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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.
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July 31: Pre-Conference Workshop
Many medically underserved communities are often located in high poverty areas that have a higher representation of minoritized and historically disinvested patient populations. Health care organizations in these areas should be working to advance justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) within their workplaces to not only create welcoming places for their employees but to also drive programs for their patient population. While many healthcare leaders and employees are invested in establishing a JEDI culture, many do not know where to start. In this pre-conference workshop, participants will discuss JEDI culture in organizations, walk through steps to operationalize JEDI within their workplaces, and engage in activities to help develop and inform JEDI action plans. Participants will also hear from a panel of health center leaders to gain insight into how JEDI is being operationalized at different sites, including successful strategies, challenges, and lessons learned along the way.
Sabrina Edgington, MSSW, Senior Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI), Association of Clinicians for the Underserved
Marcqwon Daywalker, MD, Director of Health and Wellbeing, AccessHealth Community Health Centers (Richmond, TX)
Sam Castro, CMHC, Director of Equity & Inclusion, Valle del Sol (Phoenix, AZ)
Marcia Calloway, MS, Chief DEI Officer, San Ysidro Health (San Diego, CA)
August 1: National Health Service Corps 50th Anniversary Gala
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
Conflict–especially in the workplace–is common, frequently unavoidable, and too often destructive to teams, performance, and staff mental health. But conflict does not have to be crippling to a workforce. Properly harnessed, the differences that drive conflict can be used to bring a team together, to hone ideas and creative problem-solving, and to construct solutions that are correct for the environment and context where they will be implemented. This interactive session will guide attendees through some of the major drivers of workplace conflicts–such as power dynamics, communication, and workplace culture–and show how these factors can make conflicts highly destructive to team dynamics. Attendees will then learn basic techniques, tools, and considerations for properly managing staff conflicts to make them into a constructive force for creative problem solving. The last part of the session will be an interactive activity to help solidify understanding and takeaways from the session.
Presenter: Alex Rohlwing, MA, EMT-P, Training Specialist, Association of Clinicians for the Underserved
Gary will utilize story-telling to inspire, motivate, and equip ACU healers and healthcare leaders to join in preparing Hometown Scholar pathways by “daring children to dream,” mentoring them up into the health professions, endorsing those with a “CHC Heart,” connecting with and hiring graduates, and engaging them to raise up subsequent generations.
Presenter: Dr. Gary Cloud, Vice President of University Partnerships, A.T. Still University
Leaders are the visionaries of an organization. They drive innovation, guide change, influence teams, foster ideas, and so much more. Yet, to be a good leader one must develop this skill and understand the leadership style that allows their team to thrive. While we often use the word “leader” interchangeably with those who are in leadership positions, this should not be the case. A leader possesses strong emotional intelligence, humility, empathy, and strives to uplift all members of the organization. In short, anyone at the health center can be a leader regardless of their position. When preparing the next generation of health center leaders, it is crucial to look at the talent that exists among clinical providers at all levels. It is imperative to provide these individuals – whether they are a medical assistant, therapist, dentist, physician, dental assistant, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, etc. – with opportunities for leadership development. In this session, the STAR2 Center will address ways to train and build leadership skills for all types of clinical providers, discuss how to develop career paths for these individuals as a retention tool, and provide opportunities for advancement that extend beyond clinical practice.
Presenters: ACU’s STAR² Center
Language 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
Workforce 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.
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
Strengthening Health Center Employee Health Benefits: Fostering Employee Retention & Resilience and Improving Organizational Health Equity
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, unprecedented workforce disruptions are forcing health centers to reassess and innovate to effectively respond to new challenges in staff recruitment and retention. Based on a new executive guide developed by the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved and Nonstop Wellness, this session will outline key strategies and best practices that administrators and HR leaders can take to sustain a strong CHC workforce by optimizing health and other benefits to improve health equity for patients and staff alike. Attendees will also hear firsthand experiences in implementing workforce strategies from East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc. in New York, NY.
Presenters: Derreck Smith, Senior Marketing Manager, Nonstop Wellness; Eric Salyers, Senior Consultant, Benefits – Total Rewards Practice, Nonprofit HR; Angelina Cruize, M.S. in HRD, P.H.R., Director of Human Resources, East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc.
Moderator: Amanda Pears Kelly, Executive Director, Association of Clinicians for the Underserved
In 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
Track II: Healthcare Delivery Reimagined
Addressing the Children’s Mental Health Crisis: Simple Strategies for Supporting Adolescents in Primary Care
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. J. Wyatt, PhD, LICSW, Executive Director, Paving the Way Multiservice Institute / District of Columbia Mental Health Access and Pediatric Primary Care
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted key opportunities within the oral health care system to redefine the way care is delivered. The Three Domain Framework creates a new model connecting dentistry to primary care, and a roadmap for the future that will be cost-effective, efficient, and more equitable. This session presents an overview of the Three Domains Framework and shows the value of dental and medical teams working together to create a comprehensive team-based approach to care for historically marginalized populations. Qualitative and quantitative data from Community Oral Health Transformation (COrHT) Initiative, which aims to put the Domain Framework into action, will be shared. Additionally, it will offer practical approaches for health centers to implement and operationalize the Three Domain Framework.
Presenters: Caroline McLeod, RDH, MS, Value-Based Solutions Manager, CareQuest Institute for Oral Health; Danielle Apostolon, BS, Program Manager, Value-Based Care, CareQuest Institute for Oral Health; Eric Tranby, PhD, Manager, Data & Impact, CareQuest Institute for Oral Health
Being an anti-racist organization requires more than implementing policies and practices that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Anti-racist organizations commit to a deeper level of accountability to address systems that perpetuate racism within their institution and community. This work involves hard conversations that challenge institutional norms that are centered around White culture and privilege. In this workshop, participants will explore what it means to be anti-racist organization, understand how anti-racism benefits everyone, and identify concrete steps that can be taken to move forward in this journey.
Presenters: Sabrina Edgington, MSSW, Senior Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI)
initiatives, Association of Clinicians for the Underserved
Community 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
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
As the addiction crisis continues to impact the United States with a particular impact on disinvested communities, community health centers are critical to providing education, prevention and treatment for affected individuals, families, and communities. A HRSA funding opportunity in 2015 allowed Fair Haven Community Health Care in New Haven, Connecticut to create an integrated addiction medicine program. Lessons learned from standing up a de novo program will be reviewed, both internally with a focus on workforce and operations, and externally with a focus on partnerships and the regulatory environment. Longitudinal successes and challenges will be discussed as well. As the program has expanded, so has the opportunity for collaboration, improvement and research, and these opportunities – transferrable to other organizations – will be discussed and explained. Ample time for audience questions and discussion will be an inherent part of this workshop.
Presenter: John McDonagh, MD, Fair Haven Community Health Care
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
The 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
The 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
As 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 struggle to achieve health equity takes many forms, and the alliances necessary to support these initiatives include a variety of community, national, and global partnerships. How can we create and leverage these partnerships to better support health centers and create meaningful impact for the marginalized patients they serve? Join our session to learn insights from a health center leader who has forged community partnerships to improve health equity—as well as to hear a national perspective and context from Pfizer’s Multicultural Health Equity Collective and the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum. Featuring voices from a health center stakeholder and national experts, this workshop will provide tips on building partnerships, share lessons learned in implementation, and more.
Panelists: Niesha N. Foster, MBA, Vice President, Global Health & Social Impact, Pfizer Inc.; Beth Wrobel, CEO, HealthLinc Community Health Center; Mia Masten, Senior Director, Patient Advocacy, Pfizer Global Health & Social Impact; Juliet Choi, JD, President & CEO, Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Moderator: Rick Brown, MA, Associate Director of Communications & Membership, ACU
The 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
For 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
Complex 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.
Presenters: Robert Smith, PhD, Senior Vice President, Cancer Screening, American Cancer Society; Laura Makaroff, DO, Senior Vice President, Prevention & Early Detection, American Cancer Society
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; Michael Caudle, MD, Director of Women’s Health, Cherokee Health Systems
The purpose of this workshop is to educate health professionals on simple, best practices that when implemented can help create a safe space for trans people seeking care, and help shift the narrative from discrimination and mistrust to inclusion and social justice.