Annual Primary Care Conference

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Fall 2018 in Denver
Conference Highlights from Fall 2017 in Seattle, WA


The 2018 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Annual Primary Care Conference will be held October 20-23, 2018 in Denver, CO, providing education and training, information and resource sharing, coalition building, and program and policy development for the like-minded community health professionals and partners of Region VIII (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, and WY) and Region X (AK, ID, OR, and WA).


CHAMPS and Northwest Regional Primary Care Association (NWRPCA) welcomed attendees, exhibitors, and presenters from across the nation at this past year’s Annual Primary Care Conference held October 21-24, 2017 in Seattle, WA. Participants enjoyed formal and informal networking and educational opportunities with the Western Clinicians Network (WCN) as well as clinicians, board members, and administrative staff from health centers, Primary Care Associations, governmental offices, and related organizations in Regions VIII (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming) and X (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington), and across the country.

The 2017 conference theme was “Together Toward Tomorrow: Celebrating 20 Years of Region 18,” reflecting the remarkable journey of community health in Regions VIII and X and the strides we have made throughout our many years of partnership.

Please click or scroll down to learn more about:
Photo Memories
CHAMPS 2017 Award Recipients
Notable Speakers
Educational & Networking Sessions
Session Recordings
Session & Event Handouts
Other Conference Events
Continuing Education
Reimbursements for Registration & Clinician Travel Costs


Click here to view a photo journal from the 2017 conference!


Each year, in conjunction with the Annual Primary Care Conference, CHAMPS recognizes outstanding contributions to the Health Center movement by individuals in Region VIII. Nominations are submitted by Region VIII Health Centers and Primary Care Associations, and awardees are chosen by the CHAMPS Executive Committee. CHAMPS honored the following highly-deserving individuals with awards during the CHAMPS Board of Directors Meeting on Sunday, October 22, 2017:

Eileen Flaherty, FNP, Clinic Medical Director at Salud Family Health Centers’ Estes Park Clinic, was awarded the Stanley J. Brasher Legacy Award for dedicating her career to promoting health equity and community-based care for all.

Linda Hughes, Board Member at Salud Family Health Centers, received the Exceptional Board Leadership Award in recognition of her service to Salud Family Health Centers and to her community.

Rebecca McCay, Chief Nursing and Clinical Officer at Peak Vista Community Health Centers, was presented with the Exceptional Administrative Leadership Award for demonstrating dedication to the health center mission through inspirational leadership and service.

Alan Pruhs, Executive Director of the Association for Utah Community Health, received the Outstanding Advocate of the Underserved Award for demonstrating dedication to the health center mission through innovative and visionary leadership.

David Pump, Deputy Director of Peak Vista Community Health Centers, was awarded the Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award for championing accessible, affordable, quality health care for all.

Ricardo Velasquez, MD, Medical Consultant for Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc., was honored with the Exceptional Clinical Leadership Award for demonstrating clinical excellence and commitment to providing quality health care for all.


CHAMPS held its Annual Board of Directors Meeting on Sunday evening. Board members received regional and national updates and calls for advocacy from the following speakers:

  • Tonya Bowers, Deputy Associate Administrator, Bureau of Primary Health Care
  • Dr. Luis Padilla, Associate Administrator for Health Workforce, Bureau of Health Workforce
  • Dan Hawkins, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Research Division, National Association of Community Health Centers
  • Joe Gallegos, Senior Vice President, Western Region, National Association of Community Health Centers

At the Opening Plenary on Monday morning conference participants enjoyed the award-winning Roosevelt High School drum line, HRSA and NACHC Updates focusing on the current policy and healthcare environment, and a Keynote Address on organizational health. Speakers included:

  • Barbara Greene, Acting Regional Director, Region 10, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Tonya Bowers, Deputy Associate Administrator, Bureau of Primary Health Care
  • Dr. Luis Padilla, Associate Administrator for Health Workforce, Bureau of Health Workforce
  • Dan Hawkins, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Research Division, National Association of Community Health Centers
  • Chris Jenson, Principal Consultant, The Table Group; Founder, Chris Jenson, LLC

The Closing Plenary on Tuesday afternoon began with a spoken poetry performance by three Seattle Arts Corps members, followed by a presentation by Paul Huschilt on “Seven Humor Habits for Workplace Wellness.”


The conference offered attendees a broad range of educational and networking sessions organized around the following tracks: Behavioral Health, Clinical, Community Health, Fiscal, Governance, HRSA, Integrated Services, Marketing/Communications, Operations, Policy/Environment, Quality Transformation, and Workforce/HR. More than 50 sessions, intensives, roundtable lunches, breakout meetings, and plenary sessions provided rich opportunities to learn from clinicians, administrators, and board members in Regions VIII and X, and from other regional and national consultants and partners. Continuing Education credit hours were offered for dentists, physicians, nurses, accountants, human resources professionals, social workers, and board members.


One day of energizing Behavioral Health sessions:

  • Behavioral Health Workforce Allocation: Creating a “Win-Win” Across the System
  • Parallel Progress: Treating the Clinic to Treat the Patient
  • Community-Based Approaches to Addressing Mental Health in Latino Communities
  • Behavioral Health Clinician’s Corner

Three days of innovative Clinical and Integrated Services sessions:

  • Introducing Peer Review in Primary Care
  • Integrating Quality Sexual and Reproductive Health Into Primary Care
  • Hepatitis C Birth Cohort Screening: Practices and Perceptions Among Primary Care Providers at an FQHC
  • It’s Not Just Self-Care, So What about Compassion Fatigue?
  • Journeying with the So-Called “Difficult Patient” – Pitfalls, Pearls, and Pragmatics
  • Clinical Leadership: How to Effectively Lead Your Team
  • Chronic Care Management for Medicare Patients
  • Clinical Leaders – Peer Learning Session
  • Integrated Community-Based Care Support Older Adults/Dual Eligibility
  • The 340B Drug Pricing Program: Strategic Framework for 2017 and Beyond
  • Oral Health Integration between Medicine and Dentistry: A Population Approach to the Oral-Systemic Connection

More than two days of inspiring Community Health, Marketing/Communications, and Policy/Environment sessions:

  • Today’s Care Management and Social Determinants of Health in a Community Health Center
  • Improving Health Outcomes through Supportive Housing
  • Community Health Workers: Current Developments in National and State Policy
  • Laying the Foundation for Improved LGBT Health in Primary Care
  • NACHC Policy Update and Grassroots Advocacy
  • Going from Zero to ACE: Building Advocacy Capacity Via the Advocacy and Hispanic Advocacy Center of Excellence Programs
  • Assessing Your Advocacy and Policy Change Activities – Knowing What Works and What Doesn’t
  • What Health Centers Need to Know about Immigration Law and Policy
  • Bridging Policy, Advocacy, and Patients
  • Understanding Dual Eligibility: Nuts, Bolts, and Resources
  • Strategic Communications Best Practices for FQHCs

Two days of enlightening Fiscal sessions:

  • Revenue Cycle Management
  • Assessing the Health of Your Revenue Cycle
  • Focused KPI for CHC Leadership
  • Why, When, and How to Bill Medicare 519 Rates
  • New Leasing Standard: Overview and Effective Implementation
  • Transforming Primary Care Delivery: Practical and Financial Considerations for Effecting Center Transformation

Two days of essential Governance sessions:

  • Governance Responsibilities for CHC Boards
  • How to Create the Best Board Meeting You Will Ever Attend
  • Board Competence – What Works and What Doesn’t
  • Models of Governance: The Real-Life Experience
  • Are You Confused? I Am!

Two days of informative sessions led by HRSA representatives:

  • HHS Priority on Childhood Obesity
  • HHS Priority on Mental Health
  • HHS Priority on Opioids
  • HHS Funding Opportunities and Program Updates

Two days of excellent Operations sessions:

  • HITEQ Center Extended Session: Population Health Management and Engaging Patients through Portals
  • 2017 IT Security Vulnerabilities in Health Care
  • Implementation of the New Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Emergency Preparedness Final Rule
  • A Data Strategy to Address Inequities in Health Care Delivery
  • Medical Scheduling for Maximizing Access
  • Avoiding Common Site Visit Findings

Two days of stimulating Quality Transformation sessions:

  • Analytics for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced QI Staff
  • Are You Ready for PCMH 2017 Redesign?
  • Fully Integrated Managed Care, Accountable Communities of Health, and Medicaid Transformation
  • Patient Experience as a Driver of Quality
  • Hypertension Management is a Team Sport: Evidence-Based Care Meets Quality Improvement at CHC Inc.
  • Quality Innovative Projects in the Primary Care Setting: Telemedicine BP Monitoring, Diabetes Group Visits, and FIT Mailers

Two days of wonderful Workforce/HR sessions:

  • Workforce Innovations in Pipeline Development
  • The Economic and Social Impact of Graduate Medical Education
  • Where Have All the Good Candidates Gone?
  • Clinician Recruitment: A Team Effort
  • Do You Want to be a Top Employer?
  • The Cycle of Leadership Success
  • Strengthening Leadership Presence: Inspiring and Engaging Employees in Times of Constant Change


Video recordings of the 2017 NWRPCA/CHAMPS Primary Care Conference are available for conference participants in NWRPCA’s Learning Vault (login required). To access these recordings, navigate to the Learning Vault website and enter your email address and password. Once you are logged in, click on “My Events” and then on the “view details” link next to the 2017 Fall Primary Care Conference. Next, click the “Sessions” button. Locate the conference session that you would like to view and click the “view” link beside it. If a recording is available, it will appear as an embedded video at the very top of the “Session Details” page. Click the play arrow in the center of the video to start.


Many session and plenary speakers provided electronic versions of their presentations, which have been posted in NWRPCA’s Learning Vault (login required) and are available to conference attendees. To access these handouts, navigate to the Learning Vault website and enter your email address and password. Once you are logged in, click on “My Events” and then on the “view details” link next to the 2017 Fall Primary Care Conference. Next, click the “Sessions” button. Locate the conference session for which you would like to access the handouts and click the “view” link beside it. To access the handouts associated with a session, click the “View All Session Files” link.


The Annual Conference is more than board meetings, educational sessions, and plenary speeches! Participants had other formal and informal ways to learn about resources, win prizes, and inspire one another.

Roundtable Sessions and Lunches held over three days for Board Members, Chief Executive Officers, Chief Operations Officers, Chief Financial Officers, and Behavioral Health, Clinical, Quality Transformation, Primary Care Association, and Workforce/HR Staff gave conference participants the opportunity to collaborate with other experts in their fields. The CHC 101 Lunch on Sunday offered a detailed introduction to health centers for new staff and board members.

The Welcome Reception on Sunday evening featured the award-winning Roosevelt High School jazz band and opportunities for networking and mingling.

At Sunday evening’s Seattle Wine Tasting and Dinner, participants enjoyed red and white Washington wines paired with three savory Northwest-inspired courses prepared by iconic local chef Tom Douglas.

At the Migrant Worker Health Breakfast on Monday morning, Regions VIII and X health center and PCA staff working with migrant and seasonal farmworker communities discussed challenges and opportunities presented by the Ag Worker 2020 Campaign. Attendees discussed the national campaign goals and each regions progress as reported by the Bureau of Primary Health Care 2015 and 2016 Uniform Data Summary reports. (Check out the Regions VIII and X Ag Worker Access 2020 Campaign Infographic.)

Attendees of the CHC Tour of International Community Health Services (ICHS) on Monday afternoon explored the medical, dental, and pharmacy services at ICHS’s main clinic site, as well as the surrounding historic Seattle International District community.

On Monday night, conference exhibitors awarded exciting raffle prizes at the Networking Reception.

Dr. Luis Padilla, Dr. Judith Steinberg, and Dr. Candice Chen led a Q&A session at Tuesday’s Dialogue with HRSA Workforce Breakfast Meeting.

Representatives from CliftonLarsenAllen (CLA) addressed key Region VIII and Region X health center metrics during Tuesday’s breakfast meeting, A Discussion on the Annual Measure of Finance, Operations, and Productivity (AMFOP) Report and Benchmarking.


In support of health center staff, clinicians, administrators, and board members pursuing professional development, CHAMPS/NWRPCA conferences are a consistent source of continuing education units (CEU). Each conference typically offers CEU in continuing dental education (CDE), continuing professional education (CPE), continuing nursing education (CNE), continuing medical education (CME), continuing governance credit (GOV), continuing human resources education (PHR/SPHR), and continuing mental health education (NASW).

CEU certificates are accessed online. Please log into the NWRPCA Fall Primary Care Conference Continuing Education Credit System to complete the required post-conference procedures. Attendees are responsible for completing the process online and printing their certificate.


2017 NWRPCA/CHAMPS Fall Primary Care Conference registration reimbursement is available to CHAMPS Organizational Member CHCs in good standing as of October 21, 2017. Each CHAMPS Organizational Member CHC is entitled to reimbursement for one registration fee (total value up to $790). CHC staff who are eligible include line staff, medical support staff, and mid-level managers and supervisors; providers and Executive Directors/CEOs are not eligible. Registration reimbursement requests will be accepted beginning October 25; reimbursement will be processed after the conference has concluded.  Reimbursement requests will only be accepted with proof of payment.

Travel support is available to Region VIII clinicians working 0.5 FTE or greater as providers (medical, behavioral or dental) in Community Health Centers that are CHAMPS Organizational Members in good standing as of October 21, 2017.  Mountain/Plains Clinical Network (MPCN) Steering Committee members are eligible for an additional $100 reimbursement with participation on the committee prior to the Fall Conference and attendance at the Steering Committee meeting at the conference.