NHSC Loan Repayment Program accepting applications through April 5

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Accepting applications through April 5, 7:30 p.m. ET

2016 Application and Program Guidance (PDF -401 KB) has the detailed information you need to apply. Please read carefully before you start your Loan Repayment Program application.

Primary care medical, dental and mental/behavioral health clinicians can get up to $50,000 to repay their health profession student loans in exchange for a two-year commitment to work at an approved NHSC site in a high-need, underserved area. The payment is free from Federal income tax and is made at the beginning of service so you can more quickly pay down your loans. Approved sites are located across the U.S., in both urban and rural areas.

After completing your initial service commitment, you can apply to extend your service and receive additional loan repayment assistance.

The amount you receive and length of your commitment depends on where you serve (service at sites in higher need areas yields greater loan repayments). It also depends on whether you select the full-time or half-time option. See the 2016 Application and Program Guidance (PDF – 401 KB) for details. See if your site is already approved at the NHSC Jobs Center.

The NHSC gives priority consideration to eligible applicants whose NHSC-approved site(s) has a HPSA score of 26 to 14, in descending order, until funding is exhausted.

Application HelpAsk questions and learn more about the NHSC Loan Repayment Program and application process.

Webinar NHSC Loan Repayment Program Application and Program Guidelines Webinar February11, 2016 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET Dial in: 1-888-566-6151 Passcode: 4221465

NHSC Loan Repayment Program Technical Assistance Conference Calls February 25, 2016 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET March 10, 2016 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET Dial in: 1-888-566-6151 Participant passcode: 4221465

Resources:

Verification Regarding Disadvantage Background

Fast Facts About Zika Virus, DHHS Monitoring Situation

DHHS Monitoring Outbreaks in Other Countries Closely

Note:  Sound bites on this topic will be available shortly at: www.dhhs.ne.gov/audio

Lincoln – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and its partners are monitoring outbreaks of Zika virus occurring in many countries including Brazil. Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of a mosquito. Although the virus usually causes mild illness according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have also been reports of birth defects and other severe health consequences.

“This virus is on the move and we’re watching it closely. Right now, there isn’t documented transmission of Zika virus in the U.S., but there have been confirmed cases among travelers returning to America from affected areas,” said Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist for DHHS. “It’s very possible that we could see a travel-related case here. We’ve shared information on recognizing, managing and reporting Zika virus infections with Nebraska health care providers.”

Fast facts about Zika virus according to the CDC:

  • Zika virus was first recognized in 1947. The first outbreaks occurred in 2007 and 2013 in the Pacific Islands. In 2015, outbreaks occurred in Brazil and other countries. Mosquitoes continue to spread the virus. Map of countries currently affected – http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html
  • The Zika virus is transmitted primarily by the Aedes aegypti mosquito which has never been identified in Nebraska. Aedes albopictus might also transmit the virus. This species of mosquito is found in Nebraska but isn’t one of the most prevalent. Both bite mostly in the daytime.
  • Four out of five people infected with Zika virus will never have symptoms. Those who do get sick, the most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis or red eyes. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting up to a week.
  • There are reports of a birth defect called microcephaly in babies of mothers who were infected with the Zika virus while pregnant. Microcephaly is a rare condition where a baby’s head is smaller than expected. Health officials are still investigating the potential link. More about microcephaly – http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/microcephaly.html
  • The CDC recommends that pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. The latest travel health notices and information – http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information
  • Public health officials are looking into reports of Zika virus-associated cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome from previous outbreaks. GBS is a rare disorder causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. These symptoms can last a few weeks or several months.
  • There is still a lot experts don’t know about this virus. They’re studying the science to learn more.
  • There is no vaccine or specific medicine to treat Zika virus. The best way to prevent Zika or other diseases spread by mosquitoes is to prevent mosquito bites:
  • Use mosquito repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.
  • Dress in long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks when you’re outside.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov/zika For advice to travelers, visit www.cdc.gov/travel

Free CEUs available from George Washington University Cancer Institute: Cancer Survivorship E-learning Series for Primary Care Providers, 9 modules including breast cancer

Free CEUs available from George Washington University Cancer Institute: Cancer Survivorship E-learning Series for Primary Care Providers, 9 modules including breast cancer.

PDF here, GW Cancer Center survivorship e-learning series for Primary Care Providers

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month & Nov. 19th is the Great American Smokeout!

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.  The American Cancer Society is sponsoring the Great American Smokeout on November 19th.  This year’s theme is Quit Like a Champion.

Smokers who quit – and stay quit – are champions to us, their families, and their friends. Make sure to check out Great American Smokeout Event Tools and Resources for downloadable flyers, posters, and table tents as well as ready-to-use web and social media graphics for your workplace, community, and school.

You can also visit the The Great American Smokeout page on cancer.org to get more information/resources on quitting, including the below:

-What are the Benefits of Quitting?

-QUIZ: Do You Need Help Quitting?

-Desktop Helpers

-Expert Voices Blogs on Tobacco and Smoking

-Latest News About Tobacco and Smoking

-Fight Back Against Tobacco

-Get the new Quit For Life Mobile app from Alere Wellbeing, available for iPhone and Android

 

ACS flyers you can print to utilize for GASO and lung cancer awareness are listed on the website as well:

-Tobacco and Cancer

-GASO one pager

-GASO Recovery Infographic

-Lung cancer research flyer

-Lung cancer fact sheet

 

ACS brochures that you can order for FREE are listed below  and come in packs of 25:  

Tobacco and the LGBT Community – This awareness brochure written specifically for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, addresses the issue of smoking in this community. It has a stop smoking message.

The Decision is Yours (also available in Spanish) -This graphic pamphlet will certainly help young people make the decision not to start smoking. With medical photos of a healthy lung, emphysema, and lung cancer, this pamphlet gives graphic and detailed information on the harmful effects of smoking.

Set Yourself Free: A Smoker’s Guide (also available in Spanish) – This booklet was created to help smokers quit. It describes the various methods and resources that can be used by smokers who want to quit.

The Smoke Around You (also available in Spanish) – A pamphlet that outlines the dangers of secondhand smoke is always useful for our nonsmokers (especially during Smokeout). Includes sections on “Who’s Taking Action” and “What You Can Do.”

Smart Move! A Stop Smoking Guide – This popular booklet is designed to help the smoker quit by teaching about smoking, helping the smoker plan to stop, and letting the smoker know what to expect after stopping. It also contains the advice of other smokers who have given up cigarettes. Includes ACS toll-free number and web site address.

The Cold Hard Facts About Dip – This piece is designed to help heavy users quit their habit. It provides important information on the dangers of smokeless tobacco. The full-color brochure, which includes graphic illustrations of what can happen with continued use of oral tobacco, is aimed at an adult male audience.

Living Smoke Free – for You and Your Baby (also available in Spanish) – Simply stated, smoking hurts your baby before it’s born, after it’s born, and it hurts you. Following all three statements are detailed facts supporting the dangers of smoking during pregnancy, including harm to the baby, an increased chance of infant mortality, and harm to the mother’s health.

When Smokers Quit – This pamphlet for adults highlights the immediate (and long-term) positive benefits of quitting smoking from the first 20 minutes after quitting through the first 15 years after quitting.

12 Things to Do Instead of Smoking poster (16×24) (also available in Spanish) – these are ordered individually – Targeted for a young audience, this classic poster, by renowned graphic artist Seymour Chwast shows fun activities to do instead of smoking, including riding a bike, playing, or even doing nothing at all!

HHS enhances preparedness with new products to treat severe burns

Four novel products to treat severe thermal burns will be developed and acquired under contracts with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). The products are intended to enhance the available treatment options for disaster response and are being designed to find uses in routine clinical burn care. Read more about the HHS announcement.

CMS Issues Final Rule on Medicare ACOs

Last week CMS issued its final rule on the Medicare Shared Savings Program and Accountable Organizations (ACOs).  This rule encompasses a number of important changes for the Medicare ACO program, including several which will directly impact health centers.  CMS accepted several of NACHC’s commentsin the final rule, allowing for non-physician providers to count earlier in the beneficiary assignment process.  For more information, check out the NACHC Policy Shop Blog here.

HRSA’s 340b Drug Pricing Program Recertification open through March 11, 2015

HRSA requires all 340b covered entities to annually recertify their program information in order to continue participation in the 340b Program. Recertification is open through March 11, 2015. It is critical that health centers recertify before the deadline in order to continue participating in the 340b Program.

Recertify your health center’s 340b information.

View 340b Program resources.

Contact the 340b Prime Vendor Program with any questions on the recertification process.

Measles cases in the United States – info and resources

Measles Cases in the United States – From January 1 to February 6, 2015, 121 people from 17 states and Washington, DC, were reported to have measles. Most of these cases are part of a large, ongoing multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California. Because many people may not be familiar with measles signs and symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is asking for your help to raise awareness about the disease. The following Measles resources, among others, are available for use:

CDC’s measles outbreak webpage

Resources for Healthcare Professionals

Information about Measles and the Vaccine to Prevent it Fact Sheet

Understanding MMR Vaccine Safety Fact Sheet

MWCN Behavioral Health Interest Group on Wed., Mar. 18 at 11am CT (10am MT) – Regional Learning Community

Join us for the first session of a regional learning community that will focus on informal discussion and networking for behavioral health and primary care providers (or any other staff interested in this topic). Potential topics may include barriers to integration, billing, documentation, case consultation, policies and procedures, best practices, chronic disease program development and interventions, training resources, psychopharmacology, etc.  On the first call we will review the goals, format & frequency of our group and have initial discussion. Please send topics you are interested in to acampbell@midwestclinicians.org .  *The session will be facilitated by Stacey R. Gedeon, Psy.D., MS Clinical Psychopharmacology, Director of Behavioral Health & Integrated Primary Care at MidMichigan Community Health Services.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please register for MWCN Behavioral Health Interest Group on Mar 18, 2015 11:00am CT (10:00am MT) at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8800795997745245698

Save the date: 205 Nebraska Cancer Summit will be held on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 in Lincoln from 8am-3pm

Mark your calendar today for the 2015 Nebraska Cancer Summit which will be held on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 in Lincoln!  The event is scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will feature three keynote sessions, six breakouts, a networking lunch and more.  We are especially pleased to have Dr. Richard Wender, MD as one of our keynote speakers.  Dr. Wender is the Chief Cancer Control Officer for the American Cancer Society and will be discussing the 20% by 2018 colon cancer screening initiative.  A few additional topics that will be addressed at this year’s Summit include nutrition, cancer screening, tanning hazards, medication adherence and  survivorship care planning. You won’t want to miss this opportunity for learning and networking!  Registration details will be emailed very soon.