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The Partnership Center Newsletter

September 6, 2012 Edition

Dear Partners:

As trusted figures, faith-based and community leaders are often the first point of contact for individuals seeking various kinds of support, including emotional support, during difficult times.  Throughout much of the United States, communities are dealing with one of the most severe droughts in decades.

The federal government offers many resources to support individuals and families struggling with the drought.  As a leader in your community, you can help make sure your members are aware of these resources that are available to them, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Drought and Drought Assistance” website.  The Disaster Distress Helpline, supported by HHS’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), is also an important resource.  Please see the Featured Update for additional resources and information sponsored by SAMSHA related to the drought crisis.

In addition, many communities are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac.  DisasterAssistance.gov provides information on finding and applying for assistance from the U.S. government before, during and after a disaster.  You can also find a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) near you by using FEMA’s DRC Locator.  Thank you for sharing these important resources with members of your congregations and communities.

We also encourage you to share the newly redesigned Medicare.gov with members of your community who are eligible for Medicare.  The new website makes content easier for beneficiaries, their families and caregivers to understand.  In addition, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently announced that nearly 5.4 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved more than $4.1 billion on prescription drugs as a result of the health reform law. And read on so you can learn to avoid, and recognize symptoms of, West Nile Virus.

Our Upcoming Events section highlights two upcoming webinars, in English and Spanish, on the benefits available to Americans through the health care law.  We also announce and invite you to register for three Let’s Move Faith and Communities webinars in the Fall.

As always, please feel free to email us at Partnerships@hhs.gov or call us at 202-358-3595 to let us know how we can support your work in congregations and communities.

 

Sincerely,

Alexia Kelley, Director

Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

 


Featured Update

Dealing with Drought and Extreme Heat

This spring and summer, drought and extreme heat have impacted and continue to affect many communities across the United States.  In particular, many Americans in rural communities are experiencing economic stress due to the financial threat to their livelihoods.  A natural or man-made disaster is unexpected and often brings out strong emotions.  As individuals and families across the nation find ways to cope with the impact of this extreme weather, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s Disaster Distress Helpline may be a useful resource to members of your community.

SAMHSA’s toll-free Disaster Distress Helpline is the first nationwide hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling.  The Helpline is free, confidential and multilingual, and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Callers are connected to trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network.  The Helpline staff provides crisis counseling, referrals and other needed support services.

To reach the Disaster Distress Helpline, call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

The Helpline is available immediately anywhere within the United States to anyone who is experiencing emotional distress as a result of a natural or human-caused disaster.  It can provide immediate crisis counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the effects of the extreme heat and subsequent droughts occurring across the country.

Two other SAMHSA resources may also be helpful to members of your congregation or community throughout the year.  The Mental Health Services Locator can help individuals find mental health service providers and other resources in their community – just by entering their zip code.  In addition, individuals may find support from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  Like the Disaster Distress Helpline, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is free and confidential.  Trained and caring counselors from a nationwide network of crisis centers offer emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The caller is connected to their nearest crisis center to receive immediate counseling and local mental health referrals.  To reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

 


Redesign of Medicare.Gov to Improve Online Experience for Beneficiaries

A redesign of the Medicare.gov website is now complete, making content more accessible and easier for beneficiaries, their families and caregivers to understand.  The new design responds to mobile devices, like tablets and smartphones.  Users can get information such as coverage and cost details, anytime, anywhere, and in the most convenient format.  Medicare beneficiaries, counselors, and caregivers can check if a letter they received in the mail is an official communication from Medicare by viewing descriptions of Medicare mailings.  The popular “Medicare & You” handbook now has its own landing page for an easy access complement to the annual print mailing.

The new site will allow most users to find the content they’re looking for directly from the home page.  These features include:

• A search for whether a specific test, item, or service is covered under original Medicare;

• The ability to get customized information based on a beneficiary’s specific situation;

• Quick links to replace a lost Medicare card, find a Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan, and get help with health care costs.

To see examples of these new features, please visit: http://www.cms.gov/apps/files/Medicare-gov-LB.pdf.

To view and start using the new tools and additional information, users are invited to visitwww.Medicare.gov.

 


People with Medicare Save More Than $4.1 Billion on Prescription Drugs

Nearly 5.4 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved more than $4.1 billion on prescription drugs as a result of the Affordable Care Act, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced yesterday.  Seniors in the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the “donut hole” have saved an average of $768. During the first seven months of 2012, the new health care law has helped nearly 18 million people with original Medicare get at least one preventive service at no cost to them.

The health care law includes benefits to make Medicare prescription drug coverage more affordable. In 2010, anyone with Medicare who hit the prescription drug donut hole received a $250 rebate.  In 2011, people with Medicare who hit the donut hole began receiving a 50 percent discount on covered brand-name drugs and a discount on generic drugs.  These discounts and Medicare coverage gradually increase until 2020 when the donut hole is fully closed.

For state-by-state information on savings in the donut hole, please visit: http://www.cms.gov/apps/files/donut-hole-data-chart.pdf (PDF - 206 KB).

For state-by-state information on utilization of free preventive services, please visit: http://www.cms.gov/apps/files/preventive-data-chart-first-seven-months-2012.pdf (PDF - 281 KB).

  


Bon Secours Takes Healthy Kids Initiative Community-Wide

A mania has taken over the community of Richmond, VA.  Kids are clamoring about their favorite vegetables, battling Creepy Cupcakes and I Scream Cones and getting  feverishly excited about…moving!  On Thursday, June 14th, Bon Secours Virginia Health System, a member of the Catholic Health Association, launched movin’ mania, a community-wide effort to reduce childhood obesity and encourage children to form healthy habits for life.  Through an active board and steering committee, Bon Secours is rallying the support of many community partners, including health care providers, educators, business and government leaders, and families to get kids excited about eating right and being active.

“Our goal with movin’ mania is to collaborate with as many community organizations as possible to educate, empower and encourage the children of central Virginia to live healthy lives,” said Peter J. Bernard, CEO of Bon Secours Virginia Health System.  “Forty percent of Virginia’s fourth-graders are overweight or obese,” Bernard said at the kickoff rally.  Yet the rally wasn’t about dwelling on the past, but about celebrating a healthful future.  At the event, kids with half-eaten apples in hand danced to a live performance of the movin’ mania theme song.

This new collaboration engages kids both online and in their own neighborhoods.  The movin’ mania website is a virtual playground, with interactive games and memorable characters, like Broc, the movin’ mania mascot whose excitement about eating fruits and vegetables is contagious!  Through the games, kids earn points for making healthy choices and redeem them for prizes, such as entry fees to races and sports equipment.  In addition to the online fun, many events are taking place around Richmond in the coming months.  From French cooking classes to a moonlight bike ride, community partners across the business, government, media, education, food, exercise and health care sectors of Virginia have joined forces to create fun, unique ways to help kids in the community live healthier lives.  In the Fall, schools will continue implementing movin’ mania, and in Spring 2013, movin’ mania plans to hold an inaugural 5K Walk that will bring families, coaches, teachers, health providers, and business and government officials together to celebrate healthy living as a community.

movin’ mania is committed to ending chronic disease related to obesity in the next generation of Virginians.  What can your community do to spread the mania of healthy living?

Shannon Baldwin is an intern at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

 


Update: West Nile Virus

As of the end of August, most states have reported West Nile virus (WNV) infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes.  A total of 1,590 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 66 deaths, have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The number of cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of WNV cases reported to CDC through the last week in August since WNV was first detected in the United States in 1999.  Over 70 percent of the cases have been reported from six states (Texas, South Dakota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Michigan) and over 45 percent of all cases have been reported from Texas.

The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.

  • When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient.  Follow the directions on the package.
  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn.  Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
  • Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels.  Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly.  Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.  Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.

West Nile Virus is most often spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.  Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.  Infected mosquitoes can then spread WNV to humans and other animals when they bite.  WNV is not spread through casual contact such as touching or kissing a person with the virus.  People typically develop symptoms between 3 and 14 days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito.

Approximately 80 percent of people infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.  Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.  Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.  About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness.  The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.  These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

 


HHS Partners with Pharmacies to Educate Medicare Beneficiaries about New Health Benefits

This week, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced partnerships with several pharmacies to help customers learn about new Medicare benefits available to them under the Affordable Care Act – the health care law.  These partnerships – with CVS Caremark, Walgreens, Thrifty White, Walmart, and Sam’s Club – will provide Medicare beneficiaries a range of educational materials on newly available preventive services, as well as savings on prescription drug spending in the “donut hole” coverage gap.

Some examples of how pharmacy partners are working to increase awareness of preventive services available under Medicare include the following:

  • CVS Caremark is distributing material about new preventive services covered at no cost to beneficiaries at its more than 7,300 CVS/pharmacy stores and 600 MinuteClinic locations, through brochures, register receipt messages and online.
  • Thrifty White Pharmacy is providing information on preventive services through its 85 locations throughout the Midwest.
  • Walgreens is distributing information in nearly 8,000 pharmacies and over 350 Take Care Clinic locations, as well as using in-store announcements and providing this information as part of its Walgreens Way to Well Health Tour with AARP.
  • HHS is working with Walmart and Sam’s Club to provide healthcare information to their shoppers online. 

Other pharmacies or partners can find information on how to work with CMS to educate consumers about the benefits available to them at: http://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/Current-Partnership-Opportunities/index.html.

 


New Teen Health Resources from the Office of Adolescent Health

The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) has recently released a number of new resources related to adolescent reproductive health.  These resources include an online Pregnancy Assistance Fund Resource and Training Center, a new overview of data and resources on teen pregnancy and childbearing and updated fact sheets on adolescent reproductive health.

The new, online Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) Resource and Training Center provides training and technical assistance resources to professionals working with pregnant and parenting teens.  Designed for PAF grantees and other professionals in the field, this resource contains training and skill-building information, as well as guides, tips, and location-specific information to build the capacity of organizations supporting pregnant and parenting teens.

OAH has published a comprehensive synthesis of data and Federal resources on teen pregnancy and childbearing.  This overview includes the latest trends in teen pregnancy and childbearing and a full list of resources.  Resources include tips and strategies for parents, health care providers, and communities for talking to teens about relationships and pregnancy prevention and helping teens access the resources they need.

In recognition of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month in May, several other HHS agencies joined the Office of Adolescent Health to co-host the second annual Teen Pregnancy Prevention Federal event: “Let’s Hear about the Boys: Engaging Adolescent Males in Teen Pregnancy Prevention.” Speakers showcased the positive news related to recent declines in overall teen pregnancy rates, and highlighted the importance of increasing the engagement of adolescent males in teen pregnancy prevention efforts.  OAH looks forward to continuing the conversation and making progress on these issues with their partners.

For more information about what’s new at OAH, please visit: http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah.

To learn more about the reproductive health of teens in your state and how your state compares to national figures, please visit: http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-health-topics/reproductive-health/states/index.html.

 


Tracking Performance of the Nation’s Health Care System

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the launch of a new web-based tool that will make it easier for all Americans to monitor and measure how the nation’s health care system is performing.  The web-based tool, known as the Health System Measurement Project, will allow policymakers, providers, and the public to develop consistent data-driven views of changes in critical U.S. health system indicators.

The Health System Measurement Project brings together datasets from across the federal government such as access to care, cost and affordability, prevention and health information technology.  It presents these indicators by population characteristics, such as age, gender, income level, insurance coverage, and geography.

Using the Measurement Project, one can quickly view data, compare trends across measures and compare national trends with those at the state and regional level.  For example, an individual could use the Measurement Project to monitor the percentage of people who have a specific source of ongoing medical care or track avoidable hospitalizations for adults and children by region or ethnic group.

Click here to access the Health System Measurement Project.

  

Upcoming Events


Interactive Webinars on the Health Care Law

The HHS Partnership Center continues to host a series of interactive webinars discussing the benefits and provisions of the health care law, the Affordable Care Act.

All webinars are open to the public and include a question and answer session where you can ask HHS staff any question you may have about the health care law.  We also encourage you to submit questions you would like to have answered on the webinar to ACA101@hhs.gov.

To participate in one of the webinars, please select your preferred dates from the list below and submit the necessary information.

National Webinars

September 13, 12:30 pm ET– The Health Care Law 101 (in English)

September 25, 2:00 pm ET– The Health Care Law 101 (in Spanish)

 


Let’s Move Faith and CommunitiesWebinars

September 20, 2:00 pm ET– PALA+ and News from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

Learn how to engage your community in the PALA+ program, part of the President’s Challenge to pursue a healthier lifestyle!

 

October 24, 2:00 pm ET– Community Wellness Curricula: NIH’s We Can! and Bodyworks

Learn about the National Institutes of Health’s wellness curricula We Can! and BodyWorks, and how communities are using these curricula to encourage healthy lifestyles.

 

November 29, 2:00 pm ET– Establishing a Health Ministry in Your Community

Sue Heitmuller, Health Ministry Coordinator for Adventist HealthCare, will speak in-depth on how to lead communities through the process of faithfully establishing health ministries.

 

Please register to join us!  If you have any questions, please email us at partnerships@hhs.gov or call 202-358-3595.  To sign up for Let’s Move Faith and Communities, click here.

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. All of these grant programs are competitive. It is important to review the funding announcement thoroughly to ensure that the grant opportunity is one that is appropriate to your organization’s mission, size, and scope.

 

Grants Listings

Title: 2013 RSVP Grant Opportunity: Healthy Futures Focus

Description: RSVP is a Senior Corps program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).  RSVP provides competitive grants to organizations that identify a compelling, unmet community need and design a project that uses RSVP volunteers to address that need.  Senior Corps is interested in funding RSVP grants that increase seniors’ ability to remain in their own homes with the same or improved quality of life for as long as possible and/or improve access to primary and preventive health care.

Eligibility: Eligible applicants include faith-based and secular non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, state education agencies, Indian tribes, and local government entities.

Link to Full Announcement: Link to Full Announcement

Last Day to Apply: The Notice of Intent to apply is September 10, 2012.  The deadline to apply is October 11, 2012.

Grant is administered by the:Corporation for National and Community Service

 

Title: Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program (HTPCP)

Description: The purpose of HTPC is to increase the number of innovative community initiated programs that promote access to health care for children, youth and their families nationwide, and employ preventive health strategies. HTPC funding supports direct service projects, not research projects.

Eligibility: Eligible groups include nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status, for profit organizations, and small businesses.  The opportunity is also available to various government entities including school districts.

Link to Full Announcement:Link to Full Announcement

Last Day to Apply: September 21, 2012

Grant is administered by the:Health Resources and Services Administration

 

Title: OVW FY 2012 Consolidated Grant and Technical Assistance Program to Address Children and Youth Experiencing Domestic And Sexual Violence and Engage Men and Boys as Allies

Description: This program supports projects that implement one or both of the following: 1) Comprehensive child- and youth-centered prevention and intervention projects that maximize community-based efforts to more fully address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, and 2) Multi-faceted prevention strategies that encourages men and boys to work as allies with women and girls to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Eligibility: Nonprofits with a demonstrated goal of providing services to youth or adults who are victims of and/or exposed to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking; or who have demonstrated history of effective campaigns to encourage men and boys to work as allies with women and girls to prevent domestic violence , dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Link to Full Announcement:Link to Full Announcement

Last Day to Apply: The deadline to register on Grants.gov AND submit a recommended letter of intent is October 3, 2012. The deadline to apply is October 24, 2012.

Grant is administered by the:U.S. Department of Justice

 

Title: Rural Health Network Development Planning Program

Description: The grant program supports one year of planning to develop and assist health care networks in becoming operational.  These networks can include social service agencies, faith-based organizations, mental health agencies, charitable organizations, educational institutions, employers, local government agencies or other entities with an interest in a community's health care system.

Eligibility: Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status and Native American tribal organizations

Link to Full Announcement:Link to Full Announcement

Last Day to Apply: October 15, 2012

Grant is administered by the:Health Resources and Services Administration

 

Title: Social and Behavioral Interventions to Increase Solid Organ Donation

Description: The overall goal of this grant program is to: (1) reduce the gap between the demand for organ transplants and the supply of organs from deceased donors by identifying successful strategies that can serve as model interventions to increase deceased organ donation and, (2) increase the knowledge of options available through living donation among patients who may need transplants and/or individuals considering serving as a living donor.

Eligibility: Eligible applicants include nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status and faith-based or community-based organizations.

Link to Full Announcement:Link to Full Announcement

Last Day to Apply: November 30, 2012

Grant is administered by the:Health Resources and Services Administration

 

Title: Advancing Community-level Approaches to Reduce HIV Infection in Highly Impacted Communities

Description: This award seeks research to advance our understanding of community-level HIV-prevention and care interventions within geographic locations and specific populations highly impacted by HIV. These interventions can target communities highly impacted by HIV based on geographic, social, or demographic criteria. Structural interventions and systemic interventions are encouraged. The goal is to lower HIV infections and HIV viral load at a community-level by changing individual behaviors via cost-effective and sustainable means.

Eligibility: Eligible applicants include nonprofits that have or do not have a 501(c)(3) status and faith-based or community-based organizations.

Link to Full Announcement:Link to Full Announcement

Last Day to Apply: January 11, 2013

Grant is administered by the:National Institutes of Health

 

Title: Obesity Policy Research: Evaluation and Measures

Description: The overarching goal of this FOA is to inform public policy and research relevant to (1) diet and physical activity behavior, and (2) weight and health outcomes of Americans.  This grant opportunity encourages applicants to:  (1) conduct evaluation research on obesity-related natural experiments (defined here as community and other population-level public policy interventions that may affect diet and physical activity behavior), and/or (2) develop and/or validate relevant community-level measures (instruments and methodologies to assess the food and physical activity environments at the community level).

Eligibility: Non-profit organizations with or without 501(c)(3) status are encouraged to apply.  The opportunity is also available to various governmental entities, local organizations, for-profit groups and small businesses.   

Link to Full Announcement:Link to Full Announcement

Last Day to Apply: February 7, 2013

Grant is administered by the:National Institutes of Health

 

Title: Academic-Community Partnership Conference Series

Description: The purpose of this grant opportunity is to bring together academic institutions/organizations and community organizations to identify opportunities for addressing health disparities through the use of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR).  The objectives of meetings conducted as part of this award will be to: (1) establish and/or enhance academic-community partnerships; (2) identify community-driven research priorities, and (3) develop long-term collaborative CBPR research agendas.

Eligibility: Non-profit organizations with or without 501(c)(3) status are encouraged to apply.  The opportunity is also available to various governmental entities, local organizations, for-profit groups and small businesses.

Link to Full Announcement:Link to Full Announcement

Last Day to Apply: October 17, 2014

Grant is administered by the:National Institutes of Health