In early November, CHAD’s Board of Directors and senior staff reconnected in beautiful Spearfish Canyon to consider our long-term goals and how to work together more effectively – also known as strategic planning. The mood of the conversation reflected a sense that we have weathered the pandemic and are ready to turn our attention to new challenges and opportunities. There was also a sense of having been a bit battered by the events of the last three years, resulting in a need to rebuild internal systems, figure out how to sustain the salary increases that were needed to retain staff and respond to community needs, and meet the challenge of doing our work in an environment of a depleted workforce.

We’ll look forward to sharing a finalized strategic plan over the next few months, but I thought I would share a few themes that emerged. As expected, ways to respond to the workforce shortages in the Dakotas dominated the conversation. We discussed ways to grow our own through apprenticeships and career laddering and ways to keep good staff through leadership development. There was a lot of pride expressed in the care models that we have built, but also a need to be strategic about how we sustain that model over time. Continuing to grow access to care was a theme along with the idea of keeping health equity as a north star through quality improvement and whole-person care. Finally, it was great to see a commitment from the board to the continued development of CHAD as an organization by investing in our staff.

I came away from the conversation with a better understanding of what health centers in the Dakotas are facing and with tons of ideas for what we can do next. I look forward to expanding the conversation with our network teams, partners, and the rest of our staff to develop innovative strategies for the months and years ahead.  

From left to right: Shannon Bacon, Lindsey Karlson, Mara Jiran, Kurt Waldbillig, Becky Wahl, Wade Erickson, Nadine Boe, Tim Trithart, Chastity Dolbec, Amy Richardson, Shelly Ten Napel, Deb Esche, Shelly Hegerle
Health Centers in the News
Jill Kesler, Senior Program Manager with CHAD, is quoted about open enrollment in the Vermillion Plain Talk.

Michaela Seiber, CEO of South Dakota Urban Indian Health, is interviewed by South Dakota Public Radio on the topic of addressing health care disparities for Indigenous parents.

Falls Community Health’s Updated Website

South Dakota Urban Indian Health’s Updated Website
Health Centers in the Dakotas Recognized for Clinical Quality Excellence
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has announced the 2023 Community Health Quality Recognition (CHQR) badge awardees. CHQR badges recognize Health Center Program awardees who have made notable achievements in the areas of access, quality, health equity, health information technology, social risk factors screening, and COVID-19 public health emergency response using Uniform Data System (UDS) data from the most recent reporting period. This special recognition honors the health centers across the country that have attained the best overall clinical quality performance.

Congratulations to the following CHAD members for receiving 2023 CHQR badge awards:
Federal Health Center Funding Update
The House of Representatives has passed a laddered continuing resolution (CR) which includes an extension of community health center mandatory funding through January 19, 2024. At the writing of this newsletter, Senate leaders have vowed to pass the CR quickly. Health centers rely on federal funding to fulfill their mission of providing high-quality primary and preventive care to all individuals, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. CHAD continues to advocate for Congress to re-invest in long-term health center funding. To learn more and get involved:

Brandon Huether Joins CHAD as Marketing and Communications Manager
Joining in October, Brandon develops and implements CHAD’s branding and communications strategy and manages creative and cross-departmental projects. He develops innovative communications plans, marketing initiatives, and strategic awareness campaigns to support staff and member health centers. Brandon’s passion for quality of life and wellness/well-being for all is what he loves about being with CHAD. 

Before joining CHAD, Brandon worked for the City of Sioux Falls where he led marketing and communications efforts for the parks and recreation department and other city departments and helped garner multiple awards and accolades. Brandon has also led marketing and communications at WrapAbility,, Sanford Health, and the City of Grand Prairie, Texas. He also works as a freelance graphic designer, illustrator, and photographer.
Anh Tao Joins CHAD as Digital Communication and Design Specialist
Since joining in October, Anh has been developing communications and marketing content for CHAD. Currently, she is developing and implementing communications and marketing content that includes graphic design, copywriting, and social media. Anh will work with community health centers and internal CHAD staff to effectively share health center stories that will successfully evolve community needs and experiences.

Prior to joining CHAD, Anh worked in the entertainment industry, where she conducted extensive research on newsworthy events, established and grew social media presence, built relationships, and consulted with clients during pre and post-production to fulfill their needs.

Lori Dumke, Chief Operating Officer with Northland Health Centers, presented at the Region 18 CHAMPS/NWPCA Annual Primary Care Conference in Seattle last month. Lori shared about the health center’s innovative approaches to outreach, enrollment, and partnerships. Congratulations, Lori!
2024 Sneak Peek: Save the Dates!
2024 is fast approaching! Watch for more information coming soon regarding these CHAD events:
    • CHAD Annual Conference: May 15 – 16, 2024 (Rapid City)
    • South Dakota Health Center Legislative Days: February 5 – 6, 2024 (Pierre)
    • Integrated Approaches to HIV Care and Prevention in the Midwest: February 27 – 28, 2024 (Saint Louis, MO)
This HRSA resource provides common examples of credentialing and privileging documentation methods and success. Health centers may use other documentation to credential and privilege health center providers as long as there is consistency with the Health Center Program Compliance Manual and the health center's procedures. Looking for more support in this area? Reach out to Lindsey Karlson to learn more about CHAD’s Operational Excellence & Compliance Workgroup.
November is National Diabetes Month
CHAD invites members and partners to raise awareness and recognize diabetes this November. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) focus for 2023 is on taking action to prevent diabetes health problems. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. It affects about 37 million Americans, including adults and youth. Diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart, and it is linked to some types of cancer.

Health centers play a vital role in the communities they serve to screen, address social determinants of health, and provide diabetes education, resources, and self-management tools for patients to achieve better outcomes and healthier living with diabetes. About 9 percent of adults in North Dakota and 11 percent of adults in South Dakota live with diabetes. Of these, an estimated 21,000 have diabetes but don’t know it, greatly increasing their health risk.The prevalence of diabetes has been steadily increasing for the past several years in both states.

North Dakota Diabetes Prevention Program and the South Dakota Diabetes Prevention Program work to educate the public and promote healthy choices. They address
  • Self-assessment of the risk factors for pre-diabetes and diabetes;
  • Diabetes self-management strategies and resources; and,
  • Awareness of recommended care options, including evidence-based programs like the National Diabetes prevention program and the Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES).

Data Shows Home Ownership Disparities in North Dakota, but Support is Available
Since their founding, health centers have responded to the social drivers of health – those non-medical factors that directly impact health outcomes. More recently, many health centers have begun proactively screening patients for these social risk factors utilizing tools such as PRAPARE, which includes questions about housing stability.

A recent article highlighted that North Dakota has, “the largest racial gap in the nation when it comes to owning a home.” According to the High Plains Fair Housing Center, North Dakota’s gap is more than 20 percent higher than the U.S. average. The Center’s intake specialists assist people across North Dakota who are experiencing housing discrimination of any kind. This includes landlord mediation and other forms of assistance. To learn more or make a referral, visit
Opioid Funding Opportunity - South Dakota
A new funding opportunity is available for South Dakota-based organizations working to abate and alleviate the impacts of the opioid crisis and co-occurring substance use challenges in South Dakota communities. This funding is part of the National Settlement Agreement involving a number of pharmaceutical companies. Allowable activities must align with the Approved Uses for the Settlement Funds.

Applications will be accepted beginning March 1, 2024. In the interim, the “Preparing to Apply” and FAQ document are available online.
2024 Workforce Symposium - Inclusive Innovation: Putting People First
Are you looking for a space to convene with peers, develop your skills, and focus on the workforce? Save the dates for two opportunities from the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved’s (ACU) STAR² Center:

  • 2024 Workforce Symposium – Inclusive Innovation: Putting People First April 29-30, 2024
  • Retention & Recruitment Workshop May 1-2, 2024

These events will take place in Nashville, Tennessee. Stay tuned for details and registration information.
SD Senator John Thune Highlights Health Centers During Hearing on Telehealth Services
In a Senate Finance Health Subcommittee hearing on November 14, Senator Thune highlighted the important role of health centers as telehealth providers. “During the pandemic, Congress suspended Medicare’s distant site requirement for Federally Qualified Health Centers and rural health clinics in South Dakota that enabled our health clinics to strengthen local access to care by building telehealth connectivity between remote, rural, and frontier sites,” stated Senator Thune. CHAD was appreciative to see the Senator’s comments, and we will continue to advocate for the permanent elimination of distant site restrictions on health centers.
Securing Health Care Data Amid Holiday Rush
Health care organizations confront a dual challenge as the holiday season approaches: meeting increased patient care demands while safeguarding sensitive health data from cyber threats. With the surge in online activities and remote work, cybercriminals are exploiting new tactics, underscoring the need for heightened vigilance.

Key Cybersecurity Threats:
  • Phishing Scams: Cybercriminals use holiday-themed emails to deceive recipients, leading them to malware-infected sites or phishing pages that steal login credentials.
  • Ransomware Attacks: The prevalence of ransomware in health care is rising, disrupting patient care and causing substantial financial losses by encrypting data until a ransom is paid.
  • Supply Chain Attacks: Third-party vendors serving health care organizations become targets, allowing cybercriminals access to sensitive patient data or disruption of critical services.

Protective Measures:

  • Employee Education: Regularly train employees on recognizing and avoiding phishing, ransomware, and other online threats.
  • Strong Password Policies: Enforce robust password requirements and implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) to prevent unauthorized system access.
  • Regular Software Updates: Keep software and systems current with the latest security patches to address vulnerabilities.
  • Cybersecurity Assessments: Conduct routine vulnerability scans and penetration tests to identify and address potential security weaknesses, including physical documents containing sensitive information.

Additional Tips:

  • Exercise caution with email attachments and links, even from trusted sources.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi for accessing sensitive health care data.
  • Immediately report any suspicious activity or cybersecurity incidents to the IT department.

By adopting proactive measures and staying alert, health care organizations can safeguard patient data, ensuring uninterrupted quality care throughout the holiday season and beyond.
GP11 Network News
Azara MAP Learning Series
Are your patients’ blood pressure control rates plateauing or trending in the wrong direction? If so, this is the learning series for you. AMA MAP™ BP is a leading evidence-based quality improvement (QI) program that provides a clear path to significant, sustained improvements in blood pressure (BP) control. Learn how to leverage the components of the program, aligned with complimentary workflows available in DRVS to produce improved BP control for the population you serve.

AMA MAP BP Overview - Access Recording here
  • Describe how the AMA MAP™ BP metric bundle can be used to guide improvement in blood pressure control
  • Demonstrate DRVS functionality that can assist in managing your hypertensive population

Measure Accurately & Partner with Patients
  • Identify how the AMA MAPTM process metrics for measuring BP accurately and partnering with patients work in conjunction with interventions to improve BP control
  • Apply DRVS functionality to guide improvement with these processes

Thursday, November 30
1:00 pm CT/12:00 pm MT
Register here

UDS Open Q&A – Table 6A
Join Azara to review your UDS questions!

Tuesday, November 28
1:00 pm CT/12:00 pm MT
Register here
Upcoming Trainings
Find these and other events on the CHAD website.
Beyond the Basics – Billing and Coding Excellence
Session 3: Provider Credentialing and Enrollment - December 14 | 3:00 pm CT 
Join CHAD and Community Link Consulting to learn about provider credentialing and enrollment best practices. This session will highlight provider enrollment challenges, common mistakes, and valuable tips and tools to improve health center processes.
Learn more and register here.  
CMS Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Partner Webinars
December 13, January 10, January 31 | 2:00 pm CT
Join CMS for the 2024 Marketplace Open Enrollment Webinars. CMS will provide partners, stakeholders, and Champions for Coverage with critical information, resources, and updated materials to successfully help consumers navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment Period. Open enrollment runs from November 1, 2023 to January 15, 2024. This series includes three webinars, each scheduled for 2:00 pm CT, on the following dates: December 13, 2023, January 10, and January 31, 2024. To register for the webinars in the series, please click here.
HIV/STI/TB/Viral Hepatitis Lunch and Learn
November 29, 2023 |12:00 pm CT/11:00 am MT
Join DAETC/NDDoH for the November Lunch and Learn. The topic will be HIV Prevention in Primary Care presented by Dr. Sweet.
Register here.
CHAD Network Team and Workgroup Meetings
Tuesday, November 28 @ 3:00 pm CT/2:00 pm MT – CFO and Finance Manager Roundtable
Wednesday, November 29 @ 12:00 pm CT/11:00 am MT – DAETC Lunch and Learn

Monday, December 4 @ 1:00 pm CT/12:00pm CT – Operational Excellence/Compliance Workgroup
Tuesday, December 5 @ 12:00 pm CT/11:00 am MT – Behavioral Health Work Group
Wednesday, December 6 @ 12:00pm CT/11:00am MT – Health Center Advocacy Action Team
Thursday, December 7 @ 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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