Changes in Virginia Vaccination Requirements for Children/Teens Returning to School
Effective July 1, 2021, a number of immunizations for children, which were previously recommended, but not required, became mandatory for children attending school and day care in Virginia. The Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (VA-AAP) provides guidance about these changes, as well as resources (including flyers available in English and Spanish) for providers and families. Visit the VA-AAP website to learn more and help ensure children are ready for school! 

Remember that everyone in Virginia age 12 or older is also eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more on the Vaccinate Virginia website.
New Medicaid Dental Benefit for Adults Began July 1st
As of July 1, 2021, Virginia Medicaid’s Smiles For Children program provides dental coverage to adults! These new dental benefits for adults enrolled in Medicaid include a wide range of services, including x-rays, cleaning, removing cavities and restoring teeth, dentures, extractions, and more. Contact DentaQuest for program details and requirements or to enroll.
Virginia Health Catalyst has created an in-depth resource page for patients and providers looking for more information about these exciting new benefits. Learn more here.
Introducing FAMIS Prenatal!
Effective July 1, 2021, a new FAMIS category, FAMIS Prenatal, is available to all income-eligible uninsured pregnant women, regardless of their immigration status. Women in households with incomes at or below 205% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) can now qualify to have full coverage for the duration of their pregnancies and 60 days postpartum, even if they do not have legal immigration status. Here are some important FAQs:
  • What benefits are available through FAMIS Prenatal? Women covered by FAMIS Prenatal have access to full, comprehensive benefits, including: doctor visits, lab services, prescription drugs, hospitalization, dental care, behavioral health services, and more. Labor and delivery are covered, as well as all prenatal services.

  • How do I apply for FAMIS Prenatal? The application for FAMIS Prenatal is the same as for other Medicaid/FAMIS programs. It can be completed online at, by phone via Cover Virginia at 855.242.8282, or on paper and mailed or dropped off at the applicant’s local Department of Social Services.

  • Can I be eligible for FAMIS Prenatal even if I have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status? YES! FAMIS Prenatal will extend coverage to pregnant women who were previously ineligible due to their immigration status. DACA recipients and women who are undocumented may qualify for FAMIS Prenatal.

  • Where can I find out more about FAMIS Prenatal? The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) has created a Fact Sheet. Additional information is available in multiple languages here
New! Medicaid Behavioral Health Reimbursement Rate Increase
Effective July 1, 2021, the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) increased reimbursement rates 14.7% for behavioral health services provided to Medicaid members. The new rates are available on the DMAS website in the CPT procedure code fee schedule and can be available by download or the CPT code search option, by clicking here. DMAS previously increased behavioral health rates 21% for psychiatric services in July 2019. Note: The 2019 and 2021 increases cannot be directly added together for an overall increase, due to the way rates are established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Save the Date for Virginia’s Racial Truth & Reconciliation Week
Racial Truth & Reconciliation Week (August 22 - 28, 2021) promotes the reckoning of Virginia’s past and the reconciling of Virginia’s present. It is an awareness week that aims to empower marginalized communities and promote healing, reconciliation, and justice for children and families. Last year’s Racial Truth & Reconciliation Week included engagement activities such as community chats, an “Our Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams” series, and more. Learn more about the Racial Truth and Reconciliation Virginia initiative here and join the email list to be the first to hear upcoming announcements related to this year’s event!
Announcing VHCF’s New Health Access Grants
New Grants
  • Daily Planet Health Services - $180,000 to support the addition of a full-time physician to expand capacity at its main clinic site in Richmond
  • GPW Health Center - $100,000 to hire a full-time advanced practice prenatal care provider to expand prenatal services at its Dumfries and Woodbridge locations
  • New Horizons Healthcare - $95,000 to support the addition of a full-time behavioral health professional to provide services to pediatric patients and their families
  • The Women's Center - $89,167 to hire two full-time behavioral health professionals who will provide services to adolescent patients and their families
  • Southwest Virginia Community Health Services - $65,850 to support the addition of a full-time behavioral health professional to provide remote treatment to patients at its four clinical sites
Continuation Grants
  • Tri-Area Community Health - $93,821 to support a Psych NP at its health center in Ferrum
  • Daily Planet Health Services - $86,346 to support a full-time dentist at its Southside Richmond site
  • Central Virginia Health Services - $84,375 to fund a Psych NP at its Hopewell-Prince George Community Health Center
  • Bradley Free Clinic - $57,938 to help support a full-time nurse practitioner
  • Eastern Shore Rural Health System (ESRHS) - $45,000 to help fund a dentist at ESRHS's dental clinic in Franktown, Virginia
  • Youth for Tomorrow - $28,125 to underwrite the salary of a clinician to establish behavioral health services in Fauquier County
What We’re Reading/Listening to

  • Laughter: The Best Medicine – This NPR segment takes a deep dive into laughter. Nothing like listening to others laughing (and thinking of what makes you fall into uncontrollable fits of giggles) to put a smile on your face.
Staying Connected
VHCF currently facilitates two listservs to provide a space for community members and providers to share resources, seek advice, and stay abreast of community happenings.

  • The Behavioral Health Hub serves as a venue for the behavioral health community to share new resources, tips, and thoughts related to the delivery of behavioral health services and self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. VHCF also hosts the BH Hub Resource Page, which houses key resources shared via the listserv, grouped by topic. Subscribe to the Behavioral Health Hub listserv here or email Andrea Lancaster at for more information.
  • The ToothTalk listerv is a community forum for dental safety net providers. It offers a space to learn about new resources and grants, pose and answer questions about providing dental care to the uninsured, and keep up-to-date on important issues. To learn more about ToothTalk or to subscribe to the listserv, email Michelle Barnett at
Upcoming VHCF Trainings/Meetings
Trainings on how to use The Pharmacy Connection
Beginner Training 

Advanced Training
For additional training dates or more information click here or contact Lisa Hueston, TPC Program Manager, at (804) 828-5803.

SignUpNow Workshops
SignUpNow workshops teach the “ins and outs” of Virginia's Medicaid/FAMIS eligibility requirements, applications and application procedures, and post-enrollment information. Upcoming SignUpNow workshops will highlight important recent changes to Medicaid/FAMIS, including the new adult dental benefit, and new coverage for undocumented pregnant women, as well as the "ins and outs" of the eligibility requirements, application procedures, and post-enrollment information for Virginia's Medicaid/FAMIS programs:
  • New adult coverage
  • Programs for children and pregnant women (the FAMIS programs)
  • Low Income Families and Children (LIFC) program
  • Medicaid for Former Foster Care Youth
  • Plan First (family planning)
Workshops will also feature important updates to childhood immunizations in Virginia.
Register for a virtual SignUpNow workshop here: Please note: registration will close one week before each training date, so workshop materials to can be sent to attendees.

Take Advantage of VHCF’s Professional Development Funds!

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 innovative programs or creative solutions to share?

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