State and Regional Primary Care Association Cooperative Agreements Workforce Funding Overview

Overview

Additional funding was awarded to fiscal year (FY) 2020 State and Regional Primary Care Association (PCA) award recipients to support expanded workforce training and technical assistance (T/TA) activities as part of the Health Professions Education & Training (HP-ET) initiative. The HP-ET initiative will enhance health centers’ capabilities to recruit, develop, and retain their workforce by exposing health and allied health professions students, trainees, and residents to education and training programs at health centers.

In addition to their PCA base funding, all PCAs received additional workforce funding equivalent to 10 percent of their PCA award or $75,000, whichever is higher. HRSA will provide the individual funding amount for each PCA in a separate communication.1 This additional workforce funding is expected to be available in future years contingent upon 1) the availability of funds for this purpose, 2) a determination that continued funding is in the best interest of the federal government, and 3) satisfactory PCA performance.

Funding Purpose

PCAs will use the workforce funding to provide T/TA to health centers on the Readiness to Train Assessment Tool (RTAT™) developed by Community Health Center, Inc. The goal of PCA workforce T/TA activities is to increase the percentage of health centers at full readiness to engage in health professions training programs by the end of the PCA project period (June 30, 2023). This initiative will complement and build on the Education Health Center Guide (PDF 6.4 MB) developed in partnership with the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association and Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States to assist health centers with serving as training sites for health professions students and/or residents.

Regional PCAs will use these funds for T/TA activities to advance HP-ET and support innovative ways to maximize the health workforce to meet the needs of the populations served by health centers in their regions. Regional PCA activities must support and avoid duplication of state PCA activities within the region. This funding may not be used for costs incurred before the award start date (July 1, 2020).

Required Activities

This additional funding should strengthen PCA workforce T/TA activities and support achievement of HP-ET goals. Over the course of the three-year project period, PCAs will build upon current T/TA activities aimed at fostering a workforce to address current and emerging needs, to achieve the following additional outcomes.

Year 1 Activities (7/1/2020 – 6/30/2021)

  1. Identify at least 1.0 full-time equivalent personnel to support the enhancement of workforce T/TA activities.
  2. Participate in BPHC-supported T/TA on the use of the RTAT™ within the first three months of award.
  3. Provide targeted T/TA to health center staff on the RTAT™. This includes:
    1. State PCAs will develop and implement a strategic communications plan aimed at gaining buy-in and increasing the health centers’ response rate. The plan must include use of multiple dissemination methods within the first 6 months of award, such as targeted outreach to health center staff who are engaged in workforce development, health professions training, and/or administrative roles in health centers.
    2. Regional PCAs will support state PCAs in their regions to help health centers successfully navigate and complete the RTAT™.
  4. Administer the RTAT™ using a BPHC-provided online software tool. This includes:
    1. Distribution of the RTAT™ to all health centers in your state(s) within the first 6 months of award, with the goal of at least a 50 percent survey completion rate within Year 1. Continue to collect additional health center responses into Year 2, as needed.
    2. Regional PCAs will coordinate with state PCAs in their regions to identify and address outstanding needs to support and promote health center completion of the RTAT™ and data collection. 

Years 2 and 3 Activities (7/1/2021 – 6/30/2023)2

  1. Provide targeted T/TA to health centers based on the results of the RTAT™. This includes:
    1. Support health center development of workforce action plans to advance the HP-ET initiative, with the goal of at least 50 percent of health centers who completed the RTAT™ establishing a workforce action plan by Year 3.
    2. Assist health centers in identifying potential barriers that may prevent them from advancing HP-ET by the end of the project period (e.g., lack of initial assessment, accreditation standards, academic-community partnerships, preceptors, training space, simulation equipment/technology, paid traineeships).
    3. Provide an analysis of key factors to identify overarching patterns and structural- and/or system-level barriers preventing health centers from progressing through levels of readiness.
    4. Identify and provide T/TA to help address identified barriers.

    Note: Individual health center reports by state will be provided to the PCAs by the end of year 1.National, regional, and state-level detailed summaries of RTAT™ responses will be provided to PCAs in year 2, including recommendations on how to increase the number of health centers who are at full readiness to engage in health professions training. 

  2. Increase health center workforce implementation capacity, including new and strengthened partnerships. This includes:
    1. Provide T/TA through small and large group discussions (e.g., training sessions, learning collaboratives, webinars) on developing and strengthening academic-community partnerships to support HP-ET across all disciplines and educational levels.
    2. Facilitate relationships with key stakeholders (e.g., federal, state, local, and national organizations) in order to implement, advance, and sustain HP-ET.
    3. Establish strategic partnerships between community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities to recruit and retain students from rural and underserved communities who have a strong desire to pursue a career working in a health center, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions in the state and region.
  3. Promote evidence-based models or promising practices that support HP-ET goals. This includes:
    1. Disseminate models that address implementation of health center preceptor recognition and incentive programs.
    2. Demonstrate the sustainability and return on investment associated with health professions training programs.

Reporting

PCAs will provide progress updates on their expanded workforce activities through bi-annual progress reporting on the following metrics:

  • Identification of at least 1.0 FTE workforce personnel with experience in workforce planning and development in community-based settings to support the enhancement of workforce T/TA activities.
  • Percentage of health centers that completed the RTAT™.
    • Numerator: Number of health centers in the state(s) that completed the RTAT™.
    • Denominator: Number of health centers in the state(s).
  • Percentage of health centers ready to engage with health professions schools and serve as a clinical preceptor site.
    • Numerator: Number of health centers in the state(s) that report readiness to be a clinical preceptor site in the RTAT™.
    • Denominator: Number of health centers in the state(s) that completed the RTAT™.
  • Percentage of health centers that received T/TA on the development of a workforce action plan.
    • Numerator: Number of health centers in the state(s) that received T/TA specific to the development of a workforce action plan.
    • Denominator: Number of health centers in the state(s).
  • Percentage of health centers that have a workforce action plan to advance HP-ET.
    • Numerator: Number of health centers in the state(s) that report having a workforce action plan in the RTAT™.
    • Denominator: Number of health centers in the state(s) that completed the RTAT™.
  • Percentage of health centers that have a health professions training program in place.
    • Numerator: Number of health centers that report having a health professions training program in the RTAT™.
    • Denominator: Number of health centers in the state(s) that completed the RTAT™.

Required Supporting Documents

As stated on your notice of award, you will document your workforce-related T/TA activities in your revised Project Work Plan, to be submitted within 60 days of the award start date through the Project Work Plan (PWP) Module. Under Goal F: Supplemental Funding Activities and the new objective titled Health Workforce Supplemental Funding, provide information about your additional activities that will advance the HP-ET initiative and support innovative ways to maximize the health workforce at health centers.

Contacts

  • For questions about funding uses or Project Work Plan updates, contact Tobey Manns-Royal at tmanns-royal@hrsa.gov or Nathalia Drew at ndrew1@hrsa.gov.
  • For questions about federal funding requirements, contact the grants management specialist referenced on your Notice of Award.

1 HRSA will send funding amount emails to the individuals registered as project director, business official, and authorizing official in the U58 grant folder in the HRSA Electronic Handbooks (EHBs).

2 Funding in years 2 and 3 is contingent upon 1) the availability of funds for this purpose, 2) a determination that continued funding is in the best interest of the federal government, and 3) satisfactory PCA performance.

Date Last Reviewed:  June 2020