2022 Association of Clinicians for the Underserved Conference - Resilience and Transformation in Care Logo

Registration NHSC Gala | Agenda | Fees  | Hotel Information | Exhibitors | Sponsors

2022 ACU Conference Agenda

The following workshop sessions are confirmed for the 2022 ACU Annual Conference, “Resilience & Transformation in Care,” taking place in Washington, D.C., and online on July 31-August 2. Additional workshops will be added as they are confirmed. Click on any session below to view full presentation details and presenters, and register now to join us online at ACU’s 2022 Annual Conference.

Need a printable agenda? Click here.

July 31: Pre-Conference Workshop

Workforce Resilience and Transformation: Getting Started in Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

This year’s pre-conference workshop will focus on strategies to increase justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) within healthcare organizations. Healthcare leaders will share their JEDI efforts and describe the impact these have had for their workforce and patient population. A hands-on workshop component will allow participants to work through important steps and strategies to embed JEDI into their organizational operations and culture. A more detailed workshop description and speaker information is forthcoming.

August 1: National Health Service Corps 50th Anniversary Gala

A Singular Celebration

National Health Service Corps 50th Anniversary Gala

Register for the Conference & Gala | Register for Gala Only | Sponsorship Information

Join ACU at Our National Health Service Corps 50th Anniversary Gala

Join the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved in a singular celebration of the National Health Service Corps at our NHSC 50th Anniversary Gala in Washington, D.C., on August 1! From 7-10 p.m. ET, this black-tie optional event will honor the NHSC’s 50-year history of connecting clinicians with underserved communities with festivities, films, and speeches from public health luminaries. Eric Redman—an author, businessman, and former Congressional staffer whose instrumental role in helping to establish the NHSC is captured in his nonfiction book The Dance of Legislation—will give a keynote speech, and attendees will also view a commemorative film sharing firsthand reminiscences from Corps alumni and ambassadors from the Bureau of Health Workforce. Purchase your Gala ticket now or bundle it with your 2022 ACU Annual Conference registration to cap off your first day of the symposium with a unique celebration of the past, present, and future of this vital program to improve health equity for patients who are underserved. Gala registration is now open!

If you are interested in Gala sponsorship, please contact Amanda Pears Kelly.

August 1-2: Workshops

Track I: Supporting a Thriving Workforce

Is "Self-Care" Dead? Finding a New Approach to Staff Resiliency

Matt Bennett, MA, MBA, President, Optimal Innovation GroupLanguage matters. After an unprecedented couple of years, the word self-care is quickly falling out of favor and even eliciting anger. This pushback against the term and concept of self-care happens at a time when staff resiliency is more important than ever. This workshop will explore two crucial concepts. First, why is the concept and word self-care falling out of favor? The answer to this question provides a great deal of insight for both leaders and staff. Second, if self-care is no longer a term long for this world, then what takes its place? Answering this question is a little more complex. It is time to clearly define the boundaries, expectations, and best practices when it comes to staff health and performance. The stress and trauma of the last couple of years leaves many struggling to recover their resiliency and health. The moment also provides an opportunity for a reset. We need to rise to the current challenge and address some of the long-standing pre-covid issues that resulted in unacceptable rates of burnout in the health care profession.

Presenter: Matt Bennett, MA, MBA, President, Optimal Innovation Group

Looking in the Mirror with Love: Self Compassion for Clinicians

Health professional educational programs typically do not include self-compassion as part of their training curricula. As such, health care practitioners and leaders can miss out on the acquisition of basic approaches to self-care that can be of great utility in the face of work demands and burnout, not to mention providing care during a pandemic and in the shadows of racism and health inequities. Dr. Kristen Neff, a pioneer in this field, describes self-compassion as treating yourself with the same type of kind, caring support and understanding that you would show to a beloved best friend. This experiential workshop will provide an overview of self-compassion along with tangible tools to build this important self-preservation mindfulness skill set, and to turn down the self-critical and judgmental voices that can be depleting, distracting, and upsetting.

Presenter: Jeffrey Ring, PhD, Health Psychologist/Leadership Consultant

Measuring Workforce Well-being: Burnout, Job Satisfaction, Retention, Organizational Resiliency

John Snow, Inc. LogoWorkforce well-being is a critical issue for Community Health Centers (CHC). Staff that find meaning in their work and who feel integral to the organization are more likely to stay, increasing quality of patient care and organizational resiliency. While a sizeable literature exists on workforce satisfaction and burnout, very little is focused on CHCs as well as non-clinician staff across primary care settings. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is implementing a Workforce Well-being Initiative and Health Center Workforce Well-being Survey. To better understand workforce well-being among HRSA-funded health centers, HRSA will deploy a nationwide Health Center Workforce Well-being Survey in Fall 2022, inviting all staff to participate. HRSA will use the survey data to inform their future work, for example, in the development of technical assistance and supporting strategies. This session will cover the development of the survey, roll-out plan, and analyses. Session participants will be actively engaged in a discussion of best strategies for encouraging staff to participate and producing meaningful information for HRSA, HRSA partners, and health center clinical and administrative leadership.

Presenter: Natalie Truesdell, MPH, MBA, Director of Business Development, John Snow, Inc.; Stacey Moody, MSW, Senior Consultant, John Snow, Inc.

Precepting for Success in HPET

Engaged, passionate, and knowledgeable preceptors are the foundation for a successful Health Professions Education & Training program. This session will explore strategies for identifying, developing, and supporting successful preceptors for all your CHC’s HPET efforts.

Presenter: Kelly Rondou, Senior Consultant, Organizational Performance, Wipfli; Kiki Nocella, Ph.D., MHA, Director, Organizational Performance, Wipfli

Testing Change Models to Reduce Provider Burnout in Ohio Health Centers

OACHC LogoIn 2019, OACHC joined the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI’s) Joy in Learning Network and asked for an Ohio Health Center to partner in the learning and work. The concept was to learn from IHI about provider burnout and work nationally and internationally that might have meaning for Ohio Health Centers. In addition, the Health Center partner would allow for several tests in areas contributing to provider burnout. Learning from both the IHI level and the Health Center level would then allow OACHC to determine 1-2 key strategies to scale at a state level for Ohio Health Centers in general. In this session, presenters will share how the three change models: implementing schedule changes; finding scribes and piloting provider resiliency training were identified; how the changes were tested; the measured outcomes for these changes, and lessons learned by OACHC and Crossroad Health Center through this experience. Plans for scaling successful change models to other Health Centers in the state and methods to collect Ohio Health Center provider engagement or burnout data will also be discussed.

Presenters: Carrie Farquhar, BSDH, CPH, Director of Workforce Development, Ohio Association of Community Health Centers; Dana Vallangeon, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Ohio Association of Community Health Centers

Workforce Recruitment & Retention with the STAR² Center

Details forthcoming.

Presenters: ACU’s STAR² Center

Track II: Healthcare Delivery Reimagined

Addressing the Children’s Mental Health Crisis: Simple Strategies for Supporting Adolescents in Primary Care

Dr. Virna Little

Even before the pandemic, mental health issues in children were growing, and the U.S. Surgeon General recently issued an advisory recognizing the situation as a public health crisis. Furthermore, suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth aged 10-24, with the fastest-growing rates among youth aged 10-14. This situation is also marked by significant racial disparities, particularly in the under-resourced populations served by health centers. Primary care providers and staff at CHCs have a crucial opportunity to intervene, however, and it is vital that they understand the unique behavioral health needs of their adolescent populations. This session will provide an overview of distinct concerns in children’s mental health and detail simple, evidence-based strategies that can be easily integrated into primary care to help manage adolescents’ behavioral health needs and address suicide risk.

Presenter: Dr. Virna Little, PSyD, LCSW-r, SAP, CCM, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Concert Health, Co-Founder of Zero Overdose

Decreasing Stress, Increasing Satisfaction: Integrating Community Health Workers into Care Teams

NWRPCA LogoCommunity health centers are recognizing the value of integrating Community Health Workers (CHWs) into their primary care teams. CHWs on a care team can help improve health outcomes for their patients, as well as provide support that can help lessen provider/care team stress, prevent burn-out, and increase provider satisfaction knowing that their patients are getting their social determinants of health needs met in culturally and linguistically appropriate ways. For example, CHWs can assist care teams by helping patients with screenings, such as the PHQ-9 Depression Assessment, and PRAPARE. With their ability to create trust and a safe environment, a patient may feel more comfortable revealing personal information to a CHW than they would with another member of the care team, leading to a more accurate result. Patients may be more likely to follow up with referrals when working with a trusted CHW, who can help them overcome physical, emotional, and cultural barriers to accessing social service and mental health resources. This session will offer strategies to successfully integrate CHWs into your primary care team and review an evaluation of care team and provider satisfaction after CHWs joined four care teams in Oregon.

Presenters: Kelly Volkmann, MPH, Project Director, Community Health Worker Institute, Northwest Regional Primary Care Association

Guidelines or Sidelines? Transforming Care and Bridging Gaps in Evidence and Practice

Amid tremendous challenges over the past 2 years, Community Health Centers (CHC) have adapted to a rapidly changing environment and innovated to meet the needs of their communities. These primary care innovations will be showcased in the workshop. Communities served by CHCs have suffered systemic barriers that were exacerbated by the devastating impacts of the COVID pandemic with the preponderance of disease, disability, death, toxic stress, economic hardship, and family demands. Despite the impact of these forces in the delivery of high-quality care, CHCs have implemented innovative strategies to bridge the gap between evidence and practice and have transformed care through thoughtful uses of Health Information Technology. In this session, we will share promising practices that can be replicated and sustained in other primary care settings to address priority areas in community health such as pediatric preventive health, cardiovascular disease, maternal morbidity and mortality, and social determinants of health. Additionally, attendees will explore how pivots to digital health and the use of data and analytics established sustainable pathways for mitigating health inequities and addressing the future needs of their patients.

Presenter: Nivedita Mohanty, MD, Chief Research Officer, Pediatrician, AllianceChicago; Fred Rachman, MD, CEO, AllianceChicago; Warria Esmond, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Settlement Health

Liberation Medicine: Building Clinical Care through Effective, Respectful Patient Interactions

Liberation Medicine is the conscious, conscientious use of health to promote social justice and human dignity. Liberation in the Exam Room means working with a patient to bring about confidence in their potential as an agent of their own well-being, through engaging their autonomy and assets together with recognizing their potential for having experienced trauma. It involves making clear to the patient that the health professional will dedicate the same effort and energy to their care that they would expect dedicated to the care of the health professional’s family member, an explicit commitment to care. Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center’s (SJPHC’s) Health Equity Team has created a guideline toward liberation in the exam room. Within this Liberation in the Exam Room guide are the two questions: “I don’t want to assume anything about your identities. How do you identify racially, ethnically, culturally, and what are your pronouns?” “Many of my patients experience racism in their health care. Are there any experiences you would like to share with me?” This workshop will build on the ground-breaking work of the Liberation in the Exam Room group to explore and address ways health professionals can through mindful guided health equity interaction build the patient-health professional relationship toward improved patient care in our communities of healing. In addition, we will review the concept of Liberation Medicine and its relevance to racial justice and health equity in the communities where we live, work, study, plan and seek to serve and heal.

Presenter: Clyde Lanford Smith, MD, MPH, DTM&H, Global Community Health Advisor, Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Doctors for Global Health

Psychiatry Far and Wide: Telehealth Approaches to Meet Your Psychiatric Needs

Integrated Telehealth Partners LogoThe mental health crisis in America is getting worse. Nearly 50 million Americans experience mental illness. A large part of this crisis is the lack of mental health providers, specifically psychiatrists. The need for treatment is expected to rise as the number of psychiatrists falls. By 2025, the demand for psychiatry will outstrip supply by 15,600 psychiatrists or 25%. This shortage is especially dire in rural areas. A study done by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that 27% of metropolitan and 65% of non-metropolitan counties lacked a psychiatrist. Training more psychiatrists takes a lot of time and financial resources. Utilizing creative telehealth approaches to bring psychiatrists to underserved areas and populations is a lower cost and more immediate solution. This session will describe telehealth approaches to meet a variety of psychiatric needs, from the perspective of the psychiatrist providing the care and collaborating with the care teams. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss how these approaches can be tailored or adapted to meet the needs of their organizations and get helpful feedback on implementation.

Presenters: Kathryn Q. Johnson, DO, Psychiatrist, Integrated Telehealth Partners

Virtual Care Center: The Future of Medicine!

Urban Health PlanThe Virtual Care Center (VCC) was born of the COVID emergency but has rapidly become an essential service and innovation arm at Urban Health Plan (UHP). In 2021 the VCC was the third-largest department in the organization generating 18,000 visits. As a Telehealth Model, the VCC permits greater access to patients through expanded hours of operation and centralized key functions such as on-call and holiday coverage, post-discharge care transitions, and supports continuity of care and care gap closure. Highly responsive to emerging needs including new grant and non-grant funded projects, the VCC providers support pilots such as remote patient monitoring and TelePrEP. The VCC operationalizes UHP’s core values of continuous QI, continuous learning, innovation, and maximizing of technology working closely with all levels of UHP leadership to forward organizational goals.

Presenters: Jennifer Genuardi, MD, Director of Clinical Best Practices and Clinical Education, Urban Health Plan, Inc.; Elizabeth Mastrianni, FNP, Assistant Clinical Director of Virtual Care Center, Urban Health Plan, Inc.

Track III: Emerging Issues in Care for Marginalized Populations

A Partnership Approach to Addressing Financial Health as a Social Determinant

National Center for Medical-Legal PartnershipAs brought to light by COVID-19, patient financial health is closely intertwined with health access, outcomes, cost, and equity. Financial health considers individuals’ spending power and ability to save, borrow, and plan in a way that builds resilience in the face of unexpected events and allows them to thrive in the long term. While healthcare organizations have long considered income a key predictor of health and are increasingly addressing material insecurities such as food and housing to improve health and health equity, emerging research shows that financial health is a better indicator of health. Healthcare organizations need a broader view of patients’ financial needs, new ways to identify those at risk, and new strategies to support them. At the same time, many healthcare organizations are disrupting patient financial health through medical debt and few protections from out of pocket healthcare costs.

This session will define financial health, present research documenting trends in consumer financial health in America, describe the intersection between financial health and health equity, present examples of how the healthcare system can take greater action to address financial health, and explore partnership models that can support healthcare organizations in their dual goals of improving health and wellbeing.

Presenters: Michelle Proser, PhD, MPP, Senior Director of Healthcare Solutions, Financial Health Network; Bethany Hamilton, JD, Executive Director, National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership

The Afghan Refugee Crisis During Pandemic: Strategies Adopted by One of the Largest FQHCs in Northern California

The global refugee crisis during a pandemic poses challenges when providing effective healthcare to refugees, particularly for behavioral health and chronic disease management. As a nonprofit FQHC provider, Bay Area Community Health (BACH) ensures access to high-quality, culturally competent, and trauma-informed care to the most highly disinvested disadvantaged populations in Fremont, California, which is home to the largest population of Afghan Americans. In this workshop, we present key challenges and our unique response to providing health care and social services to Afghan refugees during a pandemic, with a focus on collaboration with local agencies. Using a combination of culturally sensitive techniques, expertise in primary medical and behavioral health, mutual support, and collaboration across the Afghan coalition, public health department, and community partnerships, our health centers in 2021: 1) provided a primary medical home to 1043 Afghans 2) Connected refugees to several agencies like CA Department of Social Services Refugee Program, Refugee Support Services (employment services), 3) Provided services for mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and intimate partner violence (IPV), 4) Screened for SDOH and assisted with CalWORKs, CalFresh and Medi-Cal enrollment 5) Offered Covid-19 testing and vaccinations.

Presenters: Harsha Ramchandani, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Bay Area Community Health; Gemma Jamena, MD, Clinic Director, Bay Area Community Health; Phyllis Pei, RN, Sr. Director of Ops, Bay Area Community Health; Reema Menezes, MD, Medical Director, Bay Area Community Health

Alliance Building as a Means Toward Health Equity

Details forthcoming.

Presenters: Association of Clinicians for the Underserved and Pfizer, Inc.

Civic Engagement as a Means to Improve Health Equity

Vot-ER LogoThe causes of health-related social needs lie in the political determinants of health, or the socio-economic, political, and environmental context at regional and national levels. To create change at the structural level, over 500 clinics and hospitals promoted voting through Vot-ER’s voter access resources. Vot-ER’s work explores how voting improves health outcomes through self-advocacy and why hospitals should take on the work of voter registration.

Presenters: Aliya Bhatia, MPP, Executive Director, Vot-ER; Marisa Dowling, MD, MPP, Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine

Developing a Language of Caring at Sun River Health: Creating Empathetic Experiences for Everyone

Sun River Health LogoFor more than 45 years, Sun River Health, a network of 43 federally qualified health centers in New York, has upheld a firm commitment to person-centered care for every employee, patient, and community resident served by our organization. No easy feat on the best of days, this commitment has perhaps never been so important as during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and over the course of the last two years. As we have adapted to changing demands of an evolving workforce, this person-centered approach has taken on new meaning, and we look forward to sharing this with you. Please join us at this session to learn more about a new initiative at Sun River Health designed to create empathetic experiences for everyone at a time when they are needed most. Together, we will discuss opportunities to measure the caring culture of your organization, how to build resiliency and connection across virtual workspaces, and more. Using our organization’s efforts as a model, we hope to inspire you with best practices to engage your own organization in reimagining the healthcare experience for staff and patients alike in 2022.

Presenter: Amanda Moody, MPH, CPBA, Associate Vice President, Planetree Institute, Sun River Health

Getting Back on Course: Returning to Cancer Screening for Marginalized Populations in a Pandemic

Dr. James Hotz of Albany Area Primary Health CareComplex primary care interventions like cancer screening were dramatically impacted during the pandemic. Populations with multiple social and economic challenges were particularly affected as reflected by UDS data from community health centers. Clinicians working in these settings are often frustrated by these quality challenges and this contributes to the burnout induced by the pandemic. The President’s new Cancer Moonshot has outlined a bold vision – “Closing Gaps in Cancer Screening: Connecting People, Communities, and Systems to Improve Equity and Access” This report from the President’s Cancer Panel outlines strategies to overcome cancer screening inequities for the underserved. At the same time, the American Cancer Society launched the Return to Screening Initiative which also outlines strategies to overcome pandemic influenced reductions in screening and address cancer inequities that are a major focus of ACS. This session will be presented by national leaders from the ACS who participated in developing the strategies for the President and ACS and will discuss how these strategies can be applied by clinicians caring for the underserved in this country.

Presenter: James Hotz, MD, Clinical Services Director, Albany Area Primary Health Care

Medicaid, MCOs, and Providers: Working to Improve Maternal Health

The United States continues to lag behind other developed nations when it comes to maternal health, especially for Black and Indigenous pregnant individuals and babies. About half of all births in the U.S. are covered by Medicaid. State Medicaid programs, managed care organizations, and health centers are in a unique position to address adverse outcomes and enhance access, services and supports for pregnant individuals and infants to reduce health disparities. This session will discuss recent trends and opportunities in maternal health care and Medicaid policy, and highlight strategies being used by health centers and MCOs to deliver comprehensive maternal health care from preconception to postnatal and pediatric care.

Presenters: Nicole Truhe, Director of Medicaid Policy, UnitedHealthcare Community & State