We Want to Hear from YOU!

The NACHC Community Health Institute (CHI) provides an invaluable opportunity for networking between those in the health center community, those who study health centers, those who fund health center related research, and those who publish health center relevant research. As such, CHI serves as the ideal place to bring research related to health centers to the field, and serves as a forum where new research ideas can be deliberated.

The Community Health Institute (CHI) is THE largest gathering of health center clinicians, executive directors, State and Regional Primary Care partners, board members and advocates on record. This event focuses on the latest in state and federal government policies effecting Community Health Centers and health care for millions of Americans. Presenting a workshop or poster at the CHI will provide you with a forum to share your work, find other centers with similar needs and interest, deliberate over new ideas, and facilitate the creation of new partnerships.

This is a great opportunity to share your emergency management promising practices, experiences, or accomplishments.  Visit this website to submit your abstract.  For questions, please contact Narine Hovnanian, Meetings Coordinator at nhovnanian@nachc.com.  All submissions are due May 3, 2013.

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week

As a massive winter storm moves across a large swath of the country, this week seems very timely!   Launched by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this week is focused on improving preparedness for disruptive weather events at the personal, family, and community levels.

There are a few ways to commemorate this week, including two webinars and making a pledge:

Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction

Host:  Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity / CDC 

Date: Thursday, March 7, 2013; 2:00 – 3:00 PM (EDT)

Call Number: 888-469-0502 Passcode: 3543931

Preparing for Severe Spring Weather

Host: Agility Recovery 

Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2013; 2:00 – 3:00 PM (EDT)

Pledge to Prepare – Be a Force of Nature and Pledge to Prepare!

Take some time to learn about your risks, the preparedness in your community, and review your own plans to help you ‘weather’ the weather!

Webinar: FQHCs & Public Health Emergencies

Federally Qualified Health Centers & Public Health Emergencies – Opportunities and Challenges for Collaborating with State & Local Public Health:  Please join the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) for this hour-long webinar. The webinar will provide a brief overview of the functioning of federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), highlight collaborative efforts between health departments and FQHCs, such as the community partnership that formed in Boston during the 2012-2013 flu season, and explore opportunities for future partnerships between public health and FQHCs.

To join the webinar, just follow this link: http://naccho.adobeconnect.com/fqhcprep/

Resources for Coping with Sandy Hook Shootings

By: Mollie Melbourne

As we all struggle with the sadness, grief, and shock over the school shooting in Newtown, CT on December 14, here are some resources to help talk to children and adults about this event:

Community Health Centers, Inc: Dr. Tim Kearney, Chief Behavioral Health Officer, of this Connecticut-based health centers offers guidance for talking to children about this event.

Sesame Street: Sesame Street developed Here for Each Other, a resource that includes tips, ideas, and activities. In these pages, you’ll find ways to talk with your child about what happened while remaining hopeful for better things to come.

National Institute of Mental Health: Here is a guide to help parents support their children following violence and disasters.

National Network of Libraries of Medicine: Here you will find tips for talking to children, information on the psychological impact of this event, guidance around media coverage, and more.

National Association of County and City Health Officials – Local health departments prepare communities for disasters and respond when emergencies occur. They also work closely with community partners such as school boards, school nurses and psychologists, mental health professionals, and social workers to recover from a crisis and to prevent future tragedies from occurring. Below are some resources to share with community partners and families to aid in their recovery.

The Learning Network (New York Times): On this site, you will find some ideas and resources for addressing the news, in the classroom or at home. This is also a forum on which people can share how they are confronting this event with children, and they invite students 13 and older to contribute their thoughts and reactions to a special related Student Opinion post.

The National Disaster Distress Helpline: Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746. The recent shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, continues to bring out strong emotions across the Nation. The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the many issues and problems that might arise from this tragedy. Our texting service also is available to Spanish speakers. Text “Hablanos” to 66746 for 24/7 emotional support. TTY for Deaf/Hearing Impaired: 1-800-846-8517

Save the Children: Learn about the 10 tips to help children cope with a crisis here as well as how this organization responded to the needs of Newtown right after the event.

American Psychological Association: Here you will find guidance on how to take care your of child and take care of yourself.

National Association of School Psychologists: Get some good advice on how to help children here.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

— Mister Rogers

Trick or Treat?

By: Mollie Melbourne

In the midst of carving pumpkins, buying candy, and putting the finishing touches on Halloween costumes, many people from Virginia to Maine are also watching the weather closely as Hurricane Sandy makes her way northward.  It’s too soon to know exactly what weather will accompany the ghosts and goblins on Halloween, but it’s not too soon to look at your preparedness at home and at work.

Take the next few days to review your plan, make sure contact information is up to date, clarify expectations about staff coming to work, define your trigger for re-scheduling patients and closing your facility, and encourage your staff to update their personal plan.  Take a look at your emergency supplies at home and work and fill in your kit where needed.  Even if Sandy decides to treat us rather than trick us, these efforts will not be wasted.

Stay up to date with the latest forecast on the National Hurricane Center website.  And visit Ready.gov for great personal preparedness plan templates, resources for business continuity planning, and solid advice for hurricane preparedness.