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October 24: HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, and U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes visited the Wheeler Family Health & Wellness Center in Connecticut to highlight the expansion of HRSA’s Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The program helps pediatricians and family medicine providers get direct support from mental health experts by providing behavioral health consultation and other assistance needed to address children and adolescents’ mental health needs. The roundtable featured state and local partners, pediatricians, and others sharing their experiences with the program and the way it helps them support communities and families address mental health needs
October 21: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded $13 million to bolster nursing education and training to grow the nursing workforce and improve access to nursing education.
“Nurses are an essential part of our nation’s health care system,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We are committed to growing the next generation of nurses and ensuring the education and training they receive prepares them to provide high-quality culturally competent care. Supporting nurses and other frontline health professionals providing care in our communities is critical to improving our nation’s health and wellbeing.”
Read the full press release HERE.
October 27: This week, HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy announced additional investments into the Rural Community Opioid Response Program, also known as RCORP. New to seven existing grant programs in the multi-year effort is $12 million for RCORP – Overdose Response – Deadline January 19. Approximately 40 grants, each $300,000, will go toward immediate community-level needs related to the drug overdose crisis. Applicants may choose to implement services from a list of allowable prevention, treatment, and recovery activities, but must clearly justify and support the need for the selected activity/activities, as well as their ability to implement the activity/activities within a one-year period of performance. Applicant organizations may be located in an urban or rural area; however, all activities supported by the program must occur exclusively in HRSA-designated rural areas. To read application details in the full Notice of Funding Opportunity, go to Grants.gov, select the Package tab, then Preview, and Download Instructions. There on page (iii), you’ll find details for a Technical Assistance webinar for RCORP – Overdose Response applicants on Thursday, November 10 at 1:00 pm ET. No registration is required.
Also new to the initiative is RCORP – Evaluation – Deadline January 27. This is one cooperative agreement of $5 million per year for a four-year period of performance to evaluate the impact of behavioral health strategies and methods employed in the RCORP family of programs. The awarded organization will develop evaluation tools and resources for use in rural communities and for informing future health initiatives at the community level. There will be a Technical Assistance Webinar for RCORP – Evaluation applicants on Tuesday, November 8 at 1:00 pm ET. No registration is required.
October 12: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced grants for more than 200 rural health care organizations. The funding will be used for building and renovating facilities, increasing staffing, purchasing medical supplies, and implementing nutrition assistance programs among other projects.
These grants will help 208 rural health care organizations expand critical services for nearly 5 million people in 43 states and Guam.
Read the full release HERE.
On October 26, 2022, CDC released a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): Severe Monkeypox in Hospitalized Patients — United States, August 10–October 10, 2022. The MMWR highlighted a case series of 57 hospitalized patients with severe MPx—90% were immunocompromised, and 82% of the patients had HIV, most with a CD4 count below 50. The majority of these patients were Black men, and nearly one quarter were experiencing homelessness.
The MMWR recommended providers test all sexually active patients with suspected MPx for HIV at the time of MPx testing unless a patient is already known to have HIV. In addition, the MMWR recommends providers consider early commencement and extended duration of MPx-directed therapy in highly immunocompromised patients with suspected or laboratory-diagnosed MPx.
Read the most recent CDC MMWR.
From October 16 to 18, approximately 400 HIV clinicians from Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program- (RWHAP) funded clinics and programs across the country convened for the 2022 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Clinical Conference in San Diego, CA. The annual event provided state-of-the-art updates on research, care, and treatment issues in the medical management of HIV infection for experienced HIV clinical decision makers, including medical directors, HIV physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) Associate Administrator Dr. Laura Cheever co-hosted the three-day 2022 RWHAP Clinical Conference, which was sponsored by the International Antiviral Society-USA and supported by HRSA HAB through a grant to the AETC National Coordination and Resource Center. Sessions from the conference were recorded and will be made available in the coming weeks.
$25 million was recently made available for HRSA-funded health centers to increase equitable access to maternal health care in underserved communities. Award recipients will develop and pilot innovative models of care delivery to improve health outcomes and address clinical and health-related social needs for patients at the highest risk of maternal morbidity and mortality.
This funding will advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis by ensuring better access to comprehensive, coordinated health care, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.
Read the BPHC Bulletin HERE.
October 12: CDC recommended the following bivalent booster shots for COVID-19 vaccination:
This recommendation follows FDA’s authorization of these products on Wednesday, October 12.