Northwest Pulse October 2017
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October 2017

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Featured Articles

Evaluating Health Center and PCA Advocacy, Creating a Legacy for Change

Annette Gardner, Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF

The 2016 election has embroiled the United States in political upheaval, the likes of which have not been seen in recent times. Advocacy is now front and center, with much of it being creative and engaging, but not all of it. Without thoughtful reflection, advocacy strategies are unlikely to result in the policy mobilization and impact that they intend; those who seek greater social justice will be thwarted in their efforts unless they more fully understand what is effective in mobilizing communities and shaping public and political opinion.

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Introducing the Sea Mar Marysville Family Medicine Residency

Stephanie Velasco, Sea Mar Community Health Centers

Since the opening of its first clinic in 1978, Sea Mar Community Health Centers has grown to become one of the largest network of CHCs in the country. To add to its ever-growing list of services and programs, the nonprofit organization now has its own accredited family residency program in Marysville. Part of Sea Mar’s mission is to increase access to health care, and one of the most effective ways to do that is to recruit students to train in a community health setting.

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The Fierce Urgency of Now: Advocating for the Right to Health Access

Ana Grande, Clinica Monsenor Oscar Romero

Advocacy is the wielding of democracy in its purest form. With the Affordable Care Act consistently on the chopping block, 330 funding, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in peril, community health centers across the nation do not have the luxury to sit this out. How each community health center engages in advocacy will depend on their means and organizational makeup. Take for example, Clinica Monsenor Oscar A. Romero (Clinica Romero) with 12,000 patients, 140 staff and two sites serving two neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Our advocacy has taken different levels of engagement.

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Addressing the Primary Care Provider Shortage: A Recruitment and Retention Financing Alternative

William O'Brien, Primary Care Development Corporation

Among the most acute dilemmas in health care is the shortage of primary care providers. To meet this need, the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) has launched a pilot program to help community health centers reduce their primary care provider shortages. The Provider Recruitment and Retention Financing Program enables CHCs to compensate providers in light of daunting medical school loan debts — and help create healthier, thriving communities through consistent primary care.

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Got Geriatrics? Opportunities for Primary Care

Aimee Verrall, NW Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Center

How many of your patients are 65 or older? Are you seeing more patients living into their 80’s or 90’s? If so, your practice mirrors what’s happening across the nation. The care of our elders will disproportionately fall to primary care providers. Are you ready?

We’re here to help.

Read more

Spotlight on MAs

Lucia Vivar is extremely skilled as an MA-C and patients ask for her by name for blood draws or injections. Lucy’s co-workers have mentioned several times that she would make a good supervisor or mentor. She keeps her assigned medical provider on track, and insists on team huddles several times a week to review their patients and reports. Lucy has trained other MAs and is currently training her teammate to become an MA-C. She has a positive attitude and brings that to her patients and co-workers every day.

Lucy is always willing to lend a hand and assist busy, rotating medical teams at the clinic with rooming patients, etc.

-Courtney Olson, Site Director, Columbia Basin Health Association

Spotlight on MAs

Taylor Thompson, RMA, has been with Northwest Human Services since 2014. It’s hard NOT to notice his dedication to our patient population and excitement about community health! Taylor has a way of engaging with our clients so that they feel incredibly important and validated. Taylor’s team spirit is infectious, as he motivates others by his own actions. Taylor is an unparalleled addition to our team and we are so thankful to have him!

-Trisha Bledsoe, Nursing Supervisor, Northwest Human Services

Spotlight on MAs

Erica Newton, CMA, came to work at the Mary C. Demientieff Health Center in January, 2017. We are a small solo provider clinic in rural Nenana, Alaska. Our staff includes a physician assistant, a village health aid, a registered nurse, a receptionist, and a medical assistant. Since Erica came to this clinic she has improved our ability to care for patients in large ways. She truly treats her job like the profession it is and has quickly become an asset to all of the staff at the clinic as well as to our patients. My job has been made much easier by her ability to scrub charts, perform phlebotomy, prepare labs for transport, acquire diagnostic tests, organize daily clinic logistics, interact with patients, and more. Patients enjoy Erica’s professionalism and efficiency, paired with her ability to be down to earth at the same time. Erica has truly improved our clinic and should be recognized for this.

-Samuel DeBlauw, PA-C, Tanana Chiefs Conference

Spotlight on Administrative/Executive Assistants Next Month

Feature a fantastic assistant in next month's edition! Please send Alyssa Panning a short bio and photo by November 10.

Email Alyssa now

Suite 330: NWRPCA News

NWRPCA attends Latino Health Forum

On October 12, NWRPCA attended and sponsored Sea Mar's Latino Health Forum. The one-day event showcased innovative programs around the state and region. These included a program at Stanford developing a health care workforce that addresses the social determinants of health, community health workers in New Mexico who work in unique programs, trauma-informed care integrated into Latino communities in San Diego, and state and local health policies that affect health equity. NWRPCA is proud to work with our member health centers on these important issues!

Health Center Funding Cliff

Without Congressional action to extend health center funding, Community Health Centers face a 70% reduction in federal funds, which the Department of Health and Human Services has estimated would lead to closure of 2,800 health center sites, elimination of more than 50,000 provider and staff positions, and a loss of access to care for some 9 million patients. A new and improved version of the 2017 Health Center Funding Cliff Impact Estimator is now available for health centers to use. The estimator can be downloaded here.

Contact Your Members of Congress and Ask them to Act Immediately to Fix the Health Center Funding Cliff

Upcoming Events

Not too late to register for the 2017 Fall Primary Care Conference!

October 21-24 in Seattle

Together Toward Tomorrow: Celebrating 20 Years of Region 18

Register to attend timely and highly-anticipated conference sessions, opportunities to meet with exhibitors, and time to network with your peers! Educational tracks span the entire health center, including workforce, clinical, fiscal, and quality transformation, and we are thrilled to have HRSA hosting an immersive two-day track dedicated to the top three HHS priorities as well as grant opportunities and grant writing best practices.

Register now


Behavioral Health Webinar Series

January 2017-December 2017

The next webinar, Tackling Obesity Head-On in Primary Care, is November 8 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

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.

Register now

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

January 24-25, 2018 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

Primary Care and Behavioral Health Team-based Care Webinar Series

January-December 2018

Are you working 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

Western Forum for Migrant and Community Health

February 22-24, 2018 in Seattle, WA

Join us in Seattle to attend 30+ sessions aimed at improving agricultural worker health, community health worker programs, community health policy, leadership development, and more.

Breakout topics include:

  • Access to care

  • Clinical topics in migrant health

  • Community health workers

  • Health education tools

  • Public health and primary care integration

  • Partnerships

  • Immigration

  • Policy and advocacy

  • Social change

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

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

September 26-27 in Anchorage, AK

Great management skills are necessary for Community Health Center 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

Change Management Principles for Public Health Modernization
October 24, 12:00 PT

Significant changes are taking place in public health administration, financing, and service delivery. Is your organization ready? In this session of Hot Topics in Practice, Public Health Director Dawn Emerick describes how a local health department in Oregon used change management principles to restructure their teams and services in advance of the state’s modernization efforts.

Mayo Clinic Equity and Inclusion in Healthcare Conference 2017

October 27-28 in Rochester, MN

This program is intended for both Mayo and external audiences interested in advancing health equity and diversity and inclusion in health care, including health care providers, social workers, nurses, individuals involved in talent acquisition and development such as hiring managers (HR professionals), supervisors, leadership and administrators, and diversity and inclusion practitioners.
Learn more

Compassion Fatigue
October 31, 10:00 am PT

Compassion fatigue is one of the biggest causes of burnout for individuals in the helping and healing professions. This Nuka course is designed to help those at risk to identify the causes and symptoms of compassion fatigue, and help them develop a set of tools to avoid burnout.
Register now

Evidence for Why All Health Professionals Should Support a Focus on Nutrition

November 1, 10:00 am PT

This session will introduce the life course perspective and T2E2 model, and explain how the science of nutrition provides strong evidence to support the life course perspective. It will include a discussion of how health professionals can support the inclusion of nutrition as a key focal point in care throughout the life course.


7th Annual Northwest Tribal Opiate Symposium

November 9 in Auburn, WA
The program will include: King County Opiate Task Force recommendations, a Tribal Medical Directors program overview, Washington state drug trends, and harm reduction.
Learn more

Venipuncture Techniques
November 15 and 20 in Seattle, WA

two half-day class featuring didactic and hands-on teaching. It instructs students in the basics of blood draw technique, including tourniquet tying, finding and preparing a suitable vein, appropriate blood tube use, proper materials disposal, and safety. This course is designed for health care workers who wish to develop or enhance phlebotomy skills.


Clinical STD Update

November 29 in 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

Clinical Perspectives of Transgender & Non-binary Health Care

January 19 in 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


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: EMT/MA/RN at Iliuliuk Family and Health Services, Inc.

Idaho: Medical Director at Valley Family Health Care

Oregon: Strategic Partnerships Manager at Northwest Human Services

Washington: Physician Assistant at International Community Health Services

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: Tanana Chiefs Conference Director of Public Safety describes how tribes are addressing opioid epidemic

Idaho: Heritage Health is working with the Northern Idaho Crisis Center to serve those with severe mental health issues

Oregon: One Community Health is sponsoring Gorge Happiness Month in October

Washington: International Community Health Services navigators teach health literacy in the community

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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