Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Just the “FAQs”: Your Risk Management Questions, Answered

Join ECRI on March 1 or 2 for a FREE live webinar from the Clinical Risk Management Program on behalf of HRSA. ECRI staff will address health centers’ most frequently asked questions (FAQs) on how to get started on developing a risk management training plan, how to choose topics for training, how to manage procedural aspects of risk management and other specialty training, and more. Relevant resources will be provided, and strategies for getting started on challenging projects will be shared. Click on the desired date and time below to register.

·       Wednesday, March 2 – 3:00 pm

2022 Recommended Immunization Schedules Now Online

The 2022 ACIP Recommended Immunization Schedules were recently released. In collaboration with their healthcare partners, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated versions of the recommended U.S. immunization schedules for children and teens as well as for adults. Several additional formats of the schedules, including parent-friendly versions, are available on the newly redesigned and improved CDC Immunization Schedules website.

Sickle Cell Disease Community-Based Services and Support

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) Community-Based Services and Support (CBSS) funds two community-based organizations to provide CBSS to individuals and their families living with SCD: CareStar, Inc. and the Children’s Sickle Cell Foundation. The CBSS Program is designed to increase communication between individuals with SCD, their family and community supports and health care systems to improve collaboration as a unified team to improve health outcomes for the SCD community. View the CareStar, Inc. flyer and the Children’s Sickle Cell Foundation Flyer for more information.

Let’s Talk Webinar

Join the PA Immunization Coalition, the PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (PAAAP), and the American Cancer Society the week of HPV Awareness Day for a CME webinar focused on improving HPV vaccine rates. Register for the March 2, 1:00 -2:00 pm webinar to hear Dr. Danielle Casher, MD, MSHQ and cancer survivor Megan Lesar cover:

  • Current HPV data in PA and across the country
  • Safety of receiving an HPV vaccine and importance of preventing HPV-related cancer

Strategies to improve and encourage uptake as a provider communicating with patients

CDC Updates Guidance on Timing for Pfizer and Moderna Primary Series

This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added considerations for an 8-week interval between the first and second doses of a primary mRNA vaccine schedule for some patients.

They added the following language to their Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States webpage:


An 8-week interval may be optimal for some people ages 12 years and older, especially for males ages 12 to 39 years. A shorter interval (3 weeks for Pfizer-BioNTech; 4 weeks for Moderna) between the first and second doses remains the recommended interval for: people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised; adults ages 65 years and older; and others who need rapid protection due to increased concern about community transmission or risk of severe disease.


The webpage contains more details. It also links to Guidance for COVID-19 vaccination for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised (and require a 3-dose primary series).

Cybersecurity Risk Raises

Cybersecurity is always a concern, but that concern is now elevated. The Federal government has issued alerts about the increased potential for cyberattacks as tensions escalate between Russia and Ukraine. Experts agree that healthcare providers are a prime target for such attacks, as the on-going strains caused by the pandemic make them particularly vulnerable. Federal officials pointed specifically to concerns about spear-phishing email. Given these concerns, health centers are advised to “adopt a heightened posture when it comes to cybersecurity and protecting their most critical assets.”

National Health Service Corps Members & Alumni Invited to Join Pipeline Initiative

The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved is recruiting National Health Service Corps (NHSC) members and alumni interested in advising or mentoring in the NHSC Pipeline Readiness Technical Assistance Initiative. This program will help prepare NHSC pipeline participants to serve communities with longstanding health needs, building their resiliency and capacity to address root causes of health inequities. Sign up to join a committee, help with trainings, or mentor participants or contact ACU with questions.

UPMC and Harrisburg University to Open Nursing School

The Harrisburg branch of the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing is partnering with Harrisburg University of Science and Technology to open a branch this fall in downtown Harrisburg. The branch will offer an accelerated 16-month program to train registered nurses. Students will take non-nursing courses at Harrisburg U, take nursing courses from UPMC faculty, and do clinical rotations at UPMC Harrisburg and other UPMC facilities in the region. The program, which is open to the public, is expected to start with 200 students. Find more information here.

Registration Open for NACHC Training for New Clinical Directors

Registration is open for the upcoming virtual Training for New Clinical Directors. Join the next training March 8-10 to boost your career and elevate your leadership development. This training provides the core knowledge and addresses the core competencies that all health center Clinical Directors need to function as effective managers, leaders, and advocates for their health centers and communities. The comprehensive course package includes interactive learning, small group case study discussions, peer networking, follow-up resources, and a coaching program. Receive up to 11.5 elective CMECs from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) or CDECs from the National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA). For more information contact Katja Laepke at

Keynote Speaker Confirmed for PA Rural Recruitment Summit

David Schmitz, MD, the director of the University of North Dakota Family Medicine Residency and one of the creators of the Community Apgar Project, will be the keynote speaker for the Pennsylvania Rural Recruitment Summit. Co-sponsored by PACHC, the summit is happening April 20, 2022, at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College. Dr. Schmitz will speak about how communities can identify strengths and challenges related to recruiting critical healthcare professionals like family medicine physicians. The summit will bring together healthcare entities, clinicians, statewide organizations, and community leaders to listen and learn, together finding a path forward to ensure access to high quality and high value health care for rural Pennsylvanians. Registration is now open. Cost is $100 per person. You are encouraged to bring along leaders from your community. Contact Judd Mellinger-Blouch to find out about how you can encourage community leaders to attend, including a special discount arrangement.