New Initiative: Conquering the Consequences of COVID-19

The Virginia Health Care Foundation is excited to share a special $750,000 multi-pronged mental health initiative, Conquering the Consequences of COVID-19 (CCC-19), to help address the mental health challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant opportunity provides a number of options for adding or increasing the availability of mental health services at your practices, including:
  • Hiring a behavioral health professional to either establish mental health services or expand the services at one or more of your sites;
  • Establishing or expanding the use of tele-mental health services for your patients or for a particular group of your patients, either by providing the services via an in-house behavioral health professional, or contracting with a tele-mental health service;
  • Hiring a person who needs to complete clinical hours under supervision to become an LCSW or LPC (VHCF funds can be used to pay for the trainee's salary and benefits. A staff LCSW or LPC would be responsible for overseeing the trainee's work. This approach is often coupled with the trainee's commitment to practice at the health safety net organization for a period of time after obtaining licensure.)
The deadline for submitting a concept paper for grants for the items listed above is January 25, 2021. If you want to pursue this special grant opportunity, don't yet have all of your ducks in a row, but are likely to be ready to move forward by June 2021, you should submit a concept paper by the January 25th deadline. This will give us the opportunity to engage with you and ensure that funding is available for the greatest number of grants. The grant guidelines (found here) include more details about the funding opportunities available through this initiative.

VHCF is also making $200,000 available for loan repayment to attract behavioral health professionals to health safety net practices in Virginia's mental health professional shortage areas (found here).  This will occur in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health's Student Loan Repayment Program (info found here).  Please note there is a March deadline for applications for these loans.
Finally, VHCF is continuing to provide full scholarships to nurse practitioners who want to become Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners (Psych NP) via a post masters certificate program. Those scholarships (info here)  require the recipients to practice as a Psych NP in Virginia's healthcare safety net for two years after graduating and obtaining their credentials

We hope Conquering the Consequences of Covid-19 will provide help to those of you who need it now and enable those of you who want to do more with mental health services in the near future to start moving forward to do so.

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources for your Patients

The Virginia Department of Health has two new resources available to share with your patients as the vaccine rollout continues - an educational toolkit and an interactive survey tool to help patients determine their eligibility for the different phases of vaccine rollout. The toolkit includes materials to educate the public about the COVID-19 vaccine. There are several handouts that cover FAQs about the vaccine, including how it was developed, approved, and manufactured, differences between the two approved vaccines, what to expect when you get the vaccine, etc. Some of the handouts are available in multiple languages, and all are free to download and share with your patients. Visit the toolkit of resources on the VDH page here.

The survey tool can be accessed here. It features a list of questions about the patient's risk profile and exposure, will notify them of the vaccine phase for which they are eligible, and enables them to sign up to be alerted when that phase of vaccinations begins. Share it with your patients today!

Telehealth Pilot Expands Access for Nurse Practitioners in Rural or Underserved Areas in Virginia and Offers Resources

The Center for Telehealth at the University of Virginia (UVA) and the Virginia Telehealth Network (VTN) have established a telehealth pilot program focused on using telehealth to expand access to, and improve the coordination and quality of, health care services in rural and/or medically underserved areas of the Commonwealth.

The pilot program has three key concentration areas:
  • Connecting nurse practitioners who need a collaborating physician to meet licensing regulations with such a physician via telehealth
  • Assisting nurse practitioners in identifying specialists for either specialty consultations or direct patient care
  • Providing nurse practitioners (primary care, psychiatric, etc.) with a telehealth platform to use to see patients
Participating nurse practitioners will receive:
  • 1-year subscription to a telehealth platform: Adaptive Telehealth
  • Coaching/training on telehealth
  • Equipment (funding for this is limited)
To learn more about this program, visit the Virginia Telehealth Network's website. NPs can also register for the pilot program here. If you have additional questions about this program, please contact Mara Servaites at:
What We're Reading
Upcoming Trainings from our Partners
  • Train the Trainer: Surviving and Thriving (Trauma and Resilience) (Four 3-Hour Sessions) - Tuesday, February 2 - Thursday February 11. Taught by John Richardson-Lauve, this course is designed to prepare selected trainers to use the Trauma and Resilience Basics Course in training work within their agency, community partners, and the community at large. Participants attend 12 hours of virtual Train the Trainer sessions divided over 4 days. Learn more here. The course costs $300.
  • Racial Equity Trainings: Create Actionable Change to Address Systemic Racism: several 1.5-hour sessions available through March 18. Via partnerships with leading racial equity facilitators, Virginia Health Catalyst is offering a series of trainings in 2021 for partners in the health care community. Each training has been tailored to the health care landscape in Virginia and will address topics such as" the history of racial equity in health care, recognizing and understanding microaggressions, and how to be a good ally. Learn more and see details on session dates and times here.
  • 2021 Nonprofit Learning Catalog from the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond has just been released. Along with several of the most popular classes, it features classes from two focus areas: business operations and revenue development. Classes are held live online and are low-cost. Review the list of classes and register here.  
Remember: Health Safety Net organizations can obtain reimbursement for up to $650 for professional development courses each fiscal year under VHCF's Professional Development Assistance fund program. Contact Andrea or Cat for preapproval and more details.

Announcing New Health Safety Net Grants

Medical Care
  • GPW Health Center - $175,000 to support capital expenses and a full-time sonographer to add on-site prenatal and primary care ultrasound services
  • Sinclair Health Clinic - $136,105 to support a new Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant to provide primary care and prenatal services
  • Tri-Area Community Health - $132,628 to fund a new Nurse Practitioner to open a new health center site in Grayson County
  • New Horizons Healthcare - $56,160 to help fund a Physician Assistant to expand the health center's capacity to treat more patients. 
Oral Health
  • Community Health Center of the New River Valley (CHCNRV) - $83,475 to fund a dentist at CHCNRV's new dental clinic in Dublin, Virginia.
  • Bland Ministry Center - $75,000 to help support the dentist at its new dental clinic in Wytheville, Virginia. 
  • VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) - $56,250 to help fund a dentist at CMH's Family Dental & Specialty Center to provide oral health services to the residents of South Hill and surrounding counties.
Mental Health
  • Johnson Health Center - $134,375 to support the salaries of a social worker and a mental health clinician to expand behavioral health capacity under the Collaborative Care Model
  • Eastern Shore Rural Health System - $132,100 to fund the salary of a new Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Bradley Free Clinic - $125,000 to support construction costs to expand mental health access with a new 6-room mental health wing
  • Health Brigade - $115,000 to fund the expansion of a part-time Medical Director and part-time behavioral health clinician position to full-time
Upcoming VHCF trainings/meetings
Sign Up Now trainings are designed for administrators, staff, and volunteers in community programs serving individuals and families who are interested in Virginia's Medicaid/FAMIS programs. Learn more about them here. Upcoming trainings are all online, with Part I of the training taking place from 10AM-12PM and Part II taking place from 1PM-3PM on the following dates:

February 11, 2021   Register by February 3
February 24, 2021   Register by February 16
March 9, 2021         Register by March 1
March 23, 2021       Register by March 15
April 8, 2021           Register by March 31
April 21, 2021          Register by April 13
May 6, 2021            Register by April 28

Trainings on how to use The Pharmacy Connection
Beginner Trainings 
February 4, 2021     2:00PM-4:00PM-Online
March 16, 2021       9:30AM-11:30AM-Online
April 15, 2021          2:00PM-4:00PM-Online
May 11, 2021          10:00AM-12:00PM-Online
Advanced Training
February 10, 2021   2:00PM-4:00PM-Online
April 27, 2021           2:00PM-4:00PM-Online

For additional training dates or more information click here or contact Lisa HuestonTPC Program Manager, at (804) 828-5803.
Don't forget about the Professional Development funds available to you!
Are you (or a staff member) considering taking advantage of learning opportunities? VHCF has a variety of informational resources to help you and your staff meet your goals.  Check out some of our resources for providers here! Don't see what you are looking for? Let us know!
VHCF also offers funding for capacity building, including: 
  •  Up to $3,500 to underwrite the development of a new strategic plan
  • Up to $650 per organization per year to pay for professional development opportunities that enhance the skills or knowledge of health safety net staff or board members

Contact a Program Officer at (804) 828-5804 to learn more.

Does your clinic have any innovative programs or creative solutions to share?

We'd love to hear from you! Please contact Cat Hulburt or Andrea Lancaster.