Thank you so much to our health centers and partner organizations for their incredible support in celebrating National Health Center Week. We enjoyed seeing everyone in their “I love my health center” shirts in photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn! The staff events, patient appreciation, congressional visits by Senator John Thune and Congressman Kelly Armstrong, and TV appearances made the week even more special.
“My patients have taught me a lot, which includes patience, how to be a good listener, how to build a great rapport, how to trust, because trust becomes reciprocal. They taught me about individual uniqueness, and they also taught me how to be a good role model. Most importantly, they have taught me about being appreciative. My patients are one appreciative bunch!

They truly are grateful that I can: be their doctor, see them on a very short notice, review their labs and all their medications with them, welcome any questions from them, counsel and educate them, including their family members. Being a family practitioner can be one of the most challenging occupations; however, it can also be one of the most rewarding and gratifying, which it is for me, and I have my patients to thank for this.”

- Rachel Ilesanmi, FNP-BC, DNP, at Faith Community Health Center
Check out our full gallery of photos from National Health Center Week 2022 on our website.
Health Centers in the News
Michaela Seiber, executive director at South Dakota Urban Indian Health, addressed possible solutions with the Sioux Falls Homelessness Task Force via KELO.

Horizon Health Care is offering mouth guards for student-athletes via the Timber Lake Topic.

COVID-19 Updates
As of August 11, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID-19 guidance to focus on protecting the most vulnerable groups and providing a safe environment to keep kids and staff in school for successful in-person learning. There are now tools such as vaccinations, boosters, and treatments to reduce the severity of COVID-19 and reduce the number of hospitalizations and deaths.

One of the biggest changes is quarantine guidance for people exposed to the virus. Instead of quarantining, the CDC recommends wearing a
high-quality mask, watching for symptoms for ten days, and getting tested on the fifth day. People who are mildly sick with COVID-19 should still isolate for at least five days. Wear a high-quality mask when you must be around others at home and in public. After isolation, people recovering should avoid contact with vulnerable people for 11 days.

In updated
guidance for schools and childcare settings, the CDC removed the recommendation to cohort students and to conduct screening tests, except when community levels are high or in response to outbreaks or high-risk activities. Examples of high-risk activities include close-contact sports, band, choir, theatre, or key times in the year, such as before/after large events and when returning from breaks.

With the increased opportunity for booster doses, both Moderna and Pfizer plan to apply for an emergency use authorization (EUA) for bivalent booster vaccines. These vaccines will now contain an Omicron BA.4/5 spike protein component and are expected to be available for ages 12 and up by the week of September 5.

Allocations in ND were sent out based on historical long-term care vaccine administration and the 65 and older population. South Dakota health centers will not be receiving allocations at this time. The South Dakota Department of Health has asked health centers to first order from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) vaccine program, then work with the state if not enough doses are received to meet the demands.

There will be a limited number of vaccines available in the initial rollout of the bivalent vaccine, so clinics should limit wastage as much as possible and plan only to open a vial if you have a plan for all the doses. Providers should consider temporarily moving towards a mass vaccination model to limit wastage. Consider vaccine clinics to vaccinate for all scheduled vaccines, including COVID-19 and influenza.

Providers should plan to keep current COVID-19 doses on hand to administer primary doses to those who have not completed the primary series.

Additional Resources
Monkeypox Update
As of August 24, the case count for monkeypox in the U.S. has reached 16,603, with two cases reported in South Dakota and four in North Dakota. Public health laboratories in North Dakota and South Dakota have seen an increase in testing and have expanded testing capacity. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) urges health care providers to be vigilant and look out for the rash associated with monkeypox. The CDC has also shared detailed information about identifying and testing potential infections.

A recent article shared during a national oral health meeting states that dentists are well-positioned to help detect monkeypox during examinations. Monkeypox often presents first in the mouth as a rash on the tongue and mucous membranes. Dentists can help detect monkeypox by asking patients if they have any mouth sores and looking for rashes and lesions on the tongue, the oral cavity, and the corners of the mouth. If a dentist or dental hygienist suspects a monkeypox rash or lesion upon examination, they should contact their local health department. 

With the expanded access to the vaccine, health centers are encouraged to order and have the monkeypox vaccine available according to your state’s guidance. In South Dakota, eligibility and availability for the JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine can be found here. For North Dakota, monkeypox vaccine guidance can be accessed here. Monkeypox vaccine availability in North Dakota can be found here. The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) encourages health centers to enroll here to receive the monkeypox vaccine.

Antiviral medication, tecovirimat (TPOXX), is available for treating patients with monkeypox infection under the CDC’s expanded access investigational new drug (EA-IND). Interested providers in South Dakota should call the South Dakota Department of Health (SDDOH) epidemiology team at 605-773-3737 to discuss the indication for treatment. The SDDOH will work with the patient’s medical provider and the CDC monkeypox clinical team for a consultation since TPOXX is only available from the strategic national stockpile. Providers seeking TPOXX in North Dakota will follow the same procedure for access to treatment by contacting the NDDoH emergency preparedness division at 701-328-0707.

NDDoH Monkeypox Update for Health Care Providers
The NDDoH will provide an update regarding monkeypox in North Dakota, including surveillance, case investigation/contact tracing, laboratory testing, vaccination, treatment, communications, and other important information. Registration is not required, and the webinar will be recorded for later viewing.

Wednesday, August 31
12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT
Click here to join the meeting.
Meeting ID: 222 934 579 921
Passcode: mpRJFA

Additional Resources
New DAETC Monthly Communities of Practice Series
Join CHAD and the Dakotas AIDS Education Training Center (DAETC) for the new monthly Communities of Practice meeting series, beginning with Building Capacity in Primary Care: Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of STIs and HIV in the Dakotas.

Communities of Practice calls will begin Thursday, September 15, at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT and continue the third Thursday of each month. Health centers and partners are invited to connect with peers, review case scenarios, and share best practices to improve access to care and quality of life for people with or at increased risk of acquiring HIV. Providers, nurses, case managers, and clinicians passionate about ending the HIV epidemic in the Dakotas and working in the continuum of care surrounding sexual health and prevention and treatment of HIV are the intended audience for these informal sessions.

CHAD/DAETC, a subgrantee of the Mountain West AIDS Education and Training Center (MWAETC), will host this series as they endeavor to provide quality education and training opportunities to partners. CHAD/DAETC hopes these calls will greatly benefit health centers and partners as they work together to improve patient care and treatment. Tracy Salameh, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, will lead guided conversations. As a former community health center employee, Tracy understands the unique challenges and opportunities of integrating services into primary care.

Sign up here to join the Communities of Practice calls. After signing up, participants will receive an Outlook meeting invitation for monthly calls and important resources and updates about the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of STIs and HIV in the Dakotas.
Person-Centered Communication in Health Care
September – November 2022

Join CHAD for a virtual training series focusing on broadly relevant person-centered communication concepts and skills, offering participants an interactive, skill-based learning experience. The sessions will include best communication practices and draw connections between evidence-based and consumer-voice guidance. The series will consist of four 90-minute web-based trainings, and each session will feature a lived experience testimonial you can access after the training. After each session, CHAD will provide a copy of the lived experience testimonial and a discussion guide that participants can utilize to share person-centered communication concepts with additional colleagues.

This series will be relevant to people in almost any patient-facing role, including front-desk staff, medical assistants, nurses, providers, care coordinators, navigators, and community health workers. Sessions 3 and 4 will be particularly relevant to people who facilitate screenings and referrals, health education, care planning, care management, or care coordination. All are welcome to attend.

Wednesdays: September 28, October 12 & 26, November 9
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm CT / 11:00 am – 12:30 pm MT
Register here.

CCHN/CHAMPS 2022 Health Equity Learning Series
The Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS) is pleased to announce that registration is now open for three free upcoming distance learning events as part of the 2022 CCHN/CHAMPS Health Equity Learning Series.

The 2022 Health Equity Learning Series examines foundational topics in health center equity and highlights a path towards accessible health care for all communities. Each speaker will address a different topic to help participants equip themselves with actionable strategies to progress care for their patient base. This year’s events build on the topics investigated in the 2021 Health Equity Learning Series to help educate participants on issues of racism in the health care community, equity burnout, and LGBTQ+ health care access. Each event is designed to help create actionable plans to work towards health equity within the health center community.

Participation in the live versions of these webinars is free for health centers and primary care associations in Region VIII (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY). Recordings will be available. This series is intended for any health center and PCA staff in Region VIII (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY). Register here.
Mental Health First Aid Training in Watertown, SD
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an eight-hour course that gives people the skills to help someone developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis such as contemplating suicide. MHFA is an evidence-based program widely used throughout the United States. The training aims to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives. Participants learn strategies, including assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, identifying appropriate professional help, and other supports.

Participants will learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems, engage in experiential activities that build an understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families, evidence-supported treatment, and self-help strategies.

MHFA is intended for people and organizations that make up the fabric of a community. Professionals who regularly interact with people such as police officers, nurses, human resources, primary care workers, school/college leadership, faith communities, and friends and family of individuals with mental illness or addiction are encouraged to attend. This training will be held in person at Prairie Lakes Healthcare System in Watertown, SD, on Wednesday, September 21. Free to attend. Register here
GP11 Network News
Using Remote Patient Monitoring?
Azara is focused on delivering DRVS functionality that helps its clients effectively care for their patients. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) allows patients to use mobile medical devices and technology to gather patient-generated health data (PGHD) and send it to health care professionals. As Azara continues its research, they want to understand what clients are doing, if anything, with RPM solutions. Click here to answer three quick questions about RPM usage.

Back to School: Keep Your Data Healthy
This Azara webinar explores DRVS tools for data quality activities. These reporting features will help health centers identify, monitor, analyze and improve data quality using tools available in DRVS.

Thursday, August 25
1:00 CT/12:00 MT
Register here.

HRSA Telehealth Learning Series: Telehealth and Broadband Funding/Resources
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is offering a telehealth and broadband funding/resources webinar, part of HRSA’s Telehealth Learning Webinar Series. The series’ goal is to highlight successful projects/best practices and resources to promote and further the use of telehealth technologies for health care delivery, education, and health information services. This session will be broadcast in English, with live interpretation services in Spanish.

Tuesday, August 30
1:00 - 2:15 pm CT/ 12:00 – 1:15 pm MT
Register here.

HITEQ Highlights: Cybersecurity Ask Me Anything
This session will seek to motivate and educate health center staff and leadership on current critical cybersecurity threats, concepts, and methods for defending health data. Register to hear a panel of cybersecurity experts address questions on how to best protect health centers from internal and external network leaks, malware such as ransomware, and through physical means on-site. 

Thursday, September 8
1:00 pm CT/ 12:00 pm MT
Register here.

Back to School: DRVS Tips and Tricks
Hear Azara experts share their favorite tips and tricks for streamlining DRVS. Learn how to create pins, saved filters, saved columns, and much more.

Thursday, September 8
1:00 pm CT/12:00 pm MT
Register here.

Health Care Workforce Stress and Resiliency: The Role of Technology
This webinar is part of HRSA’s telehealth learning webinar series. It will feature expert panelists discussing best/promising practices and examples of how technology can be leveraged to address provider stress and promote health care workforce resiliency. The webinar will be interactive with a discussion session following the panelist presentations, and resources will be provided.

Tuesday, September 13
11:00 am CT/ 10:00 am MT
Register here.

Back to School: Basics of DRVS Admin
Hosted by Azara, this webinar will review the basics of the DRVS administration permission, including cohorts and registries, provider and location groups, targets, shared filters, and email subscriptions. Follow along in DRVS and ask questions of DRVS experts.

Thursday, September 15
1:00 pm CT/12:00 pm MT
Register here.
#CallYourPediatrician Campaign
Using humor and real-world conversations, the American Academy of Pediatrics has launched the #CallYourPediatrician campaign, which aims to reach parents with timely reminders that going to the pediatrician, even during COVID-19, is important and safe.

Click on each campaign to find everything you need to share on social networks. They include sample texts, videos, and photos sized for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. All posts should include the hashtag #CallYourPediatrician.
Webinars & Meetings
Find these and other events on the CHAD website.
Developing and Sustaining a Successful Community Health Worker Workforce in South Dakota
The Community Health Worker Collaborative of South Dakota (CHWSD) will present information about past, present, and future work that was completed and is to be completed to develop a sustainable community health worker (CHW) workforce in South Dakota. The CHWSD is a relatively new organization funded by the South Dakota Department of Health with the mission to promote, support, and sustain the CHW profession in South Dakota. The presentation will include an overview of the organization and the CHW profession, how organizations can implement CHWs within their workforce, and an overview of CHWSD’s three-year strategic plan. Information will also be presented regarding reimbursement models available to ensure CHW sustainability and funding opportunities to start a CHW program. Free for South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) members.

Tuesday, August 30
12:30 pm CT/ 11:30 am MT
Register here.
Understanding the Fundamentals: Health Center Compliance and Reproductive Health Services
Health centers provide access to comprehensive primary care services for their patients in underserved communities, and family planning services may be a component. Join the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and expert attorney Carrie Riley from Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell for an overview of important federal regulations and policies that impact the delivery of reproductive health care at health centers. This webinar will cover the Health Center Program, the Hyde Amendment, and the Title X program.

Tuesday, September 6
1:30 pm CT/ 12:30 pm MT
Register here.
Online & In-the-Know: Shingles and Vaccination
Join Immunize South Dakota for a discussion on herpes zoster (shingles) and its complications. The speaker will discuss the currently approved vaccine (RZV) for the prevention of shingles, patient expectations, and strategies for second-dose completion. The presenter will also discuss immunization rates among the current population and the impact of lowering the age recommendation from 60 to 50 regarding the number of patients eligible in the general population.

Tuesday, September 20
12:30 pm CT/ 11:30 am MT
Register here.
South Dakota Association Healthcare Organizations 96th Annual Convention
Join the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) for its annual convention in Sioux Falls on September 21-23. This year’s event will be packed with insight and experts addressing workforce, public policy, Medicaid expansion, and violence in the workplace. SDAHO created several panel sessions to allow members to learn from others addressing issues impacting South Dakota health care. In addition, SDAHO has partnered with nine affiliated societies to provide specific education on quality, engineering, leadership, finance, human resources, health information management, technology, social workers, and nursing. These two days will feature amazing speakers, innovative ideas, and countless opportunities to network and share ideas with colleagues.

Wednesday – Friday, September 21-23
Register here.
SD Cancer Coalition Fall Meeting
Registration is now open for the 2022 SD Cancer Coalition (SDCC) fall meeting. Join the SDCC on Thursday, October 13, for an opportunity to learn, network, and get involved in SDCC efforts. The planning committee has pulled together an excellent agenda for the first in-person meeting since 2019. Participants will hear about partnership opportunities with the Community Health Worker Collaborative of South Dakota, new data dashboards and resources, the latest legislative updates, and engage with a panel of cancer center directors from across the state. Task forces will also convene to begin action planning for the upcoming year. Registration is free, and all members of the SDCC are encouraged to attend.

Thursday, October 13
10:00 am - 3:30 pm CT
Register here.
CHAD Network Team Meetings
Tuesday, August 30 at 1:00 pm CT/ 12:00 pm MT – Outreach & Enrollment Network Team
Tuesday, August 30 at 3:00 pm CT/ 2:00 pm MT – CFO & Finance Manager Roundtable
Thursday, September 1 at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT – Clinical Quality Network Team
Tuesday, September 6 at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT – Behavioral Health Work Group
Thursday, September 8 at 9:30 am CT/ 8:30 am MT – Emergency Preparedness Network Team
Monday, September 12 at 1:00 pm CT/ 12:00 pm MT – Operational Excellence/Compliance Workgroup
Tuesday, September 13 at 2:00 pm CT/ 1:00 pm MT – Communications and Marketing Network Team

This account is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,499,709.00 with 0 percent financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

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