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Association Highlights from 2022

The Association saw substantial growth, innovation, and accomplishments in the last quarter of 2022. This included expanding our career pathways programs, hosting several learning events, securing state investments in community health centers – and several other accomplishments highlighted below. Interested in learning more about what we do? Check out our website and watch for news on our blog.

Learning & Innovation

  • Eight Learning Network Sessions: Our peer learning groups convene health center staff from a variety of disciplines to strengthen health center capacity to provide healthcare access, innovation, and value. These sessions also allow for the sharing of feedback that informs Association activities, policies, advocacy, and training programs. In Q4, we hosted eight learning network sessions including a total of 110 attendees from Community Health Centers across the state. Learn more about the learning networks we offer and how to get involved.

  • Ten Learning Events: Focusing on meeting statewide and regional needs based on annual Training and Technical Need Assessments, the Association hosted 10 training events in Q4 including a total of 149 attendees from Community Health Centers and 160 non-CHC attendees. These trainings included building skills to address HIV stigma and implicit bias, and to facilitate referrals with ask-offer-ask. They included collaborations with partners such as Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, the Immigrant and Refugee Health Alliance, WA Department of Health, and the Mountain West AETC Recordings of these and other learning events are available on our website.

  • Colonoscopy Outreach for Rural Communities: We partnered with the UW Dept. of Family Medicine in support of a National Cancer Institute grant to study patient navigation as a method of increasing rates of colonoscopy completion among rural patients with positive fecal immunochemical tests (FIT). Our staff assists patients in understanding the purpose of CRC testing, helps to address their barriers, ensures patients are informed of options, and helps them schedule and prepare for colonoscopy appointments. In Q4, we had an average caseload of 20 patients and recruitment is ongoing.

  • Annual Training & Technical Needs Assessment: In partnership with NWRPCA, OPCA, APCA, and ICHCA, the Association surveyed 76 individuals from 31 organizations, including 66 respondents from 22 Washington FQHCs. The data collected in this survey is used to plan and assess training needs across Washington state as well as regionally. Watch our upcoming trainings section to see how these results shape our future offerings! Have a specific training need that isn’t yet represented? Email us to make a request!

  • Two New Staff: As part of our strategic growth plan, we hired 2 new team members. Kittanya Azrael, Member Engagement & Training Coordinator, provides technical and administrative expertise in planning, implementing, and documenting learning events and other member-facing activities. Cathy Lackey, Care Improvement Coordinator, serves as key contact for clinical leadership and staff, focused on supporting comprehensive and integrated clinical services at our member health centers. Learn more about our staff and view our job openings.

Career Pathways

  • New Funding for Apprenticeships: In the fall of 2022, the In-Reach Training Program received funding from the Siemens Foundation and the WA Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). The Siemens Foundation partnership allows In-Reach to develop new apprenticeship tracks, expand support services for students, and expand partnerships with additional states. The state L&I grant offsets expenses including equipment, supplies, textbooks, and exam costs. Thank you to these partners for your support of the community health care workforce in Washington!

  • 149 MA Apprentices: The Registered Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program is a 12-month program that prepares students to take the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) test through the National Healthcareer Association. The In-REACH team enrolled 149 apprentices this quarter. That makes a total of 406 MA apprentices enrolled in 2022! Check out our MA Apprenticeship Overview for more program information.

  • DA Training Program: The DA Training Program prepares students to work as registered dental assistants in the state of Washington. Over 12 months, students complete 39 modules of online coursework while learning skills on-the-job. The In-REACH team enrolled 10 trainees in the November Cohort. View our program overview and informational slide deck for more program information.

  • BH Apprenticeship: The In-Reach team launched the first round of behavioral health cohorts in October, enrolling 14 apprentices in the Substance Use Disorder Professional program and 6 in the Peer Counselor Apprenticeship. If you are interested in bringing our workforce trainings to your organization, contact us for information about becoming an approved training agent, consulting, or licensing our curriculum.

  • Service Area Map: In-REACH continues to grow! We created a map to help display the different training options and states we are established in. As of Q4, our career pathways programs are available in 4 states and we have provided consultation to programs in an additional 5 states.

  • Wage & Retention Survey: We completed our annual Wage & Retention Survey for the MA Apprenticeship program. This data includes information about average wages and job retention for apprenticeship alumni. In total, we received data from 26 out of 45 employers. All employers who participated received a one-page summary of their results. These results are now available to view.

Policy & Advocacy

  • Nearly $25 Million in COVID-19 Relief. During the 2022 legislative session, our advocacy alongside CHC partners secured $24.6 million in COVID-19 relief for qualifying health centers.

  • $5 Million to Expand Dental Access. One of our other primary legislative asks in 2022 was $5.2 million in capital funds for dental clinic expansions. The legislature funded this request, which will eventually allow for an additional 59,000 dental appointments across the state. The community health centers receiving this funding are: Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic (Kennewick), Peninsula Community Health Services (Bremerton), Family Health Center (Omak) and Community Health Care (Puyallup).

  • 340B Protections. We fought and won protection of savings from the 340B drug benefit program, despite implementation of HIV, Cystic Fibrosis, and oncology drug carveout from managed care. CHCs use 340B savings to provide personalized pharmacy care and care management, as well as expanding whole-patient services including dental, behavioral health, and others.

  • Legislative Champions. In 2022, we launched the CHC Legislative Champion Program, recognizing key state legislative allies with awards.

  • New Policy Committee. The policy team launched the Association Policy & Advocacy Committee (APAC), which includes leaders from CHCs who provide insight and expertise on state and federal policy issues related to community health care deliver in our state.

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