Hello, All.
At this point, we are nearly 7 months into the COVID-19 pandemic and its many ripple effects-- for us personally, for our organizations, and certainly for the people we all serve.
You have done awesome work as you have made many adjustments to your practices and protocols amidst ever-changing conditions and a continuous flow of new findings and information. We at the Virginia Health Care Foundation are among your biggest fans!
It is fitting that this newsletter covers a period with two holidays that represent the contrasting emotions of these times. Halloween reflects the scariness of the COVID-19 virus and the many uncertainties with which we are all living. It is quickly followed, however, by Thanksgiving - a time of gratitude and celebration for all we have produced (the harvest).
As you navigate the last three months of 2020, please know that we are very grateful for you and all you have done and continue to do (your harvest). Please remember that it is important to take care of yourselves in the midst of so many dizzying changes and circumstances.
This newsletter contains a reminder of some of the things available to help you take care of yourselves. Please feel free to share them with your family members, friends, colleagues, and patients.
Meanwhile, please let us know how we can be of further help, and enjoy both holidays!

- Debbie Oswalt
Special Enrollment Periods for Marketplace Insurance Coverage 
Since FEMA declared COVID-19 a national emergency, if you qualified for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) but missed the deadline because you were impacted by COVID-19 (including if you or a family member was sick with COVID-19 or if the emergency impacted your job and caused you to be uncertain about your job-based coverage), you may be eligible for another Special Enrollment Period. 
Click here for more information on a variety of circumstances for SEPs and who may qualify. Individuals can also contact the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318- 2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) to determine their eligibility for an SEP.  
Medicaid Expansion Dropped Uninsured Rate to 7.9% in Virginia in 2019 
Virginia's uninsured rate dropped 0.9 percentage points to a historic low of 7.9% in 2019, according to data released in September by the U.S. Census Bureau. This data release is the first to capture uninsured rates in the state since Medicaid expansion became effective. Virginia was one of only two states that implemented Medicaid expansion in early 2019 and is also the only state in the country that saw a significant decrease in the share of residents who were uninsured. Read the article on The Commonwealth Institute's page here.
Appalachian Highlands Community Dental Center Opens in Abingdon
The Appalachian Highlands Community Dental Center (AHCDC) opened in July 2020 and provides dental care on a sliding scale to uninsured individuals. In partnership with Johnston Memorial Hospital's Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program, AHCDC acts as a residency site for 3 dental residents, offering valuable experience providing much-needed oral health care to patients in the health safety net. 
Recently, AHCDC partnered with the Virginia Dental Association Foundation to host a "mini-Mission of Mercy (MOM)" event focused on providing services to patients on the MOM denture waiting list. Over the course of 3 days, 60 patients received dentures (102 arches in all!) at AHCDC and another event is already in the works.
Save the date for a special virtual Mental Health Roundtable!
Join us on November 17 for the first-ever virtual Mental Health Roundtable. Topics include:
·       A legislative update from the GA Special Session and budgeting process
·       Tips and resources to support provider resilience
·       Impact of COVID on Mental Health and TIC in Virginia
·       A "Practicing during COVID" breakout session to share and learn from other organizations how mental health practice has evolved during the pandemic
Registration link to be sent out soon. To make sure you're added to our Mental Health Roundtable and/or Behavioral Health Hub listservs, email Andrea Lancaster at andrea@vhcf.org
VCU Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute's 14th Annual HIGHER Ground Women's Leadership Conference and Leadership Development Program
The #AHGWLC2020 will be hosted virtually for the first time on Friday, November 6, 2020. Keynote speaker, Dr. K. Renee HortonSpace Launch System Quality Engineer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), will share her inspiring personal story and exhilarating professional journey as a rocket scientist. For the conference agenda, and to register, visit https://gehli.vcu.edu/conference/
The Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute is also recruiting participants for its 2021 HIGHER Ground Women's Leadership Development Program (Applications are due November 15, 2020). The Leadership Development Program is a five-month leadership development experience for current and emerging women leaders who are committed to investing in themselves and their organizations. 
Register today for Project ECHO trainings on pediatric mental health
Are you a pediatric primary care provider interested in integrating best practices in pediatric and adolescent behavioral health care into your busy practice? If so, the Virginia Mental Health Access Program has good news! There are still spots left to participate in VMAP's Project ECHO trainings on pediatric and adolescent mental health this Fall. These free virtual trainings include didactic and case-based learning discussions held once per month during the lunch hour. Led by an expert team of interdisciplinary faculty who specialize in child mental health, VMAP's Project ECHO offers focused learning specific for the primary care setting. Topics include depression and suicidality, preschooler ADHD, eating disorders, and more. The trainings will offer screening tools, local resources, and the chance to make community connections with other providers in your area. CME and MOC are offered at a reduced rate. Register online at www.virginiapediatrics.org/vmap/echo by October 18. Questions? Contact projectecho@vmap.org.
Behavioral Health Supports
Feeling stressed out about the coronavirus? There's a warm line for that - Learn more about The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services' VA COPES Program offering free support to individuals struggling with trauma, grief and distress caused by COVID-19.
Resources and self-care tips are still available on the Frontline Wellness VA website. It has been designed to bring relief, comfort, and perspective to those at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic. The website offers multiple wellness resources, self-care practices and recommendations, and a space to share and read personal testimonies.
The Behavioral Health Hub is a listserv that 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. The Resource Page houses all of the resources shared via the listserv, grouped by topic. If you would like to join the Behavioral Health Hub listserv, email andrea@vhcf.org.
What We're Learning:
Upcoming VHCF trainings/meetings
Trainings on how to use The Pharmacy Connection
Beginner Trainings 
October 13, 2020          1:00PM-4:00PM-Online
November 10, 2020      9:30AM-12:30PM-Online
Advanced Training
September 29, 2020     2:00PM-4:00PM-Online
December 1, 2020        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.