We look forward to seeing many of you next week at our – now virtual – 2021 CHAD Annual Conference The Health Center Journey: Celebrating Success, Looking to the Future that will be held September 14 an 15. For those who haven’t registered yet, it is not too late! Check out our registration page here. For those who weren’t able to make the trip in person, now you can join us for the sessions that interest you most.

You might especially want to check out our opening general session which will include an interactive conversation with some of the long-time leaders of the health center movement in the Dakotas and Wyoming. They will remind us where we’ve come from and – more importantly – share their thoughts on where we go from here. Panelists will include John Mengenhausen, Jill Franken, Darrold Bertsch and Jan Cartwright from the Dakotas and Wyoming. The session will be kicked off by the outgoing chair of the National Association of Community Health Centers Board of Directors, Lathran Johnson Woodard. We hope you can join us for this session and all of the presentations and workshops we have in store.
CHCs in the News
Horizon Health Care’s new family practice physician is highlighted in this profile in the Mitchell Republic.
In this interview by Public News Service, Lori Dumke with Northland Health Centers is quoted about community health centers’ vaccination strategies.
KELO highlighted the Back-to-School Bash held at South Dakota Urban Indian Health in Sioux Falls.
Dakotas’ Health Centers Receive
Community Health Quality Recognition

The Community Health Quality Recognition (CHQR) badges recognize Health Center Program awardees and look-alikes (LALs) that have made notable quality improvement achievements in the areas of access, quality, health equity, and health information technology for the most recent UDS reporting period. In addition, COVID-19 badges were introduced to recognize health centers’ contributions to the public health emergency response in the areas of data collection, testing, and vaccinations.

Congratulations to the following health centers that received recognition:

  • Coal Country Community Health Center – Health Center Quality Leader (Gold)
  • Family HealthCare – Health Center Quality Leader (Silver), COVID-19 Data Reporter, PCMH
  • Northland Health Centers – COVID-19 Testing
  • Spectra Health – COVID-19 Data Reporter, PCMH
  • Falls Community Health – PCMH
  • Horizon Health Care – PCMH
  • Rural Health Care – Health Center Quality Leader (Gold), COVID-19 Data Reporter, COVID-19 Testing

Visit the CHQR overview and CHQR FAQ webpages for answers to learn more or join an upcoming CHQR program overview on Thursday, September 16 at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT. Register here.

CHAD Partnership Awarded Three Year Navigator Grant Ahead of Open Enrollment Period
The Biden-Harris Administration is expanding the number of Navigator organizations to help people enroll in health care coverage through the Marketplace, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 30 states with a federally-facilitated Marketplace. This was a competitive grant application process, with 60 Navigator organizations awarded $80 million in total funding. These awardees will train and certify more than 1,500 Navigators to help uninsured consumers find affordable and comprehensive health coverage.

In South Dakota, CHAD will provide Navigator services in partnership with Community Health Center of the Black Hills, Falls Community Health, The Helpline Center, Horizon Health Care, South Dakota Urban Indian Health, and Western South Dakota Community Action. This is a three-year partnership, beginning August 30. Navigators can assist with enrollment applications and help consumers receive financial assistance through With additional funding, Navigator organizations can better assist people with limited English proficiency in multiple languages and more assistance to rural areas and communities of color.

The 2021 Navigator awardees will focus on outreach to particularly underserved communities. Health insurance is a key driver of quality health outcomes. Affordable health insurance is available through the Marketplace. CHAD and partners will work to ensure that every South Dakotan who needs insurance has the information they need to enroll in a plan that best suits their needs.
Join Our Team at CHAD
CHAD is committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of inclusion and connectedness. We grow and learn better together with a diverse team of employees. In recruiting for our team, we welcome the unique contributions that candidates can bring and strive to attract staff who will share our "cornerstones of character" of integrity, respect, reliability, collaboration, and innovation. See the careers page on the CHAD website for these and other open positions at health centers in the Dakotas.

Open Positions
Clinical Quality Coordinator – Full-time remote work with a physical location in North Dakota or South Dakota;
Administrative Coordinator – Full-time with the ability to work 2-3 days a week in our Sioux Falls, SD office in combination with remote work from home; and,
Community Engagement Specialist – Full-time remote work with a physical location in South Dakota.

COVID-19: Delta, Mu, Boosters, and More
In the Dakotas last week, state and hospital officials appealed to citizens to get vaccinated and continue following other prevention measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. The press conferences were spurred by the increasing hospitalizations in both states, reigniting strains in bed capacity and workforce. Data released by hospital systems also underscores that the current rate of hospitalizations is preventable with vaccination.

While Delta remains the most dominant variant across the United States, the World Health Organization has identified a new variant of interest. Katelyn Jetalina from Your Local Epidemiologist shares helpful data about Mu in her most recent update.

COVID-19 data continues to support and drive advancements in the use of vaccinations. Booster doses have been approved for immunocompromised Individuals. At this time, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has not made a recommendation on COVID-19 booster shots for the general public. Discussion at the most recent ACIP meeting indicates they are likely to take a risk-based approach for booster dose recommendations. ACIP continues to encourage health care providers to focus outreach efforts on unvaccinated individuals.

Upcoming Learning Opportunities

  • CDC COCA webinar, "2021-2022 Influenza Vaccination Recommendations and Guidance on Coadministration with COVID-19 Vaccines."
    Thursday, September 9
    1:00 pm CT/ 12:00 pm MT
    A few minutes before the webinar starts, please click on the Zoom link to join.

  • Current Issues in Vaccines: Myths and Misinformation Surrounding COVID-19 Vaccines
    Wednesday, September 22
    11:00 am CT/ 10:00 am MT
    Register here.
Federal Legislative Updates on Reconciliation and Infrastructure Bills
Congress is expected to consider multiple major votes on spending issues when they return from recess. The Senate is scheduled to come back into session on September 13, and the House of Representatives returns on September 20. Since the budget resolution has passed the House and Senate, House Democrats have set September 15 as the deadline for committees to write their portions of the reconciliation bill and September 27 as the estimated deadline to pass both the infrastructure and reconciliation bills. The $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan includes higher subsidies for Marketplace plans, closes the Medicaid coverage gap in non-expansion states, and addresses workforce challenges. It also extends the child tax credit, includes paid family and medical leave, adds long-term or in-home care for seniors and persons with disabilities, and addresses drug pricing policies.

The Senate overwhelmingly approved the $1 trillion infrastructure bill in August to rebuild the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges and fund new climate resilience and broadband initiatives. The House aims to pass the bill by October. CNBC’s analysis shows that Vermont, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska lead when it comes to estimated per capita infrastructure spending, with at least $3,500 per resident. California’s estimated per capita allocation is less than $1,250 per resident. North Dakota and South Dakota are estimated to receive $3,200-3,500 per resident.
Department of Agriculture Announces
Emergency Rural Health Care Grants

Public, non-profit, and tribal organizations have until October 12 to apply for a portion of $500 million in American Rescue Plan Act grants. The grants are from the United States Department of Agriculture to expand access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, rural health care services, and food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities. Facilities and projects supported through this grant must be located in rural areas with populations of 20,000 or fewer and must primarily serve rural areas.

Track 1 grants will provide $25,000 to $1 million to support immediate health care needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, help prepare for a future pandemic event, or increase access to health care services and improve community health outcomes. Track 2 grants will provide $5-$10 million to help sustain improved health outcomes, access to care, and economic development in small communities.
Funding Available to Implement Cancer
Prevention and Control Efforts

The South Dakota Department of Health’s Cancer Programs is pleased to announce the release of the implementation grant request for applications (RFA). The programs are seeking applications that support the South Dakota Cancer Plan, focus on evidence-based intervention implementation, and promote equitable and accessible cancer prevention, early detection, and cancer survivorship efforts in South Dakota.

Eligible applicants include organizations that have the capacity to implement the required interventions. Eligibility includes federally qualified healthcare centers, health care clinics, health care professional organizations, Indian Health Service, non-profits, quality improvement organizations, school-based healthcare clinics, tribal health centers, universities, coalitions, and worksites, among others.

Applicants may request up to $25,000, and the project period runs from January 1 - December 31, 2022. Staff is available to support potential applicants throughout the application period by
answering questions, brainstorming project ideas, reviewing draft applications, and more. Click here to request assistance. Applications are due via electronic submission to by 5:00 pm CT/ 4:00 pm MT on Wednesday, November 3.
September is Hunger Action Month
September is Hunger Action Month, and everyone can play a role in helping end food insecurity across the Dakotas. Learn more about how to get involved locally:

  • WEAR ORANGE on Hunger Action Day, Friday, September 17, and post pictures to social media using the hashtag #hungeractionmonth;
  • In South Dakota:
  • In North Dakota:

And remember, when patients are experiencing food insecurity, 2-1-1 houses local food resource lists, accessible both online and via phone or text. Check out the Helpline Center in South Dakota FirstLink in North Dakota.
GP11 Network News
HRSA Recognizes Great Plains Health Data Network Members for Advancing HIT for Quality

Congratulations to four Great Plains Health Data Network (GPHDN) members who received Community Health Quality Recognition badges. The badges were awarded from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for Advancing Health Information Technology (HIT) for Quality. These 2021 achievements were based on the 2020 Uniform Data System (UDS) reporting period.

The HRSA Advancing HIT for Quality award recognizes health centers that meet all criteria to optimize HIT services that advance telehealth, patient engagement, interoperability, and collection of social determinants of health to increase access to care and advance quality of care. These badges will allow health center awardees to leverage grants, prize challenges, and pay-for-performance opportunities to test, innovate, and collect insights and lessons learned.

Congratulations to the following health center members for achieving this badge:
  • Cheyenne Health and Wellness Center, Cheyenne WY;
  • Horizon Health Care, Inc., Howard, SD;
  • Northland Health Partners Community Health Center, Turtle Lake, ND; and,
  • Spectra Health, Grand Forks, ND.

New Telehealth Certificate Program Available

The American Board of Telehealth, a South Dakota-based organization, has launched a new certificate program aimed at helping primary care providers deliver virtual care. This is the second program to launch in 2021 and one of three programs in total that have been developed to address the growing demand for connected health best practices during the pandemic.

The TelePrimary Care Certificate Program is an online certificate engaging the primary care professional in a focused curriculum to give telepractice knowledge and skills to meet the demand for providing excellent patient care via remote services. The self-paced online program will address the following topics:

  • Reimbursement issues;
  • Legal, regulatory, and ethical considerations;
  • Operations, productivity, and workflow planning;
  • Best practices for combining telehealth and in-person care in a hybrid model;
  • Barriers and opportunities of teleprimary care;
  • Providing care via a remote medium;
  • Addressing health equity and other social determinants of health; and,
  • Competing with retail clinics, urgent care centers, and other virtual sources of care.

This program is intended for primary care professionals interested in or currently practicing telehealth, including physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, clinical social workers, medical assistants, administration, resident physicians, health care organizations, and educational institutions. There are no prerequisites required for this program. Find more information about the TelePrimary Care Certificate Program 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 monthly COVID-19 webinar for health care facilities, medical providers, laboratorians, long-term care facilities, EMS providers, and other health professionals.

Thursday, September 9
11:00 am CT/ 10:00 am MT
For call-in information, please join the listserv here. Find archived calls and slides here.

Four-Part UDS Measures Training Series with BCA, Inc.

BCA, Inc. is excited to partner with the Health Center Association of Nebraska to deliver a free, four-part series for coders. In these 90-minute sessions, coders will learn about the Uniform Data System (UDS) process, why data is collected, and how it is used. Coders will learn to access their clinical data, isolate areas of needed improvement, and develop processes to become part of the solution. Popular UDS metrics will be explored, and coders will learn how to level up their unique skills to create, track, and improve data pertaining to UDS measures.

Thursdays in September (reoccurring)
12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 pm MT
Register here.

2021 Immunize SD Conference: Getting Back on Track September 10

Register now for the 5th annual statewide Immunize South Dakota conference: Getting Back on Track. Held virtually on September 10, this event will bring together health care professionals to learn the most recent vaccine news and developments. This conference is intended to promote immunizations throughout South Dakota by supporting health care providers through education and community outreach resources.

The conference will be from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm CT/ 7:00 am to 3:30 pm MT. The full agenda and registration information are available here.
Open Enrollment 9 (OE9) Beyond the Basics

Registration is now open for the OE9 Beyond the Basics webinar series. The nine-part webinar series covers everything enrollment assisters need to know to help people get and keep their health coverage. All webinars will be recorded and available for viewing on the Beyond the Basics website.

Tuesdays and Thursdays between September 14 and October 14
12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT
Register here.

2021 CHAD Conference

Registration is open for the 2021 CHAD Conference happening virtually next week. Paired with the Great Plains Health Data Network summit, the 2021 CHAD Conference will feature speakers and panelists who will look at the history of the health center movement as a way to inform the current moment and look forward to the future’s potential. Participants will connect to the past through stories and learn how to use stories to continue to be community-driven, equity-oriented, and patient-centered organizations and how we can continue to live out the values of the health center movement in the current context. Tracks include workforce, leadership, health equity, clinical quality, and behavioral health. Visit our conference website for registration details, schedule, and speaker and vendor information.

September 14 and 15
Register here.

Counting Visits in the Uniform Data System

Stay informed about how to report visits in the Uniform Data System (UDS). Join this 2021 UDS reporting technical assistance (TA) webinar for a detailed overview of what counts as a visit for UDS reporting purposes (in-person and virtual/telehealth). How UDS data sets are interrelated and how to report treatment and other services provided to health center patients will also be covered.

Wednesday, September 15
12:00-1:30 pm CT/ 11:00 am-12:30 pm MT
What’s at Stake in Congress: Our Health Advocacy Moment

We are coming up on a critical moment to ensure Congress goes big and bold on health care this year. As Congress returns to Washington DC after Labor Day, it will be time to dial up the pressure and make sure that health care priorities make it into the reconciliation package. Join Families USA and other health advocates from across the country to get all the information you need to ensure we capitalize on this moment, including:

  • Hear the latest state of play in Congress;
  • Learn what is at stake for improving health in your state; and,
  • Get the latest tools and resources to take action.

Wednesday, September 15
2:00 pm CT/ 1:00 pm MT
Register here.

2021 Sanford Lung Cancer Virtual Symposium

Sanford Health invites physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, research staff, radiation therapists, and other interested health care professionals to attend their 2021 Lung Cancer Symposium on Friday, September 17. This symposium is designed to increase knowledge regarding risk stratification, screening guidelines, and treatment for lung cancer patients. Continuing education credits are available. Click here for a detailed agenda.

Friday, September 17
7:50 am CT/ 6:50 am MT – 3:30 pm CT/ 2:30 pm MT
Register here.

211 University for South Dakota Health Centers

The Helpline Center’s 211 database houses the largest, most comprehensive list of statewide community resources in South Dakota. As health centers continue to respond to patients’ social determinants of health, 211 can be a critical link in identifying appropriate resources. Join this hour-long "how to" on incorporating Helpline Center community resources into your daily work. This training is intended for all patient-facing staff.

Tuesday, September 28
12:00 pm CT / 11:00 am MT
Register here.
211 University for North Dakota Community Health Centers

FirstLink’s 211 database houses the largest, most comprehensive list of statewide community resources in North Dakota. As health centers continue to respond to patients’ social determinants of health, 211 can be a critical link in identifying appropriate resources. Join this hour-long "how to" on incorporating FirstLink’s community resource database into your daily work. Firstlink staff will share tips and tricks, including searching and finding community resources through the online database, texting services, and more. This training is intended for all patient-facing staff and has pre-approved for a continuing education unit (CEU) from the North Dakota Board of Social Work.

Thursday, September 30
12:00 pm CT / 11:00 am MT
Register here.
BPHC UDS Webinar Series

CHAD will be hosting its UDS training in three virtual sessions on November 2-4. We are working to finalize the details and will be sending out more information soon. In addition to our training which will focus on the Dakotas, the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) has scheduled technical assistance webinars through the end of the year.  

UDS Clinical Tables Part 1: Screening and Preventive Care Measures
Thursday, September 23
12:00-1:30 pm CT/ 11:00 am-12:30 pm MT

UDS Clinical Tables Part 2: Maternal Care and Children’s Health
Tuesday, September 28
12:00-1:30 pm CT/ 11:00 am-12:30 pm MT

UDS Clinical Tables Part 3: Chronic Disease Management
Wednesday, October 6
12:00-1:30 pm CT/ 11:00 am-12:30 pm MT

Reporting UDS Financial and Operational Tables
Thursday, October 14
12:00-1:30 pm CT/ 11:00 am-12:30 pm MT

Successful Submission Strategies
Wednesday, October 20
12:00-1:30 pm CT/ 11:00 am-12:30 pm MT
CHAD Network Team Meetings

Friday, September 17 at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT – Behavioral Health Work Group
Tuesday, September 28 at 1:00 pm CT/ 12:00 pm MT – Outreach & Enrollment Network Team Meeting
Tuesday, September 28 at 3:00 pm CT/ 2:00 pm MT – CFO & Finance Manager Roundtable
Thursday, October 7 at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT – Clinical Quality 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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