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The Partnership Center Newsletter

December 13, 2012 Edition

Dear Partners:

Last week was National Influenza Vaccination Week. The flu vaccine is modern medicine’s most effective protection against this potentially serious disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that every person 6 months and older receive an annual flu vaccine. It’s not too late to get the vaccine; flu season usually peaks in January or February but can occur as late as May. The flu vaccine will protect you for one flu season.

I want to tell you about partnerships between the CDC Flu Vaccination campaign and two communities in Louisiana. These replicable models have led to increased vaccination rates among some of the most vulnerable members of those communities.

In Lafayette, LA, JeNelle Chargois, the General Manager of KJCB Radio, weaved free turkey gumbo and live musical entertainment into an event that focused on vaccinating the homeless, as well as uninsured and underinsured citizens. "We are committed to addressing issues of quality healthcare for the most vulnerable populations,” Chargois said. Walgreens pharmacists vaccinated 30 homeless members of the community at the event.

The next day, a similar event was held in Opelousas, less than half an hour from Lafayette. Many people heard about the vaccination effort on KJCB and in the local newspaper; the mayor even issued a proclamation. Community members of all ages formed a constant line. 76 people were vaccinated and more could have been had more vaccine been available. The day offered a stark reminder of the correlation between poverty and poor health outcomes.

Since these flu vaccination events, KJCB has received calls from church and civic leaders in neighboring communities asking how they can sign on to the campaign. These events serve as reminders that faith and community leaders play an integral role in helping to keep their communities and congregations healthy, especially during flu season.

Most health insurance plans cover the cost of vaccines, but you should check with your insurance company before visiting your health care provider. Under the Affordable Care Act, many insurers are required to cover certain preventive services, like the flu vaccine, at no cost to you. If you do not have insurance or if it does not cover vaccines, help is available.

I hope you will consider hosting a seasonal flu vaccine clinic in your congregation or remind individuals and families to get vaccinated through local meetings or informal gatherings. For more information on how you can help keep your communities and congregations flu-free this season, our Center has created a Seasonal Flu Guide for Community & Faith-based Organizations and Leaders in English and Spanish. You can also download the 1-page Faith and Communities Fight Flu in English and Spanish.


Sincerely,

Acacia Bamberg Salatti, Acting Director
Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services 


Featured Update

The Health Care Law is Implemented with Health Insurance Marketplaces Approved in Six States

In ten months, starting in October 2013, Americans in all States will be able to choose affordable health insurance as part of a Health Insurance Marketplace, or Exchange. All States will choose either to start their own Exchange, partner with the Federal government to create a Partnership Exchange or participate in the Federally Facilitated Exchange (FFE).  Enrollment in the Exchanges begins on October 1, 2013 and coverage begins on January 1, 2014. Many people have never had health insurance, or had been forced to make the decision to go without health insurance after losing a job or becoming sick. The creation of the Exchanges is groundbreaking for health care in our country.

On December 10, 2012, HHS conditionally approved six State Exchanges. These early approval States, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon and Washington, have made significant progress in setting up their own marketplaces, or Exchanges. HHS is reviewing applications from other States making progress in building their Exchange.

HHS has also provided more information that will answer some questions for States on the Exchanges and Medicaid Expansion. To view the Frequently Asked Questions, click here. To read a blog post from Secretary Sebelius, click here


Health care law delivers higher payments to primary care physicians

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the final rule implementing the part of the health care law that provides higher payments to primary care physicians who serve Medicaid beneficiaries. The Medicaid program provides health care to people with low incomes. Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement are now the same for primary care doctors.

“The health care law will help physicians serve millions of Americans across the country,” Secretary Sebelius said. “By improving payments for primary care services, we are helping Medicaid patients get the care they need to stay healthy and treat small health problems before they become big ones.”

The final rule implements the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that Medicaid pay physicians practicing in family medicine, general internal medicine, pediatric medicine, and related subspecialists at Medicare levels in 2013 and 2014.  This payment increase goes into effect in January of 2013.

In addition to payment improvements, the health care law includes numerous initiatives designed to bolster primary care and strengthen the primary care workforce, including an expansion of medical residency positions for primary care physicians, new investments in physician assistant and nurse practitioner training, and an unprecedented expansion of the National Health Service Corps, which provides scholarships and loan repayments to primary care providers who practice in underserved areas.

For more information about the final rule, visit: http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/fact_sheets.asp.

To view a copy of the final rule, visit: www.ofr.gov/inspection.aspx.


HHS Announces New Comprehensive Website on Ending Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States.  To help achieve the vision of a society free from tobacco-related death and disease, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created www.BeTobaccoFree.gov, a comprehensive tobacco website providing information on avoiding or ending tobacco use. BeTobaccoFree.gov provides a comprehensive “one-stop-shop” for tobacco information. The website includes: Tobacco Basics, Health Effects, Stop, Don’t Start, Campaigns, Tobacco Laws, and Policies and Research. Please share this new website with others in your congregations and communities.


Let’s Move Faith and Communities:
Interfaith Exchange: Faith-based Healthy Lifestyle Programs

In November 2012, sixty Jewish adults completed the fifth and final week of L’Chaim, a Jewish health and fitness program piloted this year at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Using faith as a foundation to approach healthy lifestyle changes, L’Chaim (which means “To Life” in Hebrew) teaches participants healthy eating and fitness habits and provides them with a community of support. Though a new program at Adat Shalom, L’Chaim is directly based on The Daniel Plan, a Christian-inspired health and fitness program implemented at Saddleback Church in southern California in 2011. The program engaged over 15,000 participants in losing 250,000 pounds in its first year and was developed by Saddleback’s dynamic Pastor Rick Warren, a team of three doctors, and a fitness coach.

Motivated by the growing prevalence of obesity and diet-related disease in America, Dr. Joel Kahn (Medical Director of Wellness Programs, Preventive Cardiology, and Cardiac Rehabilitation at Detroit Medical Center) took on the role of developing L’Chaim alongside the Adat Shalom clergy. Dr. Kahn explains, “From Maimonides, there is a strong Jewish tradition of medical leaders as religious leaders.” Recognizing that faith and community organizations are important contributors in efforts to change the course of the nation’s health, Dr. Kahn and the Adat Shalom clergy see The Daniel Plan as a replicable curriculum to encourage healthier lifestyles in their own faith community. After adapting the religious content to fit a Jewish audience, Dr. Kahn and the clergy see a spiritual and health message in The Daniel Plan that is universal across faiths.

Now that the pilot term has concluded, Dr. Kahn and the Adat Shalom leadership are looking at ways to evaluate the success of the program and its ability to encourage sustained lifestyle changes. They are also considering how this program will influence lifestyle choices within the synagogue, such as the food served after services and other opportunities to make healthy choices the easy choices for their congregants. Dr. Kahn hopes to run L’Chaim again in the spring and reach more people in the Jewish community about the importance of healthy lifestyle choices.

To learn more about effective and innovative ways to bring health and wellness to your community, visit the Let’s Move Faith and Communities Communities on the Move! Clearinghouse of Best Practices and Resources. Let’s Move Faith and Communities (LMFC) is designed to help faith-based and neighborhood organizations transform neighborhoods, engage communities, and promote healthy choices. Sign up here to receive news updates, tools and resources, and invitations to participate in relevant monthly calls to help support your efforts to improve the health and wellness of your community!

Hayley Sakwa is an intern with the HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.


App-lying Ourselves

Part of the Digital Government Strategy is to provide information and services anywhere, anytime, and on any device. This means government websites are working hard to make their content accessible and useful to you. Several offices even developed downloadable iPhone and Android smartphone apps that help track your health. Below is a list of apps that we think you, key community and faith leaders, will find valuable. If you see one you like, please follow the app’s download link and give it a try!

  • FluView

With FluView, an application developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can track infection reports across the United States and learn if your area is at risk for infection. Don’t let the flu surprise you or your community. To learn more and download this app, please visit the CDC mobile website.

  • Find a Health Center

Do you know someone who needs health care but does not know where to go, especially if they are uninsured or underinsured? Federally Qualified Community Health Centers provide health care services for people without insurance as well as for people on Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance. You pay on a sliding scale with those who have lower incomes paying less. Download the app to find a community health center near you! Please visit HRSA’s mobile website to learn more and to download this app.

  • BMI Calculator

Your body mass index (BMI) is a reliable indicator of total body fat, which is related to the risk of disease and death.  As long as you know your height and weight, this clever app takes the guesswork out of BMI calculation. With links to healthy weight information on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) website, this app can inform health habits. To download BMI Calculator, please visit: http://apps.usa.gov/bmi-app.shtml

  • CDC Health-e-cards

Health education is a central part of promoting wellness in our communities and congregations. As a faith or community leader, you are uniquely positioned to affect many people’s lives. CDC Health-e-cards is an app that allows you to send health tips directly from your phone. Based on CDC's successful eCards' website, this mobile app features popular eCards and timely updates to coincide with important health events throughout the year, including American Heart Month, Flu Season, Great American Smokeout, and others. To download Health-e-cards please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/mobile/iPhoneApps/promos/mobile_applications.html.

We hope you have time to try some of these apps out. If you want to learn about all 25 HHS-sponsored apps, please visit: http://www.hhs.gov/digitalstrategy/mobile/index.html.


National Adoption Month

National Adoption Month is celebrated every November. This year the HHS Partnership Center partnered with the U.S. Department of Education in hosting a forum on adoption. Information about how to begin the adoption process for domestic and international adoption was shared as well as suggestions for improving public policy. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), National Council for Adoption and the Joint Council on International Children’s Services all presented at the National Adoption Month event.

CCAI celebrated National Adoption Day, November 17, by sharing a music video about adoption. Written by national singer-songwriter Karyn Williams,“You Just May Be” (link: http://youtu.be/qtWcBKvj_ic) celebrates adoption and reminds individuals, families, and organizations all over the world that anybody can make the difference in the life of a child without a family. As Karyn tells us in the introduction, all you have to do is say, “Yes!” CCAI encourages you to share this video with colleagues, friends and neighbors so that everyone might feel empowered to step up and make that difference in the life of a child.


Generations United is Looking for America’s Best Intergenerational Communities

Are residents of all ages valued and considered an integral part of community life? If so, MetLife Foundation and Generations United want to honor and recognize you as a Best Intergenerational Community. If you think your community meets the criteria, apply today.

Generations United is a national non-profit organization with a mission of improving the lives of children, youth and older people through intergenerational collaboration, public policies, and programs for the enduring benefit of all. More information can be found at www.gu.org.


New Online Resource on Domestic Violence

The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV), funded by the Department of Health and Humans Services Family Violence Prevention and Services Program is pleased to announce the release of a new interactive online course, Domestic Violence: Understanding the Basics. This one hour interactive eLearning module:

•         Describes the dynamics and common tactics that characterize domestic violence

•         Provides an overview of the scope and impact on individuals and society

•         Explores the underlying factors that allow domestic violence to exist

•         Offers insight into the various risks and choices that survivors face

•         Shares solutions to the problem.

This course will help advocates, allied professionals, students, and the general public achieve a basic understanding of this complex issue. To access the course, click here.


Administration for Community Living Provides New Funds for Elder Abuse Prevention Interventions Program

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) recently awarded a total of $5,700,000 in grants to States and Tribes to test interventions designed to prevent elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. This three year initiative helps to implement the Elder Justice Act, which was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act.  These prevention projects will draw on existing research and promising practices, while building a stronger evidence base and improving data collection systems that are needed to more effectively address this troubling issue.

To read more about this initiative and the awardees, click here.


U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission

The United States-Mexico Border Health Commission (BHC), which is comprised of the federal secretaries of health, the chief health officers of the ten border states, and prominent community health professionals from both nations, has the unique opportunity to bring together the two countries and its border states to solve border health problems by providing the necessary leadership to develop coordinated and binational actions that can improve the health of border residents and eliminate health disparities through an effort that focuses attention on major health issues in the region.

To learn more about the work of the BHC and border health issues impacting the U.S.-México border, the BHC publishes a weekly electronic bulletin, E-Border Health, that examines current and relevant issues unique to the U.S.-México border region and offers the latest in reports, studies, white papers, and health events related to the border that may be of interest to researchers, health physicians, and other health professionals. To subscribe to the E-Border Health bulletin, simply go to the BHC website of at www.borderhealth.org  and enter your e-mail address on the subscription link at the top of the page. The E-Border Health bulletins will be e-mailed directly to your subscribed e-mail address. 


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

December 18, 2:00 pm ET– The Health Care Law 101 (in Spanish)

January 10, 2:00 pm ET– The Health Care Law 101 (in English)

January 22, 2:00 pm ET– The Health Care Law 101 (in Spanish) 


Let’s Move Faith and Communities Webinars

January 31, 2:00 pm ETTransform Your Food Pantry into a Source of Health and Wellness

Mary Haftmann-Dailer and Cindy Hammer from Catholic Charities West Virginia will share their innovative Wellness Works program, a comprehensive community-based approach to addressing the health and nutritional needs of their food pantry consumers.

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: 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