The Great Plains Health Data Network (GPHDN) just passed the milestone of completing its second competitive funding application. It seems like a nice moment to celebrate some of its big accomplishments and highlight some of the near- and long-term plans being developed.

Since we collectively started conceiving of the network in 2019, we have:
  • Secured over $2 million to support the advancement of health information tools and strategies at health centers, including health center-controlled network (HCCN) funding and resources through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC);
  • Selected a security risk assessment vendor and supported a shared purchase of tools and training that enabled 10 of 11 health centers to complete a security risk assessment with the 11th in-process;
  • Selected a population health/data analytics tool and supported seven of 11 health centers (to date) in connecting to the platform;
  • Undertaking a data strategy project to help health centers set strategic goals and measure them effectively – so far, we have completed three onsite visits, and another four planned or being scheduled; and,
  • We have collaborated between the primary care association and GPHDN to support two learning collaboratives related to supporting patients in addressing social determinants of health.

The focus for the GPHDN for the next year will be:
  • Complete the implementation and optimization of Azara;
  • Assist participating health centers with collecting and utilizing social determinants of health (SDOH) data;
  • Provide peer learning opportunities to enhance privacy and security efforts; and,
  • Complete organizational data strategies to identify priorities and respond to needs.

As we look to the next three years, the GPHDN will conduct a summit and strategic planning session in Rapid City from April 12-14; register here. This will be an exciting opportunity to bring everyone back together – in person! – to learn together and update the strategic direction of the network. The summit will focus on sharing the challenges and opportunities of virtual care and how it may align with health center priorities identified in their data strategy or other organizational goals. In addition, attendees will learn about the network-wide risk stratification module that will be available in Azara and how the Michigan primary care association has been utilizing Azara at a network level. The GPHDN will also conduct a day and a half strategic planning session that will result in a new three-year plan for the network.

After the first three years of the HCCN funding, where the focus was on building the infrastructure of the GPHDN, the next few years will focus on how we can leverage the network to improve the way comprehensive primary care can be delivered using digital health tools and data to drive performance improvement. The GPHDN will continue to provide collective impact to support members through collaboration and shared resources, expertise, and data to improve clinical, financial, and operational performance.

Health Centers in the News
Coal Country Community Health Center opened a new school-based site located in Beulah High School via the Buelah Beason [subscription required]. Read more about it on the CCCHC blog.
Horizon Health Care introduced a new medical provider at De Smet Community Health Center via the Kingsbury Journal.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
The CHAD staff dressed in blue for National Dress in Blue Day to bring awareness to Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
CHAD Welcomes Chuck Beck as
Community Engagement Navigator

Please join us in welcoming Chuck Beck as the team’s community engagement navigator (CEN). In this role, Chuck educates and assists patients and community members in selecting health care insurance options in the federal Marketplace. He will also spearhead outreach and education efforts to raise awareness about health coverage options. The CEN enhances the Get Covered South Dakota Collaborative’s ability to support increased access to health care coverage for target populations in South Dakota.

Prior to CHAD, Chuck spent 13 years with the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), where he primarily worked in market development and consumer outreach. Chuck graduated from Brown College with a communications degree. In his spare time, he likes to read and play tennis. He lives in Sioux Falls with his fiancée Abby and their two cats, Nancy and Nora.
Family HealthCare Advances Medical-Legal Partnership
As health centers are well-aware, research shows that 60 percent of a person’s health is determined by social factors like income, health insurance, housing, education, employment, and legal status. In some cases, addressing these social needs requires legal expertise and services. What if such expertise was directly integrated into the medical setting? That is exactly what happens in the Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) model. According to the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership, “Medical-legal partnerships integrate the unique expertise of lawyers into health care settings to help clinicians, case managers, and social workers address structural problems at the root of so many health inequities.” Early evidence demonstrates an MLP’s impact on patient and population health outcomes, including improved adherence to prescribed medications, less frequent hospital admissions, and overall lower stress levels.

While MLPs exist in 49 states and the District of Columbia, there is only one program in North Dakota, at Family HealthCare. The local partnership is called “Legal Advocates for Health” and includes Family HealthCare, Legal Services of North Dakota, and Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota. The partnership began as a pilot in 2016 with funding from the Bush Foundation and has received subsequent funding from the Otto Bremer Trust and United Way.

Jordan Moe, MLP attorney at Legal Services of North Dakota, spends two days per week onsite at Family HealthCare’s downtown location and says the experience of assisting those with the greatest needs has been deeply satisfying. He provides legal expertise on a range of issues. Sometimes it may be brief counsel or legal advice, and other times it could involve full litigation. Jordan has been able to help patients of Family HealthCare preserve benefits and income, address housing access and safety issues, and navigate family law, among other needs. In addition, a paralegal is now onsite at Family HealthCare’s south location, which includes a large Nepali-speaking population. The legal team is exploring ways to ensure their services are accessible and culturally appropriate. Overall, they supported 157 legal cases in 2021.

Looking forward, the team of partners is excited to introduce two legal kiosks, which will be placed in community-based settings and will allow for the ability to scan and upload documents to Legal Services of ND. The team also hopes to someday identify opportunities for “closing the loop,” as Jordan says – that is, sharing feedback with the medical team about the legal support that was provided and identifying opportunities to track and measure the impact on health outcomes. To learn more about MLPs, visit the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership at

Congratulations to Family HealthCare and their partners for moving upstream in the delivery of care! If you have a story about how your health center is addressing social needs or looking for support in this area, reach out to Shannon Bacon, health equity manager with CHAD.

South Dakota Legislative Session Nearing the End
Wednesday, February 23, was Crossover Day in the South Dakota State Legislature, and all bills needed to pass at least one chamber to remain viable in the process. The legislative session was scheduled to close on Thursday, March 10, concluding with the budget. After a two-week recess, the final day of session, which is reserved for gubernatorial vetoes, will be March 28. Click here for the list of bills CHAD monitored this season.
COVID-19 Updates, Resources, and Upcoming Webinars
HRSA Continues to Provide COVID-19 Supplies to Health Centers
Supplies of COVID-19 at-home self-tests are still available through the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) COVID-19 Testing Supply Program. Health centers are encouraged to continue ordering the at-home self-test kits to make available to communities. HRSA has added the option for all HRSA-supported health centers and Medicare-certified rural health clinics to order COVID-19 point-of-care testing supplies from the Testing Supply Program, as well as N95 masks from the HRSA health center COVID-19 N95 Mask Program.
COVID-19 CDC Masking Recommendations
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) adjusted its guidance for wearing masks to allow personal decision-making based on three levels of risk – low, medium, and high – in each community, taking into account population immunity from both vaccinations and infections. They then corresponded these metrics to categories: low (green), medium (yellow), and high (orange). Click here to access the map and learn more about CDC mask recommendations. Read the full COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review here.

Briefly, the CDC packaged three metrics for every county in the US.
  1. New COVID-19 hospital admissions over the previous week;
  2. Percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients; and,
  3. New cases per 100,000 people over the previous week.
Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation
As vaccinations are approved for children across the country, the US surgeon general released a new community toolkit for addressing health misinformation. The toolkit offers specific guidance to individuals, health care professionals and administrators, teachers, librarians, and faith leaders to understand, identify, and stop the spread of health misinformation.
Long COVID ECHO Webinar Series
This series, beginning March 10, is a Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)-funded monthly webinar-style ECHO learning session to disseminate Post-acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) findings and emerging best practices.

March – June 2022
2:00 pm CT/ 1:00 PM MT
Register for any or all sessions here.
Patients First:
Building Skills for Effective Care Coordination in Health Centers

Join CHAD for this highly interactive six-part training series on effective care coordination and care management service provision within health centers. Presented by the Patient Navigator Training Collaborative, participants will learn key care coordination and care management skills through practical action-oriented activities, best practices, and hands-on education in this free web-based series.

Participants will learn effective communication techniques to establish accountability and negotiate responsibilities with patients, patient-centered care planning, and how to manage care transitions. Speakers will share best practices for monitoring and follow-up, aligning patients with community resources, and building trust to support patient-managed goals.

The intended audience for this series includes nurse care coordinators or care managers, quality team staff, primary care nurses, and nurse managers. The series may also be appropriate for social workers or other care coordination staff based on job roles and responsibilities. Sessions will be every Wednesday from March 30 to May 4 and last 90 minutes. Nine hours of continuing education are available through the North Dakota Board of Nursing. Register for the entire series here.
Preventing HPV Cancers in Action
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month when dental professionals join with surgeons and other medical professionals to highlight the dangers oral cancer brings and call attention to the progress made in fighting this disease. More than ever, there is a need to increase awareness of HPV and educate the public on the need for HPV immunization. The administration of the HPV vaccine is a safe and effective way to reduce the risk of HPV-related cancers, including certain head and neck cancers. HPV is now associated with more than 20,000 cases of head and neck cancer each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To promote awareness of this critical issue, the American Dental Association’s (ADA’s) Council on Advocacy for Access & Prevention (CAAP) is hosting Preventing HPV Cancers in Action—a Three-Part Webinar Series. One continuing education credit is provided per webinar, pending approval. Each presentation will be 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT.

Preventing HPV Cancers in Action, Part One:
The Critical Role of the Dentist
The dentist plays a critical role in the detection of oral cancers and in educating their patients on the importance of HPV vaccination. Gary Heyamoto, DDS, MAGD, president, Academy of General Dentistry Foundation (AGDF), will discuss the importance of a consistent clinical oral exam, how to discuss HPV vaccination with patients, and learn how dentists can participate in fighting HPV oral cancers through awareness and promotion of the HPV vaccine.

Wednesday, March 23
Register here.

Preventing HPV Cancers in Action, Part Two:
Dentists as VaccinatorsThe COVID-19 pandemic has increased dentists’ awareness as vaccinators—including the HPV vaccine. Rosie Wagner DDS, founder, Smiles By Rosie Family Dentistry, and Isaac Zeckel DDS, chief dental director, HealthLinc, discuss the benefits of dentists as immunizers. They will outline the steps to becoming a dentist immunizer, medicolegal considerations, and ways to increase access to care by providing a new vaccination setting, with innovative vaccination approaches that utilize onsite interdisciplinary teams

Wednesday, April 6

Register here.

Preventing HPV Cancers in Action, Part Three:
Building Blocks: Medical/Dental Collaboration Models and More
How does a dentist interested in promoting the HPV vaccine build a collaboration with a medical provider? What actions can states take to build collaborative partnerships that increase HPV vaccination? Jessica Jack, MD FAAP, pediatrician, Scott Hamilton, DDS, Denver Health, and Tommy Johnson, DMD, state dental director, Alabama Department of Public Health, discuss partnership models and more.

Wednesday, April 20

Register here.
GP11 Network News
Registration is Now Open for the 2022 Great Plains Health Data Network Summit
The Great Plains Health Data Network (GPHDN) Summit will feature national presenters who will share their health data success stories, lessons learned, and ways health centers can work together through a health center controlled network (HCCN) to optimize health technology and data. In the morning session, speakers will outline the challenges and opportunities of virtual care and lead participants in a workshop discussion of how virtual care might align with health center strategic goals. The afternoon session will focus on capturing data and conducting data analysis – including what the GPHDN has accomplished so far and where it might consider heading next. This event will culminate with the GPHDN strategic planning, and it will result in a new three-year plan for the network. Register here.
Telehealth Screening Strategies for Improving Whole Person Care Learning Collaborative
Applications are being taken to join the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) for the Telehealth Screening Strategies for Improving Whole Person Care learning collaborative (LC). This free LC will explore social determinants of health (SDOH) screening strategies in telehealth and highlight innovative care models for community health centers.

With the ever-expanding use of telehealth for patient care visits during the COVID-19 pandemic, health centers must adapt to address the complex health and social needs in a virtual setting. AAPCHO will guide attendees through developing their own implementation work plan to improve telehealth SDOH screening strategies in their health centers.
AAPCHO will prioritize health centers and health center look-alikes for selection. The intended audience for the LC is population health data staff and health information technology informaticists, quality improvement staff, clinical directors, and managers. The application deadline is Friday, April 8, by 5:00 pm local time. Please contact for questions or additional information.

Wednesdays, April 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25
1:00-2:30 pm CT/ 12:00-1:30 pm MT
Now Available: CHAMPS 2021-2022 JOB Comparison
Report and Infographic

Each February, CHAMPS creates a report and associated infographic comparing two years of data relating to the CHAMPS Job Opportunities Bank (JOB) posts. This report presents recruitment trends throughout the region, including the number of positions opened and filled, average recruitment lengths, and most used recruitment resources. During the most recent year of data (February 1, 2021, to January 31, 2022), fifty-one health centers advertised 424 career opportunities, which is a 19 percent increase in all advertisements from the previous year. Additional data can be found by viewing the JOB Comparison Report and JOB Comparison Infographic on the CHAMPS Publications webpage.
Call for Applications from the
American Indian Collaborative Research Network (AICoRN)

The American Indian Collaborative Research Network (AICoRN) aims to foster partnerships with providers to address health needs in the region. AICoRN is seeking proposals for a community engagement pilot grant. These $80,000 pilot awards are designed to provide seed funding to support activities related to developing new or emerging partnerships with underserved, Tribal, and rural populations. Funds can also be used to perform pilot studies to strengthen community-based relationships, build relationship-based care, and potentially produce preliminary data for future competitive grant applications. Eligible applicants should be named partners in AICoRN. Letters of intent are due March 15. Full applications will be invited from selected applicants and due May 16. To learn more, click here.
Webinars & Meetings
Find these and other events on the CHAD website.

Quarterly Lunch & Learn with Immunize South Dakota
Presenters from the South Dakota Department of Health will take a comprehensive look at the latest mitigation recommendations to prevent morbidity and mortality from the SARS-CoV-2 Virus. This will include masking and quarantine/isolation information and the latest COVID-19 vaccination guidance.

Friday, March 11
12:30 pm CT/ 11:30 am MT
Register here.
Depression and Collaborative Care within Primary Care Settings
Depression is a condition experienced by many individuals. With the ongoing pandemic, the prevalence of depression has increased significantly. Presented by the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network (MHTTC), participants will review evidence-based screening, diagnosis, and treatment of depression within primary care settings. 

Tuesday, March 15 - Session 3 - Pathways of Care: Building a Depression Follow-Up Program
12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT
Register here.
Current Issues in Vaccines Series - Approving COVID-19 Vaccines for Children: When Do We Know Enough?
The Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, together with the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Nesbitt School of Pharmacy at Wilkes University, is pleased to offer a Vaccine Webinar Series for health care providers. The series is supported by the Thomas F. McNair Scott Endowed Research and Lectureship Fund.

Each Current Issues in Vaccines webinar presents topics addressed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), covered by the media, or asked by parents. Each presentation will be 40 to 45 minutes, followed by 15 to 20 minutes of audience questions.

Wednesday, March 16
11:00 am CT/ 10:00 am MT
Register here.
Oral Health and Primary Care Integration: Optimizing Care Coordination to Improve Oral Health Access
Integration of oral health and primary care practice is a strategy to help increase access to care for all populations. The National Network for Oral Health Access and the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium will host a webinar discussing promising practices for oral health integration that accounts for the unique needs of special populations like residents of public housing with a focus on care coordination. The webinar will feature a panel of two health centers that are leaders in medical and dental integration. Attendees will learn how these two organizations implemented sustainable integration programs and engaged medical team members and health center leadership. Participants will also walk away with an understanding of how care teams support oral health education and treatment and best practices for integration into primary care at health centers serving residents of public housing and other special populations.

Wednesday, March 16
1:00 pm CT/ 12:00 pm MT
Register here.
DAETC March Lunch-and-Learn: Providing PEP in the Dakotas
In collaboration with Washington University in Saint Louis, the South Dakota Department of Health and the Dakota AIDS Education Training Center (DAETC) are excited to announce the March Lunch-and-Learn: Providing PEP in the Dakotas. This presentation is a PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) skills-building workshop for the Dakotas to enhance providers’ skills in providing PEP and helping their clients pay for PEP.

Wednesday, March 23
12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT
Register here.
Two Virtual Workshops for Health Centers Interested in School-Based Care
The National Association of Community Health Centers and the School-Based Health Alliance are offering two virtual workshops for health centers on the key elements of providing school-based health care. The workshops focus on enhancing school-based partnerships and the unique operational considerations for providing school-based health care. For more information, email

Schools and Health Center Partnerships
Caring for the school-aged population is critical for community health centers, and expanding school-based health sites and services is a growth and development strategy. Health Center operators must have the ability to creatively partner with schools, school systems, educational leaders, school boards, and parents/guardians.

Thursday, April 7
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm CT/ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm MT
Register here.

Do School-Based Health Models Expand Your Community Reach? Yes! Learn the Recipes for Success
Caring for the school-aged population is critical for community health centers. Expanding school-based health sites and services is a growth and development strategy. Health Center operators must be aware of the unique operational considerations, competencies, and models along a continuum of possible school-based or school-linked health services, as provided by health centers.

Tuesday, May 17
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm CT/ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm MT
Register here.
Workplace Violence: Risks, De-Escalation, and Recovery
Workplace violence exists, and health care organizations are not immune to its effect. Hosted by CHAD and presented by Connect Consulting, this webinar will review key terminology and regulations related to workplace violence. Presenters will also review different types and risks of health care workplace violence and requirements for protecting personnel. Attendees will learn predicting factors of aggression and violence and techniques to de-escalate a potential violent workplace incident. The group will also discuss the importance of stress management and recovery from the potential impact of workplace violence.

Thursday, April 14
9:30 am CT/ 8:30 am MT
Register here.
Save the Date – North Dakota Immunization Conference June 21-22
The North Dakota Department of Health Immunization Division is excited to announce that the North Dakota Immunization Conference will be held June 21-22 in Bismarck, ND. Topics include routine immunization updates, ways to increase vaccination rates, improving vaccine confidence, motivational interviewing strategies, and more. Speakers include are Dr. Katelyn Jetelina, Your Local Epidemiologist, pediatrician Dr. Nathan Boonstra, and Dr. Andrew Kroger from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nursing contact hours and Category 1 CME credits will be offered. The conference will be held both in-person and virtually. For more information and to register, visit
CHAD Network Team Meetings
Tuesday, March 29 at 1:00 pm CT/ 12:00 pm MT – Outreach & Enrollment Network Team
Tuesday, March 29 at 3:00 pm CT/ 2:00 pm MT – CFO & Finance Manager Roundtable
Tuesday, April 5 at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT – Behavioral Health Work Group
Thursday, April 7 at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT – Clinical Quality Network Team
Tuesday, April 12 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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