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November 2017

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Featured Articles

North Olympic Healthcare Network: Recently Hatched, Taking Flight, and Gaining Altitude


Michael Maxwell, North Olympic Healthcare Network

North Olympic Healthcare Network (NOHN) is Washington State’s newest federally qualified Community Health Center, beginning operations in Port Angeles on September 1, 2015.


NOHN grew from a private primary care partnership (Family Medicine of Port Angeles) that had been part of the community for over 35 years. My fellow physician partners and I recognized the limitations of our private partnership to adequately meet the growing need in our community, and chose to completely transform the clinic into the Community Health Center model as a more effective approach.

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Stress Less in Seattle


Paul Huschilt, Professional Speaker

For those that missed my talk on humor and resilience at the recent NWRPCA/CHAMPS Conference in Seattle, here’s a glimpse. The presentation was set up as a low-budget spa in which health care workers whose job it is to routinely help others were reminded to remember to take care of themselves. And they were taught simple, low-cost interventions for resilience.

One of the things we talked about was perspective. It’s an important concept, because in health care you all come up against roadblocks in your daily life – at work and even at home.

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New Quality Payment Program Resource Center


Jessica Burkard, Qualis Health

Qualis Health, one of the nation’s leading population healthcare consulting organizations, has launched a Quality Payment Program resource center featuring online tools and resources and a telephonic helpdesk. The resource center is a part of Qualis Health’s work funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to support thousands of Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians in Washington and Idaho prepare for and participate in the new Quality Payment Program, established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

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Series Feature: Health Centers Tackling the Opioid Epidemic

Sometimes it Takes Just One Pioneer

Lynn Gerlach, Tamarack Communication
-an interview with Dr. Thomas Tocher, Community Health Center of Snohomish County-


Today we begin a series of reports on six Region X health centers who have recently stared down opioids in their service areas and addressed the problem in a way appropriate to their own communities.

We begin this month with the story of one Washington pioneer who has been fighting for years for a better response to the opioid crisis. “If the issue were polio, zika or anthrax, would anyone even question the need to take action? So why are people dragging their feet on the opioid addiction problem?” asks Tom Tocher, MD, Medical Director for CHCs of Washington’s Snohomish County.

Read more

Spotlight on Administrative Assistants

Devyn Lynch, Columbia Basin Health Association

Devyn has been with CBHA for two years. She supports not only our 10 member executive team but also our Board of Directors. When you hear people describe Devyn, the words often used are “Dependable, Above and Beyond, and Approachable.” Devyn is always ready to take on a task and does it with determination and professionalism. You always know that Devyn will produce quality work and have it done in a timely manner. Devyn is well respected by the entire executive team and our staff here at CBHA. You will always see Devyn with a smile on her face as she travels through the clinic speaking with patients and staff.

-Greg Brandenburg, CEO

Cheryl Morgan, Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation

Cheryl is instrumental in keeping all five of our CHCs running smoothly. We have five CHCs that are spread out over an area the size of Oregon that can only be reached by small airplane, so we have many issues that may arise in transportation and delivery of service. Cheryl is able to independently problem solve many issues. She assists providers, managers, clients, and families with a smile on her face. She is so dedicated that even on her time off, she follows up on tasks and will assist clients if they contact her. She is an unsung hero in the background.

We never thank our employees enough who come to work and do an outstanding job every day and go way beyond their job descriptions, but thank you Cheryl for everything you do. You make our clinics a better place.

-Sue Hoeldt, Community Health Center Administrator

Erika Erazo, Mattawa Community Medical Clinic

Erika is a fantastic Administrative Assistant! During our recent OSV review she was given praise by all three of the reviewers. She is organized, motivated and has made my job as CEO so much better. She has made improvements to the board meeting agenda to make it more presentable for the board as well as reviewers, she has managed to take the credentialing files and not only reorganized them, but color code them as well! She continues to strive to come up with new innovative ideas to assist others in our office to become more effective and efficient. I don't know what I would do without her. I am thankful each and every day to have found such a great administrative assistant to work with.


-Dana Fox, CEO

Kelly Fields, Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments

We have an amazing Executive Assistant who always goes above and beyond the call of duty. Kelly is ready and willing to learn new things and never hesitates to take on extra duties or step in when help is needed. She is an excellent hostess to all of our visitors and also an amazing representative for our organization when she travels. Although Kelly is based in Fort Yukon, Alaska at our main clinic, the Yukon Flats Health Center, she also loves to travel out to our smaller villages of Arctic Village, Beaver, Birch Creek and Venetie. Her work ethic is greatly appreciated and she sets an excellent example for others.


-Melinda Peter, Health Director

Mahogany Getsinger, Columbia Valley Community Health

Mahogany is my new Executive Assistant here at Columbia Valley Community Health. Mahogany stepped into a role that the previous Assistant had held for 17 years. Rather than be intimidated by that, she absorbed a lot from the previous Assistant but has still managed to make the position her own. I believe that we have a great connection. She is learning to anticipate my needs and is showing the ability to “see around corners”. I look forward to our working together for years to come.


-David Olson, CEO

Sharon Neidig, Peninsula Community Health Services

PCHS would like to recognize Sharon, Executive Office Coordinator Extraordinaire! Sharon has been a valuable asset to our organization for seventeen years and counting. Having a variety of tasks and working closely with our current and past CEO and the Senior Leadership team and the Board of Directors, she continues to multi-task like an octopus to keep up with the ever-changing demands of the healthcare landscape. We value Sharon for the many attributes she brings to the Executive space, but most notably her calm presence, commitment, and stick-to-it-ness that keeps PCHS moving forward in today’s hectic world. We honor Sharon Neidig as being a core team member in the #WeArePCHS family!


-Jennifer Kreidler-Moss, CEO

Leslie Clark, Siskiyou Community Health Center

Leslie Clark has been the Executive Assistant for Siskiyou Community Health Center since 2015. From the beginning, she has been a strong addition to our team, always able to anticipate needs and ensuring that schedules run smoothly and efficiently. Not only does Leslie have the technical and logistical skillset of a phenomenal EA, but her character and personality are hard to find. With her positivity and genuine care for others, she is highly regarded and loved throughout the community. We are proud to have Leslie as such an integral part of our hard working team, and are honored to recommend her to NWRPCA for recognition.


-Rich Booth, CEO

Spotlight on Marketing and Development Staff Next Month

Feature a fantastic marketing or development staff member in next month's edition! Please send Alyssa Panning a short bio and photo by December 8.

Email Alyssa now

Suite 330: NWRPCA News


NWRPCA is preparing for #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving on November 28. We hope to spread the culture of giving as we close in on the holiday season. The end of the year is a great time to connect with your community, fundraise, and spread awareness of your mission. If your #CHC is hoping to ramp up its development strategy, this is a great opportunity to do so!

Follow NWRPCA on social media to learn how your #CHC can effectively strategize for development. You can also check out our articles on development strategies and engaging communities.

Paul Huschilt's "Low-budget spa"

A packed house for the opening plenary

Fall Primary Care Conference Wrap-up

The 2017 Fall Primary Care Conference was a smashing success! NWRPCA and CHAMPS welcomed 346 attendees, 116 speakers, 26 exhibitors, and 15 sponsors in Seattle. We offered 70 sessions on diverse topics such as 340B, advocacy, Hepatitis C, revenue cycle, and much more. This year we had two days of sessions on HHS/HRSA priorities and funding opportunities. Chris Jensen and Paul Huschilt gave amazing plenaries. We had Roosevelt High School Jazz Band and Drum Line at two events, and amazing young poets from Youth Speaks. We hope to see you at next year's Fall Conference in Denver, October 20-23!

Professional Development

UDS Training

December 4-5 in Seattle, WA


Day 1:

The training addresses each of the UDS report’s tables, including a discussion of the changes that have been made and the definitions necessary to complete the report.


Day 2:
This session will address data disparities and what can be done about them. In addition, the workshop will introduce the "Guide for Improving Care Processes and Outcomes in FQHCs" that includes strategies and tools designed for quality, clinical and other health center staff to support quality improvement efforts.


This training has limited space remaining!

Register now

Free Webinar: CHC Healthcare Apprenticeship Programs


December 7 at 12:00 PT

Apprenticeship programs in a number of fields are growing in quantity and interest nationwide. Primary-care focused apprenticeship programs have shown to bring great value to CHCs and learners on a number of levels. This webinar will explore apprenticeship programs currently being conducted in Region X: WACMHC's In-REACH (Institute for Rethinking Education and Careers in Healthcare) initiative and APCA (Alaska Primary Care Association) Apprenticeship Programs.

Brought to you in partnership with APCA, IPCA, OPCA, and WACMHC.

Register now

Katherine Lechnew, WACMHC

Cherise Fowler, APCA

Behavioral Health Webinar Series

January-December 2017


The last webinar, The Psychological Flexibility Model, is December 13 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 last live webinar and receive recordings of all previous webinars.

Register now

Primary Care and Behavioral Health Team-based Care Webinar Series


January-December 2018

Are you working with patients that may be difficult to engage? Do you struggle to help your patients learn how to improve their health? Join us and learn how to engage and improve outcomes of patients through the work of your care team.


In this ten-part webinar series, we will cover many clinical and operational best practices within behavioral health. There will be one 60-minute webinar each month that will examine a different topic. The webinar series will be a blend of didactic training and opportunities to interact together to share ideas and ask questions.

Register now

Health Center Program Requirements - What's New? What's Different? What is Great Practice?


January 24-25 in Seattle, WA

HRSA is issuing a new revision of the Health Center Program Requirements Compliance Manual, and while the basic requirements remain, there are many changes in the performance indicators and interpretations. Some new indicators for meeting them have been added; some others have been modified or deleted. This two-day training will go in-depth into what is required, what has changed, and how to meet and exceed the performance expectations. Successfully prepare for your next Operational Site Visit by attending this very important training!

Register now

Western Forum for Migrant and Community Health

February 22-24 in Seattle, WA


The Western Forum brings together health professionals from migrant and community health centers and allied organizations for the purposes of education and training, information and resource sharing, coalition building, and program and policy development.

This year's theme - Resilient, Strong Communities: Laying the Foundation for Health Equity - reminds us of the power of relentless collective action and persistent unified voices. Ultimately, it is the resilient community that creates sustainable, lasting change.


Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting? View prospectus

Register now

Critical Skills for Mid-Level Managers

March 21-22 in Seattle, WA

Community Health Centers are a crucial aspect of the health care safety net, and knowledgeable, skilled, and versatile managers and supervisors are key to your organization’s ability to successfully serve your patients and community. This course is an intensive two-day management skills program that will cover employee engagement, communication, behavioral interviewing, conflict resolution, finance and more. It concludes with a capstone project that will put into action what you have learned back at your health center. This course is designed to meet the specific needs of CHC mid-level managers and supervisors by providing hands-on management skill building for immediate implementation to strengthen both your teams and your organization!

Register now

Strategies for Diabetes Care Management

April 20 in Boise, ID


More information coming soon!

Spring Primary Care Conference and Membership Meeting-submit an abstract

May 19-22 in Portland, OR


Is your health center great at managing diabetes? Do you have high patient satisfaction scores? Do you have an outstanding marketing department? Whatever you are good at, we want to hear from you! Consider submitting an abstract to present at the Spring Primary Care Conference. Submission deadline: December 29

Submit an abstract

Finance Management Bootcamp

June 19-20 in Seattle, WA


More information coming soon!

Crucial Management Skills for CHC Leaders, Managers, and Supervisors of All Levels

September 26-27 in Anchorage, AK

Great management skills are necessary for CHC managers at every level of your organization! This CHC-specific course provides an opportunity for leaders, managers and supervisors throughout your health center to learn, reinvigorate, and practice a wide range of management skills crucial to effectively hire, train, manage, and develop others. This training will provide two days of intensive, hands-on learning for immediate implementation and long-term impact.

Register now

Opportunities from Our Partners

Self-Management Support for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease
November 15, 11:00-12:00 PT

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects about 11% of the U.S. population, yet knowledge about this chronic condition is poor among patients. This may be due to lack of discussions about kidney disease, suboptimal educational materials about CKD, and suboptimal self-management support programs/strategies available for patients. We will review the data in this field and discuss potential strategies to improve awareness and self-management support among patients.

Register now


Healthy People 2020: Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
November 16, 9:00 am PT

Join to learn about progress made toward achieving the Healthy People 2020 Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Leading Health Indicators. You’ll also hear how the Delaware Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Prevention Program uses a public health approach to address the role of physical activity and nutrition in improving health and preventing chronic diseases for all Delawareans.
Register now

Healthy Native Youth: A one-stop-shop for culturally relevant health curricula
November 16, 10:00 am PT

This webinar will explore trends in health information-seeking by American Indian/American Native teens and young adults, and will introduce viewers to the Healthy Native Youth website



Clinical Best Practices for Improving the Oral Health of Individuals with Substance Use Disorders

November 16, 11:00 PT

The webinar will identify ways that oral health and behavioral health professionals and safety net health care systems can integrate oral health into the patient care of patients with substance use disorders.
Learn more

UDS Mapper
November 17, 8:00 am PT

This webinar will explore how to conduct community health needs assessments for health centers and nearby organizations to develop improvement strategies on the care and services provided.

Leveraging Medicaid Quality Metrics to Improve Care for Children and Youth with Chronic and Complex Health Care Needs
November 27 at 11:00 PT

This NASHP webinar examines the current landscape, challenges, and key strategies for states conducting quality measurement for these children. It also highlights New York’s approach to using quality metrics to improve care and outcomes.


Clinical STD Update

November 29, Eugene, OR

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.

Register now


New Hypertension Management Program
Nominations due November 30

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, with the support of NORC at the University of Chicago, is seeking a multisite health system for replication and implementation of a Hypertension Management Program. The purpose of this project is to replicate a hypertension management program in a health setting that prioritizes care among underserved patients. These organizations are seeking nominations for interested sites.

Learn more


Diabetes Quality Improvement Talks: Foundation of Change
December 5, 11:00-12:30 PT

BPHC is launching a series of interactive webinars aimed at quality improvement of diabetes care at HRSA-supported health centers.
Join the webinar

Health Center Strategies to Advance Prevention of Perinatal Transmission of Hepatitis B

December 6, 12:00 PT

BPHC’s Office of Quality Improvement will host a webinar with health center experts to share highlights from HRSA's HBV ECHO: Reducing Perinatal Transmission TA Initiative, including strategies for clinical management and addressing cultural barriers to prevent mother-to-child HBV transmission.

Join the webinar

Interdisciplinary Care Teams for Older Adults
December 7, 9:00 am PT

This CMS webinar will identify common challenges and best practices for Interdisciplinary Care Teams working with older adults. Presenters will also address the importance of clinical, psychosocial, long-term care, behavioral, and community-based support for older adults, particularly Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries.


Migratory and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Identification, Registration, and Reporting
December 7, 12:00-1:00 PT

Presenters will share resources and tools to assist health center staff in implementing effective processes and procedures in verifying the agricultural worker status of their patients.

Register here


Geiger Gibson Health Policy Fellows Program
Applications due December 31

The Fellows Program is designed for motivated mid-level and senior level staff pursuing management and leadership careers in health centers and PCAs. Each Fellows class is limited to 25 participants to keep the program intimate.

Learn more


Clinical Perspectives of Transgender & Non-binary Health Care
January 19, Bellevue, WA

Gender health is a fast-growing field impacting primary and specialty care, as well as behavioral health. This Kaiser Permanente CME course offers the best clinical practices on transgender and non-binary health for providers new to the field and for those with more clinical experience.

Learn more

National Center for Farmworker Health- call for artists

Samples due January 19, 2018
Each year, NCFH commissions an artist to depict an image relevant to the lifestyle
of migratory and seasonal agricultural workers to support the Migrant Health
Scholarship Award program. A $1000 cash prize will be awarded
Learn more


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: Behavioral Health Consultant at Camai Community Health Center

Idaho: Chief Medical Officer at Heritage Health

Oregon: Pharmacy Operations Manager at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center

Washington: Clinical Social Worker at Columbia Valley Community Health

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: Al Wall, CEO of Peninsula Community Health Services of Alaska, discusses integrated care


Idaho: Benewah Medical and Wellness Center changes name to Marimn Health; Marimn is a Coeur d’Alene Tribal language word based on the verb marim, which means, “to treat”


Oregon: Rogue Community Health introduces fleet of five Volkswagon Beetles used for educating the community and reaching patients


Washington: Columbia Valley Community Health hosts grand opening of new site in Chelan

Thank you to our Annual Sponsors


Quest Diagnostics




Cardinal Health





Community Health Plan of Washington


HomeStreet Bank



Featured Vendors


McKesson Henry Schein

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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