We just completed our 2023 annual conference in Fargo, ND, on May 4-5. It was our first bigger in-person conference since 2019, so I was really feeling the significance of being together. Something new and richer gets sparked when we are able to convene in person, and it was fun to observe connections grow, creativity spark, lightbulbs come on, and just experience the joy of being together.

In partnership with the Great Plains Health Data Network, this year’s conference featured sessions on building engagement with partners and communities, leveraging data to support organizational and community change, workforce development and wellness innovations, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Our goal was to hit pressing, practical, front-of-mind issues and tackle them in an in-depth way. You can find session slides and materials
here. We also had the fun of a movie screening at the historic Fargo theater that featured Whitney Fear, an indigenous psychiatric nurse practitioner who serves at Family HealthCare. You can also find that 20-minute film on our conference site -- I encourage you to check it out!

Since we hadn’t been together in this way in a while, I was attentive to the ways our CHAD community has evolved. We definitely saw those we have known and loved for many years – those who were in the trenches together during the pandemic years. There were also so many new faces, including those from our newest member, South Dakota Urban Indian Health (who helped lead a session on inclusivity and healing from a Lakota/Dakota perspective) and those who are leading our social drivers of health and community health worker programs (I loved the posters describing your work!). It was also awesome to see how many partners joined the conference as vendors and speakers. It was clear that many of these partnerships had been strengthened through the pandemic as we worked together to achieve shared public health goals. Along those lines, I’d like
to personally thank the vendors who sponsored our conference for their continued dedication to health centers in the Dakotas. This year’s sponsors included:

  • American Heart Association
  • Azara Healthcare
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota
  • Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS)
  • Community Health Ventures
  • Exact Sciences
  • Great Plains Quality Innovation Network
  • Immunize South Dakota
  • Lake Region State College
  • McKesson
  • On Belay Health Solutions
  • North Dakota Health Service Corps
  • North Dakota Health Information Network
  • NDSU Extension
  • Rural Psychiatry Associates
  • University of South Dakota School of Health Sciences
Health Centers in the News
CHAD CEO Shelly Ten Napel and Spectra Health CEO Mara Jiran are quoted in this Grand Forks Herald interview about the North Dakota legislature appropriations funds for community health centers.

Community Health Service, Inc. is one of 46 nonprofits to receive funding from the United Way of Olmsted County via KAAL TV.
SD Medicaid Unwinding and Expansion Updates
The Unwinding of Medicaid Continuous Eligibility
The South Dakota Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) are making major changes, and CHAD is making every effort to track updates and make resources available. For current recipients of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), eligibility reviews began in February and will continue monthly during the next year. These individuals will be mailed a renewal application that must be filled out and returned to continue their coverage. While many people will stay covered simply by submitting the form, others will be informed that they no longer qualify under current program guidelines. However, some may become eligible after July 1 with Medicaid expansion.

South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) released unwinding data as of April 1. Of the 157,334 people enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP in March, more than 16,000 recipients, or about 10%, were disenrolled on April 1. DSS highlighted that 1,747 disenrolled recipients appear to be eligible for the expansion after it goes into effect on July 1.

Medicaid Expansion
Expansion of Medicaid eligibility for adults aged 18-64 is set to take effect on July 1. From May 26 to June 7, staff from DSS will host three informational webinars for health care providers, recipients, and other stakeholders to learn more about Medicaid expansion and its possible effects. Visit the state expansion website for registration and other frequent updates.

CHAD and statewide partners, including the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and AARP, are hosting a press conference at 11:00 am on Thursday, June 1, at Falls Community Health in Sioux Falls. Health care providers, navigators, and community members will speak on the importance of Medicaid expansion and highlight the opportunity to “early” enroll ahead of the July 1 implementation date.

CHAD is also hosting a Medicaid Expansion Partner Summit in Sioux Falls on Thursday, June 15. Speakers from DSS, Get Covered South Dakota, and CHAD will share the latest information, best practices, and new communication and outreach tools. The event will be free for all participants. More information will be available soon at Contact Carmen Toft at CHAD for an invitation.
LGBTQ+ and Cancer Screening Webinar Series
Join CHAD, the Dakotas AIDS Education and Training Center (DAETC), and the American Cancer Society for this three-part webinar series to explore a variety of topics essential to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals. Speakers will discuss current barriers to cancer screenings and preventative health care and how to create inclusive and welcoming environments to improve data collection and health outcomes. Participants are welcome for every session or may choose the sessions that make the most sense for them. Continuing medical education (CME) credits will be offered at no cost for certain sessions.* This series will benefit health care providers, nursing staff, social workers, community health workers, and front office staff.

Session One - Creating Inclusive Environments to Improve LGBTQ+ Health Outcomes with Data
Thursday, June 8 | 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT
*Register here

Session Two - Predictors and Emotional Experiences of Cancer Screening for LGBTQ+ Groups
Thursday, June 22 | 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT
Register here

Session Three - Creating Inclusive Environments to Improve LGBTQ+ Health Outcomes
Wednesday, June 28 | 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT
*Register here
SDDOH Health Improvement Innovation Request for Applications
The South Dakota Department of Health is pleased to announce a funding opportunity, the Health Improvement Innovation request for applications. This funding opportunity is intended to support strategies that have a deliberate focus on health improvement and include supportive activities to address barriers or unintended outcomes that underserved populations may face. Successful applicants will be awarded up to $25,000, with a minimum of $5,000. Applications must be submitted by June 30. All funds must be expended by May 31, 2024. For more information, visit, and for questions, contact Kayla Townsend.
CHAMPS Webinar Series - Speak My Culture: Trust, Culture, and Health Care in the Latino Community
Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS) is pleased to announce that registration is now open for “Speak My Culture: Trust, Culture, and Health Care in the Latino Community,” a two-part virtual series that allows health care workers to better understand the challenges facing the Latino patient community and to obtain ideas, tools, and strategies to prepare them to offer culturally appropriate and sensitive care to their Latinos patients. Participants do not need to speak Spanish to take this training. The event will be taught by Tamara Rios, the instructor for the very popular CHAMPS annual Spanish language training, and is offered at no cost in partnership with Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center. Learn more on the CHAMPS Distance Learning Events webpage.
GP11 Network News
Ransomware Attack Impacts Emergency Services in Dallas
Earlier this month, government agencies in Dallas were hit with ransomware that impaired 9-1-1 communications services, police websites, jury duty, and all jury trials. A group identifying themselves as “Royal” printed instructions on how to pay the ransom through police printers. The Royal ransomware operation is believed to be an offshoot of the Conti cybercrime syndicate. Dallas agencies and third-party vendors isolated the threat enough to restore emergency services but continue to struggle to restore all necessary services. This ransomware was believed to have started with callback phishing attacks. These callback phishing attacks impersonate food delivery and software providers in emails pretending to be subscription renewals. National security advisors are reminding people to be vigilant when clicking on unfamiliar links or granting access to unverified users. The full article can be found here.

DEA Telemedicine Flexibilities Extended Past End of PHE
Earlier this month, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced that COVID-19 telemedicine flexibilities for controlled substances will be temporarily extended. The DEA recognized the importance of telemedicine in providing Americans with access to needed medications and decided to extend the current flexibilities until they find a way forward to give people that access with appropriate safeguards. Further details about the rule will become public after its full publication in the Federal Register. 

Preparing for UDS 2023: CQMs, Table Changes, UDS+, Oh My
It might feel “too soon” to be talking UDS 2023, but February is right around the corner. In this webinar, presenters will review key 2023 UDS CQMs and DRVS applicable table changes. They will also provide UDS+ updates, review the fundamentals of data hygiene, and discuss how DRVS can support UDS success. UDS planning occurs year-round and should never be just a “January 1” project. Get ahead of the validation and data capture needs to ensure success. Please submit any questions on the 2023 updates with registration.

Thursday, May 25
1:00 pm CT/ 12:00 pm MT
Register here

2023 Uniform Data System Reporting
For 2023 reporting, health centers will submit aggregated Uniform Data System (UDS) data via the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA’s) electronic handbooks (EHBs) using the traditional submission method. This includes all UDS tables and appendices and will be the official submission of record.

Health centers ready to submit patient-level data (UDS+) are encouraged to do so. Learn about the Uniform Data System (UDS) reporting requirements by joining the 2023 UDS Changes technical assistance webinar. Presenters will provide a detailed overview of important proposed reporting changes for calendar year (CY) 2023.

Tuesday, June 6
12:00 pm -1:30 pm CT/ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm MT

Register here

2023 SD Health Link Roadshows
Please join SD Health Link staff as they highlight and feature Health Insight’s suite of tools – pop analyzer and pop insights. For more information and the event agenda, click here.
  • Rapid City – May 22
  • Pierre – May 23
  • Aberdeen – May 24
  • Watertown – May 24
  • Sioux Falls – May 25
GPHDN Attends Azara Annual User Conference
In 2020, the Great Plains Health Data Network (GPHDN) released a request for proposal (RFP) to implement a population health management tool, and Azara was selected. The GPHDN has been working with participating health centers (PHCs) for the last three years to implement Azara for all 11 members. Five PHCs have implemented Azara, and the remaining six continue to work towards implementation.

GPHDN staff and PHC members attended the 2023 Annual Azara User Conference in Boston on April 24-26. The group attended workshops, general sessions, breakouts, and had the opportunity to network with other Azara users across the nation. This conference allowed attendees to hear from others on how they are using Azara, share best practices, further knowledge and skills, and collaborate with the Azara team. The GPHDN will continue to learn and use Azara tools to drive improvements in care delivery and positively impact patient lives.

Webinars & Meetings
Find these and other events on the CHAD website.
Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening & Effective Screening Motivators
Join the American Cancer Society to learn about some of the most common patient and system-related barriers to colorectal cancer screening and effective screening messages to overcome those barriers.

Thursday, June 15
12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT
Register here.
Equity Talk: World Refugee Day - Reflections on Health Equity in the Dakotas
Join CHAD for a panelist discussion on World Refugee Day. Pulling from both personal and professional expertise, local speakers will share best practices in multi-lingual health care delivery and health insurance access issues for refugee and immigrant communities. Panelists will also look upstream, reflecting on needs they observe in local communities and opportunities for cross-sector collaborations to advance health equity.

Panelists include Taneeza Islam, Esq., executive director of South Dakota Voices for Peace, Nonna Tumbashev, outreach & enrollment navigator at CHAD, and John Bidogo, health equity community coach at NDSU Extension. Health center staff, partner organizations, and community members are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, June 20

12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT
Register here.
CHAD Network Team Meetings
Tuesday, May 30 at 3:00 pm CT/ 2:00 pm MT – CFO and Finance Manager Roundtable
Thursday, June 1 at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT – Clinical Quality Network Team
Tuesday, June 6 at 12:00 pm CT/ 11:00 am MT – Behavioral Health Workgroup
Thursday, June 8 at 9:00 am CT/ 8:00 am MT - Emergency Preparedness Network Team
Monday, June 12 at 1:00 pm CT/ 12:00 pm MT – Operational Excellence/ Compliance Workgroup
Tuesday, June 13 at 2:00 pm CT/ 1:00 pm MT – Communications and Marketing Network Team
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