Week 54 Newsletter

04/13-04/19 Updates

Vaccine Information

Doctors, nurses, and other health care providers are critical in facilitating equitable access to COVID-19 vaccination for difficult-to-reach populations, and community health centers are performing well to vaccinate these patients.

Vaccine hesitancy among health care workers continues to be a challenge in many parts of the US.

Vaccine Information

(04/16/21) Are Health Centers Facilitating Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccinations? An April 2021 Update
This issue brief from KFF takes a look at how safety net providers at community health centers are working to vaccinate low-income populations and people of color. Key findings include that a majority of individuals vaccinated at community health centers are people of color, although there are also area for improving reach to people of color.

(04/12/21) Inequity in Vaccinations Isn’t Always About Hesitancy, It’s About Access
This article from the Association of American Medical Colleges provides insight on issues of vaccine access and how providers can organize to improve vaccination rates in hard-to-reach communities.

(04/09/21) Vaccine Hesitancy Among Health Care Workers Raises Concerns
Thousands of health care workers in North Carolina have declined to get the COVID-19 vaccinations, according to an informal survey sent to 32 health systems, representing over a 100 hospitals. Those numbers are significantly less than state health care leaders expected.

Surge Capacity Issues

Foreign-trained health care providers were an important component in attempts to address surge capacity challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but with executive orders expiring, many of these providers will lose their temporary licenses.

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted many patients’ ability to access oral health care services, leading to an expected surge in need for oral health care.

Surge Capacity Issues

(04/09/21) Foreign-trained Doctors Like Me Fought COVID-19. Now We’re Being Tossed Aside
This opinion piece published in STAT offers perspective on foreign-trained physicians who were granted temporary licensure under executive orders during COVID-19, only to lose these licenses when executive orders expire. The high costs associated with attaining an equivalent level of licensure in the United States compared to their country of education make it difficult to practice at the highest level of training.

(04/08/21) A Coming Surge in Oral Health Treatment Needs
A recent survey conducted by CareQuest Institute for Oral Health has found an expectation for a spike in need for oral health care following the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the ability for many patients to seek and receive oral health care, with lack of dental benefits from job loss, delays relating to the cost of seeking care, and fears of COVID-19 exposure at oral health clinics contributing.


The application period for the second round of the federal COVID-19 Telehealth Program begins at the end of April.

Permanent changes are being enacted to address telehealth following widespread use during the pandemic, with a recent survey showing more than 70% of patients are highly satisfied with telehealth-based treatment.


(04/16/21) Round 2 of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program Application Portal Will Open April 29
Applications for the second round of the COVID-19 telehealth program will open on Thursday, April 29, 2021. This week-long filing window will offer additional funding to support providers seeking to provide telehealth services struggling with telecommunications services, lack of devices, and lack of information about providing telehealth.

(04/12/21) Permanent Changes Finally Coming to Telehealth
As a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, telehealth is evolving. New rules by the federal government have expanded access to virtual health care services and expanded medicare coverage for telehealth services.

(04/11/21) Telehealth Impact – Patient Survey Analysis
A study on the impact of telehealth on patient attitudes and patient experience has found that more than 70% of patients reported high satisfaction with telehealth services and a desire to continue using telehealth following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regulatory Flexibility

A new study finds that regulatory relaxation on nurse anesthetists improved their ability to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.


(04/07/21) Relaxed Nurse Scope of Practice Boosts Care Access During COVID-19
With scope of barriers being put on hold, nurse anesthetists have improved access to care during COVID-19, according to a new study conducted by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA).

Health Workforce Safety

More than 3,600 health care workers in the US have died as a result of COVID-19 in the first 12 months of the pandemic.

Health care providers’ mental health continues to be an area of concern as many providers have worked through a challenging 12-month pandemic period.

Health Workforce Safety

(04/14/21) The Staggering Toll of COVID-19 on Health Care Workers
According to a report by The Guardian and Kaiser Health News, 3600 American health care workers have died in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The investigation called Lost on the Frontline, which started in April 2020, is ending this month.

(04/08/21) Twelve Months of Trauma: More Than 3,600 US Health Workers Died in COVID’s First Year
The Lost on the Frontline project from Kaiser Health News and The Guardian has found more than 3,600 health care workers died during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The investigation found that two-thirds of health care providers who died from COVID-19 were people of color, and often were lower-paid workers in roles such as support staff or nursing home workers.