CHCs Stand Ready to Respond to COVID-19
Mississippi community health centers (CHCs) are responding to the rapidly evolving and expanding coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We are thankful that health centers are uniquely positioned to respond to community health challenges such as COVID-19 as trusted community partners along with public health agencies.

CHCs are working collectively to develop and to ensure accurate protocols and communication plans are in place. Health centers are educating their staff and patients about the prevention and spread of COVID-19 to help mitigate the risk of a potential spread. On a hosted forum on Friday, March 13th, state health officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs recommended that health centers and other employers work with their staff for personal and environmental actions to encourage:
  • Staying home when sick,
  • Covering coughs and sneezes,
  • Washing hands frequently,
  • Routinely cleaning frequently touched surfaces; and
  • Avoiding large gatherings of more than 250 persons.
MSDH recommends the CDC guidance and FAQs, which provides appropriate steps for health care providers and community partners. CHCAMS will continue to work with MSDH and encourage health centers to work with local  emergency management contacts  in response to COVID-19. There are also self-reporting links that can be accessed via this  link .
COVID-19 Outbreak Declared National Emergency
On Friday, March 13, the President asked hospitals to activate their emergency preparedness plans and declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency, which will allow HHS to give providers more flexibility. The emergency declaration, in conjunction with the administration's prior designation of COVID-19 as a public health emergency on January 31, frees up to $50 billion in federal disaster relief funding, Trump said, and provides the HHS secretary with more authority to waive some Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) requirements.

Fake Online Coronavirus Map Delivers Well-known Malware
According to the Department of Human Services, a malicious website pretending to be the live map for Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins University is circulating on the internet waiting for unwitting internet users to visit the website. Visiting the website infects the user with the AZORult trojan, an information stealing program which can exfiltrate a variety of sensitive data. Learn more
Member Spotlight
Health Center Providers Convene, Promote Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month at CHCAMS Spring Clinical Conference

Clinical staff from Mississippi's CHCs gathered on March 6, 2020 to learn more about special population programs, initiatives and evidence-based guidelines designed to improve primary care capacity and patient outcomes.

“Transitioning Best Practice to Clinical Integration” involved identifying evidenced-based models of care and implementing into practice to improve patient outcomes," said Dr. Sonja Fuqua, Director of Clinical Quality for CHCAMS. "Additionally, social determinants of health (SDoH) must be addressed for planning individualized care. Patients will have difficulty with self-management of their chief complaint, for instance, diabetes, if they are experiencing barriers to following the care plan.

In addition to discussing the PRAPARE tool, conferees learned more about how integrative behavioral health is shown to help accurately identify the underlying conditions and needs that drive symptoms and behavior. 

Many attending the conference wore blue to promote colorectal screenings on March 6th, which was Go Blue Day! Mississippi CHCs have made noteworthy strides in integrated colon cancer screenings into primary care and promoting those screenings due in part by the 70x20x20 project.

According to the Mississippi Health Department, colon and rectal cancers are the third leading cause of cancer death in Mississippi among both men and women. 1,500 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed in the state each year. Screening finds pre-cancerous polyps that can be removed before they turn into colorectal cancer.

Photo Below: Attendees from the March 6th Spring Clinical Conference Go Blue!
 Photo by Ron Henry

P&I Canceled, Advocacy Continues
Due to the widespread health risks posed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to the American public, the NACHC 2020 Policy & Issues (P&I) Forum in Washington, D.C. was canceled. This includes the Day on the Hill on March 18. CHCAMS is working on setting up conference calls with team leaders on March 18 instead of face to face meetings with Members of Congress' staff members.
Loan Repayment Applications Open through
April 23rd

The Division of National Health Service Corps opened its application for three loan repayment programs: the NHSC Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LRP), the NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program (NHSC SUD Workforce LRP) and the NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program The application closes on Thursday, April 23, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. CST.

Visit the NHSC website to learn more about eligibility and specific disciplines. Learn more by watching this video that outlines discipline eligibility for the SUD Workforce LRP and Rural Community LRP. 
Save the Dates

Registration opens
April 1, 2020
Training Opportunities
Wednesday, March 28, 2020
noon - 1 p.m. CST

PrEP Train-the-Trainer: PrEP Basics, Clinical Strategies and Training Your Team
Sponsored by The Fenway Institute

Speaker: Kevin Ard, MD
Medical Director for the National LGBT Health Education Center

Location: UMMC Conference Center, Gilliam West, 350 W. Woodrow Wilson
Jackson, MS 39216

1. The session will last 60 minutes, will be engaging and interactive.
2. Learn about the newly revised PrEP Detailing Kit and Readiness Assessment Tools.
3. Receive tips on taking a comprehensive sexual history and discuss frequently asked questions about
4. Participants will receive a physical copy of the PrEP Detailing Kit to use in their practice.

To register for this event, please click here.
Webinar Series on Understanding Your Costs in an Evolving  Payment Environment
The Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net is sponsoring a four-webinar series to assist health center finance and accounting staff to adapt business models to ensure success in value-based payment environments. Capital Link, a HRSA-funded National Cooperative Agreement (NCA), will facilitate the webinars.

Visit this link for more information.
Thursday, March 26, 2020
1-2 p.m. CST
Reaching 80%: A Health Center Discussion on Colorectal Cancer Screening

Tuesday, March 31, 2020
2-3 p.m. CST
Cost Allocation Methodology for Value-Based Payment Systems

Tuesday, April 21, 2020
2-3 p.m. CST
Utilizing Cost Data to Drive Programmatic Change
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Navigating the Medicare FQHC Cost Report (Webinar)
Presenter:  Sara E. Grenier, CPA, BKD
11 am - Noon CST
News To Use
Funding Opportunities
USDA Seeks Applications to Spur Community and Economic Development in Rural Communities
The USDA is accepting Fiscal Year 2020 applications for grants to help strengthen the rural economy under the Rural Community Development Initiative program. Grants to qualified intermediaries are to provide assistance to help improve housing and community facilities, and to implement community and economic development projects in rural areas.
Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Key strategies include:
  • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
  • Developing the Rural Economy
  • Harnessing Technological Innovation
  • Supporting a Rural Workforce
  • Improving Quality of Life
USDA also encourages applications that will support the Administration’s goal to combat substance use disorder, including opioid misuse, in high-risk rural communities by strengthening the capacity to address prevention, treatment and/or recovery.

Electronic applications must be submitted to by May 13, 2020, at 11 a.m. CST. Paper applications must be submitted to the applicant’s USDA Rural Development state office by May 18, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. local time. Additional information is available on page 12761 of the March 4, 2020, Federal Register .

HRSA recently hosted a grant writing webinar. The recording for “Creating a Competitive Grant Proposal” is available here .
Strengthening the Delta Workforce
The Delta Regional Authority in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), announce approximately $29.2 million in National Dislocated Worker Reserve: Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC)program. Grants will become available to support workforce training and education in rural communities across the Delta and Appalachian regions.

To complement the federal partnership, DRA will host eight technical assistance workshops, make available $1.5 million in grants, and offer post-award technical assistance to grantees.
Investment priorities include:
  • Supporting industry-driven workforce training
  • Building collaborative workforce pipelines
  • Expanding industry clusters
  • Accelerating regional economic development

Deadline: April 24, 2020
Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Notice of Funding Opportunity
HRSA recently released the  Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) notice of funding opportunity  (HRSA-20-031). HRSA plans to award approximately 89 grants to rural communities as part of this funding opportunity. Applications are due by Friday, April 24, in . Successful  RCORP-Implementation  award recipients will receive $1 million for three years of performance to enhance and expand substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), service delivery in high-risk rural communities. They will implement a set of core SUD/OUD prevention, treatment and recovery activities that align with the  HHS Five-Point Strategy to Combat the Opioid Crisis .
Grants with Ongoing Deadlines

COMPASS Initiative Core
Grants are made to community-based organizations that prioritize HIV/AIDS prevention and/or care services across the southern United States. Funding may be used for a variety of organizational and staff resources, including technology and software, meeting space costs, conference attendance fees, professional development and continuing education. For more info, click here.

Community-led campaigns and education initiatives across the deep south that work to reduce stigma and focused on changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviors around HIV and AIDS. For more info, click  here.

Grants for projects that effectively impact arts and culture, community improvement/enrichment, education and literacy, the environment and healthy families. For more info, click here .

Foundation For the Mid South
Grants for organizations in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi working in the areas of health disparities, physical health, mental health, education, financial security and the growth and prosperity of communities. For more info, click here .
Mississippi Capital Improvements Revolving Loan Program (CAP)
Loans for municipalities and counties in Mississippi for the improvement of public facilities and infrastructure, including hospitals, sewer systems and water supply systems. For more info, click here .
Connect with us