The pending New Access Point grant opportunity(ies) are creating quite a stir for health centers here in California. Many have been waiting for a long time either with rejected applications to revamp and resubmit, or with new identified needs and directions that are community-engaged. Whatever the case may be, what is your plan? Are you going to go for it regardless of how unique or replicable your program is? Does your CEO expect a miracle? Are you all over this and have begun doing the hard work of making relationships and developing partnerships?
I feel like health centers really need to be thoughtful of their work and focus. They need to think it through before they apply. I know – you don’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket. But with the limited funds and time most health centers operate under, is it really the right thing to do to “go for it” regardless? I can’t answer that question for you or your health center, but I can answer it for me as a consultant who will be asked to write many of these.
In the past, all health centers that had the gumption would submit a grant and we would take our clients from those who ask us to help. If you asked, and it was humanly possible, I would help. But this round it will be different, and I even have more capacity than I have ever had. I will be assessing each health center’s proposed program and making selective decisions as to the NAPs my team will write. My goal is to write those that are truly based upon need, the patients, a plan, and that are fully developed. I will be establishing criteria from the released Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for selecting the health centers that we will work with and then making the hard calls. I have already started just from the preliminary information we have compiled through consideration of BPHC’s focus and budget documentation. For instance, the health centers we will work with will have to have a veterans’ program or focus, must have identifiable and significant need, and cannot be a proposed site (must be open or ready to open).
And then there’s the special populations applications. I’m excited to say I have a client who will be moving in that direction for their application. Their program ties in perfectly with their opioid epidemic work, their mobile vans, and their newly developing relationships with the local VA programs. The perfect combination of need, program, and preparedness – I can’t wait!
Whether you are thinking, planning, or dreaming of a NAP, we have developed a new source of information sharing – the FQHC Forum – that I am hoping can assist you on your journey. The Forum, located at www.fqhcsource.com, will include all things NAP, SAC, HRSA, FQHC, FTCA, 340B, USAC and all other topics directly related to FQHCs. I will be helping to moderate the Forum and will make sure all questions receive answers. The FQHC Forum can support us all in our quest for continuous compliance and professional excellence. Stop by the Forum, register, and start building our FQHC community. We are all in this together – and we now have a place to meet, share, and thrive.