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AACHC Highlight:
AZRWHN: Women's Health Equity and COVID-19
COVID-19 has intensified and brought to light health inequities that communities face in our country.  We at the Arizona Rural Women’s Health Network (AzRWHN) focus on providing services and resources to health professionals that allow them to address health concerns and disparities that rural women face in Arizona. We know that women are key influencers of health in their families and communities.

As the pandemic continues, women are facing increased sexual and domestic violence, economic hardship and their health is impacted adversely due to their priority changes, such as shifting their focus on childcare and job security. Another example of their priority changes is accessing sexual and reproductive health services. Women in rural areas already have barriers in accessing health care services due to the lack of resources and providers in their community. With COVID-19, they are less likely to seek services, especially when non-emergency services have been postponed to limit the exposure of COVID-19. In addition to maintaining their own health, women are often responsible for the mental, emotional, and physical health of their families; older and younger generations. As such, women in rural settings face special challenges as a result of the significant health intermediary role that they play.  When compared to their urban counterparts, rural women have shorter life expectancies, experience more incidents of violence, and lack of access to a range of healthcare and other services close to home. 

Our work is in Arizona but we hope that our efforts can guide others across the country to optimize opportunities that are provided to rural women.  Rural areas in Arizona vary greatly environmentally, socially, and culturally and include international borderlands, Indian reservations including 22 tribes, and frontier areas. Native Americans are experiencing a disproportionate toll on their health and economy especially with the pandemic exacerbating the inequities. For example, according to a Kaiser Family Health Foundation brief, as of May 11th, 2020, American Indian and Alaska Native people made up 18% of COVID-19 deaths and 11% of cases compared to 4% of the total population in Arizona.

Health disparities arise in our community due to the lack of physicians, limited services, underinsured and uninsured populations, age and income. However, rural communities are well connected, resourceful, and have made positive efforts to ensure they are healthy. Some of the programs that assist rural women have included the mutual aid efforts across Native land to provide hand washing stations and masks, the expansion of telehealth programs throughout the state and community health centers that offer COVID-19 testing and provide services through a sliding based fee scale. Also, some community health centers are adding virtual support groups for domestic violence victims. Nevertheless, health inequities still exist for rural women and more work can be done.

We must continue to act and implement services and policies that focus on the health of rural women. Here are some recommended actions we can take to work together and address health inequities in rural women.
  • Include women and women based organizations in the planning and conversations of COVID-19 response.
  • When collecting data and doing research, make sure to include data on women’s race and ethnicity.
  • Extend and enhance child care services so that they may be accessible for women in rural areas and women with low income. Continue food programs in schools for children.
  • Expand paid family and sick leave.
  • Provide tools and resources for unpaid caregivers.
  • Invest in the infrastructure and public services in rural areas.
  • Designate domestic and sexual violence shelters as essential services.
As we continue our work to achieve health equity, we look at other resources that can guide our efforts.  
We can’t abolish health disparities in one day but we can certainly do everything we can now to achieve health equity.  

To learn more about the Arizona Rural Women's Health Network visit azrwhn.org/ or contact:
Lorraine Ramirez
Rural Women's Health Network, Coordinator
lorrainer@aachc.org
Key Health Center Guidance
BPHC/HRSA: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) webpageCOVID-19 Information for Health Centers and Partners webpage.
HIV Self-Testing
Health centers play an important role in Ending the HIV Epidemic by screening patients for risk and encouraging HIV testing. See our bulletin about supplementing HIV prevention efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Upcoming AACHC Events
Visit the AACHC Events page to view a full calendar of
upcoming events and trainings or to register. 

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) ECHO Training


August 6, 13, 20, 27
Webinar

Over four weeks, and 2 hours per week, Dr. Elisa Gumm will educate the audience on opioid use disorder. The focus will be to educate prescribers how to prescribe buprenorphine. Clinical support staff will get benefit from this training to obtain an understanding of the disease and treatments. Click here to register for this webinar or click here to view the flyer. 

Primary Care in the Valley


August 19
Webinar

This event will educate physicians regarding the current state of primary care in Maricopa County, Arizona. This webinar will feature Dr. Daniel Derksen and Heather Carter, both with the University of Arizona. 

Our objectives are to: share with physicians data regarding the primary care workforce in the county, discuss the medical education pipeline for primary care practitioners, and inform medical providers about federal, state, and county policies focused on recruiting and retaining primary care practitioners. You can register by clicking on this link or view the event flyer at this link.

Obtaining Provider Buy In for MAT Programs in Community Health Centers


August 25
Webinar

In this webinar Dr. Tucker will share a story about her experience as a MAT provider within an integrated care setting. Dr. Tucker will share about the importance of a team approach to treating substance use disorder and practical ways of obtaining buy in from providers and other staff members. .Dr. Constance M. Tucker has over 19 years of professional experience and serves as Chief Medical Officer of Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), affiliated with the HonorHealth System. Click here to register for this webinar or click here to view the flyer. 

Returning to Usual Patient Care in Unusual Times: A virtual workshop on adjusting care to achieve optimal patient outcomes


August 27
Webinar
This webinar will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 12:oo p.m. Topics will include:
  • Changing patient expectations during COVID-19 and how health centers can adjust
  • Keeping up with well child checks and immunizations
  • Caring for patients with chronic disease in the changing healthcare landscape (virtually and in-person)
  • Continuing quality improvement and data efforts during COVID-19
The intended audience for this webinar is:
  • Quality Mangers and staff
  • Data Analysts
  • C-suite and leadership staff
  • Providers and clinical team members
  • IT
Click here to register for this webinar or download the flyer at this link
Member News
Staff at Chiricahua Community Health Centers share why they wear a mask
Photo courtesy of Chiricahua Community Health Centers.
Mariposa Community Health Center participates in the Back to School Drive Thru Blitz at Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District 35
Photo courtesy of Mariposa Community Health Center.
Judy, a nurse at NOAH, is awarded the HonorHealth Nursing Award for Excellence in Service Behaviors and Customer Service
Photo courtesy of NOAH.
Adelante Healthcare provides FREE Covid-19 testing, in partnership with the town of Gila Bend and the City of Aguila
Photo courtesy of Adelante Healthcare.
MHC Healthcare hosts a golf event for their foundation
Photo courtesy of MHC Healthcare.
Terros Health, along with the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department, received the National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award in Health, recognizing “Innovations in Care: TIP Justice Health Clinics” for their Targeted Investments Program (TIP) Justice clinics
Photo courtesy of Terros Health.
Educational Opportunities
& Networking Events

Are We There Yet? Achieving Behavioral Health Integration


July 30, 2020
Webinar


To register, please create an account on the HRSA Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health TA's website.

Workflows and Documentation


August 5, 2020
Webinar

Part of the HHS Telemedicine Hack Learning Community
Learn more or register

Self-Awareness and Unconscious Bias


August 5, 2020
This workshop explores unconscious bias via a very personal lens, focusing on self-awareness as a key tool to navigating our own bias and the bias we encounter. Session outcomes include: understanding what bias is and how to navigate it; exploring various types of bias (confirmation bias, implicit egotism, stereotype threat, stereotype tax, bias blindspots,etc); building individual self-awareness and improving emotional intelligence.  Click here to register. 

 

Addressing Challenges for Youth Experiencing Homelessness during COVID


August 6, 2020


Hosted by the School-Based Health Alliance, a HRSA-funded NTTAP
Register here

National Health Center Week


August 9-15
“Community Health Centers: Lighting the Way for Healthier Communities Today and in the Future”
 
National Health Center Week (August 9 – 15) is an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades.
 
Community Health Centers serve as the beacon of strength, service, and care in their communities. In moments of pain and loss, they offer support and love. In moments of triumph, they offer hope and a vision for the future. Let’s come together this week to celebrate the roles Community Health Centers have played in both our recent moments of loss and triumph.  This National Health Center Week honors those front line providers, staff, and beloved patients who lost their lives during the (ongoing) COVID-19 pandemic. From the very beginning of the crisis, Community Health Centers began finding innovative ways to provide preventative and primary care to their patients. During this week of remembrance, light a candle for those community health leaders, patients that we lost. As we commemorate those lives and celebrate the future of Community Health, let’s shine a light across the country that will embody the future of primary health care aces for underserved populations. Shine a light on your Community Health Center and share the value that it brings to everyone who it touches.

Learn more about this national celebration at this link or find an event near you here.

Adopting a Population Health Strategy to Reduce Heart Disease Risk


August 12, 2020


Register here

CHI@Home
2020 and Beyond:

Sustaining the Health Center Mission for the Future


August 31 and September 1
Webinar

Join NACHC for a special two-day virtual event on August 31 and September 1 in place of their usual Community Health Institute (CHI) & EXPO. CHI@Home will feature a range of opportunities for health centers to gain timely and training while we face the continued response to COVID-19.

Don’t miss:

  • Two general sessions
  • 24 education workshops offering continuing education (CME, CPE, CE, CEUs, and board governance)*  including tracks for Health Center Governance, Health Center Essentials, Innovation and Transformation, Public Policy, Workforce Investment in the Future and Emerging Issues
  • Virtual poster sessions
  • Networking roundtables
  • A Digital Product Showcase featuring companies and organizations that provide solutions to the issues facing health center operations. The Showcase will be available to the general public August 17 through October 2, 2020 with special programming available only during CHI@Home on August 31 and September 1.
Click here to learn more and to register. The early bird pricing ends on August 3. 

Applying for FQHC Look-Alike Status


September 22 & 29, 2020
Webinars
PART I: What does it mean to be a FQHC Look-Alike?
September 22, 2020 @ 1 PM ET
Part I will cover the main eligibility challenges to becoming a look-alike, including:
  • Establishing your corporate structure
  • Defining the medically underserved area or population your program will serve
  • Navigating the look-alike application and review process
  • Understanding which program requirements apply to look-alikes
PART II: Key Areas of Concern in Developing Your Look-Alike Program
September 29, 2020 @ 1 PM ET
Part II will cover key areas of compliance concern, including:
  • Establishing a community-based Board of Directors
  • Translating your current services and programs into the FQHC model
  • Exploring different approaches to staffing
  • Developing your FQHC sliding fee discount program
 

UDS Mapper Special Topics Webinar: Food Insecurity and Opportunities for Health Centers


September 23, 2020
Webinar
General Information
The National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) has compiled a list of resources for Community Health Workers to better serve their communities during the national COVID-19 pandemic. These resources include general COVID-19 educational materials; easy to understand educational graphics; self-care and social distancing resources; capacity building tools; equity resources.
The Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia has developed a toolkit on Navigating COVID-19 Resources for Pregnant and Postpartum Families.
The Network for Health Equity's LGBT HealthLink has developed several fact sheets that offer LGBT-specific information for health care professionals and consumers of health. Fact sheets are available for the following topics: cultural competence, cancer and tobacco use. Click here to download the sheets for free.
Now available in Spanish!  Re-opening Dental Practices during COVID-19: Legal Analysis / COVID-19: reapertura de consultorios dentales
Este memo proporciona información sobre consideraciones de consultorios dentales para reabrir durante la pandemia de nuevo coronavirus 2019-2020 (“COVID-19”).
New: A Guide to Implementing Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services
. Click here to download the new guide.
 
Additional tools:
Organizational Self-Assessment Tool
Implementation Planning Template
CLAS Standards & Strategies Reference Sheet
Action Planning Template
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2020 AACHC Sponsors
Copyright © 2020 Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers, All rights reserved.


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