Annual Charity Golf Tournament- Canceled

September Charity Golf Tournament CANCELED

September charity golf tournament CANCELED.

Due to the rising numbers of hospitalizations in our community as a result of COVID-19, we have decided to cancel the charity golf tournament scheduled for Sept. 24, 2021. We will put our energy into partnering with local health care organizations to fight the battle before us in order to provide quality healthcare, now and in the months to come. If you wish to make a donation to the Dirne Foundation, Mary Ellen Scholarship Program, please contact Pam Houser at

NHCW - Children’s Health Day

Children’s Health Day – National Health Center Week ’21

More than 8 million children in the United States get their primary health care from a Community Health Center. Without a doubt, the timing of National Health Center Week lends itself well to engaging the youngest members of our communities as they prepare to return to school. From well-child checks to book drives to fun runs, health centers host events that will help children feel healthy, happy, and empowered now and in the future.


This year, we are excited to partner with Sesame Street in Communities (SSIC) for Children’s Health Day! Through direct partnerships with organizations like NACHC, SSIC delivers laughter and learning to children and families who need it most. SSIC is a bilingual, multimedia initiative that harnesses the power of our engaging Muppets and proven content to reach children across the country with critical educational materials. features hundreds of FREE activities ranging from ABC’s & 123’s, to health and wellness, to tougher topics like coping with traumatic experiences. These resources help build resilience skills in young kids and the grown-ups who care for them. Explore the site to find printables, videos, games, professional development tools, articles and more to use in your work with kids and families during National Health Center Week.

We’ve provided a few resources and activities below to get you started!


Staying Healthy

Routines are key to keeping healthy. Brushing teeth, washing hands, eating well, and exercising every day help everyone grow and thrive. “Every so often” routines, such as doctor and dentist checkups, ensure that families have the support, information, and care they need to help kids stay well! Visit for FREE health-focused resources for your center.

My Healthy Week Printable

Use this chart to encourage three good hygiene habits that keep little ones healthy and strong. Encourage caregivers to hang it somewhere kids can easily see, such as the refrigerator. When kids finish brushing their teeth, washing hands, or sleeping for 10 hours (recommended for ages 3–5), encourage them to color in the square. At the end of a healthy week, share a healthy snack! Providers can print and keep copies in waiting rooms or offices to share with families. Get your printable here.

My Healthy Team Printable

Before visiting the doctor, caregivers can invite kids to color this page and discuss what to expect during the visit. Discuss who’s on your child’s healthy team? (doctors, nurses, office staff, you, other family members—and herself, of course!). Providers can start this conversation too. Remind caregivers that you’re all in it together!

Tips for Well Visits Article

Empower parents by sharing this short article with them (share easily via Facebook, Twitter, or Email)! This article includes simple strategies for making well visits go smoothly, like talking about what doctors and nurses do, and helping children know what to expect.

H is for Handwashing Storybook

Handwashing is such an important healthy habit. Share this storybook with families (they can read on their smartphones, computers, or tablets) and encourage them to read together. Start a discussion – talk about the ways kids wash their hands all around the world! Ask kids about the different places they might wash their hands, such as at home, at daycare, in a public restroom, or even in your center!

NHCW - Health Center Staff Appreciation Day

Health Center Staff Appreciation Day

The incredible value Community Health Centers bring to their patients and community is because of the diligent work of health center staff and volunteers – individuals who are committed to providing high-quality care to patients in need. Community Health Center staff and volunteers are dedicated to the Community Health Center Movement and deserve to be recognized.

NHCW - Stakeholder Appreciation Day

Stakeholder Appreciation Day

Health centers have a proud tradition of support from both sides of the political aisle. Bipartisan support continues to be beneficial for advocacy and policy priorities. Legislative support on both sides is not limited to the federal level, state and local support for health centers are also integral to their success. Enhance your National Health Center Week celebrations by engaging legislators and legislative staff. Whether it’s your Congressional delegation, your state legislators or your county/local officials, or their staff, NHCW provides an excellent opportunity to show your appreciation for policymakers at your health center.

NHCW - Patient Appreciation Day

Patient Appreciation Day

By law, Community Health Center boards must be comprised of at least 51% community members.  Community board members are individuals who live in the community served by the health center are patients and represent others who are served by the health center in terms of demographics such as race, ethnicity, and gender.  The model works because it ensures that patients represent the needs and voices of the community. Today, we celebrate patients and community board members who keep health centers accountable and abreast of community needs.

NHCW - Agricultural Worker Health Center Day

Agricultural Worker Health Center Day

Community Health Centers serve approximately 20% of the estimated 4.5 million Agricultural Workers in the United States. Over the past few years, hundreds of health center staff members, community health workers, clinicians, executives, consumer board members, and advocates have come together to develop more effective strategies to increase access to care for migrant and seasonal agricultural workers and their families.  Migrant/Agricultural Worker Health Center grantees are critical to ensuring access to quality primary and preventive care for patients who might otherwise go without care.

NHCW - Healthcare for the Homeless Day

Healthcare for the Homeless Day

Although all health centers provide care to people with limited incomes, the Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) program provides targeted funding to meet the needs of those living without stable housing. Collectively, health centers serve 1.3 million individuals experiencing homelessness each year, with about 1 million of these individuals served by the 300 health centers that receive HCH funding.

People who experience homelessness incur a number of health issues on the streets or in shelters, and being without housing can exacerbate current health conditions. People without homes endure higher rates of chronic and acute disease, behavioral health conditions, and other needs that make them particularly vulnerable to poor health, disability, and early death. HCH’s provide high-quality, comprehensive primary and behavioral health care, case management, outreach, and other supportive services to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness. Due to the nature of homelessness, services are intentionally provided in trauma-informed ways that provide healing, choice, safety, and trust while honoring consumers as partners in care and experts in their own lives.

National Health Center Week is a time to honor and celebrate the work being done at HCHs and to advocate for policies that end homelessness by providing comprehensive housing and health care as a human right. Learn more and find ways to get involved with HCH day on the National Health Care for the Homeless Council’s page or by contacting Katherine Cavanaugh, Consumer Advocate at the National Health Care for the Homeless Council at or 443-703-1320.

National Health Care for the Homeless Council logo
NHCW - Public Health Housing Day

Public Health in Housing Day

In today’s value-based care environment, organizations are accountable for improving health outcomes and lowering costs. To achieve these goals and succeed in such an environment, organizations need to better understand their patients to address both their clinical and non-clinical needs and impact the root causes of health, including patients’ health behaviors, health outcomes, and health costs. The social determinants of health (SDH) are the conditions in which people live, work, play, and age. They can encompass socioeconomic conditions, environmental conditions, institutional power, and social networks. Understanding patients’ social determinants will allow health centers to transform care with integrated services to meet the needs of their patients, address the social determinants of health, and demonstrate the value they bring to patients, communities, and payers.


There are 433 Health Center Programs located in or immediately accessible to public housing, serving close to 5.2 million patients. Of those, 108 receive Public Housing Primary Care (PHPC) grants and serve approximately 856,191 patients. Public housing means agency-developed, owned, or assisted low-income housing, including mixed-finance projects, but excludes housing units with no public housing agency support other than section 8 housing vouchers.

Characteristics Of Public Housing Primary Care (PHPC) Health Center Patients:

  • 28.29% of patients are less than 18 years old.
  • 62.22% of patients are adults (18-64)
  • 8.96% of patients are older adults (65 and older)
  • 20.43% of patients are uninsured
  • 53.76% of patients receive Medicaid
  • 9.01% of patients receive Medicare
  • 4.64% of patients are dual-eligible (Medicaid and Medicare)
  • 77.57% of patients are at or below 100% of Federal Poverty

Source: Source: HRSA, 2019 Health Center Program Data

PRAPARE - Protocol for Responding to and Assessing Patients’ Assets, Risks and Experiences


The Protocol for Responding to and Assessing Patients’ Assets, Risks, and Experiences (PRAPARE) is a national effort to help health centers collect and apply the data they need to better understand their patients’ social determinants of health. PRAPARE is both a standardized patient social risk assessment tool consisting of a set of national core measures as well as a process for addressing social determinants at both the patient and population levels. By using PRAPARE, providers can better target clinical and non-clinical care (often in partnership with other community-based organizations) to drive care transformation, delivery system integration, as well as improved health and cost reductions.

For more PRAPARE information and resources or to join the PRAPARE listserv, visit or email


Johnson+Johnson COVID-19 Vaccination Paused

The Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccination has been paused for distribution and administration. This is due to an abundance of caution as 6 cases of rare blood clots have been reported. So far, over 7 million doses have been administered nationwide, making this a rare event.  The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will be meeting today and this week to evaluate these cases and ensure the vaccine continues to be safe.

Heritage Health has not received or administered the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in its operations in Kootenai County or Shoshone County. Patients and community members who have received COVID vaccination with Heritage Health have received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccination thus far.

If you have received any COVID vaccination and feel you have had an adverse reaction, contact your Primary Care Provider or the vaccine provider at any time after vaccination.

Peter Purrington, MD, MBA, CPE, CHCQM

Chief Clinical Officer