CHAD is starting the year with a new organizational structure! Ok, that may not sound like the most exciting news, but for us, it reflects a year of planning and strategic thinking about who we are, what we are becoming, and how to do all of our work as effectively and efficiently as possible.

The first driver of the need for change was simply growth. Over the last five years, CHAD has more than doubled its budget and significantly increased its staff (some of the new resources have also filtered to health centers to support technology investments and support staff). When you are growing quickly, you sometimes slot new programs where you can, but we found value in stepping back and looking at things holistically. The new organizational chart will align programs more effectively and clarify team roles and responsibilities.
The second driver was a desire to grow our investment in our workforce development programs and policy footprint, aligned with our strategic plan. While we have developed a strong human resources network team and focus, we would like to be able to invest more resources into developing the workforce pipeline and building on-the-job training programs with health centers. Workforce continues to be the number one need and concern across the CHAD network, and our staffing model needs to reflect that. We have also felt the need for additional investment in our policy work, so adding a director of policy and communications (welcome, Jenn Folliard!) was a big priority. This will enable CHAD to have a policy lead in both North Dakota and South Dakota, which will increase our capacity to be at the table across a range of state-based coalitions and policy conversations. 2023 will also be a big year for federal advocacy, and our enhanced capacity will support that work.

Third, we wanted to align our training programs under a director of programs and training (Lindsey Karlson). This division and the data work done through the Great Plains Health Data Network (Becky Wahl) will lead our health center-facing programs. This aligned training focus will allow us to refine our training model and bring improved quality and consistency to the work being done in our network teams.

A larger staff and more grants and programs to manage have required more formal policies and procedures and an increased investment in finance, internal human resources, and internal training and staff development. These growth areas will be managed by Mary Hoffman, director of people, and Deb Esche, director of finance and operations.
Finally, we have wanted to intentionally focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging across our staff. This includes recruiting a diverse workforce and aligning our internal policies and training programs with our health equity goals. I’ll share more information about that work in our next newsletter.

As the health centers have taken on more collective goals and projects, we have seen CHAD start to evolve from a service organization (that is good at responding to requests from health centers) to one with more advanced skills such as leadership, coalition building, and consulting are needed. It has been incredible to see the capacity of the staff grow along with the effectiveness of the work we are doing collaboratively with health centers. We hope our new organizational structure will enable us to continue that growth, and we look forward to what the future holds!

Health Centers in the News
Community Health Service Inc. moves locations to expand Moorhead clinic via KVRR.

Spectra Health is offering women’s cancer screening in Grand Forks via the Grand Forks Herald.
CHAD Welcomes Austin Hahn as the Data and Health Information Program Manager
Austin Hahn joined CHAD in December 2022 as the data and health information program manager, where he does data management, IT security and policy, and IT administration. Currently, he participates in coaching calls on leveraging HIT and data, focusing on clinical quality, patient-centered care, provider and staff well-being, and enhancing virtual care. He also collaborates with partner organizations to advance the strategic priorities of the Great Plains Health Data Network. Prior to CHAD, Austin worked for Avera Health as a technology intake developer, analyzing and evaluating IT products and services.

Austin has bachelor’s degrees in business administration and business management from the University of Sioux Falls. He lives in Sioux Falls with his wife, Amanda, two sons, Sylas and Elliott, and a dog named Oats. He enjoys the outdoors and exploring new places, ideas, and hobbies. He spends time sailing, cycling, woodworking, and geocaching with family and friends.
Michelle Scholtz, DDS, Chief Dental Officer at Horizon Health Care, Wins Exceptional Clinical Leadership Award
In recognition of her outstanding service and commitment to improving the health and well-being of her patients and communities, Dr. Michelle Scholtz was awarded the Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS) Exceptional Clinical Leadership Award in December. Dr. Michelle Scholtz is a respected leader, positively impacting health outcomes for thousands of health center patients. Please click here for her nomination statement. Congratulations, Dr. Scholtz!
CHAD Announces Theme and Details of 2023 Annual Members Conference
Celebrate the Difference: Connect. Collaborate. Innovate.
Preparations are underway for the CHAD Annual Members Conference on May 3 & 4 in Fargo, ND. CHAD draws health center professionals and leaders together for educational and networking opportunities every year. We are excited to be back in person after a few years; health center staff, from executives to administrators, clinicians to board members, assemble to learn from experts and each other.

In partnership with the Great Plains Health Data Network, this year’s conference features sessions on building engagement with communities, leveraging data to support organizational and community change, innovations in workforce development, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. In addition, the conference includes essential networking opportunities, including evening social and peer-to-peer roundtable discussions.

Registration opens in early March. Contact Darci Bultje for sponsorship opportunities.
Legislative Sessions are Open in North Dakota
and South Dakota

The North Dakota and South Dakota legislatures are both in session. It has been busy thus far, and CHAD is focusing on these priorities in each state: South Dakota Legislative Priorities and North Dakota Legislative Priorities.

In North Dakota, CHAD has presented supportive testimony related to the development and payment of community health workers and is preparing to present testimony with the health center leadership in support of Senate Bill 2155 at the end of the month. Senate Bill 2155 provides a state appropriation to health centers to offset the cost of uncompensated care and provides funding to assess the feasibility of standing up new health center sites.

In South Dakota, CHAD continues to work with partners to support the implementation of Medicaid expansion. On Tuesday, January 17, CHAD provided supportive testimony to the Joint Committee on Appropriations related to Medicaid expansion and the development of the pregnancy health home proposed by Governor Noem. South Dakota Medicaid has posted its state plan amendment (SPA) to expand Medicaid, which is part of the process required to meet the July 2023 deadline for expansion. CHAD will provide comments and suggestions to this SPA. Find the SPA proposal from SD Medicaid here.

To stay up to date on the latest policy initiatives and developments, email Jenn Folliard, policy & communications director at CHAD.
Medicaid Renewals and Stay Covered ND Resources
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government temporarily stopped some Medicaid requirements and conditions to help people from losing their health coverage. North Dakota will soon be required to review eligibility for people whose coverage was extended due to the COVID-19 public health emergency to ensure they still qualify.

The state of North Dakota created a webpage, www.HHS.ND.GOV/StayCoveredND, to give members, providers, and other stakeholders information on what people need to do to prepare. Please spread the word!

To read about other updates from North Dakota Medicaid, like expanded postpartum coverage for qualifying new moms, electronic funds transfers (EFTs), and updates to 1915(i), including the conflict of interest provision, check out the ND Medicaid provider e-newsletter with more details here.

CHAD Launching Care Management and
Care Coordinators Workgroup

CHAD is excited to announce a new care coordination and care management peer workgroup to facilitate networking between health centers as they develop and expand care coordination and care management programs. Monthly calls will feature guided discussion and time for participants to ask questions, share best practices, and learn from one another. This monthly workgroup is best suited for nursing staff who serve as care coordinators and care managers within their health center. Once each quarter (March, June, September, and December), social workers and community health workers are invited to join the group to network around care team integration and resource coordination.

Sign up to participate here. Please share this invitation with care coordinators and care managers within the health centers. Sessions will be held on the second Wednesday of the month at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT.
North Dakota Health Service Corps
The North Dakota Primary Care Office (PCO) is excited to announce the opening of the 2022-2023 North Dakota Health Service Corps (NDHSC) application! The NDHSC comprises four individual support-for-service effort programs which provide loan repayment to selected health care providers who work with underserved communities and populations.
These programs are offered and administered by the North Dakota PCO. Descriptions of each program, along with program eligibility, requirements, and how to apply, can be found on the North Dakota PCO website.
Healthcare.Gov Marketplace Open Enrollment Season 10 Ended January 15
Over 15.9 million Americans enrolled in affordable health insurance plans through the Marketplace for 2023 coverage from November 1, 2022 – January 15, 2023.

As they worked during the 10th open enrollment period, navigators with Get Covered South Dakota (GCSD) heard stories every day about how consumers’ lives are impacted for the better due to having health insurance. For example, a local man learned his wife has early-onset Alzheimer’s at 58 years old. She had always held insurance for their family through her job, as his long-time small employer didn’t offer coverage. She can no longer work, so her employer-sponsored coverage ended on December 31. One of the GCSD navigators assisted in finding an insurance plan that covered her pre-existing conditions and medications at an affordable price, as they are now down to a single income. Without affordable insurance, the outcome would be very different for this family.

As a Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) navigator grantee, CHAD is always looking for community partners to enhance our efforts to enroll eligible South Dakotans in affordable health plans. If interested in helping, visit or give a navigator a call at 605-309-1801.
GP11 Network News
Azara DRVS for Quality Improvement Training Series: It’s Time to Measure Up

Join the CHAD and the Great Plains Health Data Network for a new training series focused on leveraging Azara DRVS to support quality improvement initiatives at health centers. Each session, held monthly from February through June, will feature a specific condition or area of focus, including a brief review of care guidelines and the specific data reports and measures available within DRVS to support improvements in care delivery. Sessions will also highlight quality improvement methodologies and demonstrate how you can utilize Azara to measure progress. This series is intended for health center clinicians, quality leads, community health workers, and staff working in operations or with social determinants of health. For more information and to register for the full series, click here.

Session One: Leveraging Azara to Optimize and Improve Hypertension Treatment and Outcomes
In partnership with the American Heart Association, CHAD is excited to launch this series on Tuesday, February 14, with a focus on hypertension and heart health. The American Heart Association will join us to review evidence-based care guidelines, algorithms, and resources available to support the screening and treatment of hypertension. The session will conclude with a deep dive into hypertension data available in Azara, highlighting how health centers can utilize the data available to support quality improvement initiatives.

Tuesday, February, 14
12:00 pm CT / 11:00 am MT
Register for the full series here.

New Year’s Resolution Series: DRVS Admin

As part of the Azara New Year’s Resolution Series, participants are invited to join this webinar for a review of the opportunities available within basic DRVS administration. This webinar will provide an overview of key admin functionalities, including cohorts & registries, provider & location groups, targets, shared filters, and email subscriptions. Follow along in DRVS and ask your questions to DRVS experts.

Thursday, January 19
1:00 pm CT/ 12:00 pm MT
Register here.

New Year’s Resolution Series: DRVS Data Hygiene

Now is the time to plan data health activities for 2023. During this webinar, participants will explore the DRVS tools available that can support data quality efforts. These reporting features will allow clients to identify, monitor, analyze and improve the quality of their data using tools available within DRVS. With these tips and tricks, health centers can avoid the pre-reporting chaos and keep data healthy all year long.

Thursday, January 26
1:00 pm CT/12:00 pm MT
Register here.
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Activities
Planned for March

Join the #BlueForCRC efforts for March by amplifying the grassroots and community efforts to raise awareness throughout Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Health centers are urged to engage community partners to turn buildings and landmarks in their community blue on Tuesday, March 7. Toolkits are available to support health center efforts, including social media posts, sample language for proclamations, and other creative ideas to build awareness about the importance of colorectal cancer screening.
CHAMPS CORE and Spanish Language Trainings: Registration is Now Open
Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS) is offering two intensive training courses this spring, CORE Competencies for Health Center Supervisors and Managers and Spanish Language for Health Care Professionals.

The CHAMPS CORE Competencies for Health Center Supervisors and Managers Training is designed to support supervisors and managers at community, migrant, and homeless health centers and teach valuable and applicable skills on how to hire, train, manage, engage, and retain staff. The virtual course will be held 8:00 – 10:30 am CT/ 9:00 - 11:30 am MT on Wednesdays: March 29, April 5, April 12, April 19, and April 26.

Interested in attending CORE? Visit the CHAMPS website or contact Emily Krizmanich, CHAMPS programs coordinator for health center workforce. Registration will be open until Monday, February 27, or until the course is full; limited scholarships are available.

The CHAMPS Spanish Language for Health Care Professionals Training, offered in collaboration with the Denver Medical Society (DMS), includes four virtual Spanish language courses throughout April, held from 7:00 – 11:00 am CT/ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm MT each day with optional tutoring/extra practice in the afternoons:

For registration and more information about the CHAMPS Spanish Language Training, please visit the CHAMPS website or contact Kathryn King, CHAMPS programs coordinator for population health. Registration ends on March 31 or when the courses are full.
Webinars & Meetings
Find these and other events on the CHAD website.
Take a Bite Out of Cancer: Hearty Winter Soups and Cervical Cancer
The Avera Cancer Institute will offer a virtual event on Tuesday, January 24, in honor of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Join Dr. Luis A. Rojas, MD, FACOG, to learn more about cervical cancer, treatments, and preventive measures, including screenings and lifestyle habits. In addition, Kat Thomsen, RDN, will share healthy soup recipes to enjoy this winter.

Tuesday, January 24
12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT
Register here.
Field Strategies to Increase CRC Screening and Promote CRC Health Equity in Communities
On Tuesday, January 24, join the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable webinar by learning from three community-facing health systems that are utilizing various tools to establish, implement, and advance colorectal cancer screening interventions tailored for the populations they serve. Note: this session will feature much of the same content shared in a concurrent session held at the 2022 NCCRT Annual Meeting.

Tuesday, January 24
2:00 pm CT/ 1:00 pm MT
Register here.
SDOH Screening & Referrals to Support Diabetes Control Webinar Series
In the final two sessions of this three-part webinar series, participants can expect to learn about the importance of social determinants of health (SDOH) screenings and whole-person wellness to improve diabetes management and outcomes. Presenters will share their knowledge of executing patient-centered SDOH screening tools and referrals to support services while managing diabetes. This series will discuss implementing best practices for care team optimization and coordination. Utilization of SDOH screening risk calls for patient-centered approaches to developing care plans and team-based care management. Participants will learn best practices for replicating these patient-centered care plans and how to best use their staff for team-based management.

Wednesdays, January 25 and February 1
1:00 pm CT / 12:00 pm MT
Register here.
Telling the Health Center Story
Join CHAD for this educational and inspirational introduction to community health centers. Participants will gain a foundational knowledge of health centers, including defining features, key services, and populations served. This interactive presentation will provide a context of the greater health center movement and legacy and locations, features, and impact of health centers here in the Dakotas. Attendees will be asked to consider how they will help share the story of their particular health center moving forward.

This presentation is designed for all health center staff and will be of particular interest to those unfamiliar with the broader community health center movement or key features of health centers. Supervisors should encourage staff to attend. It is also great for board members and patients who might be health center advocates.

Thursday, January 26
12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT
Register here.
Keeping Your Employees & Patients Safe: Protective Actions During an Emergency
Health care facilities can face hazardous situations and operational interruptions from many events. These events can threaten the lives and well-being of staff, patients, and responders. Planning, training, and exercising for response and recovery to these events can dramatically increase the likelihood of improved outcomes. Presenter Dr. Carol Cwiak will review simple steps that health care facility staff can take to jump-start their efforts to keep themselves, their patients, and others that engage with the facility safe.

Thursday, February 9
1:00 pm CT / 12:00 pm MT
Register here.
Save the Date: 2023 Virtual PCMH Health Equity Technical Assistance Symposium
Participants will have the opportunity to hear about and discuss best practices and lessons learned from peers and experts in the fields of health equity, quality improvement, and accreditation/recognition.

March 29 - 30
CHAD Network Team Meetings
Tuesday, January 31 at 3:00 pm CT/ 2:00 pm MT – CFO and Finance Manager Roundtable
Thursday, February 2 at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT – Clinical Quality Network Team
Tuesday, February 7 at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT – Behavioral Health Work Group
Monday, February 13 at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT – Dental Network Team
Monday, February 13 at 1:00 pm CT/ 12:00 pm MT – Operational Excellence/ Compliance Workgroup
Tuesday, February 14 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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