On October 27, a gunman, who investigators say frequently posted anti-Semitic threats online, walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue and opened fire. By the time police were able to subdue him, 11 people were dead and six more, including some of those first responders, were injured.
While investigators search for answers and the world mourns this tragedy, emergency preparedness experts are focusing on the importance of having a safety plan. The CHCANYS Emergency Management team is constantly working on new ways to help health centers here and across the country prepare and take precautions that will help keep staff and patients safe, should the unthinkable happen.
So what can you do? Alex Lipovtsev from CHCANYS’ Emergency Management Team put together this list of resources and helpful information:
  • Run. Hide. Fight. This simple sequence may save lives and is recommended by Department of Homeland Security and FEMA – to find out more – click here or watch Houston Ready’s training video on the Run.Hide.Fight. steps that can be utilized for staff training.
  • For exhaustive guidance on active shooter preparing and response, as well as sample policies and procedures, make sure to review “Active Shooter: Planning and Response in a Healthcare Setting” on the FBI’s website.
Additionally, you may find the following resources useful:
The CHCANYS EM Team: Spreading the Word of Preparedness Across the Nation
The EM Team recently presented at the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers (PACHC) 2018 Annual Conference & Clinical Summit. The conference, attended by hundreds of healthcare leaders and health center personnel, took place in Lancaster, PA from October 9 through 11. Our EM team discussed the importance of emergency management for community health centers and gave an update on the most recent developments in regards to the CMS Emergency Preparedness final rule.
On October 16, CHCANYS’ Alex Lipovtsev was part of the panel on emergency preparedness at the NACHC FOM/IT conference in Las Vegas, NV, together with Audrey Mazurek ( ASPR TRACIE ) and Michelle Fundora ( Health Choice Network ). The panel discussed considerations for operational continuity planning at a community health center.
If you would like to know more about CMS Emergency Preparedness final rule requirements or learn about business continuity planning, contact our EM Team at
Emergency Preparedness and Communications
An important component of a health center’s preparedness program is a written emergency preparedness communication plan. Not only is it required by CMS , it is also a smart business decision. 
When an emergency occurs, the need to communicate is immediate. If your operations are disrupted, patients and employees will want to know how they will be impacted.
What happens when there isn’t a great communication plan in place played out in real life at our annual conference, when the hotel’s emergency alarm went off at 4:00 on Tuesday morning, forcing guests out into the freezing night.

As fire and emergency vehicles arrived one by one, guests stood outside wondering what was happening and when they would be allowed back into their rooms. After roughly an hour, with no explanation, guests were told they could go back inside.
While the only casualty of the evening was a good night’s sleep, the incident was a clear reminder of the importance of communications in an emergency situation.
To learn more about emergency communications planning, please join us on November 1 at 1pm for Part 4 of the ongoing CMS EP Rule webinar series. For more information and to register, please click here
On Sunday, October 21, CHCANYS officially kicked off our Annual Conference and Clinical Forum at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown. More than 600 people including FQHC leadership, staff, and partners from across the state joined us for the opportunity to learn from industry experts and one another about current issues and initiatives impacting New York’s community health centers.
This year’s conference came at a critical time in the ever-changing landscape of State and Federal policy. While the State is looking to the future of value-based payment and debating the merits of a Single Payer system, the Federal government continues to unveil a policy agenda that will limit, restrict, or disincentivize the receipt of health care and related services. CHCANYS18 attendees and speakers addressed these topics head on throughout our three days together. 
New Vision and Mission
At this year’s conference, CHCANYS president and CEO Rose Duhan announced our new vision and mission, w hic h were endorsed by the full membership.
Every New York State community has primary care that encompasses all aspects of each patient’s health and well-being.
Champion community-centered primary care in New York State through leadership, advocacy, and support of Community Health Centers.
The vision and mission have been developed as part of the Strategic Planning process that we have undertaken over the last six months. The full membership has been engaged in the Strategic Planning process, making it both a robust and challenging exercise. We look forward to working together with our members to achieve our shared vision over the next couple of years.
CHCANYS18 provided opportunities to hear the latest compliance updates from Jackie Leifer, Senior Partner at FTLF, including a ‘compliance breakfast’ featuring an open discussion with health centers on key actions and support needed to maintain a robust compliance program. Feedback and information shared will inform future CHCANYS initiatives to promote and support health center compliance statewide. 
The Quality & Technology Department designed and coordinated innovative content for FQHCs as they enter the evolving value-based payment landscape. Conference attendees had the opportunity to meet in collaborative forums, facilitated by CHCANYS QTI staff to discuss topics in oral health, behavioral health, nursing leadership, HIV/Hep C/STD, and Sexual and Reproductive Health. To advance the dialogue around operationalizing value based payment models, CHCANYS has been working with FQHCs to bridge communication among clinical and financial leaders. This need was well-anticipated and welcomed as hundreds of FQHCs staff were in attendance at the joint Clinical Committee and Reimbursement Task Force to learn about and provide feedback on a proposed PCMH incentive payment program.
The QTI Department selected workshops with industry leaders to support quality and clinical efforts in FQHCs. The topics reflected the breadth of expertise necessary in creating value for underserved patients:
  • Successful HIT strategies to optimize data quality, health outcomes, and clinic operations
  • Population health methods to improve patient care, including vulnerable patient populations
  • Applied methods to integrate primary and specialty services for comprehensive care
  • Promising practices for physician burnout
  • Hands-on learning CPCI lab to support data-driven culture in quality improvement
  • Integrating the collection and action on social determinants of health in clinical practice
  • Modifying clinic operations to improve access to care
In addition, the QTI Department showcased posters from FQHCs to increase knowledge sharing and networking. Attendees voted on their favorite poster and the winner was the Institute for Family Health on their poster titled, “Beyond the Report: Effective Panel Management through Targeted Data Collection in the Electronic Medical Record by the Institute for Family Health.”
Health Center Support
CHCANYS Health center support hosted a conference workshop on health center governance requirements and board recruitment, including a review of best practices and a panel of health center leaders who shared their experiences and insights. CHCANYS continues to gather resources in this area as part of an ongoing effort to develop training and technical assistance for health center board members.
CHCANYS has advocated time and again for the New York State Department of Health to maintain, at minimum, a $235 million funding base to the Patient-Centered Medical Home program. Our advocacy efforts resulted in a request from DOH for CHCANYS to present a PCMH proposal that ties PCMH payments to outcomes on quality metrics. On Sunday, the Clinical Committee and Reimbursement Task Force met to discuss CHCANYS’ proposed changes to the program. Participants in the joint meeting discussed the merits of the proposal, and conversation largely focused on which and how many quality measures are appropriate to incorporate into the program. 
Federal Policy Update
Jana Eubank, Vice President of Public Policy and Research with the National Association of Community Health Centers, presented a Federal policy update. Jana described how other states have begun to use 1115 waivers to implement work requirements in State Medicaid programs. Additionally, Jana expressed the need for comments on the Administration’s proposed public charge rule , which many advocates fear will lead to a chilling effect on the application for much-needed benefits, even among immigrant groups not affected by the rule.
Health Care and Journalism
A panel of journalists discussed the role of news organizations and reporters in telling patient and health care stories. The journalists even engaged in a heated debate on the merits of the New York Health Act. Watch the full panel discussion on our Facebook page.
DOH Updates
The Department of Health reflected on the State’s health care delivery system transformation goals. The Office of Primary Care and Health Systems Management discussed up and coming updates to Medicaid, as well as new policies to ease the delivery of health care through Telehealth. The Office of Health Insurance Programs discussed where we’ve been and where we are going with value-based contracts, and reflected on new initiatives to address the social determinants of health, including through integrating tier one community based organizations in managed care contracts.

Finance Forum
Our new Finance Peer Group, the Finance Forum, successfully kicked-off during the Annual Conference as part of the Finance Bootcamp on October 21, with more than 30 health centers   represented in the audience. 
Next steps include the development of the next Forum meeting (virtual), identifying an online method for continuous dialogue between members to share best practices, and the development of a two day in-person Finance Forum event. If you are an NYS CHC finance staff member interested in participating in this forum or presenting a best practice during an upcoming meeting, please email  for more information. 
Conference Speakers
Our CHCANYS18 conference speakers sparked lively discussion and debate. Dr. America Bracho, Executive Director of Latino Health Access, delivered the keynote address at CHCANYS18. Dr. Joia Crear-Perry, founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative, spoke about reducing black maternal and infant mortality through research, family centered collaboration, and advocacy. And Iyah Romm, founder and CEO of Cityblock Health, joined us for our new Industry Insight Luncheon, where he talked about Building Healthier Neighborhoods, Block by Block. All three speakers fielded questions from attendees and spoke one-on-one with those who had follow-ups. Check our Twitter feed for highlights from all three of our fantastic speakers.
Each year, CHCANYS honors its trailblazers and those who are out there working every day to ensure access to high quality health care for all. This year, we honored six individuals who truly embody CHCANYS mission to champion community-centered primary care in New York State through leadership, advocacy, and support of Community Health Centers.
You can read more about each of them starting on page 33 of our conference book . In the book, you’ll also find a full list of speakers and events, along with detailed explanations of each workshop, including presenters. And to see professional photos from this year’s conference, check out our Facebook album here . More photos are being added – so be sure to follow us and check back.
Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring) and their staffers spent time this week visiting community health centers in New York State.
Sen. Gillibrand was talking about legislation she’s co-sponsoring, the Basic Health Program Expansion Act of 2018, which she says would make health care more affordable. Among her stops, Gillibrand spent time at the North Country Family Health Center in Watertown and she plans to visit the Whitney Young Health Center in the Capital Region later today. Gillibrand faces Republican challenger Chele Farley.

Rep. Maloney spent time in his region in the Hudson Valley talking about the opioid epidemic and his legislation, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act — which passed into law this year and which he says supports just about every approach for tackling the opioid crisis. CHCANYS President and CEO Rose Duhan caught up with him during his tour of HRHCare in Poughkeepsie. Maloney faces Republican challenger James O’Donnell on November 6.
On Tuesday, November 6, voters across the country head to the polls to make their voices heard in the midterm elections. To find out if you’re registered or to locate your polling place in New York State, click here . Note registered? To register to vote in future elections, change your address, or find out more about the election process, click here .
CHCANYS is pleased to announce the promotion of Sonia Panigrahy to Senior Director. Sonia is a thought leader on primary care quality, performance improvement, and practice transformation. Over the past three years, she has translated a complex portfolio of grants and initiatives (including 5 large federal grants) into an innovative Practice Transformation coaching model that has been implemented throughout all QTI projects. As a result, CHCANYS work has supported significant gains in health center performance and driven the adoption of team-based care, population health management, and patient engagement practices statewide. She has disseminated CHCANYS work locally and nationally, including through development of an innovative huddle video, a team-based care toolkit, and numerous workshops, webinars and poster presentations that have bolstered CHCANYS visibility as a leader in healthcare transformation and practice facilitation.
We look forward to Sonia’s continued professionalism and innovative leadership as we advance our health centers’ success in value-based healthcare!
CHCANYS is pleased to announce that the Quality and Technology Initiatives (QTI) department is collaborating with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), and other partners, on its Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control Program, to provide health centers with Practice Facilitation support focused on strategies to prevent and manage pre-diabetes, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

The Diabetes and Cardiovascular Prevention and Control Program serves as an opportunity for health centers to work with CHCANYS’ experienced Practice Facilitators around clinical quality measures, to improve the quality and efficiency of care for patients with chronic disease. Health centers should expect to strengthen team-culture amongst staff, while successfully implementing strategies that support DSRIP milestones, meet the criteria for HRSA quality awards, and address PCMH requirements, as well as other incentive programs.

CHCANYS seeks to partner with health centers able to commit 12 months to transforming their chronic disease workflows, commencing June 2019 through June 2020. Participating health centers will empower a Provider Champion to drive change at the site level by:
  • Focusing on Diabetes/Pre-Diabetes or Hypertenstion/High Cholesterol
  • Implementing all strategies of chosen focus area
  • Signing data use agreement to share aggregate data with NYSDOH (no PHI)
  • Completing a pre-and-post-practice assessment

CHCANYS will support partner health centers via individualized and diverse modalities, including:
  • On-site Practice Facilitation
  • Remote coaching calls and/or staff training
  • Individualized technical assistance around quality improvement (QI)
  • Help with data strategy building and management
  • Monthly analysis of clinical quality measures
  • Tools and resources from NYSDOH and other partners
  • Opportunities to submit and/or present best practices

This exciting quality improvement opportunity will enable health centers to increase utilization of EHRs and health information technology to enhance provider performance and patient health outcomes. Implemented strategies will support the engagement of non-physician team members to manage chronic disease within clinical settings, and promote adoption of evidence-based QI practices at the provider level.

To learn more about this opportunity and discuss participation, please contact CHCANYS Practice Facilitators Mercy Mbogori at and Amy Zarr at .
CHCANYS will host UDS Trainings in Rochester, New York on Tuesday, November 13 at the Strathallan Hotel and in New York City at Baruch College on December 18. 
All grantees of BPHC-administered Section 330 primary care programs, including Community Health Centers, Migrant Health Centers, Health Care for the Homeless and Public Housing Primary Care, are required under the terms of their grant to report Uniform Data System (UDS) data, which then are analyzed by HRSA to ensure compliance with legislative mandates, report program accomplishments, and justify budget requests to Congress. The UDS also helps HRSA to identify trends and establish or expand targeted programs and identify effective services and interventions to improve access to primary health care for vulnerable populations.
To register, please click here .
CHCANYS Health IT Team was happy to host a RHIO Collaborative Series Kickoff meeting on Operationalizing Your RHIO in New York City. We are very excited about working with four health centers across both New York City & New York State, as part of the Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN) project led by our project manager, Amy Freiman.
Four health centers are participating in the HCCN project, funded by HRSA. The purpose of the project is to advance the use of health information technology, health information exchange, and data-driven quality improvement strategies to strengthen quality of care and improve patient health outcomes. On Wednesday, October 3rd, the four health centers participating in this series convened for a group kickoff. During this meeting, Betances Health center presented their own case study of how they operationalized use of their RHIO, and we had guest speakers from Healthix and NYCIG RHIO’s as well. Many thanks to the Betances team for presenting and to Care for the Homeless health center for hosting us in their lovely conference space!
HHS Awards $293 Million to Expand Primary Health Care Workforce 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Adm inis tration (HRSA) announced $293 in awards to primary health care clinicians and students the National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps. For more information please click here.
STAR² Center Web Series: Retaining Behavioral Health Professionals
STAR ² is offering a new Web Series focused on retention of Behavioral Health Professional faculty will spend three sessions reviewing aspects of organizational retention planning at a "201" level and build upon those discussions with three sessions detailing strategies for retention specifically as they relate to behavioral health staff.
Register for CHCANYS and NYS Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare Collaboration Forum
CHCANYS and the NYS Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare were recently awarded funding to participate in the first cohort of the national Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net’s State Learning and Action Collaborative. As part of our collaboration with the NYS Council, CHCANYS will host a series of joint meetings and webinars for community health centers and behavioral health organizations to come together to learn from experts and their peers with the goal of advancing value-based payment and integrated care.
On Tuesday, December 4, the NYS Council and CHCANYS are co-hosting a forum for members that will focus on community health centers (CHC) and behavioral health (BH) collaboration models, approaches to integrated care in VBP arrangements, and networking to share lessons learned and best practices. This is a free event for CHC staff, though participation is limited to 2 staff per health center.
Click here for the brochure and registration materials. Registration is required by November 23, 2018.
The CHCANYS’ Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Needs and Satisfaction Survey collection has concluded. With  80%  of health centers completing the survey, we would like to thank all of those who took the time to participate. We look forward to reviewing the results and continuing our on-going effort to better understand and respond to health center priorities.

Conference for Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
The Cerebral Palsy Associations of NYS Medical Directors’ Council is hosting their 1st Annual Conference on Multi-Disciplinary Clinical Care for Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD). The conference will be held on Friday, November 16 th in Saratoga Springs, NY. Click here for more details.

HRSA Releases New FAQs on Upcoming SAC and RD Application Reviews and Awards
Learn more about what to expect for the upcoming fiscal year in the new set of FAQs focused specifically on the FY 2019 SAC and Renewal of Designation (RD) Application Review and Award Process. Read them here.
Free Webinar: Promoting Professionalism: Addressing Behaviors that Undermine Accountability, Reliability, and a Culture of Safety
Join ECRI Institute for a webinar on strategies for identifying and addressing cases of unprofessional provider and staff behaviors that undermine a culture of safety, leading to adverse patient outcomes and diminishing patients’ trust in their caregivers. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, November 6 at Noon-1:00 p.m. EST. Register here.

CHCANYS Continuous Compliance Webinar Series- Don’t Miss the Final Sessions!
With the release of HRSA’s Health Center Program Compliance Manual in 2017 (and its most recent updates), FQHCs were ushered into a new era of health center compliance. The new Manual reaches beyond the longstanding “19 program requirements” and identifies over ninety distinct required compliance elements. In this webinar series, industry experts present detailed guidance and resources to enhance your organizational approach as well as recommended strategies for achieving continuous compliance. Upcoming presenters include Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell (FTLF) attorneys and HRSA Consultants. Registration is still open for five upcoming webinars and special rates offered for CHCANYS members.
Seven webinars have been hosted to date. Registration is still open for our two upcoming webinars, with special rates offered for CHCANYS members:
  • November 7: Presenters will include FTLF attorney Marice Zakhiem
  • November 15: HRSA Consultants/OSV Reviewers Dan Dey and David Adams 
More information and link to register here.