Expand access to high-quality health care,” the President proposes “efforts to increase funding for community health centers.” (p. 99)

Multiple elements of the plan will require Congressional action.
REPAAIR / UPLIFT Health Equity Program Launched, Recruiting Student Ambassadors
The Community Health Center Association of Mississippi (CHCAMS), in partnership with Central Mississippi Health Services, Inc. (CMHS), has developed a patient-centered health equity and social justice program. The foundation of this effort is the REPAAIR (Realizing Equity by Preparing Ambassadors to Address Institutional Racism) initiative.

The UPLIFT (Understanding Patient Language about Inequity to Facilitate Transformation) project will capture patient stories through narrative interviewing and storytelling. Ambassadors will use a case method approach to develop a patient-centered language and framework for discussing the social determinants of health.

The REPAAIR initiative provides an opportunity for college students at Tougaloo College, Jackson State University, and Hinds Community College to engage in training and service-learning activities that help them understand the historical and contemporary factors that have contributed to disparate health outcomes among Black Mississippians and communities of color.

REPAAIR Ambassadors will be required to participate in five educational Zoom meetings, participate in mentoring sessions, complete community engagement activities, and complete a service project.

For more information, contact Desiree Stinson at 601-981-1817 or dstinson@chcams.org.
Spotlight: CHCAMS Business Partner
Briefs
Grant Awarded to MEMA for Vaccine Distribution, Infection Control, and Vaccine Promotions
A $32 million Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant has been awarded to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to support COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts. 
The grant will assist MEMA in administering the vaccine at public facilities throughout the state. It will support the procurement of personal protective equipment and additional equipment required for storing, handling, distributing and transporting, and administering COVID-19 vaccines. Additionally, MEMA may use the funding for infection control measures at facilities administering vaccinations and for vaccine-related public information distribution.
COVID-19 Vaccine Q &A
Can Be Found Here. 1-24-2021
CHCAMS Hosts CHCs Vaccine Champions Group
The CHCAMS Vaccine Champions group
meets weekly to provide technical assistance to health centers to navigate the phases of preparedness and provider enrollment for administering COVID-19 vaccinations.

Contact Sonja Fuqua for the Zoom link.

For those who missed the live discussions, recordings of the meetings are now available on the CHCAMS COVID-19 Clearinghouse.
Online Resources for Providers Planning to Give COVID-19 Vaccinations
The Mississippi State Department of Health has information available to CHCs and other partners that will administer the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. Visit the Health Department site here.
COVID-19 Clearinghouse
To access the CHCAMS COVID-19 Clearinghouse, please email Kathryn Rodenmeyer for the link.
Combating Pandemic Pounds and Coronavirus Carbs
Friday, February 5
11:30 a.m. - noon CST
The third in the series, culminating with National Health Center Week, will be held February 5, 2021. The no-charge, 30-minute session, "The Skinny on Exercise” by Dr. Sonja R. Fuqua, will be live and recorded for on-demand viewing on the CHCAMS YouTube channel.  (Subscribe to the YouTube channel here.)
 
Registration is not required. Mark your calendar and please join us February 5th from 11:30 a.m. - noon using this Zoom meeting link here.  For more connection options, click here.
RTAT Survey...Currently at 85%, Aiming for 100%
MS-CHC Participation

Thanks for your participation. The link for the survey is here.
CHCAMS Training Updates

Check your inbox for the
CHCAMS Training Newsletter each Wednesday.

To sign up for the training newsletter,
please contact Desiree Stinson.
News To Use
Funding Opportunities
Grants with ongoing deadlines can be found here .
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