Don't Miss Out! Register Today for VHCF's Upcoming Mental Health Roundtable!
Space is limited and slots are filling very quickly for the Mental Health Roundtable on Friday, August 7. It will take place from 10am - 2pm at the Virginia Community Healthcare Association (directions available here) in Richmond. Topics include the proposed redesign of Virginia's Medicaid-funded behavioral health system, the Virginia Mental Health Access Program, Telemental Health, Mental Health "Stigma Busters," and resources available via Project ECHO. Register here today!
Save the Date for the Virginia Oral Health Summit!
The Virginia Oral Health Summit is an educational and networking event for Virginia Oral Health Coalition partners, community leaders, state agencies, safety net, and health advocates to explore innovative approaches to improve oral health across the state. It will take place on Thursday, November 7, 2019 in Richmond and will feature Tamara Lucas Copeland, Dr. Omar Abubaker, and Dr. Christine Lumsden, as well as new topical breakout sessions! Sign up for the Virginia Oral Health Coalition email list to receive Summit news and updates. Registration will open in August. VHCF will pay the early bird registration rate for up to two representatives from each health and dental safety net organization. Contact Ally Singer Wright via email or by phone at (804) 828-5804 for more information on the safety net scholarships.
Congratulations to the 2019 Heroes in Health Care!
VHCF honored its 2019 Heroes in Health Care
at a special luncheon event in June. T
his year's Unsung Heroes include:
- Teamwork: Shenandoah Community Health Clinic and Shenandoah County Public Schools
- Employee: Veronica Salazar N. Stickley
- Physician: Dr. Maria J. Iuorno, Ledwith-Lewis Free Clinic
- Donor: Nancy Dykeman, Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic
- Volunteer: Susan Smith, Senior Connections
To see the videos about this year's Unsung Heroes click
The Community Health Center of the New River Valley (photo: bottom left) was also honored as the recipient of the Health Safety Net Innovation Award for its commitment to providing thoughtfully integrated medical, dental, and mental health services. This integrated approach to health care has been especially beneficial to the Center's diabetic patients - dramatically increasing the percentage of diabetic patients who have now controlled their diabetes.
Juliet Tinsley, VHCF's The Pharmacy Connection Program Manager for 19 years, was posthumously honored as the You "Rx"ceptional award recipient (photo of the Tinsley family: top right). Learn more about her commitment and dedication to her patients here.
During the luncheon, Governor Northam also presented the Excellence in Enrollment Award to eleven employees of the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services and Department of Social Services for their roles in developing and implementing "fast track" and automated processes to expedite and maximize Medicaid enrollment. Thanks to the unprecedented collaboration of this inter-agency team, nearly 75% of those estimated to be newly-eligible for Medicaid have been enrolled in the six months since new eligibility criteria became effective.
Taking a Trauma Informed Approach to a Dental Clinic Renovation
Rockbridge Area Health Center
(RAHC) is working hard to ensure integration of behavioral and oral health services. This has included guiding the entire organization to a more trauma-informed approach to patient care. During its recent renovation, the dental department took that approach to heart. Staff worked with the designers to create quiet rooms, a separate weighing area, unisex bathrooms, and private check in areas. Each dental operatory has a window with a beautiful view of the mountains. This has instantly helped relieve patient anxiety. RAHC wanted to make sure patients had a stress-free experience from the beginning to end, ensuring signage was clear and multi-lingual, policies were easy to understand, and waiting rooms were soothing with calm music and art. This is an ongoing process and staff members survey patients regularly to identify areas for improvement. To learn more about RAHC's approach to integration and being trauma informed, contact Stu Fargiano, DMD, Director of Dental Services at (540) 464-8700 ext. 7123 or via email.
Leveraging Technology to Expand Behavioral Health Care Access
Digital health innovators have begun leveraging telehealth tools as well as chatbots (computer programs that conduct conversations via auditory or textual methods) and other forms of artificial intelligence to engage Medicaid beneficiaries with behavioral health conditions - a group that accounts for a disproportionate share of spending. Learn how these digital tools are being deployed to retain patients in treatment, customize services to their needs, track outcomes, and provide feedback to medical providers in this article from the Commonwealth Fund.
What We're Watching
- What is Trauma Informed Care? - This animated video provides a clear and compelling message about the lifelong impact of trauma on health, and how trauma-informed care can create a more welcoming care environment for patients, providers, and staff. Available in English and with Spanish subtitles.
- Trauma Informed Care: From Treaters to Healers - This video features providers and patients discussing the value of trauma informed care and how trauma can be more effectively addressed in a health care setting. Available in English and with Spanish subtitles.
- The Uniform Data System (UDS) Mapper is a mapping and decision-support tool designed to help users map U.S. Census data, the locations of all Health Center Program awardees and look-alikes, locations of other federally-linked providers (NHSC Sites, Rural Health Clinics, etc.), and shortage areas such as HPSAs (Health Professional Shortage Areas) and MUA/Ps (Medically Underserved Areas/Populations). Webinars demonstrating the UDS Mapper are available throughout the year. The next Introduction Webinar is scheduled for 11:00 am on Monday, August 5. Register here!
Announcing VHCF Health Safety Net Grants
VHCF's Board of Trustees awarded the following health safety net grants totaling $1,015,723 and providing a wide range of services. New grants include:
- $153,504 to Daily Planet Health Services to hire a part-time dentist at its Southside Richmond site
- $150,000 to Central Virginia Health Services to underwrite the salary of a psychiatric nurse practitioner at Hopewell-Prince George Community Health Center
- $131,872 to Arlington Free Clinic to expand dental services by hiring a new part-time dentist and part-time dental hygienist
- $128,068 to GPW Health Center to hire a full-time Physician Assistant at its Manassas location
- $103,000 to Bradley Free Clinic to expand clinic capacity by hiring a full-time nurse practitioner
- $50,000 to Youth for Tomorrow to underwrite the salary of a clinician to establish behavioral health services in Fauquier County
The Board also awarded the following continuation grants:
- $97,500 to Shenandoah Community Health Clinic to underwrite the salaries of two full-time clinicians for its school-based behavioral health program
- $93,750 to Central Virginia Health Services to hire a full-time medical provider at Westmoreland Medical Center
- $74,279 to Neighborhood Health to expand medical services in Arlington County by hiring a part-time physician
- $33,750 to Orange County Free Clinic to expand clinic capacity and add women's health services by funding a part-time Nurse Practitioner
Upcoming VHCF trainings/meetings
- Trainings on How to Use The Pharmacy Connection
For additional training dates or more information click
, TPC 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?