Coal Country Community Health Center hosts their 9th Annual Scrubs Camp

Each year, I break out my “I Love My Health Center” t-shirt, my Nike Air Forces along with the coolest pair of jeans I own to travel to Hazen, North Dakota, to attend Coal Country Community Health Center’s (CCCHC) scrubs camp and speak to 8th graders about health care careers. Why do I do this alongside the 66 staff members that make this day happen? We do it to inspire, inform, and hopefully motivate these students to explore a career in the health care field.

The R-COOL-Health Scrubs Camp is an exciting program supported by the Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences focused on rural students in grades five through twelve and getting students excited and interested in pursuing a career in the health sciences. The purpose of the program is to increase awareness, interest, and understanding of health careers available in rural North Dakota through creative and interactive activities. There is a reason these scrubs camps “R-COOL.” The students participate in fun interactive activities such as suturing a pig foot, viewing the anatomy of a cow heart, practicing an injection, and exploring lab and radiology devices. How COOL is that?  

When students arrive at camp, most are unaware of the many careers available in health care. However, by the end of the day, students walk away with the realization that there are over 280 careers to explore in the health care field. Students spend a full day immersed in everything that the health care career field has to offer. Activity areas include nursing services, emergency medical services, diagnostic services, surgical services, behavioral health services, rehabilitation services, nutrition services, long-term care, and medical provider services.

CCCHC offers this opportunity each year to eighth graders in the communities they serve. In the nine years CCCHC has done their scrubs camps, they have been able to showcase health care careers to 1,254 kids. I have had the privilege to participate in four of these camps and do my 20-minute presentation on Health Care Careers: A Bright Future. If I can inspire one student to want to learn more about a career in health care, one student to join HOSA in high school, or have one student someday say it was my experience at a scrubs camp that got me interested in health care career then my journey to Hazen, ND each year is worth it. If you are interested hosting a scrubs camp in a community near you, let me know!
Health Centers in the News
Falls Community Health was featured on City of Sioux Falls “Health Feed.”

Sioux Falls Skyforce Assists SDUIH with Specialty Jerseys to promote the organization.

Northland Health Centers was featured on ND Today for Getting Started with Mindful Movement.

CHAD CEO, Shelly Ten Napel talks about increasing health care costs on South Dakota News Watch.
South Dakota KIDS COUNT report shows more than half of people eligible for Medicaid expansion are not enrolled
South Dakota KIDS COUNT recently released a new report, “Medicaid Expansion: Opportunities to Improve Enrollment.” The report highlighted that, as of January 2024, 39 percent of eligible people were currently enrolled in Medicaid expansion. It also gave some insight on subpopulations that we might still be able to target with information about health coverage options that are available. For example, only 1 in 5 young adults eligible for Medicaid expansion were enrolled, even though young adults have the highest rate of uninsurance compared to all other age groups. Strategies to reach and enroll more young adults are critical to closing the gap in health insurance coverage. An area South Dakota is doing well for enrollment is for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, where 80% of American Indian or Alaska Native people eligible for Medicaid expansion are enrolled. Medicaid expansion can help shift the cost model for health services in Indian Country. When Montana expanded Medicaid, Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities were able to offer more preventative screenings, mental health treatment, and substance use disorder treatment. The report provides more in-depth analysis for Medicaid expansion enrollment by county and recommends strategies for improving outreach, specifically for young adults.
ND Community Health Worker Task Force to Host Listening Session
The North Dakota Community Health Worker Task Force will host a virtual listening session on Monday, April 22, from 1 – 2:30 pm CT. In 2023, HB 1028 passed in the ND legislature, requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to seek a Medicaid state plan amendment to authorize the reimbursement of certified CHWs during the 2023 – 2025 biennium. The legislation also created a CHW task force to recommend administrative rules for CHWs in North Dakota. During the April 22 listening session, members of the public are invited to share thoughts on CHW scope of practice, training and education, certification, Medicaid coverage, and the role of a future CHW collaborative. Register here for the virtual session here. Shannon Bacon represents CHAD and health centers on the CHW task force and can be reached at with any questions or suggestions.
American Heart Association HeartCorps Opportunity for the Dakotas
According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all Americans have high blood pressure, and many don’t know they have it. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a silent killer that causes unnecessary and inequitable disease, disability, and death. It can cause heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, and other devastating conditions.

Under-resourced communities and those living in rural areas face the highest death rates due to hypertension. Making matters worse, rural communities face a critical shortage of health care professionals, including public health workers, which negatively impacts the care rural residents receive.

The AHA is committed to addressing these inequities and improving blood pressure control and cardiovascular health in rural communities throughout the US.

HeartCorps is a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and Public Health AmeriCorps. Past and current HeartCorps Members have helped lead work around blood pressure control, nutrition security, cardiac readiness, tobacco cessation, and more in rural communities around the country. (This video shows some of that work.)

Now, as they head towards their third year of the program, the American Heart Association is excited to announce that they are expanding the opportunity to North Dakota and South Dakota! To that end, they are looking for host sites to serve as partners on the ground, who can help them bring this impact to life! This is a fantastic opportunity to expand organizational capacity at (little or) no direct cost to the organization.

Next Steps
  • Reach out to with any questions and/or complete this host site interest form to begin the process.
  • Approved host sites will sign an MOU with the American Heart Association which will allow for the creation of a Member position specific to that location. (View a sample job listing.)
  • MOUs will need to be signed by mid-late May to allow for Member recruitment over the summer.
  • A cohort of Members will start in late September 2024 with additional cohorts likely for November 2024 and January 2025.
CHAD Conference Deadlines
Applications to participate as a sponsor or exhibitor at CHAD/GPHDN’s annual conference are available. Deadline: Friday, April 12

Discounted hotel room
rates are available for the Holiday Inn Downtown Convention Center in Rapid City, SD. Room block rates are not guaranteed after this date. Use our group code “CHD” when booking your rooms. Deadline: Monday, April 14
April Marketing Toolkit
Click here to view the CHAD April 2024 Communications & Marketing Toolkit. This month’s toolkit includes content for STI Awareness Month, National Minority Health Month, National Public Health Week, and more.
Get Connected: Outreach & Enrollment Network Team
The Outreach & Enrollment (O & E) Network Team focuses on connection – connecting health center staff to information, partners, and subject matter experts who support patient outreach and enrollment in health insurance.

Members will receive timely updates on Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) guidelines as well as information provided by the state Medicaid office. Application assistance and outreach personnel benefit from training and technical support related to Marketplace and Medicaid applications by working through complex cases and scenarios to familiarize assisters with the real-life application process.
Meet the CHAD Team Lead
The O & E Network Team is led by Penny Kelley. Penny has been helping people find access to affordable healthcare since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. Positions in the State Medicaid office, a community health center, and currently in her role at CHAD have provided her with the knowledge to assist others in this role. Her leadership in the Get Covered SD Navigator program plays a vital role in teaching assisters how they can help patients complete applications and enroll in coverage through the Marketplace and Medicaid.

Join us!
If you want to become part of the O&E Network team or for more information, please contact Penny at 605-277-8405 or The team welcomes health center staff and partners who are interested in learning about how they can support enrollment in health insurance. Meetings are held the last Tuesday of each month at 1:00 pm CT.
GP11 Network News
Connecting the Dots: Data Disaggregation and Health Equity
In this webinar AAPCHO and NCFH will share lessons learned and promising practices from organizational initiatives focused on data disaggregation. By sharing such insights and strategies, attendees can identify ways to improve granular data collection and design and implement targeted health and social interventions. In this webinar, speakers will also discuss how disaggregated data plays a crucial role in storytelling for underserved and underrepresented populations.

Thursday, April 4
1:00 pm CT/12:00 pm MT
Register here

Risk Module Lunch N’ Learn
Join us for a hands-on review of the Risk module in Azara! Catch up on last week's webinar and come with your questions. During this hour, we will be fielding Q&A from attendees working to implement and operationalize the module, as well as from attendees who hope to learn more about it. 

Tuesday, April 9
1:00 pm CT/12:00 pm MT
Register here

Best Practices for Providing Well Visits Through the Years
In many ways, Annual Wellness Visits serve as the backbone of primary care. These visits are essential to not only gaining valuable information about the patient, including medical and family history, risk factors, and vitals, but also to developing a personalized relationship and care plan with the patients. Annual Wellness Visits are required across the age continuum, and yet many patients go without receiving a visit. Join this webinar to learn more about the strategies health centers can leverage to increase their annual wellness visit rates, and the functionality within DRVS that can support you carrying out these efforts. 

Thursday, April 11
1:00 pm CT/12:00 pm MT
Register here

The Secret Life of a DRVS Super User
Is there functionality that I should be especially familiar with based on my role in the organization? How do I get my colleagues to be as excited about DRVS as I am? What does it really take to be a DRVS Super User? If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, this is the webinar for you! During this session, we will explore strategies for garnering buy-in and support for DRVS across your organization. Participants will explore tips for supporting your colleagues, solutions for promoting usage, and opportunities to expand your DRVS fluency. This webinar should be attended by individuals who currently champion DRVS at their organization.

Thursday, April 18
1:00 pm CT/12:00 pm MT
Register here
Upcoming Trainings
Find these and other events on the CHAD website.
Tackling STIs and Syphilis Prevention with DoxyPEP
The Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) and the National Syphilis and Congenital Syphilis Syndemic (NSCSS) Federal Task Force have been conducting listening sessions nationwide with the priority jurisdictions to discuss current challenges and approach to syphilis response.
In collaboration with Fenway Health, a webinar for clinicians and other health care providers is being held on Tuesday, April 16 to discuss the surge in syphilis rates through innovative approaches, particularly highlighting the role of DoxyPEP (Doxycycline Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) as an emerging tool in the arsenal against STIs (sexually transmitted infections). Participants will explore the scientific underpinnings, practical application considerations, and the potential public health impact of integrating DoxyPEP into syphilis prevention strategies.

Tuesday, April 16
1:00 pm CT/12:00 pm MT
Register here

Equity Talk: Fostering LGTBQ+ Two Spirit Inclusivity In Your Organization
Join South Dakota Urban Indian Health CEO Michaela Seiber for an enlightening conversation about how to promote LGBTQ+ Two Spirit inclusivity in your organization. In this session, we will explore actionable strategies for transforming workplace policies and practices, intake forms, and language to create a more inclusive environment for all patients and employees. From understanding terminology and identities to implementing inclusive language and practices, Michaela will provide practical guidance on fostering a culture of respect and acceptance. This webinar will empower you to drive positive change in your organization!

All health center staff and partner organizations are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, June 11
12:00 pm CT/11:00 am MT
Register here
In Case You Missed It
Did you miss a recent CHAD training? You can connect with our trainings and webinars anytime via our website here.
Equity Talk: Implementing Culturally  & Linguistically Appropriate Services
The National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Standards (CLAS) are a set of 15 action steps intended to advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate health care disparities. In this session, attendees learned more about the CLAS Standards framework developed by the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. Presenters discussed specific strategies and shared practical resources to support implementation.

CHAD Network Team and Workgroup Meetings
Thursday, April 4 @ 12:00pm CT/11:00am MT – Clinical Network Team Meeting
Monday, April 8 @ 1:00pm CT/12:00pm MT – Operational Excellence/Compliance Workgroup Meeting
Tuesday, April 9 @ 2:00pm CT/3:00pm MT – Communications & Marketing Network Team Meeting
Wednesday, April 10 @ 12:00pm CT/11:00am MT – Care Coordination & Care Management Peer Group  
Thursday, April 11 @ 2:00pm CT/3:00pm MT – HR/Workforce Network Team Meeting
Tuesday, April 30 @ 1:00pm CT/12:00pm MT – Outreach and Enrollment Monthly Call
Tuesday, April 30 @ 3:00pm CT/2:00pm MT – CFO and 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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