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The Partnership Center Newsletter

January 17, 2012 Edition

In this issue, you will find...

Dear Partners:

2011 was an eventful year for the Partnership Center. As we enter 2012, we look forward to continuing to build and support partnerships with faith-based and community organizations to better serve communities, families, and individuals in need.

This winter, we will continue to offer our series of interactive conference calls for faith and community leaders explaining the benefits and provisions of the health care law. Over the past few months, the series has provided hundreds of callers from across the United States with a unique opportunity to learn more about the law and to interact directly with senior staff from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Partnership Center. 

We are especially pleased to announce that over 1,300 callers RSVP’d for our January 10 call on the Affordable Care Act and Prevention, for which U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin joined our staff as a guest speaker.

Please consider joining us on one of the dates listed below. Each time you RSVP for one of our calls, we will send you call-in information and a link to a set of Power Point slides, where you can follow along with us during the presentation portion of the call. As always, each call will feature live, interactive presentations by experts explaining the law in clear and understandable language.

As we move into this new year, we encourage you to call us at 202-358-3595 or email us at to let us know how we can support the great work you are doing in your communities.

January 19, 3:00 pm EST Tour of

January 24, 2:00 pm EST – ACA 101 (in Spanish)

January 31, 12:30 pm EST – ACA 101

February 2, 12:30 pm EST – ACA and Behavioral Health

February 28, 2:00 pm EST – ACA 101 (in Spanish)



Mara Vanderslice Kelly, Acting Director
Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


Featured Update– MLK Day Marked as a National Day of Service

This past weekend, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) urged Americans to visit to find volunteer opportunities in their communities and make MLK Day a “day on, not a day off.”

CNCS led the annual national MLK Day of Service as a part its broader mission to engage Americans of all ages in service to meet critical local and national needs. Working with the King Center, other federal agencies, nonprofit and community groups, faith-based organizations, schools and businesses nationwide, CNCS helped Americans turn MLK Day 2012 into a national day of service that impacted communities nationwide.

Ideas and toolkits for organizing service projects year-round are available at


Health Care Law Update

Obama Administration awards nearly $300 million to states for enrolling eligible children in health coverage

On December 28, 2011, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced more than $296 million was awarded to states for ensuring more children have health coverage.

The performance bonus payments are funded under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, one of the first pieces of legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2009.  To qualify for these bonus payments, states must surpass a specified Medicaid enrollment target. They also must adopt procedures that improve access to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), making it easier for eligible children to enroll and retain coverage.

“More children now have the advantages health coverage provides,” Sebelius said. “And parents now have the security of knowing their children can get the health care they need without worrying that an illness could leave them with a lifetime of medical bills.”

For more information on these new CHIP awards, visit

HHS to give states more flexibility to implement health reform

On December 16, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services released a bulletin outlining proposed policies that will give states more flexibility and freedom to implement the Affordable Care Act.  The Department released this intended approach to give consumers, states, employers and issuers timely information as they work towards establishing Affordable Insurance Exchanges and making decisions for 2014.  This approach was developed with significant input from the American people, as well as reports from the Department of Labor, the Institute of Medicine, and research conducted by HHS.Public input on this proposal is encouraged.  Comments are due by Jan 31, 2012 and can be sent to:


Upcoming Events

Health Care Conference Calls

The HHS Partnership Center is hosting a series of interactive conference calls discussing the benefits and provisions of the health care reform law.

All calls are open to the public and include a question and answer session where participants can ask HHS staff any questions they may have about the Affordable Care Act. We also encourage participants to submit questions via email to

To participate in one of the conference calls, please select your preferred date from the list below and enter your email address to be registered. 

Call-in information will be sent to registered callers 24 hours in advance of the calls.

January 19, 3:00 pm EST Tour of

January 24, 2:00 pm EST –  ACA 101 (in Spanish)

January 31, 12:30 pm EST –  ACA 101

February 2, 12:30 pm EST –  ACA and Behavioral Health

February 28, 2:00 pm EST –  ACA 101 (in Spanish)

If you have any additional questions, please email

Empowering America's Grassroots


Grant Opportunities

As always, the final section of our newsletter includes an updated grants listing that faith-based and community nonprofits can pursue. It is important to review the funding announcement thoroughly to ensure that the grant is one that is appropriate to your organization’s mission, size, and scope.

Grants Listings

Title:Affordable Care Act—Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Research Network

Description: The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to support the creation of an interdisciplinary, multicenter research forum for scientific collaboration and infrastructure building related to home visiting research that is designed to improve life outcomes among mothers, infants, and young children.

Eligibility: Only public or nonprofit institutions of higher learning and public or private nonprofit agencies engaged in research or in programs relating to maternal and child health and/or services for children with special health care needs may apply for grants contracts or cooperative agreements for research in maternal and child health services or in services for children with special health care needs. Organizations directly involved in the operation of home visiting programs are not eligible to apply.

Funding: 1 award, with an estimated total program funding of $300,000.

Link to Full Announcement:LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT 

Last Day to Apply: March 5, 2012

Grant is administered by the:Health Resources and Services Administration


Title: Housing Counseling Training Program

Description: Funds are available to provide training activities designed to improve and standardize the quality of counseling provided by housing counselors employed by agencies participating in HUD’s Housing Counseling Program.

Eligibility: Applicants must be public or private nonprofit organizations and must have “tax exempt” status under section 501(a) pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 USC 501(a) and (c)(3).

Funding: Award ceiling of $665,000.

Link to Full Announcement:LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT

Last Day to Apply: March 5, 2012

Grant is administered by the:Health Resources and Services Administration