News & Updates

Resources for Dealing with Substance Abuse in PA is a community organization dedicated to empowering people suffering from substance abuse addiction with tools and resources to start their personal journey toward recovery.  You can learn more at

Public Health curated a series of guides that delves into earning a degree in public health, scholarship opportunities, and career pathways. Take a look below:

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.

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

USPSTF Recommendation Child and Adolescent Obesity Screening

July 2017

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a final recommendation statement on screening for obesity in children and adolescents. The Task Force recommends that clinicians screen for obesity in children and adolescents age six years and older and offer to refer them to comprehensive, intensive behavioral interventions to promote improvements in weight status. To view the recommendation and the evidence on which it is based, please click here.

State Health Profiles on HIV/AIDs, Hepatitis, STDs, TB

July 2017

The updated state health profiles that present an overview of the burden of HIV/AIDs, viral hepatitis, STDs, and TB in the United States have been released by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).  The profiles present the latest nationally representative data, as well as information about prevention and control programs that the CDC supports nationally and in each state.

In Your Hands: An Introduction to Skin Cancer for Outreach Workers

July 2017

Farmworker Justice’s newest publication, available in Spanish and English, provides basic information about skin cancer and how agricultural workers can protect themselves from sun exposure. Farmworker Justice is a BPHC-funded NCA.

USPSTF Posts Three Final Research Plans Around HIV Screening & Prevention

July 2017

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has posted three final research plans on topics related to HIV screening and prevention: Screening for HIV infection in asymptomatic, nonpregnant adolescents and adults; Screening for HIV infection in pregnant women; and Pre-exposure prophylaxis for the prevention of HIV infection.  The task force reviewed all the public comments on the draft plans and took them into consideration in finalizing the research plans above.

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

Impact to PA of Repealing the Affordable Care Act

February 2017

The Pennsylvania Health Funders Collaborative recently released a report intended to help the public and PA’s Congressional delegates understand what the impact of repeal of the Affordable Care Act (AC) would be to residents of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania’s economy, and hospitals. Fact sheets are provided for Pennsylvania, several large counties in Pennsylvania (where information is available), and all 18 Congressional Districts. Sources for information used to compile these fact sheets can be found in the back of the report.

Nurse Corp Loan Repayment Program Now Available to Free and Charitable Clinics Nursing Staff

February 2017

The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program is now available to Free and Charitable Clinics staff nurses, advance nurse practitioners, certified midwives, certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and nurse faculty who are employed for 32 hours a week at a Free and Charitable Clinic located in a health professional shortage area.

To help you identify if the Nurse Corp Loan Repayment Program is right for your nursing staff, please utilize the resources below:

  1. Find out if your clinic location or satellite location is in a designated Health Professional Shortage Area:
  2. A fact sheet on the Nurse Loan Repayment Program:
  3. A fact sheet about comparing the National Health Service Corps and the Nurse Corp Loan Repayment Program visit:
  4. Watch a pre-recorded webinar about the Nurse Corp Loan Repayment Program and how to apply:
  5. Application and Guidance for the Nurse Corp Loan Repayment Program:

A Toolkit to Help Implement CLAS Standards

February 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) contracted with National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) to develop a toolkit to help organizations implement National CLAS Standards and improve health equity through better health care access and delivery. A Practical Guide to Implementing the National CLAS Standards: For Racial, Ethnic and Linguistic Minorities, People with Disabilities and Sexual and Gender Minorities gives health care organizations, including health plans, provider practices and hospitals, states and communities—including health plans, provider practices and hospitals, states and communities—guidance for applying the National CLAS Standards.