Pediatric preventative care has been impacted significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both well-child visits and childhood vaccinations have declined, and now health care providers find themselves in the position of trying to get everyone back in for visits and caught up on important vaccinations, including the COVID-19 vaccine.

Unfortunately, data shows that low-income, Black and Latinx children have missed more visits than their counterparts. Likewise, children who rely on public vaccine programs have had a greater decline in immunizations. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) shared the following graphic during a recent Today with Macrae meeting that highlights the decline by vaccine. Measles vaccines took the largest plunge, with a nearly 20% decline. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines weren’t far behind.

Getting children back in the office for well-child visits and vaccinations is our shared responsibility.  

Well-child visits are opportunities to assess a child’s health and well-being and include developmental screenings and immunizations. Clinicians are encouraged to engage adolescents in decision-making about the COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is currently available for children aged 12 years and older. Moderna plans to apply for emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine from the US Food and Drug Administration in early June for use in adolescents too. In addition, the CDC has updated its guidance to allow for coadministration of the COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines.  

The CDC has fact sheets available on COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents and parents here. For more resources on well-child visits, including the recommended schedule, mental and behavioral health, and oral health, click here. We will continue to update this list as more resources become available.  

This week, we released our social media materials for back-to-school and pre-participation sports physicals. The 2021 updates provide additional information on adolescent vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine. It is our hope that health centers can use CHAD’s materials to enhance the voices of your providers as you continue to be trusted experts in your communities. Contact Kayla Hanson to access these materials or be added to the marketing and communications network team at CHAD.

Health Centers in the News
Serene Thin Elk, mental health counselor and director of behavioral health at South Dakota Urban Indian Health, talks about Mental Health Awareness Month and her work in counseling indigenous people in this episode of South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s In the Moment.
Coal Country Community Health Center Awarded Grant from the Offutt Family Foundation and R.D. Offutt Company
Coal Country Community Health Center (CCCHC) received a special community builder grant from the Offutt Family Foundation and R.D. Offutt (RDO) Company. The Community Builder Program is a unique initiative designed to support charitable organizations and nonprofits that RDO team members are passionate about and serve the greater good in their communities. 

All RDO team members were invited to apply for this year’s community builder grants to support mental health nonprofits, specifically those addressing youth depression, anxiety, and suicide prevention. This theme speaks to community needs that have drastically and quietly been on the rise, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

R.D. Offutt Company matched the dollars from the Offutt Family Foundation for a total grant of $10,000 awarded to CCCHC. Dave Ripplinger, store manager for RDO Equipment Co. in Hazen, nominated the I.M.P.A.C.T. program for the grant. The program (Integrating Mental Health Physical Health and Continuity of Care Together) at CCCHC is a joint effort between the health center and school districts. CCCHC serves Killdeer, Beulah, Hazen, and Center schools, reaching kids from Dunn, Mercer, Oliver, and McKenzie County areas.

"In the 2020-2021 present school year, we have provided mental health services to more than 130 children ranging from age 3 to 19 in our four service areas," Tammie Alexander, LBSW for CCCHC said.    "I would like to thank the Offutt Family Foundation and R.D. Offutt Company for this opportunity to impact the mental health of our youth. Anytime we can invest in our youth, it is a win for everyone."

"According to the Jed Foundation, rates of mental health issues among adolescents were already rising prior to the pandemic, and the impacts of the pandemic have only worsened the trend," Jean Zimmerman, executive director of the Offutt Family Foundation, said. "We recognized this as a significant opportunity to impact our communities and respond to the pressing need for youth mental health services."

Altogether, 32 community builder grants were awarded across the RDO footprint, for a total of $324,000. The Offutt Family Foundation has awarded nearly $1.22 million in grants through the Community Builder Program since the program began in 2015. The program builds on the spirit of community involvement embedded in RDO culture and embodied by team members.

Food as Medicine: Family HealthCare Addressing Food Insecurity
In 2019, 10.3 percent of South Dakotans and 6.7 percent of North Dakotans were food insecure, and we know that food pantries are reporting higher than ever needs as a result of the pandemic. To address these needs, Great Plains Food Bank (GPFB) in North Dakota is branching out from traditional models of feeding people and focusing on breaking down three key barriers: access, trust, and stigma. "People trust their health care providers," says Taylor Syvertson of GPFB. This, coupled with the easy access and reduced stigma of receiving food during a clinic visit, make onsite wellness pantries a strong solution for addressing these barriers.

Julie Sorby, director of community development at Family HealthCare, partnered with GPFB to develop the Wellness Pantry at Family HealthCare, a program of GPFB. During the rooming process, nursing staff screens each patient for food insecurity using the hunger vital sign screening tool. If positive, the patient receives a short form that collects information on patient demographics, household size, and food weight for tracking. After the visit, the patient is provided a pre-made grocery bag of nutritious food, including a few refrigerated items. The service is meant as a temporary solution, and patients also receive information about WIC, SNAP, and other resources.

Early data makes a strong case for the program:
  • From February – May 2021, 32 patients visited the Wellness Pantry. Within those patient households, there were 14 children, 42 adults, and seven seniors. They received a cumulative distribution of 432 pounds of food, equaling approximately 360 meals over three months.
  • Eighty percent of patients served by the Wellness Pantry had not visited another community pantry or food shelf in the 30 days prior to their visit to Family HealthCare.
  • Eighty-six percent of patients served said the cost of healthy food makes it difficult to access, and 40 percent said transportation was another barrier.

To learn more about addressing food insecurity or other social needs, or to share health center successes, contact
Shannon Bacon, health equity manager at CHAD, at 701-291-3550.
Local Community-Based Workforce to Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Access
HRSA Funding Application Due June 9

The purpose of the program is to establish, expand, and sustain a public health workforce to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. This includes mobilizing community outreach workers, which includes community health workers, patient navigators, and social support specialists, to educate and assist individuals in accessing and receiving COVID-19 vaccinations.

The program intends to address persistent health disparities by offering support and resources to vulnerable and medically underserved communities, including racial and ethnic minority groups and individuals living in areas of high social vulnerability. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will fund recipients that have demonstrated experience and expertise in implementing public health programs, particularly in medically underserved areas. Award recipients will need to clearly describe how the funding will directly serve and impact vulnerable communities; and demonstrate how they will prioritize hiring individuals from the communities they serve by providing outreach, education, and assistance related to the COVID-19 vaccine. For more information and to apply, click here.
Verify 2021 Health Center Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition Status
It’s time to verify and, if necessary, update health centers Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition status. Download this table to view the number of sites with PCMH recognition for each health center. Please review the table to make sure the information is correct. If health center organizations serve multiple states, check the number of sites for each state. Use those numbers to calculate the total number of PCMH-recognized sites in the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA’s) electronic handbook (EHB).

  • If the information is correct, there is no need to take further action.
  • If the information is incorrect, submit an update in EHB by no later than Friday, July 9. See instructions for submitting an update, including the acceptable forms of required documentation.
2021 UDS Updates
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has released the 2021 Uniform Data System (UDS) Manual and many new resources to support health centers as they align workflows to capture new and updated patient, financial, and quality measures. A recording of the 2021 UDS Reporting Changes TA webinar here. Highlights of 2021 UDS changes are shared below.

  • The Tobacco Use: Screening and Cessation Intervention measure timeframe for screening has been reduced to a 12-month lookback period.
  • The cervical cancer screening measure has been updated to permit cervical HPV testing alone every five years for patients aged 30 and older.
  • Coronavirus vaccine reporting has been moved from Appendix E to Table 6A, Line 24B, and will be reported only for patients who have had at least one countable UDS visit during the year.
South Dakota ARPA Funds Survey
United Today Strong Tomorrow (UTST) identifies issues affecting communities as a result of COVID-19. They use organizing projects to strengthen work locally and inform national advocacy efforts connected to health and the economy. Through a series of conversations with local leaders and community members in South Dakota, UTST identified issues South Dakotans have faced in the pandemic and are working to address these issues. Currently, they are working to ensure that SD American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds are spent efficiently and fairly. The South Dakota State Legislature will decide how to spend a portion of the ARPA funds this fall. UTST is encouraging all interested parties to fill out this survey about their priorities and how they think the ARPA funds should be spent.
GP11 Network News
Measuring and Maximizing Provider Satisfaction

Join CHAD for this three-part series explaining the importance of provider satisfaction, its effect on health center performance, and how to identify and measure provider satisfaction. The webinar series will culminate in a final session at the CHAD in-person conference in September, discussing how to improve satisfaction using health information technology (HIT). Presented by CURIS Consulting, the series will include the process of distributing a survey to providers to evaluate satisfaction and analyze the results of CHAD members and the Great Plains Health Data Network (GPHDN). The intended audience for this three-part series is c-suite staff, HIT staff, clinical leads, and human resources staff.

Importance of Assessing Provider Satisfaction     
This webinar will explain the role providers and their satisfaction levels have on the overall health center performance. The presenter will share different tools used to measure provider satisfaction, including surveys.

Wednesday, June 30
11:00 am CT / 10:00 am MT
Register here.

Identification of Provider Burden
In this presentation, attendees will focus on identifying contributing factors and triggers associated with provider burden. The presenter will discuss questions included in the CHAD and GPHDN provider satisfaction survey tool and the process to distribute the survey.

Wednesday, July 21
11:00 am CT / 10:00 am MT
Register here.

Measuring Provider Satisfaction
In this final webinar, presenters will share how to measure provider satisfaction and how to evaluate the data. The CHAD and GPHDN provider satisfaction survey results will be analyzed and shared with attendees during the presentation.

Wednesday, August 25
11:00 am CT / 10:00 am MT
Register here.

Health Information Technology, Evaluation, and Quality (HITEQ) Center Learning Collaborative Series: Addressing Provider Burden

Join the HITEQ Center in the upcoming learning collaborative for health centers on addressing provider burden. This learning collaborative will provide a space for discussion and sharing compassionate, well-designed, and digital-first solutions. Health center participants will have the opportunity to discuss interventions, implementation, training, and ongoing support for meaningfully integrated digital solutions to effectively support reducing provider burden.

This learning collaborative will provide health centers a series of four structured virtual sessions to engage with subject matter experts and their colleagues in peer-to-peer learning and discussion. Topics will include EHR best training practices, workflow support, and documentation support. Throughout the series, participants will be encouraged to consider the broad scope of provider burnout and the opportunities their particular settings may have for meaningful interventions.

All sessions are scheduled to begin at 12:30 pm CT/ 11:30 am MT and will last between 60 - 90 minutes.
June 09: Session 1 - Scoping Provider Burnout as a Problem with a Solution
June 23: Session 2 - EHR Training Best Practices
July 14: Session 3 - Workflow and Documentation Support
July 28: Session 4 - Provider Burnout Round-Up

Health centers interested in participating in this collaborative learning series can submit one registration form on behalf of their health center. Health center registrations can include up to three participants in their form. For more information and to register, click here.
Telehealth Operations and Quality: Ask Anything

As health centers have newly established, scaled and/or enhanced their telehealth services during the pandemic year, they have navigated a variety of challenges, including policy and practice changes, logistics of implementation, privacy and security considerations, connectivity issues, ensuring quality services and patient and provider satisfaction. As health centers continue to refine their telehealth services amidst a changing context, the Health Information Technology, Evaluation, and Quality (HITEQ) Center is pleased to offer a panel of telehealth experts to address health center questions. Panelists offer expertise in setup and implementation of telehealth; clinical workflows, roles, and training; hybrid care; patient-centered services; remote patient monitoring; telebehavioral health; telehealth optimization, maturity, and performance management.

Moderated by HITEQ’s training and technical assistance advisor, this presentation will provide an open forum for health centers to ask panelists their most pressing questions about telehealth services in the health center setting. Please note: This session will be focused on telehealth operational and quality questions and will not cover questions related to telehealth reimbursement, financing, or policy changes at the state or federal level.

Wednesday, June 16
12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT
Register here
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and the Effects on Patient Safety

Join Mark Jarret MD, MBA, MS, senior vice president, chief quality officer, and deputy chief medical officer at Northwell Health and professor of medicine at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell as he discusses the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). Everything from home Wi-Fi to medical devices poses a security risk to patients. Participants will learn more about the changing nature of IoMT and how to continue to protect patients from cyber threats.  

Wednesday, June 23
12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT
Email to receive a calendar invite.

Webinars & Meetings
Find these and other events on the CHAD website.

CHAMPS Immunization Update Webcast

Registration is now open for the CHAMPS 2021 Immunization Update webcast. This 90-minute event will be presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease. Presenters will discuss the latest recommended immunization schedules and the most recent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for adults, children, and adolescents. In addition, information on improving routine vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic will be presented.

This presentation is intended for clinical leadership, clinicians, and clinical support staff at Region VIII (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY) health centers, including physicians, PAs, NPs, nurses, MAs, and other interested health care professionals. To learn more, visit the CHAMPS Upcoming Live Distance Learning Events webpage.

Thursday, June 3
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm CT / 11:30 am -1:00 pm MT
Register here

2021 USPSTF Colorectal Cancer Screening Recommendation Lowers Screening Age from 50 to 45: Implications for NCCRT Partners

National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) webinar is free and is open to NCCRT members, 80% Pledge partners, CDC grantees, American Cancer Society (ACS) and ACS Cancer Action Network staff, and other partners working to increase colorectal cancer screening rates. Pre-registration is required.

Monday, June 7
11:00 am CT/ 10:00 am MT.
Register here

Introduction to the UDS Mapper

The Uniform Data System (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. This webinar is a general introduction to the UDS Mapper, a mapping and decision-support tool driven primarily from patient location data within the Uniform Data System (UDS). This webinar will go over basic UDS Mapper functionalities geared toward first-time users or those who need a refresher. It is open to the public and free of charge.

Tuesday, June 8
11:00 am CT/ 10:00 am MT
Register here

Advocacy Storytelling: Winning the Hearts, Minds, and VOTES of Lawmakers

Led by Seth Turner, director of citizens engagement for the Congressional Management Foundation, this webinar will teach participants how to organize and present stories exercising the tactics actors use. People have trouble remembering facts, but they never forget a good story. Effective advocacy appeals to the heart, the head, and political health of the legislator. This presentation will include the seven key elements of public policy advocacy storytelling and walks participants through an exercise to develop their own personal story to move the hearts, minds, and VOTES of lawmakers.

Wednesday, June 9
2:00 pm CT/ 1:00 pm MT
Register here

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 June (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.

Transcending COVID-19 Vaccine Barriers: Strategies to Increase Confidence and Acceptance

The North Dakota State University Center for Immunization Research and Education (CIRE) is hosting a free two-day virtual conference for health care providers and public health professionals to examine ways to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates. The conference will consist of multiple one-hour presentations with national experts who will share strategies to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and acceptance. Click here for more information, including speakers and continuing education credits.

Wednesday and Thursday, June 16-17
See the detailed schedule here
Register here

CHAD Network Team Meetings

Thursday, June 3 at 11:30 am CT/10:30 am MT – Clinical Quality Network Team Meeting
Friday, June 18 at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT – Behavioral Health Work Group
Tuesday, June 22 at 2:00 pm CT/ 1:00 pm MT – Marketing & Communication Network Team Meeting
Tuesday, June 29 at 1:00 pm CT/ 12:00 pm MT – Outreach & Enrollment Network Team Meeting
Tuesday, June 29 at 3:00 pm CT/ 2:00 pm MT – CFO & Finance Manager Roundtable

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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