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June 2017

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Featured Articles

Investing in a Student Training Program: Strengthening Your Pipeline and Stabilizing Your Workforce


Kristine Gonnella, Community Health Partners for Sustainability


Health professions student training programs that are woven into the fabric of the health center infrastructure can provide a high quality training experience for students, including but not limited to medical assistants, medical students, nurses, physician assistants (PAs), and social workers. A focused effort in building out a coordinated, collaborative training environment can result in a pipeline of professionals passionate and committed to service in health centers.

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Community Health on the River of No Return


Lynn Gerlach, Tamarack Communication


Right on the eastern edge of the largest contiguous wilderness area in the lower 48 states is Challis, Idaho, population 1081.This is the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness - nearly three million acres of land and water. Challis Area Health Center has been around since 1975, when, according to local folklore, a well-to-do businessman was bitten by a rattlesnake and was incensed that he had to travel all the way to Salmon to see a doctor. He appealed to the Marmot Foundation, they donated $5000, and the rest is history. Now, the health center is “a cross between a frontier clinic and a wilderness clinic,” according to Executive Director Steve Rembelski.

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Steve Weinman

Peanuts and Pretzels


Ann Hogan, Ann Hogan Consulting

Do your employees have the tools they need to succeed at providing your patients an Excellent Customer Service Experience? Often times we expect our employees to have the Customer Service skills needed to perform their jobs, but we forget we have the responsibility as a manager to give them the tools to ensure their success. As a consultant, I travel quite a bit for my job. Recently, I was able to observe the stark differences in the Customer Service Experience first hand.

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Spring Primary Care Conference a Success!

This year’s Spring Primary Care conference was held in the beautiful Lilac City of Spokane. With over 250 attendees, 25+ sponsors, 75+ speakers, 30+ exhibitors, and 53 sessions across 4 days, we had a full house. We had a wide variety of speakers and sessions with valuable information that attendees can implement at their health centers. Community health center staff and board members had many opportunities to get to know each other over music, games, and outings. Read more about the conference and peruse photos.

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Steve Weinman

Spotlight on Community Health Workers


Priscilla Tovar is the very definition of a “fantastic CHW” although we use the term Promotora de Salud at Quincy Community Health Center. Pris began as a volunteer at the clinic when she was just a Jr. in high school and when we got the chance to hire her we did! She has been an employee for 8 years. She has been involved in research, advocacy, reviewing tool-kits, CHW/Promotora trainings, as well as serving as a master training for a chronic disease self-management program. Priscilla enjoys outreach with the migrant farmworkers in our community. Every encounter with her patients is done with a” heart of service” and her work ethic and concern for her community is unprecedented.


-Mary Jo Ybarra-Vega, Quincy Community Health Center


Spotlight on Medical Assistants Next Month


Feature a fantastic Medical Assistant in next month's edition! Please send Alyssa Panning a short bio and photo by July 7.

Email Alyssa now
Image by Murdoch University

Suite 330: NWRPCA News

Farewell to Aaron and Joey

Aaron Starr's last day at NWRPCA as CFO was June 9. Aaron has joined a newly approved Accountable Care Organization in Washington as the Director of Finance. We wish him all the best in his new position!


NWRPCA's intern, Joey Liao, is moving to China to spend time with her family and explore career options. Joey has been with NWRPCA since July 2016. Thank you for all your hard work, Joey!

Results from Our Training Needs Survey

Our annual Training Needs Survey was conducted with Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS).


239 people responded from Region X Health Centers, and listed these five challenges as top priorities:

  • Access to care
  • Recruitment
  • Federal policy changes
  • Retention
  • Behavioral health


This information will be used to develop and refine NWRPCA's future trainings.

ATSU Students Celebrate Dr. Watts

A play on a popular song, the Class of 2017 sport "Turn Down for Watts" t-shirts at their Graduation Gala celebration in Mesa, Arizona to show their appreciation for Regional Director of Medical Education, Dr. Lisa Watts. Dr. Watts served the ATSU- NWRPCA community campus for eight years before stepping down this spring.

Professional Development

Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) University Training

July 17-18 in Tacoma, WA


The Federal Tort Claims Act University (FTCAU) is an innovative and collaborative training conference between the FTCA Division and Region X PCAs that is being offered to members of the health center community. It is a great opportunity for seasoned quality and risk professionals, and new professionals, to learn from experts, leaders, and government officials in the areas of FTCA and related subject matters. Over the course of two days, attendees will participate in interactive presentations, and exercises that are all specially geared toward health center grantees in HRSA federal Region X: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Register now
2017 FTCAU logo

Free Community Health Improvement Summer Webinar Series

Join us to learn about vulnerable populations, coverage considerations, and how to ensure these populations are properly covered for fiscal sustainability. This series features subject matter experts from National Cooperative Agreements specializing in vulnerable populations and best practices from health centers staff doing the work.


Preparing for the Silver Tsunami: The Aging Population and How to Best Serve Them
This webinar has already occurred but can be accessed for free online.

Addressing the Needs of LGTBQ: Considerations to Maximize Care and Coverage
July 27, 12:00-1:30 pm PT

Reaching the Homeless: Outreach, Coverage, and Care Considerations
August 17, 12:00- 1:30 pm PT

Fall Primary Care Conference: Submit an Abstract Now

October 21-24 in Seattle


Together Toward Tomorrow: Celebrating 20 Years of Region 18

NWRPCA and CHAMPS encourage you to share your success stories, best practices, and useful tools at our conference. Submissions focusing on the areas of quality, rural health, opioids, governance, operations, workforce, and other topic areas that relate to the multi-disciplinary nature of this conference are sought.

Deadline: June 26

Submit an abstract now

Fundamentals of Governance Webinar Series

November 2016 - September 2017


The next webinar, Financials, Audits, 990s, Oh My!, is June 21 at noon PT

This ten-part governance webinar series focuses on a variety of topics that relate directly to Community Health Center Boards of Directors.


Sign up for the remainder of all live webinars, and receive recordings of all previous webinars.

Register now
Image by The Institute of Internal Auditors

Behavioral Health Webinar Series

January 2017-December 2017


The next webinar, Brief Interventions: Sleep Concerns, is July 12, at noon PT

NWRPCA is offering a series of ten behavioral health webinars that serve as a platform each month for a blend of didactic trainings and interactive opportunities. Each month we examine a different topic via a 60-minute webinar.


Sign up for the remainder of all live webinars, and receive recordings of all previous webinars.

Register now
Mountainview Consulting

Managing Ambulatory Health Care III (MAHC 3)

June 26-29 in Seattle, WA

This intensive program is a team-based course designed to improve the performance of clinical and administrative managers in community health centers who must work together effectively to optimally serve their communities.


This course addresses the following topic areas:

• Collaborative Management, Quality Improvement/Assurance, and Practice Transformation
• Strategic & Financial Planning
• Payment Reform
• Provider Recruitment, Retention, and Compensation
• Leadership Styles, Team-Building, and Managing Change

Apply now
NWRPCA and NACHC logos

Opportunities from Our Partners

NACHC Policy and Advocacy Webinar
June 21, 12:30 PST
Get the latest on policy priorities for health centers and critical advocacy steps for immediate action.
Register now


Healthy People 2030 Development
June 22, 9:00 am PST
Understand how to use Healthy People 2020 to promote public health, be able to recognize the progress the nation has made in achieving Healthy People goals at the middle of the decade, and understand the development of Healthy People 2030 Framework.
Register now


Health on the Range: Rural Health Issues and Resources
June 23, 10:00-12:00 PST
This session will describe hallmarks of rural America, identify other access challenges of living in rural communities, and equip participants with tools to service the health information needs of those living in rural communities. Offered by NNLM
Register now

Sliding Fee Scale Program: Patient Information Tool
June 23, 11:30 PST
This 30-minute webcast will introduce the low-literacy patient information tool describing the Sliding-Fee Scale Program developed by NCFH and Farmworker Justice. The tool is available in English, Haitian Creole and Spanish and can be customized by each health center.
Register now

The ABCs of HRSA Program Requirements for Health Center Boards in Spanish
June 29, 11:30-12:30 PST
This NCFH webcast will introduce new FQHC Board Members to their general responsibilities in relation to Health Center Program Requirements.

Register now


Clinical STD Update
1-day didactic course which provides registered participants with training in the most recent advancements in epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of viral and bacterial STDs. CME/CNE is offered for this class. An optional Clinical Practicum is available upon completion.

Boise, ID, August 10: Register now
Yakima, WA, September 21: Register now


View the latest funding opportunities, as well as other educational resources and information, on our website.

NWRPCA Career Center

Post available jobs at your health center or view current openings at NW health centers.


Recent openings:


Alaska: Executive Director at Camai Community Health Center

Idaho: Registered Nurse at Valley Family Health Care

Oregon: Clinic Medical Director at Mosaic Medical

Washington: Behavioral Health Consultant at Cowlitz Family Health Center

Educational Opportunities

Attend one of our in-person workshops or online webinars. Previously recorded events are also available.

Region X Highlights

Read news highlights about Region X health centers.


Recent articles:


Alaska: Southcentral Foundation is soliciting Alaska Native dance submissions to win a $10,000 prize.

Idaho: Terry Reilly Health Services participated in brainstorming on how to address community needs in Nampa.

Oregon: Winding Waters Clinic received a grant from the Oregon Food Bank to teach classes on affordable, healthy eating and cooking.

Washington: King County is opening three new school-based health centers this fall, International Community Health Services will manage the center in Bellevue, HealthPoint will deliver services in Renton, and Neighborcare will manage the Vashon Island clinic.

Thank you to our Annual Sponsors


Quest Diagnostics




Nonstop Wellness




Cardinal Health


Community Health Plan of Washington


HomeStreet Bank



Featured Vendors



Northwest Pulse is the newsletter of Northwest Regional Primary Care Association. Each issue features a variety of information about community health, member news and spotlights, and important funding and workforce listings.

® Northwest Regional Primary Care Association 2017

We welcome your comments and feedback as well as your news items. Please email us your thoughts and your news, resources and opportunities to share at

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U58CS06846, "S/RPCAs," total award $950K, with 65% of program funded by nongovernmental sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

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