The vClinician: Mom and Babies Opioid User Disorder App

JBS International is a proud Phase 1 and Phase 2 winner of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau Grand Challenge: Addressing Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnant Women and New Moms. Their response to HRSA’s Challenge provides a mobile decision-support application (i.e., vClinician: M&B OUD [Moms and Babies Opioid Use Disorder]) or “virtual clinical guide” to health care providers and educators in diverse medical settings.

You are invited to utilize this app where content focuses on one the following:

To download this free mobile app, go to the App Store (for iPhones) and Google Play Store (for Android phones) and search for vClinician: M&B OUD. For more information, please download vClinician: M&B OUD App Guide in the link.

HHS Community Health News Dec. 7 – 11, 2020

We thought it might be helpful to review the current treatments available to treat those infected with the virus—and why there is an urgent national call for plasma donations.

Helpful overviews include FDA Combating Covid-19 with Therapeutics and a video interview with the Operation Warp Speed lead on types of treatments and ongoing research.

  • What treatments for COVID-19 are approved for use? As of Nov. 23, the FDA has approved one treatment for COVID-19, the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir), for use in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older. Five other treatments are currently authorized for Emergency Use – including convalescent plasma and monoclonal antibodies.
  • What’s the difference between convalescent plasma and monoclonal antibodies? Basically, monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses. Convalescent plasma is from patients who have already recovered from COVID-19 and may contain antibodies against the virus.
  • What other treatments are in development? FDA created the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP) to expedite the development of therapeutics.  As of Oct. 31, there were more than 370 active trials and more than 560 development programs for therapeutic agents in the planning stages. Visit the CTAP’s dashboard.
  • Why is there a national call for plasma?  As COVID-19 infections spike nationwide, the demand for convalescent plasma is outpacing donations. Americans who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last three months can donate now. Visit local blood collection center, American Red Cross or America’s Blood Centers or visit TheFightIsInUs.org to become a donor.

HHS Announcements & News

Vaccine Development and Distribution Update

  • CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met last week and voted on general recommendations for how to prioritize vaccine distribution when supply is initially scarce.
  • CDC then published the MMWR with their vaccine priority recommendations to jurisdictions. Bottom line: The 24 million vaccines will first take care of the 21 million healthcare workers and then approximately 3 million seniors and frail living in long term care facilities second.
  • The 64 jurisdictions are working on distribution plans and will use these recommendations and their own best judgment to develop allocation plans based on what makes sense in their circumstances.
  • Thurs., Dec. 10, FDA’s Vaccine Advisory Board will meet to discuss an emergency use authorization request for Pfizer’s vaccine.
  • Tues., Dec. 17, FDA’s Vaccine Advisory board will review the clinical trial data submitted by Moderna for emergency authorization of its vaccine.
  • What can we do? When vaccines become available, it’ll be our turn to get vaccinated and encourage our communities to do the same. Read and share the CDC’s website and videos with quick things to know about the science of vaccines.

HHS Announces New Action Plan and Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Improve Maternal Health

HHS released a new comprehensive HHS Action Plan and the U.S. Surgeon General issued a complementary Call to Action to Improve Maternal Health to reduce maternal deaths and disparities that put women at risk before, during, and after pregnancy.

HHS also announced a public-private partnership with the March of Dimes to support these initiatives.

New Study on First U.S. Cases of COVID-19

CDC highlighted a study that shows that the virus that causes COVID-19 may have been in the U.S. as early as mid-December 2019, a month before the first confirmed case, based on antibodies found in donated blood.

COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalizations, and Deaths Among Persons Hispanic/Latinos

CDC released an MMWR for the period between March and Oct. in Denver, Colorado.  The majority of adult COVID-19 cases (55%), hospitalizations (62%), and deaths (51%) were among Hispanic adults, double the proportion of Hispanic adults (24.9%).

E-learning and Engagement Opportunities

Spirituality and Community-wide Crisis: Building Systems to Support Connection and Recovery
Tues., Dec. 8, 2020. Register here.  

This 6th and final webinar in The Partnership Center’s webinar series will highlight examples of community programs that effectively engage spirituality and spiritual communities to support people affected by mental illness. View the entire series here.

COVID-19 Emergency Webinar for Community Based Organizations: Vaccines

Wed., Dec. 16, 2020. 3:00 p.m. ET. Register here.

CDC Foundation President and CEO Dr. Judy Monroe, CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat will discuss the current COVID-19 response, including the latest information about vaccines, and vaccine distribution plans. A local expert will also speak about vaccine-related challenges and opportunities.

Register now! USDA Faith Fellowship and Food Security Virtual Convening

USDA will host a Faith and Opportunity Fellowship convening bringing together faith leaders, faith-based organizations, and houses of worship to engage with peers, discuss common challenges, and hear best practices related to food security and community food system resilience.  Register here. Reach out to alex.cordova@usda.gov with any questions

HHS Community Health News- Oct. 5-9, 2020

COVID-19 Related News

Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine

The final report was released and includes recommendations for ensuring equity in distribution and access to the vaccine. Read the summary of Recommendations here.

Secretary Azar Testifies Before Congress on the Administration’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Last week HHS Secretary Alex Azar testified during a lengthy meeting of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, chaired by Rep. James E. Clyburn.  Read his statement here.

HHS has Announced $20 Billion in New Phase 3 Provider Relief Funding

Under this Phase 3 General Distribution allocation, providers who have already received Provider Relief Fund payments will be invited to apply for additional funding.  Also invited to apply are previously ineligible providers and an expanded group of behavioral health providers.  Providers can begin applying today, Oct. 5, 2020.

HHS Announces State Distribution of the Abbot BinaxNOW Rapid Test

Through a public-private partnership, HHS began shipping millions of rapid point of care Abbott BinaxNOW diagnostic tests to communities at risk for the virus. Download the Abbott BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Test Fact Sheet- PDF

NIH to Assess and Expand COVID-19 Testing for Underserved Communities

As part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative, the RADx Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) the NIH has awarded nearly $234 million to improve COVID-19 testing for underserved and vulnerable populations.

Community-based COVID-19 Testing Sites

COVID-19 tests are available at no cost nationwide at health centers and select pharmacies. The CARES Act ensures that COVID-19 testing is free to anyone in the U.S., including the uninsured.

Changing Age Distribution of the COVID-19 Pandemic

In case you missed it, the CDC released an MMWR on the Changing Age Distribution of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the U.S. between May and August, 2020. A key finding is that during June–August 2020, COVID-19 incidence was highest in persons aged 20–29 years.

COVID-19 Can Damage Hearts of Some College Athletes

NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins’s new blog discusses the challenges to deciding whether to pause or resume college athletics during the pandemic.

E-Learning Opportunities and Not to Be Missed Recordings

COVID-19 in Black: Honest Conversations about COVID-19 in Black Communities/Episode 1

In this recording of a conversation between members of the COVID-19 Prevention Network’s Black/African American CoVPN expert advisory panel, information was shared about the current and planned COVID-19 clinical trials and the importance of engaging Black communities in trial enrollment and uptake once a safe COVID-19 vaccine is approved.

Conspiracies and COVID-19 in Communities of Color: “Like, Comment, and Share the Truth”

Recorded Oct. 1 as part of NIH’s community engagement strategy, this webinar navigated through the wide range of information around vaccines, efficacy and safety and about the communities being targeted in the process of finding a cure to the current global pandemic.

Advancing the Response to COVID-19: Sharing Promising Programs and Practices for Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities Virtual Symposium

Recently HHS hosted a virtual symposium to highlight state, tribal, territorial, and community-based efforts to address COVID-19 among racial and ethnic minority and AI/AN populations. View the many recordings here.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 Twitter Chat/#HealthyLatinos

Thurs., Oct. 8, 2020, 2:00 p.m. EDT

Join this bilingual Twitter chat in observance of Hispanic Heritage Month. The chat will focus on highlighting healthy behaviors for the Hispanic/Latino community in light of the COVID-19 pandemic; getting the recommended vaccinations; and highlight efforts to improve diversity in clinical trials.  Use #HealthyLatinos.

SBA Webinar: Faith and Entrepreneurship Summit: Inspiration and Tools for Women in Business

Thurs., Oct. 8, 2020, 1:30 p.m. EDT, Register here.

The Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is hosting a virtual event that will discuss how faith-based women entrepreneurs can harness the power of faith, economic development, and entrepreneurship to create and sustain thriving businesses.

Coronavirus Scams, Older Adults, & Financial Protection

Thurs., Oct. 8, 2020, 11:00 a.m. – 12 p.m. EDT – Register here.

Join federal experts who will provide an overview of coronavirus-related scams targeting older adults, share resources to help older adults avoid financial distress due to the pandemic, and discuss the role of the aging network, including Adult Protective Services, legal services attorneys, and Long-term Care Ombudsman program experts.

Webinar Series: Spirituality and Mental Health

2nd Episode in 6-part series: Tues., Oct. 13, 2020, 12:00 p.m. EDT, Register here

Research demonstrates that spirituality and religious belief can be a protective factor in the prevention of, and recovery from, mental illness.  Learn more about programs that have translated this research into action and the importance of providing spiritual support for the clinicians themselves. Learn more about this series here and listen to prior episodes here.

HHS Announcements

HEAR HER Campaign

Join this campaign that supports the CDC’s efforts to prevent pregnancy-related deaths by sharing potentially life-saving messages about urgent warning signs.

SAMHSA’s New My Mental Health Crisis Plan App

SAMHSA’s newly released mobile app empowers individuals who have serious mental illness (SMI) to help guide their treatment preferences during a mental health crisis.

SUPPORT Act Medicaid Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Services and Drugs Mandatory Coverage Starts

State Medicaid programs are now required to provide coverage of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) services and drugs under a new mandatory benefit in order to increase access to evidenced-based treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) for all Medicaid beneficiaries.

CDC Digital Media Toolkit: 2020-21 Flu Season

Help spread the word on the importance of getting a flu vaccine by using the CDC’s recently released digital media toolkit for the 2020-21 flu season. FDA also released multiple reasons why it is important to get your flu vaccine, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Infographic: Drug and Alcohol Use in College-Age Adults in 2019

This infographic illustrates the latest data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).  The data tells us that nicotine vaping rose dramatically over 3 years and that cannabis vaping has increased sharply among non-college young adults in 2019.   Also that cannabis use remains at historic highs and use is more common among non-college young adults in 2019.

Grants and Other Announcements

Additional Aid Available for Farmers in New CFAP 2

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) opened applications on Sept. 21 for the new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2). This program will offer payments to farmers and ranchers who may have suffered economic impacts caused by the coronavirus. Para la versión en español de esta historia, por favor oprima aqui.

31 Million Awarded in Support of Sexual Risk Avoidance Education

Seventy-nine organizations that educate youth on sexual risk avoidance, which includes voluntarily refraining from sexual activity, were awarded $31.63 million this week.

DOJ Awards More than $92 Million to Support Offenders Returning to Communities

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced more than $92 million in awards to reduce recidivism among adults and juvenile offenders returning to their communities after confinement. For more information read the OJP fact sheet.

Fostering Innovative Research to Improve Mental Health Outcomes Among Minority and Health Disparities Populations

NOT-MH-20-073 — The National Institute of Mental Health seeks time-sensitive input from all interested parties on the most innovative research and research priorities to improve mental health outcomes among racial/ethnic minority and health disparities populations. Learn more hereResponse date: Oct. 30, 2020.

Comprehensive High-Impact HIV Prevention Programs for Community-Based Organizations

The CDC supports the development and implementation of high-impact HIV prevention programs, including PrEP and nPEP services. Closing date: Nov. 20, 2020.

Webinar: Clinical Guidance Training for Treating Pregnant & Post-Partum Women with Opioid Use Disorder

The Bureau for Behavioral Health would like to share the following information about an upcoming virtual training presented jointly by West Virginia DHHR, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), West Virginia Perinatal Partnership (WVPP), Marshall University Family Medicine, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and WVU:

Clinical Guidance Training for Treating Pregnant & Post-Partum Women with Opioid Use Disorder
Eight hour training offered over two days:
Tuesday and Thursday
November 10th & 12th | 8:30 am -12:30 pm

This Clinical Guidance training:

  • provides comprehensive, evidence-based information to provide the optimal management of pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorder and their infants
  • highlights West Virginia’s successful approaches for caring for the mother with opioid use disorder and her child
  • aims to help healthcare professionals and patients determine the most clinically appropriate action for a particular situation and informs individualized treatment decisions

Presenter Information and Registration Link

RCORP-TA Resource Portal Weekly Update

The portal allows grantees to request technical assistance, find nearby grantees or grantees with a similar focus, and access a repository of resources tailored to support RCORP Grantees.

RCORP-TA Webinar Resources

Portal Resources
New training, templates, and articles are posted daily. Here is a sample of recently posted resources:

Upcoming Events and Webinars
Check our calendar, as new events and webinars are posted frequently.

*These events are not sponsored by RCORP-TA. Please reach out directly to the event organizers with any questions.

New Funding Opportunities
The list of funding opportunities updates continually. Here is a short list by closing date. Check the portal regularly to view all new listings.

September 7, 2023Long-Term Effects of Disasters on Health Care Systems Serving Health Disparity Populations

HHS Community Health News: Aug. 10-14, 2020

HHS Healthcare Provider and Community News

Proposal to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries and Advances in Access to Care in Rural Areas

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing changes to expand telehealth permanently, consistent with the Executive Order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access. To learn more about the public input CMS is seeking and additional information about the proposed rule read the press release here.

HHS Awards Over $101 Million to Combat the Opioid Crisis

HHS awarded over $101 million to combat substance use disorders (SUD) and opioid use disorders (OUD).  $89 million was awarded to rural organizations across 38 states as part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation (RCORP).  Another nearly $12.5 million went to organizations through the Opioid-Impacted Family Support Program (OIFSP) for workforce development.

Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19

SAMHSA is committed to providing regular training and technical assistance (TTA) on matters related to the mental and substance use disorder field as they deal with COVID-19.

Webinar: Mentoring During COVID-19: Findings from a Recent Study of Mentoring Relationships in the Pandemic

Tues., Aug. 11, 2020, 1:00 p.m. EDT, Register here.

Learn the results of an important new study, “Mentoring During COVID-19”,  and how mentors are employing ways to stay in contact with mentees during this time of social distancing and technological interventions.

Webinar on Using Social Determinants of Health Data to Fight COVID-19

Wed., Aug. 12, 2020, 12:00 p.m. EDT, Register here.

This webinar is for those interested in accelerating data-driven solutions to improve the prevention, treatment, and management of resources to fight COVID-19 and support the recovery effort.

Using Data to Measure Social Capital and Build Social Connections for Vulnerable Youth

Next Week- Thurs., Aug. 20, 2020, 2:30 p.m. EDT, Register here.

This interactive training will discuss the latest research on social capital, or the value we get from our relationships with others, as well as lessons from the field.

Updated COVID-19 Guidance for Specific Populations

Visit https://www.coronavirus.gov/ for most recent COVID-19 related news, information, and guidance.   In Spanish.

CDC Updated Toolkit for Young Adults – 15 to 21

Resources and tools designed for youth and young adults to keep them healthy as they venture out.

Guidance on Unsheltered Homelessness and COVID-19 for Homeless Service Providers and Local Officials

Updated interim guidance on unsheltered homelessness and COVID-19 for homeless service providers and locals shelters.

COVID-19 in Newly Resettled Refugee Populations

Updated information for refugees to the U.S., especially those who are recently resettled, may be in living or working conditions that put them at risk of getting COVID-19.

Data on COVID-19 during Pregnancy

Updated information on tracking data on COVID-19 during pregnancy to protect pregnant women and their babies.

FAQ about Antibody Testing for COVID-19: Information for Patients and Consumers

The FDA posted frequently asked questions for patients and consumers about antibody (serology) testing during the COVID-19 public health emergency- including “Antibodies and Antibody Tests: The Basics.”  CDC updated their guidelines for antibody testing in clinical and public health settings.

The Experts Talk about Vaccine and Related Programs

FDA Commissioner: “No Matter What, Only A Safe, Effective Vaccine Will Get Our Approval

This Op-ed by Dr. Stephen Hahn, FDA Commissioner, writes about the large-scale clinical trials already have begun for several promising vaccine candidates and what information the FDA will require to decide whether approval of the vaccine for general use is justified.

HHS Podcast on Operation Warp Speed

On this episode of “Learning Curve,” HHS Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs Michael Caputo sits down with Dr. Moncef Slaoui, to discuss ongoing vaccine development efforts, convalescent plasma, and the role of the military in Operation Warp Speed.

Facebook Conversation about Promising COVID-19 Treatment and Vaccines

NIH launched clinical trials for the use of monoclonal antibodies in treating COVID-19, the first prioritized therapeutics under the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) program. To learn about these investigative treatments, watch NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Charting a Rapid Course Toward Better COVID-19 Tests and Treatments

NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins, says that it is becoming apparent that our country is entering a new and troubling phase of the COVID-19 pandemic as the virus continues to spread across our communities and talks about their urgent efforts to create accessible and affordable diagnostic testing.

Exploring Drug Repurposing for COVID-19 Treatment

In this blogpost, Dr. Collins talks about the exploration of existing drugs and/or experimental drugs that are already in the development pipeline and have potential to be repurposed for treating COVID-19.

Rural Community Health

Social Determinants of Health in Rural Communities Toolkit

A newly released toolkit that compiles evidence-based and promising models and resources to support organizations implementing programs that address the social determinants of health in rural communities.

** Upcoming Webinar Introducing the Social Determinants of Health in Rural Communities Toolkit.
Wed. Aug. 19, 2020. 1:00 p.m. EDT.
  Register here. Speakers discuss the Social Determinants of Health in Rural Communities Toolkit and describe strategies to establishing rural programs to address various social determinants of health

CDC’s COVID-19 and Rural Communities

About 46 million Americans live in rural areas and are facing distinctive challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC updated its information on rural communities and their response to the crisis.

Resources Supporting Rural Healthcare Surge Readiness

A dashboard developed by the COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Working Group, a partnership with HHS, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies to provide support and guidance for healthcare delivery and workforce capacity and protection.

Rural Community Toolbox.Org Launches

In case you missed it, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) launched the Rural Community Toolbox website, a clearinghouse for funding and resources to support rural leaders in addressing substance use disorder (SUD) and the opioid crisis.  The Community Assessment Tool is especially helpful.

Grants and Funding Opportunities

Please see current funding announcements by visiting Grants.gov