News & Updates

New Toolkit from AHRQ Can Help Determine the Best Location for Everything from Isolation Rooms to Sinks

A new safety risk assessment toolkit from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) can help organizations design new or renovated facility environments that “support workflow, procedures, and capability while keeping patients and staff safe from harm.” The toolkit targets six areas of safety—infections, falls, medication errors, security, behavioral health, and patient handling—that are required by the Facility Guidelines Institute. It also addresses more than 200 potential environment considerations to take into account while constructing a building environment. AHRQ said the toolkit can also function as a quality check tool to prioritize risk and look for potential budgetary issues. An example of how the toolkit could be used, AHRQ said, is to help a design team examine staff workflow, patient treatment protocols, and room location when deciding where to place isolation rooms or sinks.

Engaging Patients and Families to Improve Patient Safety in Primary Care

The Guide to Improving Patient Safety by Engaging Patients and Families in Primary Care is a compilation of evidence-based best practices for improving patient safety through patient, family, and caregiver engagement. This comprehensive guide provides primary care practices with four strategies they can adopt to improve patient safety. The strategies have pair-tools for clinicians, practice staff, and patients and their families. A practice may choose to adopt one or all the strategies, which include: Teach-Back, Be Prepared to Be Engaged, Medication Management, and Warm Handoff. To learn more on these strategies and to access the guide, click here

Revision on Use of Hormonal Contraception Among Women at High Risk of HIV

Based on new scientific evidence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) is revising its recommendations on the use of hormonal contraceptives among women at high risk for HIV.  It includes progestin-only injectable users. The CDC has updated it from a US MEC Category 1 (no restrictions) to Category 2 (benefits outweigh theoretical or proven risks) medication.  You can read the full report and learn more about US Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2016 (US MEC) and get downloads and other resources.  Continuing education is available for this report

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has published“Use of Silver Diamine Fluoride for Dental Caries Management in Children and Adolescents, Including Those with Special Health Care Needs.”
This manuscript presents evidence-based guidance on the use of 38 percent silver diamine fluoride (SDF) for dental caries management in children and adolescents, including those with special health care needs.  A guideline workgroup formed by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry developed guidance and an evidence-based recommendation regarding the application of 38 percent SDF to arrest caveated caries lesions in primary teeth.

Annual Flu Season Resources
The CDC’s 2017-2018 FIGHT FLU Digital Campaign Toolkit is now available! This reference contains print-ready materials, messages to share via newsletters and social media, and Web resources. The toolkit content targets the general public, patients, and providers. Flu can be a serious illness for even healthy people—make vaccination recommendations to your patients today!

AMA Article on Value of Free Clinics

The July 26, 2017 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association includes an article entitled “Half-century After “Summer of Love,” Free Clinics Still Play Vital Role” which describes the development of the first free clinic in 1967 in San Francisco and how, despite the efforts of the Affordable Care Act, the free clinic model is still a much needed part of our nation’s health care safety net.

Rubin, free clinics, JAMA, 2017

Free Healthy Woman Program Training

May 2017

The Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute has received a grant from the PA Dept. of Health – Healthy Woman Program to increase the number of women (50 years and older) who get recommended breast and cervical cancer screenings, with a special focus on Hispanic and African American women and women who reside in RURAL areas of Pennsylvania.  This training is specifically designed for the Healthy Woman Program partners in response to public education and targeted outreach (PETO)requirements.

They are offering trainings in different locations within Pennsylvania so organizations and practices can learn about these issues and increase the number of women who get breast and cervical cancer screenings.  The workshops will include “Patient Navigation” tools and techniques to accomplish our goals.  Training dates, locations and times:


Thursday, June 8 – Family Health Council of Central PA, 3461 Market Street, Suite 303, Boardroom, Camp Hill, PA                               Registration: 9:30 – 10 AM. Meeting: 10 AM – 3:00 PM

Tuesday, June 13 – Maternal & Family Health Services, 15 Public Square, Suite 600,  Conference Room, Wilkes-Barre, PA      Registration: 9:30 – 10 AM. Meeting: 10 AM – 3:00 PM


Next FCAP Webinar – May 10th at 3 p.m.

May 2017

Americares will host the next FCAP Webinar on Wednesday, May 10th and provide information on their Medication Adherence Texting Program.   In collaboration with CareMessage and with product support from AstraZeneca, this program has a goal of increasing the medication adherence of a cohort of patients with high cholesterol across five free clinics. Americares uses CareMessage’s text messaging program to send patients adherence messaging with general education and disease self-management content to promote positive behavior changes.  To register for this event use the following link:

The day of the event – if you haven’t pre-registered, use this link to access the webinar:

Next FCAP Webinar – Weds April 12th 3 pm

April 2017

Care Message will be presenting during the next FCAP Webinar on Weds, April 12th at 3 p.m.  They will provide an overview of their text messaging services, as well as examples of how free and charitable clinics are utilizing their services to improve patient care.  Join the webinar from your computer, tablet or smartphone at  You can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (872) 240-3412.  Access Code: 189-995-341.

PA Coalition for Oral Health Listserve

March 2017

As a result of the PA Oral Health Workforce Innovation Summit held last fall, the PCOH has created a listserv email to exchange ideas and share events, initiatives, questions, and other oral health news among our members and others dedicated toward improving oral health across Pennsylvania. The listserv is open to anyone with a vested interest in PA Oral Health.

Subscribe today at

Next PA Dept of Health Public Health 3.0 Meeting

March 2017

Public Health 3.0 Moving Health Forward

Join the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Partner Organizations for a conversation about how various sectors at the community- and state-level can collaborate to improve health outcomes in a time of uncertainty and limited resources. The meeting will be held

Monday, March 27th

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Penn State Schuylkill

200 University Drive

Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

Lunch will be served.   To register:

For questions contact: Stephanie Rovito at

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March 2017

Reach the Unscreened This Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
This Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, check out the 80% by 2018 Communications Guidebook: Recommended Messaging to Reach the Unscreened. Using new market research from the American Cancer Society, it is designed to help educate, empower, and mobilize key audiences who are not getting screened for colorectal cancer. It includes templates, tools, and customized resources to reach unscreened audiences.

LGBT Health Awareness Week

March 2017

LGBT Health Awareness Week

National LGBT Awareness Week is March 27-31, 2017 and is designed to promote LGBT health and bring awareness to the unique health care needs of the LGBT community.  The National LGBT Health Education Center has a variety of posters and brochures that can help, including Do Ask, Do Tell, New SO/GI Questions, and Do It Daily.  The site also offers 30 on-demand webinars that offer free CME/CEU credit.