Thursday, April 23, 2015

FREE Community Workshop: Creating Healthy Relationships in Families (English and Spanish)

Healthy Minds, Healthy Families

Saturday, May 9
9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Workshop begin promptly at 9:30 am

Breakfast and Lunch Provided

Intermountain Medical Center
Doty Education Center - Bldg 6
5121 S Cottonwood Street
(West of State Street)

Trax stop- Murray Center
Drawing for $50 gift cards

For more information  

Salt Lake County; Making the Active Choice Easier for Tongan Americans

Nearly a quarter of the 60,000 Tongan Americans in the United States live in Salt Lake County, Utah. In the late 2000s, the Utah Health Department found the Pacific Islander population had the highest rates of obesity in the state, and that obesity rates for Tongan Americans specifically were on the rise. 
The Salt Lake City-based National Tongan American Society (NTAS) took action to help Tongans who wanted to improve their health, but couldn’t afford gym memberships, access exercise equipment, or find affordable group activities.

NTAS’ research in 2013 led them to shared use, which occurs when government entities or other organizations open up their recreation facilities for community use. It seemed like a cost-effective way to create opportunities for physical activity. “We didn’t know where to start. Our internet search for ‘shared use’ led us straight to ChangeLab Solutions,” said Fahina Tavake-Pasi, Executive Director of NTAS. 

With ChangeLab Solutions’ help, NTAS developed a shared use agreement to help six churches, five schools, and one community center open up their playgrounds, tennis courts, and gymnasiums. Trained coaches volunteered to teach classes, and NTAS promoted the open locations and programs on billboards and online. Church-hosted Zumba classes have been especially popular among people of all ages and ethnicities; some classes have up to 140 participants!

Read the whole story to learn more about how NTAS made shared use a reality in Salt Lake County. Contact ChangeLab Solutions to learn more about shared use or to receive technical assistance.

ChangeLab Solutions

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Attention Health Professionals: Information Regarding the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015

MLN Connects - Special Edition
On April 14 , 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015; the President is expected to sign it shortly.  This law eliminates the negative update of 21% scheduled to take effect as of April 1, 2015, for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.   In addition, provisions allowing for exceptions to the therapy cap, add-on payments for ambulance services, payments for low volume hospitals, and payments for Medicare dependent hospitals that expired on April 1 have been extended.  CMS will immediately begin work to implement these provisions.
In an effort to minimize financial effects on providers, CMS previously instituted a 10-business day processing hold for all impacted claims with dates of service April 1, 2015, and later.  While the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) have been instructed to implement the rates in the legislation, a small volume of claims will be processed at the reduced rate based on the negative update amount.   The MACs will automatically reprocess claims paid at the reduced rate with the new payment rate.  
No action is necessary from providers who have already submitted claims for the impacted dates of service. 

Junior League "Free" Dental Clinic

Saturday, April 25

At Horizonte Training Center 
1234 S Main Street, Salt Lake City
From 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Services: Cleanings, Flouride Treatments, Sealants

Limited number of spaces available.
First come, first served. Please arrive early.

This event is provided at no cost by 
Junior League of Salt Lake City and sponsors.

For more information, contact

One last chance: Get 2015 coverage

The Special Enrollment Period ends next week.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is providing individuals and families who paid the fee for not having health coverage when they filed their 2014 taxes with one last chance to get covered for 2015. 
Get covered, avoid the fee. The fee for people who don’t have health coverage increases in 2015 to $325 per person or 2% of your household income – whichever is greater. The good news is you have until April 30 to learn about the options and financial assistance that is available and to enroll in a plan that meets your needs.
hcgov get coverage with arrow

Join the millions who are saving: 8 out of 10 people can find coverage for $100 or less a month with tax credits through the Marketplace.  
We hope you take advantage of this extended opportunity to get quality coverage this year.
The Team

Monday, April 20, 2015

You're invited to Admit One With Courage (Apr 28, 2015)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM (MDT)
Megaplex Theatres at Jordan Commons
9400 South State Street
Sandy, UT 84070

View Map
Attend Event
You are invited to launch One With Courage Utah, a partnership between Utah Child and Family Services and the Attorney General's Office to raise awareness of child sexual abuse. 

  • 8:30 am - Continental breakfast and informal meet-and-greet with survivors, advocates, and community partners With Courage 
  • 9:00 - 10:00 am - One With Courage Program, including the first screening of One With Courage PSAs and a special musical performance by Deondra and Desirae Brown of The 5 Browns

Protecting children is the responsibility of every adult. One With Courage is a campaign that provides adults with the tools they need to keep Utah's children safe from sexual abuse. 

You are welcome to invite your friends With Courage to this special event, but please make sure they register through Eventbrite. 

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Friday, April 17, 2015

FDA Celebrates 30 Years of Advancing Health Equity

April is Minority Health Month! I am proud to say that FDA’s Office of Minority Health (OMH), in collaboration with  the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Minority Health, is celebrating this year’s theme: “30 Years of Advancing Health Equity, The Heckler Report: A Force for Ending Health Disparities in America.” For us at FDA, this year also marks the 5th anniversary of OMH, which serves as the principal advisor to the Commissioner on minority health and health disparities.
Jonca Bull, M.D., Director of FDA’s Office of Minority Health
The Heckler Report was a major, ground breaking document that transformed HHS’s views and actions on minority health. For the first time in history, representatives from each agency convened to talk about minority health and, more importantly, put forth recommendations to achieve health equity. Findings illustrated huge disparities between African Americans and other minorities compared to the population at large for key health indicators, such as life expectancy and infant mortality. Key recommendations relevant to FDA’s mission centered around health information and education, cooperative efforts (inside and outside of the government), health professions development, data development, and developing a research agenda.
  • Work with Industry to increase diversity in clinical trials;
  • Work with minority serving institutions and organizations to implement strategies and programs to improve regulatory science (specific to minorities);
  • Provide platforms for stakeholders to become informed and involved about our work; and,
  • Host and promote mentoring programs to encourage minorities to stay in scientific and academic careers.

Let’s stroll down memory lane and recap FDA’s activities that resulted from the Heckler report.
Health Information and Education
FDA has developed numerous outreach activities to improve consumer education and access to health information by utilizing the best cultural and linguistic practices to reach diverse minority populations. Hosting symposiums and webinars, participating in conferences, exhibiting in health fairs, and creating consumer educational materials are just some of the activities FDA has carried out to raise awareness and educate the public. Most recently, OMH has created a social media presence on Twitter and Pinterest, and maintains an active listserve with a quarterly newsletter. One of our most successful outreach campaigns has been the “Heart Health Toolkit” for American Heart Month, which reached over 6,000 people in February.
Our most recent consumer outreach occurred on March 25th via a webinar on how the public can respond to requests for comments on regulatory proposals and public health issues by using FDA dockets.
Cooperative Efforts/Health Professions Development
OMH embraces the notion that protecting the public’s health cannot be done in isolation. We have focused on four areas to improve stakeholder relations:
Data Development and Research Agenda
We have a robust research agenda that focuses on advancing regulatory science related to eliminating health disparities. The agenda consists of various intramural and extramural grant programs, giving preference to minority-serving institutions. FDA also promotes and funds research that aims to increase the quantity, and improve the quality, of data on minorities, and to make these efforts transparent to the public.
In short: FDA has been and will continue to be committed to narrowing the health disparities gap. OMH will continue our legacy of creating culturally and linguistically tailored tools, materials, and resources for minority communities to increase their awareness and understanding of FDA’s mission and of the products that FDA regulates, increase their participation in clinical trials, and increase diversity in the workforce. This ensures better representation in the workforce, and most importantly: better health for all minorities!
More information about specific programs can be found on our website.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

HHS: Medicare spending $316 billion less

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an analysis that finds Medicare spending between 2009 and 2013 was approximately $316 billion lower than what it would have been if the average growth rate for 2000 to 2008 had continued through 2013.

“We’re very pleased to see that cumulative Medicare spending from 2009 through 2013 was $316 billion less than it would have been if 2000 – 2008 growth rates had continued,” said Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “This is a good result for the taxpayer and our economy. We are also spending our dollars more wisely and improving the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries.  Using tools in the Affordable Care Act, we are changing  the nation’s health care delivery system to one that achieves better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.”

Link to ASPE Report:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Navigator Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Released

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a funding opportunity for organizations and individuals to operate as Navigators in Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs), including State Partnership Marketplaces (SPMs).  As they did have done over the past two years, and as they are doing now, Navigators will continue to assist consumers in various ways, including providing information about available coverage options through the Marketplace during open enrollment. 
Navigators have been an important resource for the millions of Americans who enrolled in coverage over the past two years. This funding announcement ensures this important work will continue over the next three years in states with a FFM, including during Marketplace open enrollment periods.
Key Changes
This year’s FOA creates a multi-year funding structure. The 2015 FOA expands the period of performance, or project period, from 12 months to 36 months. The multi-year grant award will have a funding period of one year and subsequent years will be funded incrementally based on funding availability. This change is designed to provide greater consistency for Navigator grantee organizations and their staff from year to year, reducing yearly start up time and providing for a more efficient use of grant funds.
In addition, the 2015 FOA places a greater emphasis on re-enrollment activities and consumers enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace. Applicants are encouraged to explain how they will assist persons seeking to re-enroll in coverage through Marketplaces and how they will assist consumers with applications for coverage available through the Marketplace and selection, including renewal of a QHP. The 2015 FOA also places a greater emphasis on working with underserved populations. This year applicants are encouraged to demonstrate a focus on rural, underserved, vulnerable, or special needs populations or communities, and a commitment to serve these populations or communities. 
Application and Award Information
HHS will award up to $67,000,000 to recipients across all service areas of FFMs (including SPMs).
Key Dates for Pre-Application Calls:
First callWednesday, April 29, 2015 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time

  • Webcast title: Navigator Funding Opportunity Announcement Pre-Application Webinar 4-29-15
  • Webcast title: Navigator Funding Opportunity Announcement Pre-Application Webinar 5-6-15
  • Webcast title: Navigator Funding Opportunity Announcement Pre-Application Webinar 5-20-15
  • Webcast title: Navigator Funding Opportunity Announcement Pre-Application Webinar 6-3-15

Second callWednesday, May 6, 2015 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Third call: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 from 11:00am-12:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Fourth call: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Letter of Intent to Apply (required) Due: June 3, 2015
Applications Due: June 15, 2015, by 1:00pm ET
Anticipated Award Date: September 2, 2015
At least $600,000 in total cooperative agreement funds will be available for each FFM (including SPM) service area. Small entities and individuals proposing to serve smaller, hard-to-reach or underserved populations are encouraged to apply, particularly by partnering with other entities and/or individuals to form a consortium which serves a larger total portion of the population. 
To see the FOA for the Cooperative Agreement to Support Navigators in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces go to and search for CFDA 93.332.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Only 1 day left until the tax filing deadline

The Tax Deadline and Your Coverage

April 15 is the deadline to file your taxes. There is only 1 day left!
HCGOV Marketplace HeaderIf you owe a fee on your taxes for not having health coverage in 2014 and don’t yet have health coverage for 2015, you may still be able to get covered for 2015. The Health Insurance Marketplace is providing individuals and families who need to pay the fee when they file their 2014 taxes with one last chance to get covered for 2015.
This is too important to put off. If you don’t have coverage for the remainder of 2015 you’ll risk having to pay the fee again next year. The fee for people who don’t have coverage increases in 2015 to $325 per person or 2% of your household income – whichever is greater.

hcgov get coverage with arrow

Don’t miss out on potential savings:  Millions of people have already signed up, and 8 out of 10 can find coverage for $100 or less a month with tax credits through the Marketplace.
We hope you take advantage of this extended opportunity to get quality coverage this year.
The Team

Now Is the Time to Answer the Call

At a commemorative event two years ago, I heard a historian say that history is not a steady stream of events, but rather a series of punctuation points, like ripples from stones tossed into water. I believe that we are at the cusp of just such a punctuation point today as we commemorate National Minority Health Month and the 30th anniversary of the landmark Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Black and Minority Health (also known as the Heckler Report).  
The Heckler Report marked the first time the U.S. government convened a group of health experts to conduct a comprehensive study of the health status of minorities. This legacy health equity tome elevated minority health onto a national stage and continues to serve as a driving force for the monumental changes in research, policies, programs and legislation to end health disparities in America. Read the full blog post.
J Nadine Gracia
J. Nadine Gracia, MD MSCE, Deputy Assistance Secretary for Minority Health , HHS OMH Director

Monday, April 13, 2015

Utah’s Own Health Exchange Has Doubled Enrollment Since 2012

By Andrea Smardon,

More small Utah businesses are turning to the state-based health insurance marketplace known as Avenue H to offer healthcare benefits to employees.

As of March this year, 612 Utah businesses were using Avenue H to provide health coverage to almost 12,900 people. That’s more than double the number enrolled three years ago. Patty Conner, director of Avenue H, says Utah’s small group exchange is a success story.

“I mean a lot of people didn’t think that the marketplaces would get a lot of traction especially on the small business side, and we have proven here in Utah that we can,” Conner says. “The numbers have always continued to grow month over month, and we’re doing much better than other small business marketplaces across the United States.”

Conner says there are 14 states running their own exchanges, and most of them are reporting less than 100 small business groups enrolled. She says Utah had a head start when it rolled out its marketplace back in 2010, and awareness of the program has been key to its success. Jason Stevenson of Utah Health Policy Project says Avenue H provides more options for insurance in the state.

“You know, I think Avenue H has been able to corner a market here in Utah that really needed some assistance, and that is companies that want to offer health insurance to their employees. They want to be competitive in that market and are looking for ways to make it more affordable,” Stevenson says.

Avenue H currently provides a choice of 75 different health plans to businesses with 50 employees or less. Employers of this size are not mandated to offer health insurance, but clearly more are making the choice to do so. In a recent market survey conducted by Cicero Group in Utah, about three quarters of small business employers said offering health insurance to their employees is very important.


By Phil Sahm, University of Utah Health Sciences Public Affairs

A modest program begun 35 years ago to help aspiring Utah students become dentists came full circle on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, with the grand opening of the new home of the University of Utah School of Dentistry — the Ray and Tye Noorda Oral Health Sciences Building.

Named for two Utah philanthropists whose kindness and vision were critical to the project’s success, the $36 million, 85,000-square-foot Research Park building provides advanced facilities for dentistry students, patients and faculty:
  • 62 dental operatories
  • Pediatric dentistry suite
  • Oral surgery suite
  • 100-seat auditorium
  • Three 50-seat tiered classrooms
  • Two 52-seat laboratories
  • Offices for faculty and staff
  • Expansive reception area
The School of Dentistry opened in 2013, joining the professional schools of pharmacy, nursing, health and medicine to complete the University’s offering of every aspect of a health sciences education. Opening the new building isn’t the end of the journey but rather the start of a new phase to train outstanding dentists, foster important research and work with the state’s diverse populations and dentists as a partner to ensure good oral health, according to Vivian S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., senior vice president for health sciences.

The SOD also will serve as a resource for Utah dentists in ways ranging from providing meeting space to assisting in continuing education.

The grand opening celebration took place on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, with the ribbon cutting, reception and open house. Building tours were also offered. The Ray and Tye Noorda Oral Health Sciences Building is located at 530 S. Wakara Way in Research Park adjacent to the University of Utah.

Read entire article at

Drop, Cover, and Hold On: ShakeOut 2015

The Great Utah ShakeOut, the largest emergency drill of its kind in our State, will soon be upon us. Mark your calendars for April 16 at 10:15 am.
 Displaying This is the fourth year the Utah Division of Emergency Management (DEM) and Be Ready Utah have sponsored the ShakeOut! And, the Utah Department of Health is asking you to participate. The wellness councils at each UDOH building will be putting up posters and instructions. You will be notified of the drill via a UNIS alert which is your cue to Drop, Cover, and Hold On!
  • Signing up allows people to be counted with more than 700,000 Utahns who are already participating.
  • At 10:15 a.m., pretend an earthquake is happening by practicing the earthquake actions of drop, cover and hold on for two minutes.
  • Then, take some time to review your emergency kit supplies, emergency plans or evacuation procedures.
  • Share your experience on social media with the hashtag #ShakeOut. 
UDOH April newsletter

2015 State of Utah Managers Conference: Soaring to Success

Register for the 2015 State of Utah Managers Conference: Soaring to Success by April 30 to secure your spot.  This conference will be a great opportunity for public managers to network across agencies and re-energize for the tasks ahead.

  • Hear inspiring messages from world-famous
    ​​extreme adventurer​, Steph Davis​, as she addresses embracing risk, overcoming setbacks, and finding trust in oneself​.​

  • Conclude the conference with a BANG when Nathan Osmond, country musician and leadership award-winner, presents “Leadership in Action.”

For more information on time, pricing, and registration, please visit the Employee Gateway.  Any further questions may directed to Gary Schow at

**Certified Public Managers (CPM) students are eligible for five elective credits.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Office of Minority Health (OMH) FY 2015 Funding Opportunity Announcements

Office of Minority Health (OMH) FY 2015 Funding Opportunity Announcements
OMH at the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) administers grant programs to support projects that implement innovative models to improve minority health and reduce health disparities. OMH currently has four funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for which applications are being accepted: 
  • HHS/Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), OMH: National Health Education Program on Lupus Grant. Deadline is May 18, 2015. Learn more.
  • HHS/OASH, OMH: National Workforce Diversity Pipeline Program. Deadline is May 18, 2015. Learn more.
  • HHS/OASH, OMH: Partnerships to Increase Coverage in Communities (PICC) II Initiative Grant. Deadline is May 22, 2015. Learn more.
  • HHS/OASH, OMH: State Partnership Initiative to Address Health Disparities Grant. Deadline is May 24, 2015. Learn more.
Federal Grants
  • US Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration: Face Forward 3-Intermediary and Community Grants. Deadline is April 23, 2015. Learn more.
  • HHS/National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI): Summer Institute for Research Education in Biostatistics (R25). Deadline for letters of intent is May 1, 2015. Learn more.
  • HHS/NIH, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID): Investigations on Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases (R01). Deadline is May 7, 2015. Learn more
  • HHS/Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) Partnerships with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). Deadline is May 26, 2015. Learn more
Non-Federal Grants
  • Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene/Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHHD): FY 2016 Minority Outreach and Technical Assistance (MOTA) Grant. Deadline is April 27, 2015. Learn more.  
  • Action for Healthy Kids: School Grants for Healthy Kids. Two opportunities available: 2015-2016 School Breakfast Grants and the 2015-2016 Every Kid Healthy Grants. Deadline is May 1, 2015. Learn more
Scholarships / Fellowships
  • Columbia University, in collaboration with the American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship Program: Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program. Deadline is April 15, 2015. Learn more.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

CDC Releases a New Vital Signs Report: Preventing Teen Pregnancy

Preventing Teen Pregnancy: A Key Role for Health Care Providers

Join CDC subject matter experts and other public health professionals for a town hall teleconference onTuesday, April 14, 2015 2:00–3:00 pm (EDT)
Dial in (USA only): 800-857-0764   Passcode: 7954413
Teen Pregnancy
Teen births continue to decline in the U.S., but still more than 273,000 infants were born to teens ages 15 to 19 in 2013. Childbearing during the teen years can carry health, economic, and social costs for mothers and their children.
The good news is that more teens are waiting to have sex, and of those who are sexually active, nearly 90 percent used birth control the last time they had sex. Data show that teens most often use condoms and birth control pills which, when not used consistently and correctly, are less effective for preventing pregnancy. According to this month’s Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, increasing access to Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) is one way to further reduce teen pregnancy.

The Great Utah ShakeOut April 16, 2015

Millions of people worldwide practice how to

Utahns can join them by registering today for the Great Utah ShakeOut. The next Utah ShakeOut Day of Action will be April 16, 2015, though you can register to hold your ShakeOut drill on any day of the year. Participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes –

wherever you live, work, or travel. ShakeOut is also a major activity of America's Prepare Athon!