CHAD will be publishing weekly data representing the number of positive COVID-19 tests for the current week as compared to the previous week, the cumulative number of cases diagnosed, current and cumulative hospitalizations, the percent of health center visits compared to the determined baseline, and the percent of visits that are being done virtually. This data will be compiled for North Dakota and South Dakota each week. This week’s data covers the week beginning Thursday, July 13 to Wednesday, August 19.
CHCs in the Community!
Falls Community Health (FCH) was at Hayward Elementary School for the Sioux Falls city hydrant party. Hayward Elementary is the site of one of the FCH school-based health centers.
The Black Hills Regional Homeless Coalition spotlights its partnership with the Community Health Center of the Black Hills in this short interview with Nancy Miller and CEO Tim Trithart.
The Blue Move Goes Virtual!
The third annual Blue Move 5K Run/Walk looked a little different this year, but its mission was the same – raise money to help Falls Community Health patients access lifesaving colonoscopy screenings. "Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer for men and women combined," said Sara Romeo, BSN, RN, colorectal cancer navigator for Falls Community Health. "The good news is that it’s treatable with early detection. In light of COVID-19, we went with a virtual event this year, but we still had great participation."

More than 50 people ran or walked in the virtual event, participating locally in Sioux Falls, as well as in Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin. Together, they raised over $1,800 to help underserved patients access colonoscopies. "We are so appreciative of the support," Romeo said. "We’re already looking forward to next year and gathering in person again!"

North Dakota Department of Health Updates State COVID-19 Website
Released this week, the North Dakota Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard features new, in-depth information including trends, county-level data, and hospitalizations. The dashboard is updated daily by 11:00 am CT and includes cases reported through the previous day. The investigations are ongoing, and information on the website will change daily as cases are investigated. The information on the dashboard is the most up to date for COVID-19 cases in North Dakota.
Photo credit: North Dakota Department of Health

Financial Support for Millions of Health Care Providers Nationwide
Many health care providers are experiencing significant financial hardships in the COVID-19 pandemic. Congress provided $175 billion in relief funds to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to deliver financial relief to hospitals and other health care providers, including those on the front lines of the coronavirus response. The latest phase of funding is now available through August 28. Those who bill Medicare, Medicaid, Medicaid Managed Care, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or a dental provider are eligible to apply as long as they haven’t already received 2% of their patient revenue from the fund. Visit for more information.
Health Center COVID-19 Survey Data Trends
Each week, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) requests information from community health centers across the country to track the impact of COVID-19 on capacity, operations, patients, and staff. The data is used to plan for training and technical assistance, funding, and additional resources. A few highlights from the latest report, dated August 7, include:

Patient Testing
  • COVID-19 testing capacity is 100% of health centers for both North Dakota and South Dakota.
  • ND reported 50% of COVID-19 test results are returned in 2-3 days with the balance returned in 4-5 days. SD reported a quarter of the test results are returned in under an hour, a quarter in 12 hours or less, and the balance returned in 2-3 days.
  • Both states reported an increase in the total number of tests performed. Since reporting began on April 3, ND reported a total of 2,725 patients tested with SD reporting 3,682 patients tested for COVID-19.
  • Of the patients tested, 29.6% were racial/ethnic minorities in ND (16.4% of the population were racial/ethnic minorities), and 19.7% in SD (18.6% of the statewide population are racial/ethnic minorities). ND health centers reported 36% of the total positive cases identified as being of racial and/or ethnic minority, with SD reporting 29%.

  • Weekly visits compared to pre-COVID-19 visits in ND increased to 76.25%.  SD saw no change and is reporting 85%.
  • ND reported a decrease in the number of visits conducted virtually from 28.33% to 18.75%.  SD decreased from 8.33% to 6.25%.
North Dakota Colorectal Cancer Roundtable Survey
The North Dakota Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NDCCR) invites you to complete a brief survey regarding the impact of COVID-19 on colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in North Dakota. The survey does not require data submission, and it should be easy to complete in 5 – 10 minutes. The purpose of the survey is to understand the impact of COVID-19 on CRC screening in North Dakota and identify partner needs for technical assistance, training, and other resources. Responses will be shared in aggregated form at the virtual NDCCR meeting on October 14 and will inform the focus of that meeting and broader strategy. Please respond by Friday, August 21.
South Dakota State Public Health Laboratory to
Begin Antibody Testing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now authorized the use of single antibody testing, providing the method used has high specificity. The South Dakota Department of Health public health laboratory is prepared to begin testing for SARS-CoV-2 Immunoglobulin G (IgG) by late August, and in early September will begin testing for SARS-CoV-2 Immunoglobulin M (IgM).  IgG is a long-lasting immune response and indicates the person being tested had COVID-19 at some point. IgM is an acute immune response indicating the person being testing has an active case of COVID-19. Both tests are performed on serum or plasma.

Antigen testing has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These methods are designed to test directly from the nasal or nasopharyngeal swab and are for use during the acute phase of a COVID-19 infection. They have a rapid turn-around-time, but negative tests do need to be verified with a molecular test.

For an overview of all testing options, including a printable .pdf version, click here. This resource was developed by the FDA and includes a brief explanation of different test types, the specimen needed for testing, the turn-around-time, and what the test result can and cannot tell.
Great Plains Health Data Network Request for
Proposal Deadline September 18

The Great Plains Health Data Network (GPHDN) is looking for a vendor to assist health centers with finding a solution that will aggregate data, including medical, dental, and behavioral. GPHDN was developed through the Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN) program funded by the Health Resource and Service Administration (HRSA). The GPHDN is a collaboration between the Wyoming Primary Care Association and CHAD and brings together 11 health centers across the Dakotas and Wyoming, serving 70 sites. The GPHDN represents the majority of the health centers operating in the three states. A copy of the vendor request for proposal (RFP) can be found on the CHAD website.
North Dakota Denied SAMHSA Funding on Key
Behavioral Health Topics

Pam Sagness, the director of the North Dakota Behavioral Health Division, spoke at the human services committee meeting recently and shared that North Dakota has not been awarded two federal grants related to prevention services: the Strategic Prevention Framework for Success Grant (SPFSG) and the COVID-19 Emergency Response for Suicide Prevention Grant. As in the previous cycle, the SPFSG funds were specifically intended to support public health and tribal communities and not being awarded these funds will decrease the amount of prevention infrastructure for providers in that area, which will limit efforts to curb binge drinking, underage drinking, substance and alcohol abuse. North Dakota currently does not have another federal grant that specifically addresses suicide prevention, which is disappointing since North Dakota has had the most significant increase in suicides in the last ten years.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is starting to shift from awarding funds to states to awarding funds directly to locals. As an example, Ms. Sagness mentioned that between these two grants, fewer than ten states were funded in one, and fewer than five states in the other. Funding a state like North Dakota supports local services, such as tribal services and public health. At a local level, North Dakota communities do not have the capacity to compete with communities across the nation, such as Chicago or San Diego, for such funds. Rather than having a 1 in 50 chance of being awarded funds, this new model could make it 1 in 1000 if competing with local communities. These are issues that the Department of Behavioral Health will be considering in their planning moving forward.  

Patients First: SDOH and PRAPARE Webinar
Series Kicks Off October 1

The Protocol for Responding to and Assessing Patients’ Assets, Risks, and Experiences (PRAPARE) is a national effort to support health centers collect the data needed to better understand and act on their patients’ social determinants of health (SDOH), transform care delivery, improve health outcomes, and reduce healthcare costs. As the most widely used social risk screening tool among health centers, PRAPARE outlines critical domains that impact individuals’ risk of morbidity and mortality, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this kickoff training, presented by the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), participants will receive an orientation to the PRAPARE Academy and readiness assessments. The speakers will share tips, tools, and tricks for beginning and sustaining data collection on SDOH.

This program is intended for health center care teams from both clinical and non-clinical perspectives, especially those staff investing time and resources on SDOH screening. Leadership and management are encouraged to attend and gain a better understanding of why a multidisciplinary care team approach is necessary to implement a successful and sustainable social risk screening protocol across the health center. Primary Care Association (PCA) and Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN) staff from CHAD and Great Plains Health Data Network are also invited to attend, in particular, those supporting and coaching health centers on-the-ground with their SDOH screening workflow processes as well as overall
data strategy.

Click here to register for the kickoff training.
Click here to register for the entire learning collaborative series.
Click here for detailed information on each session.

CHAMPS/ NWRPCA Virtual Primary Care Conference October 19-22
The Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS) and the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association (NWRPCA) virtual primary care conference, Leading in a New Landscape, will take place October 19-22, and registration is now open! This year’s theme reflects the extraordinary times we are all facing and the exceptional and inspiring leadership of Region VIII community health centers. Participants will have the opportunity to attend an opening plenary featuring Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Jim Macrae and Dr. Luis Padilla, special sessions about the upcoming election and 340B, 30+ educational sessions, roundtable peer-networking sessions, and more. A draft agenda will be available soon. For more information and to register, click here.

-Submitted by CHAMPS

South Dakota Urges Providers to Be Considerate of Acute Flaccid Myelitis Symptoms
Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a life-threatening neurologic condition that affects mostly children. The condition is often accompanied by fever or respiratory illness about six days before limb weakness, which can lead to permanent paralysis. The enterovirus EV-D68 has been the most common virus identified in patients, and those who tested positive typically had more severe AFM. Since 2014 there have been serious outbreaks every two years, with most cases appearing between August and November.

Experts anticipate a higher level of AFM cases during the fall of 2020. The South Dakota Department of Health urges clinicians to consider and promptly recognize AFM symptoms, take immediate action such as patient hospitalization and early collection of specimens, and report all suspected cases. Only a single AFM case has been identified in South Dakota since 2014, which was reported during 2018. That same year, a total of 238 cases were identified in 42 states. Learn more about AFM here
Make an Effective Vaccine Recommendation during National Immunization Awareness Month
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the efforts of health care professionals to protect patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination. During NIAM, CHAD encourages providers to ensure patients are up to date on recommended vaccines. Research has consistently shown that health care professionals are the most trusted source of vaccine information for parents and patients. 

Use NIAM as an opportunity to access CDC educational resources like the #HowIRecommend Video Series, which offers simple and practical guidance for having successful vaccine conversations with parents and patients. These short videos demonstrate how to make effective vaccine recommendations, address common vaccine questions, and take a team-based approach to vaccination. also offers social media graphics, videos, and related materials in their "Catch-Up to Get Ahead" toolkit.
September is National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month (NPM) is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year. As our nation continues to respond to COVID-19, there is no better time to be involved this September. The 2020 NPM theme is: Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today. Each week in September highlights a specific theme in preparedness, including making a plan, building an evacuation kit, preparing for disasters, and teaching youth about preparedness. Learn more about NPM here.
Webinars & Meetings
Find these and other events on the CHAD website.

South Dakota Department of Health COVID-19 Update

The South Dakota Department of Health hosts a weekly COVID-19 webinar for health care facilities, medical providers, laboratorians, long-term care facilities, EMS providers, and other health professionals.

Thursdays in August (reoccurring)
10:00 am MT/ 11:00 am CT
For weekly call-in information, please join the listserv here. Find archived calls and slides here.

Today with Macrae: Health Center Program Updates  

Join Jim Macrae for updates on COVID-19 and other topics, such as the multi-year transformation effort to advance community health. Missed recent Today with Macrae calls? Recordings and transcripts are posted on the Bureau of Primary Health Care’s Emergency Preparedness and Recovery Resources for Health Centers webpage as soon as possible after each call. Save the dates for future Today with Macrae updates on September 29 and October 29.

Thursday, August 20
12:00 pm MT/ 1:00 pm CT  
Join the webinar on the day of the session.

CCHN/ CHAMPS Health Equity Learning Series - Submitted by CHAMPS

The four-part 2020 Health Equity Learning Series hosted by the Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN)/ Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS) is designed to introduce all levels of staff to the community health center movement’s position and continued efforts in the journey towards a more equitable and just health system. Participants will come away from the series with a greater understanding of organizational and personal positions in this work, as well as a few strategies to assist in moving the work forward. This series is free for all Region VIII health centers.

Tuesday, September 1, September 22, and October 13
12:00-1:15 pm MT/ 1:00-2:15 pm CT
For more information and to register, click here.

Preparing for Value-Based Care through Sustainable Telehealth Workflows

Telehealth has been an effective tool for treating patients remotely and ensuring any on-premise patients and staff stay safe. Some health centers are treating telehealth as a crisis management tool rather than a tool to improve the health of their patients in a cost-efficient and outcome-driven way. Presenters from the Health Information Technology, Evaluation, and Quality Center (HITEQ) will cover sustainable telehealth services that are often underutilized and example workflows that have worked for other health centers during this session.

Thursday, August 27
12:00 pm MT/ 1:00 pm CT
Register here.

UDS Mapper Webinars

The UDS Mapper is a collaboration between the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and is part of the HealthLandscape online mapping platform. These webinars are open to the public and free of charge.

Introduction to the UDS Mapper
This webinar is a general introduction to the UDS Mapper, a mapping and decision-support tool-driven primarily from health center patient location data within the Uniform Data System (UDS). This webinar will go over the basics of using the UDS Mapper and is geared toward users who are new to the UDS Mapper or in need of a refresher.

Wednesday, September 2
12:00 pm MT/ 1:00 pm CT
Register here.

UDS Mapper Advanced Topics: New Features in the UDS Mapper
Attend this session to learn about recent updates to the UDS Mapper, including new data and enhanced functionalities. The webinar is geared toward users who are familiar with the UDS Mapper.

Thursday, September 17
12:00 pm MT/ 1:00 pm CT
Register here.

UDS Mapper Special Topics: Food Insecurity and Opportunities for Health Centers
This special topic webinar will focus on examining the relationship between health center service areas and food insecurity. During this session, speakers will highlight how to use the UDS Mapper, including a new functionality allowing users to add area-level data to analyze food insecurity in a community. The webinar is geared toward users who are familiar with the UDS Mapper.

Wednesday, September 23
12:00 pm MT/ 1:00 pm CT
Register here.
CHAD Network Team Meetings

Friday, August 21 at 11:00 am MT/ 12:00 pm CT – Behavioral Health Work Group
Monday, August 24 at 1:00 pm MT/ 2:00 pm CT – Great Plains Health Data Network (GPHDN) Telehealth Roundtable
Tuesday, August 25 at 12:00 pm MT/ 1:00 pm CT – O & E Network Team Meeting
Thursday, August 27 at 10:00 am MT/ 11:00 am CT – HR Network Team Meeting

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