COVID-19 Resources
News about the spread of COVID-19 is literally changing by the minute in New York State and across the country. For the latest information, please visit the New York State Department of Health , New York City DOHMH , and the CDC’s dedicated coronavirus pages . Additionally, CHCANYS EM team continues to update its resource page on the virus. You can access it  HERE .
 
During a briefing on the novel coronavirus on March 7, 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he declared  a state of emergency to help New York more quickly and effectively contain the spread of the virus. The state of emergency declaration allows, among other things:
  • Expedited procurement of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and other essential resources
  • Allowing qualified professionals other than doctors and nurses to conduct testing
  • Expedited procurement of testing supplies and equipment
  • Expedited personnel onboarding
  • Expedited leasing of lab space
  • Allowing EMS personnel to transport patients to quarantine locations other than just hospitals
  • Providing clear basis for price gouging and enforcement investigation 
 
What should New Yorkers Do? 
  • Go about your daily lives
  • Practice same precautions that you would during cold and flu season
  • Cover your mouth/nose with tissue/sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • If you feel sick, stay home
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • If you have recently traveled in Wuhan, China and have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, call your health care provider right away

At this time, New Yorkers  do not  need to:
  • Limit travel within the city
  • Wear a face mask if healthy. Face masks are only recommended if directed by a health care provider. 
  • However, people wear protective face masks for many reasons, including seasonal allergies, pollution or protecting those around them from a common cold. They should not be harassed or targeted for wearing one.
  • Change anything about where you get your food or how you prepare it.
  • Avoid public gatherings and public transportation.
 
This coronavirus Fact Sheet , available in 13 languages, may also prove helpful.
 
State and Federal Governments Allocate New Funding for Fighting COVID-19
On March 3, Governor Cuomo signed a bill  expanding his authority to waive laws and regulations during a public health emergency and allocating $40M for State and local government response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It is currently not clear if any of these funds will be designated to health care providers like FQHCs.
 
On March 6, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act  which designates $8B to address COVID-19, $100M of which has been earmarked specifically for community health centers to respond to the outbreak.
 
It is currently unclear how exactly that $100M will be disseminated to or used by health centers. The Act, HB 6074, also relaxes some restrictions around providing telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries , however  the bill maintains the Medicare prohibition on FQHCs acting as distant sites. Read Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s press release about the push to secure the dedicated CHC funding here .
 
CHCANYS Advocates for Expansion of Telehealth in Medicaid to Combat COVID-19
On March 5, CHCANYS sent a letter  to Commissioner Zucker and Medicaid officials, highlighting health centers’ critical role in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and urging the State to ensure that health centers can make full use of telehealth and other means of communication to promote non face-to-face visits. Specifically, we requested that the Department:
  1. Allow CHCs to bill their full PPS rate (code 4013) when providing services as a distant site provider to patients in their homes;
  2. Ensure CHCs receive wraparound payments for all visits conducted via telehealth; and
  3. Permit CHCs to bill Medicaid for virtual visits, including those conducted via telephone, text, secure email and through a patient portal.
We have not yet received a response from the Department of Health, but we will continue to keep health centers aware of all discussions with the State regarding regulatory and policy considerations during this time.
NACHC Cancels P&I
On Monday, the National Association of Community Health Centers announced that after a thorough examination of the widespread health risks posed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to the American public, the NACHC 2020 Policy & Issues (P&I) Forum in Washington, D.C. has been cancelled. All registration fees (in-person and virtual) will be refunded.
 
Like many other local, state, and national organizations that are currently canceling large gatherings, NACHC said it took this proactive step to protect the health and safety of its members, staff, vendors, partners, and all frontline providers. Find more information here.
 
MRT II Holds Second Hearing
On March 10, members of the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT II) met to discuss the litany of proposals and comments they had received during the open comment period and at public hearings. MRT II received over 2,200 submissions through the response portal. There were comments regarding implementation of Health Homes and reforms to the Patient Centered Medical Home program, such as CHCANYS proposal to tie the incentive payments to value. Commenters also expressed a desire to remove or reevaluate the global cap. However, the MRT did not endorse or oppose any proposals at this time. A recording of the meeting and meeting materials will be posted on the Department of Health’s website. The final MRT II meeting will be held on March 19 th in Albany, and the MRT will unveil their final proposals during that meeting. 
Advocacy Day 2020 Draws Hundreds to Albany
On March 2, CHCANYS annual Advocacy Day celebration brought hundreds to Albany to advocate on behalf of Community Health Centers. More than 800 CHC leaders, staff, and patients joined CHCANYS at the Empire State Plaza complex to start the day.
 
Kicking us off again this year were the incredible Chimalsi Steppers from the Albany Community Charter School who really got the crowd going. Our advocates then heard from New York’s Senate Health Committee Chair, Gustavo Rivera, and the Assembly Health Chair, Dick Gottfried. You can watch the video of our Facebook live stream here .

To see all of the photos in our Facebook Advocacy Day Album, click here .
 
And to see the slideshow featured in Albany’s newspaper of record, the Times Union, click here .
CHCANYS Announces New Board Chair
On Sunday, March 1, CHCANYS members named LaVonne Ansari, Ph.D., CHCANYS’ new board chair. Dr. Ansari is the CEO/Executive Director of Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc. She replaces outgoing board chair Dr. Neil Calman of the Institute for Family Health.
 
On March 2, Dr. Ansari addressed the hundreds of advocates gathered in Albany at CHCANYS’ annual Advocacy Day, reminding the crowd that Community Health Centers deserve the funding they are requesting, “This is a commitment and a passion, and the one thing we have to remember when we talk to people about what we do, is we deserve it. We’re not going up there to say, ‘You’d better give us something!’ We deserve it!”
 
Known for her advocacy work in the areas of health, education, and human rights, Dr. Ansari is an experienced educator, administrator, recreation therapist, and manager with more than 20-years combined experience in the areas of equal employment opportunity/affirmative action compliance; workforce development; higher education; and community-based health care and hospital administration.
 
CHCANYS President and CEO Rose Duhan said, “I am honored to have the opportunity to work alongside Dr. Ansari over the next two years to champion, lead, and support Community Health Centers’ work to provide access to high quality primary care in every community.” 
 
Also elected at CHCANYS’ March 2020 board meeting: Harvey Lawrence, First Vice Chairperson; Joey Marie Horton, Second Vice Chairperson; Lazetta Duncan-Moore, Secretary; and Pat Murphy, Treasurer. The newly elected board leaders will serve two-year terms ending in 2022.
Consumer Advocate Joanne Baker Honored with Dorothy Kartashevich Award
Each year, CHCANYS recognizes a consumer board member who has gone above and beyond in his or her service to the CHC community with the Dorothy Kartashevich award. Dorothy Kartashevich was a tireless advocate who served as a Board Member of Sunset Park, now Family Health Centers at NYU Langone, from 1987 to 1990.
 
At our annual membership meeting dinner in March, we presented this year’s award to Joann Baker, a consumer board member from Urban Health Plan. Ms. Baker has been a member of the Board since 1997 and exemplifies the work of the Health Center Movement. She is described by those who know her as an extraordinary human being who exemplifies service to our centers and to the community health center movement itself. Congratulations to her and the entire Urban Health Plan family!

DANY Physician Loan Repayment Accepting Applications until April 2
The New York State Department of Health continues to accept applications for the Doctors Across New York (DANY) Physician Loan Repayment (PLR) and Physician Practice Support (PPS) programs on the Grants Gateway portal. Applications are due April 2, 2020 by 4:00 pm. The DANY Physician Loan Repayment and Physician Practice Support programs make funds available to help recruit physicians to and encourage them to remain in medically underserved areas of the state. Funding is provided in exchange for a physician’s commitment to work in an underserved area for a three-year period. The awards will provide up to $40,000 per year for three years to eligible applicants, and approximately 75 three year awards will be awarded throughout the state. On February 27, the Department also posted their Questions and Answers document .
 
Referral Management and Tracking of NDPP Webinar Recording Available Now!
Listen to the webinar recording featuring guest speakers from Open Door Family Medical Center that highlights promising practices on tracking and management of programmatic referrals to internal or external staff resources. In this webinar you will learn how to best: capture programmatic referrals in discrete fields in the EHR; track and monitor patients engaged in lifestyle change programs; and generate reports crucial for population health and performance improvement activities. Access the recording by clicking  here
 
Steps for Increasing Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates: A Manual for Community Health Centers 
Want to implement processes at your health center that reduce physician workload  and  increase colorectal cancer screening?  This manual , produced by The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT), offers practical advice for implementing expert-endorsed recommendations, one step at a time.
 
HIV/Hep C/STI Sub-Committee March & April Calls
Access the recording from the March 6th HIV/Hep C/STD Sub-committee call dedicated to applying trauma-informed care to sexual health by  clicking here . Join us for the next call on Friday, April 3rd from 12-1 p.m., for a focused discussion on COVID-19/Coronavirus. We will brain-storm actions health centers can take on behalf of their patients with HIV. Come prepared to share your thoughts, ideas, and challenges. Please register in advance of this meeting by  clicking here .
 
Sexual & Reproductive Health Sub-Committee 2020 Q1 Learning Sessions
The Sexual and Reproductive Health Sub-Committee will be hosting a learning session at a new date and time: the second Thursday of the month from 12:00 – 1:00 pm. The next call will be taking place today, March 12, focused on the benefits of utilizing Peer Educators to reach and educate special populations, Kristin McDonough, Supervisor of Health Education & Outreach at The Door. If you’re interested in joining the subcommittee, please reach out to Mercy Mbogori at  mmbogori@chcanys.org . The Zoom joining information may be found below.  
 
Webinar link:  https://zoom.us/j/150586730
Dial-in number: 646 558 8656
Meeting ID: 150 586 730
 
We’re In! 2020 Campaign for HPV Cancer Prevention!
All community health centers are Invited to Join  We’re In! 2020  for HPV Cancer Prevention! This year, the  National HPV Roundtable  and the  NYS HPV Coalition  are calling upon all New York health systems and providers to protect adolescent population health by preventing HPV cancers. Sign on today for a year of learning, networking, and success with new HPV tools. The  We’re In! 2020  Initiative for HPV Cancer Prevention is a national movement to catalyze and support U.S. health systems and providers in protecting adolescents from future cancers. By joining, your health center will be recognized as a cancer prevention leader among peer organizations. To learn more and sign up click  here .
 
Upcoming Opportunity: Join the Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control Program (DCPC)
Launching in July 2020, work with CHCANYS practice facilitators to improve the prevention and management of patients with pre-diabetes and diabetes OR hypertension and high cholesterol at your health center. Participating sites will receive:
  • Individualized and group practice facilitation to improve population health management, team-based care processes and workflows for optimal patient care;
  • Support in engaging with community-based partners for referrals to diabetes prevention, diabetes self-management, nutrition, and lifestyle change programs;
  • Technical Assistance in the engagement of pharmacists and other non-physician team members in the management of diabetes and CVD;
  • Access to clinical quality measures and clinical tools in the CPCI tailored specifically to identifying and targeting patients with these chronic conditions; and
  • Opportunities to present promising practices, challenges, and lessons learned to the NYS DOH, CDC and Statewide Peer-Learning Network

Want more information? Check out the  informational flyer , fill out this  general interest form  and don’t forget to  register for our informational webinar  taking place on March 24, 2020 from 12:00 - 1:00 pm.