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The Partnership Center Newsletter

August 18, 2011

Dear Partners:

Over one year ago, the Affordable Care Act became law and provided access to quality, affordable care for millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans.

The Partnership Center understands that many of you may still have questions about the law and how it impacts you and your community. To help answer those questions and inform congregations   our office is hosting a series of Affordable Care Act 101 calls for faith and community leaders.

These interactive calls provide an opportunity to hear directly from staff members at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about the law and what it means for you.

In the upcoming events section, the first three dates are listed, along with instructions for how to RSVP.

To view the full invitation and learn more about the Affordable Care Act, please visit www.hhs.gov/Partnerships.

In addition, please remember that HealthCare.gov is another great resource for individuals, families, and congregations. This website provides consumers the tools to compare insurance plans specific to their personal medical needs.

We hope you will be able to join us for these interactive calls.

 

Sincerely,

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


Featured Update

HHS & Treasury Provide Affordable Insurance Exchanges and Tax Credits to Help Middle-Class Families

Recently, the Departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury took the next steps to establish Affordable Insurance Exchanges – one-stop marketplaces where consumers can choose private health insurance plans that fit their health needs and have the same kind of insurance choices as members of Congress.  Among other policies, the proposed rules describe how middle-class families will gain access to unprecedented tax relief that will dramatically reduce the cost of coverage.

Since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, over half of states have taken actions to build an Exchange.  HHS awarded $185 million to 13 states and the District of Columbia to help them build Affordable Insurance Exchanges and, with Treasury, posted three proposed rules that will provide a simple, streamlined, and affordable path for consumers to use the Exchanges to purchase private health insurance.  Additionally, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to governors laying out options and resources available to states to set up their Exchanges.

"Too many American families have been priced out or locked out of the health insurance market.  Exchanges will give them control and could save them thousands of dollars a year," said Secretary Sebelius.  "I am encouraged by the progress states have made to date and am excited to give them more resources to continue their work."

"Today we're laying the foundation to provide tax incentives to help working families purchase health insurance," said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.  "This new tax credit brings us a big step closer to achieving one of the signature goals of the Affordable Care Act – to provide tens of millions of Americans with access to affordable health insurance coverage."

The Affordable Care Act creates Affordable Insurance Exchanges that will allow eligible individuals, families, and small businesses to shop for coverage starting in 2014.  More than half the states have already taken action to begin building an Exchange and the new grant awards will accelerate that progress.  The Exchange Establishment grants recently awarded build on earlier investments in states.  In 2010, HHS awarded 49 states and the District of Columbia $50 million to begin planning their Exchanges.  HHS expects to make more grant awards in the coming months.

 


Let’s Move Faith and Communities Update

Youth Leadership gets United Church of Christ Moving at Synod!

Sometimes all it takes is a 14-year old girl with a big vision to get people across the country up and moving!  Eboni Rowe, a member of the United Church of Christ (UCC), inspired parishioners young and old to move together during UCC’s youth-sponsored flash mob at their General Synod in Tampa, Florida.  Flash mobs are groups of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual act for a brief period of time, and then disperse.  Eboni and her mom organized the event by choreographing a dance to popular songs such as “I Like to Move it” and Katy Perry’s “Firework.”  At the request of Barbara Baylor, UCC’s Minister for Health Care Justice and leader of UCC’s Let’s Move! programs, Eboni videotaped her dance, uploaded it onto YouTube and the link was sent to UCC churches across the country.  Youth were invited to learn the dance and “move it, move it and to let our light shine” in a flash mob dance sequence outside of the Tampa convention center and during the General Synod gathering in July.  Youth and adults were encouraged to join together in this lively, choreographed dance to the enjoyment of all.  One young woman, supported by her community, created a unique and engaging way to participate in the First Lady’s Let’s Move Faith and Communities initiative by encouraging physical activity, fellowship and youth leadership!

Flash mobs aren’t the only way UCC parishioners are actively engaging with Let’s Move!  UCC vacation bible schools across the country have started a program called “The Best Me is a Fit Me,” in which children are given opportunities to be physically active throughout the day and practice healthy eating habits!  Lesson plans center around messages found in scripture.  Children also participate in fun physical activities such as relay races, group walks and bean bag tosses.  “The Best Me is a Fit Me” is an exciting and creative way to encourage children to adopt healthy habits and inspire them to make sustainable lifestyle changes.

For more information about health and wellness programs initiated by the United Church of Christ, please visit their Health Ministries website.  If you would like to join Let’s Move Faith and Communities, share your success story, or learn more about the initiative, please visit the Let’s Move Faith and Communities website.

 

Rachel Good is the summer intern at the Partnership Center at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Latest News

The Affordable Care Act and the Progressive 
National Baptist Convention


Acacia Salatti, Deputy Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (The Partnership Center) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services delivers remarks at the Progressive National Baptist Convention's 50th Anniversary.

This year marked the Progressive National Baptist Convention’s 50th Anniversary, an occasion commemorated in Washington, DC August 7-12, 2011.  This remarkable celebration marked 50 years of fellowship, scripture and service within this historic denomination.  Continuing their tradition of mission and service, the Convention asked me to deliver a presentation on the Affordable Care Act and during their anniversary celebrations.

Over a year after becoming law, provisions of the Affordable Care Act are being rolled out across the nation.  However, many in your community may still have questions about how the Affordable Care Act can help them access quality care.

Community and congregational members now have the freedom from worrying about unfairly losing their insurance, or having it run out due to a lifetime limit if they or a loved one is in an accident or becomes sick.

In addition to creating better health care options for you, the Affordable Care Act is creating jobs and providing robust job training opportunities to expand our country’s primary health care workforce. Through investments in programs like the National Health Service Corps, which repays educational loans and provides scholarships to primary health care providers who practice in medically underserved areas, the Affordable Care Act is fostering careers in diverse communities and bringing comprehensive health care to individuals and families who need it the most.

As HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has said, “Faith leaders are trusted partners in local communities.  You have a unique ability to reach people, especially the most vulnerable, with the tools and information they need to get healthy, stay well, and thrive.”

Our office looks forward to continuing our work with the Progressive National Baptist Convention and other denominations to discuss the many benefits the Affordable Care Act provides to members of your community and congregations.

By working together, we are able to help provide the most vulnerable among us with access to quality health care.

Acacia Bamberg Salatti is the Deputy Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (The Partnership Center) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Medicare Offers Online Resources

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services empowers consumers to make more informed health care choices by providing easy-to-use quality comparison information

It can be difficult to find health care providers like doctors, hospitals, or nursing facilities that meet your needs.  Now, you can find all of Medicare’s resources to compare providers and plans in one place, Medicare’s Quality Care Finder, available at www.medicare.gov/qualitycarefinder. 

What is the Quality Care Finder?

The Quality Care Finder on Medicare.gov offers tools such as Hospital Compare, Nursing Home Compare, and Plan Finder in one place that shows objective information about the quality of health care providers and plans.  These tools help you make “apples to apples” comparisons among similar types of providers and plans.  For example, you can check how often hospitals in your area give the recommended care for certain conditions, compare nursing homes by their star ratings, look at health plan costs side-by-side, and more.

Why should Medicare.gov be the first stop when looking for a new provider?

  • The quality of the health care providers and facilities you choose can impact your health.  Providers and facilities may vary in how well they care for patients, and their experience with specific health conditions or procedures.
  • Finding the right expertise and care for your needs may speed up your recovery time and improve health problems.
  • Getting personalized information when choosing a health plan may help you save on costs. 
  • Medicare’s Quality Care Finder helps you find all these tools in one place so you can choose the most appropriate providers and plans for you and your loved ones.

What kind of comparison information is available?

  • Compare Hospitals: Use Hospital Compare to compare Medicare-certified hospitals based on the quality of their care (for example, the rate of readmission to the hospital within 30 days for certain conditions, like heart attack and pneumonia).
  • Compare Nursing Homes: Use Nursing Home Compare to find Medicare-certified nursing homes based on services like dementia care, ventilators or rehabilitation.  Then compare their star ratings and the quality of care they give (for example, whether residents have gotten their flu shots, are in pain, or are losing weight).
  • Compare Home Health Agencies: Use Home Health Compare to find Medicare-certified home health agencies based on services like skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech therapy and home health aides. Then compare each home health agency based on the quality of their care (for example, how well they manage pain and treat wounds, keep patients safe, and more).
  • Find a Medicare Health or Drug Plan: Use Plan Finder to get detailed, personalized information about the cost and benefits of available Medicare health and drug plans.
  • Compare Dialysis Facilities: Use Dialysis Facility Compare to find Medicare-certified dialysis facilities and their services.  Then compare each facility based on quality of care (for example, whether patients had enough waste removed from their blood during dialysis treatments, or if their anemia was controlled properly).
  • Compare Doctors: Use Physician Compare to find doctors based on medical specialty, clinical training, foreign languages spoken, and more (for example, whether a doctor accepts the Medicare-approved amount as full payment).

To start benefitting from these valuable tools visit www.medicare.gov/qualitycarefinder. Data are collected and updated regularly to ensure accurate information to help you make the best choices.  You should discuss the information with your doctor and loved ones, and visit the facilities you are considering.

To learn more about Medicare and other resources, visit www.medicare.gov, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.



Upcoming Events

Affordable Care Act 101: Interactive Conference Call Discussing the Benefits and Provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Tuesday, August 23, at 8 pm ET

Wednesday, August 31, at 12:30 pm ET

Wednesday, September 14, at 12:30 pm ET

To attend, please RSVP to ACA101@hhs.gov

 

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Train-the-Trainers Workshops. CMS Presents the 2011 National Medicare Train-the-Trainer Workshop schedule. CMS will share consistent, accurate, current information with partners who help Medicare beneficiaries make the best choices for their healthcare coverage at these national events.

The 2011 National Medicare Training Program workshops will include:

  • Refresher on Medicare program
  • Basic information and detailed casework-tailored to your needs
  • Medicare training information and materials that are current, accurate, and consistent
  • Opportunity to network with CMS staff and other partners who share your commitment
  • Subject matter experts to answer your questions
  • 2011 CD Suite—with the training modules, videos, resource guide, toolkits, and more

Please click here for the 2011 workshops schedule.


Empowering America's Grassroots

Grant Opportunities

As always, the final section of our newsletter includes an updated grants listing that faith-based and community non-profits 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:
Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program

Description: The Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program (Program) supports metropolitan and multijurisdictional planning efforts that integrate housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure investments in a manner that empowers jurisdictions to consider the interdependent challenges of: (1) economic competitiveness and revitalization; (2) social equity, inclusion, and access to opportunity; (3) energy use and climate change; and (4) public health and environmental impact. The Program places a priority on investing in partnerships, including nontraditional partnerships (e.g., arts and culture, recreation, public health, food systems, regional planning agencies and public education entities) that translate the Livability Principles (Section I.C.1) into strategies that direct long-term development and reinvestment, demonstrate a commitment to addressing issues of regional significance, use data to set and monitor progress toward performance goals, and engage stakeholders and residents in meaningful decision-making roles.
Eligibility:  This funding opportunity is open to multijurisdictional and multi-sector partnership consisting of a consortium of government entities and non-profit partners.
Funding: Multiple awards, with funding from $400,000 to $5,000,000.
Link to Full Announcement:LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT 
Last Day to Apply: August 25, 2011 
Grant is administered by the:Department of Housing and Urban Development


Title:Public Education Efforts To Increase Solid Organ Donation Program

Description: The purpose of this program is to support the implementation of public education and outreach programs that show promise of increasing organ donation.  Specifically, this program supports the replication of strategies that have been identified through the research grant program of the Division of Transplantation as effective in increasing donation or strategies identified in the public health literature as being effective in modifying health behavior.  The program also supports the implementation of public education and outreach efforts that are based on an established framework for successful public health outreach programs.  This grant program is supportive of the Division's mission to educate the public about deceased donation and to encourage individuals to document their decision to be a donor in their statewide donor registry or by some other mechanism where a registry is unavailable. Projects may also increase knowledge of opportunities to donate specific organs or organ sections while living and the process, risks, and benefits of living donation. 

Eligibility:  This funding opportunity is open to nonprofit providers, including faith-based and community organizations.

Funding: Up to four awards, with funding from $250,000 to $1,000,000.
Link to Full Announcement:LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT 
Last Day to Apply: November 16, 2011 
Grant is administered by the:Health Resources and Services Administration

Title:Social and Behavioral Interventions To Increase Solid Organ Donation

Description: This grant program is to increase solid organ donation and to improve understanding of how to increase solid organ donation.  The goal of the grant program is to assist eligible entities in the evaluation of, or the implementation and evaluation of, highly promising strategies and approaches that can serve as model interventions for increasing solid organ donation. Projects may focus on community education and outreach initiatives or hospital based efforts focused on family consent for donation when a death has occurred. Projects may also increase knowledge of opportunities to donate specific organs or organ sections while living and the process, risks, and benefits of living donation. 

Eligibility:  This funding opportunity is open to nonprofit providers, including faith-based and community organizations.

Funding: Up to four awards, with funding from $300,000 to $1,250,000.
Link to Full Announcement:LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT 
Last Day to Apply: November 30, 2011 
Grant is administered by the:Health Resources and Services Administration

 

Title:NonProfit Capacity Building Program

Description: Congress has recognized that many small and medium sized nonprofit organizations are significantly challenged in their ability to sustain and expand services and that organizational development assistance may be necessary to ensure the continuation of much-needed services in local communities. Grants awarded in this competition aim to build the capacity of small and midsize nonprofits to develop and implement performance management systems.
Eligibility:  This funding opportunity is open to nonprofit providers, including faith-based and community organizations.
Funding: Up to four awards, with funding from $200,000 to $998,000.
Link to Full Announcement:LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT 
Last Day to Apply: August 9, 2011 
Grant is administered by the:Corporation for National and Community Service

 

Title:Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII): Promise Neighborhoods Program: Planning Grant Competition

Description: The Promise Neighborhoods program is carried out under the legislative authority of the Fund for Improvement of Education (FIE). FIE supports nationally significant programs to improve the quality of elementary and secondary education at the State and local levels and to help all children meet challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards. The purpose of the Promise Neighborhoods program is to significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children and youth in our most distressed communities. Additional information about Promise Neighborhood Program grants can be found here.

Eligibility:  This funding opportunity is open to nonprofit providers, including faith-based and community organizations.
Funding: Up to ten awards, with funding of $500,000 each.
Link to Full Announcement:LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT 
Last Day to Apply: September 6, 2011 
Grant is administered by the:Office of Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education