Annual Primary Care Conference

Please click or scroll down for:
Looking Forward to Fall 2019 in Seattle, WA
Conference Highlights from Fall 2018 in Denver, CO


The 2019 NWRPCA/CHAMPS Annual Primary Care Conference, offered by Northwest Regional Primary Care Association (NWRPCA) and Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS) in partnership with Western Clinicians Network (WCN), will be held in Seattle, WA, October 5-8, 2019.  This annual fall conference provides education and training in 10 curated tracks, information and resource sharing, coalition building, and program and policy development for like-minded community health professionals and their partners. The audience is comprised of Regions VIII, IX, and X states including: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, in addition to partners from across the country. The 2019 conference theme is “The Future is Now: Advancing Community Health and Wellbeing” reflecting the power of Community Health Centers in impacting and propelling the health and wellness of the communities they serve.

Click here to download the conference brochure.

Please click or scroll down to learn more about:
Registration Fees
Alaska Airlines Discount
Exhibitor and Sponsor Opportunities
Continuing Education Units
Registration and Clinical Travel Reimbursement
2019 CHAMPS Awards


View the draft agenda now! This agenda is subject to change so check back regularly for updates on scheduled educational sessions.
Draft Agenda (updated 9/11/19)


All fees are per person.

Early Bird Rates (through 9/6/19):

Regular Rates (per person)

  • Full Conference – $1,200
  • Individual days – $450

CHAMPS/NWRPCA/WCN Member Rates (per person)

  • Full Conference – $790 (1-3 people)
  • Full Conference – $711 (4+ people)
  • Full Conference – $671.50 (8+ people)
  • Individual days – $300 (per day) (1-3 people)
  • Individual days – $270 (per day) (4+ people)
  • Individual days – $255 (per day) (8+ people)

Note: If you are registering a group of four or more NWRPCA/CHAMPS/WCN members, please use the 2019FallGroup discount code on the payment screen to receive 10% off your group’s registration.
Visit the CHAMPS Organizational Members webpage to determine if your organization is a current CHAMPS member.

Federal and Student Rates (per person)

  • Individual days – $160

Presenter Rates (per person)

  • Presenter + 1 day – $300
  • Presenter + 2 days – $500
  • Presenter + 3 days – $650

Note: Presenters attend at no charge for the day they are presenting.

Rates after Friday, September 6, 2019 increase by $100 for full conference, $50 for two-day, and $25 for individual days.

Please note the registration cancellation deadline is Saturday, September 21, 2019. Cancellations must be in writing (email is fine). Registration will be refunded less a $50 processing fee. Cancellations made after the deadline are not refundable. For any questions, complaints/grievances, please email


Online registration is available until Saturday, October 5, 2019.
Visit the 2019 Fall Primary Care Conference page on the NWRPCA website and click on Register.


This year’s conference takes place in Downtown Seattle, WA.
Conference venue information will be sent in conference registration confirmation emails.


CHAMPS and NWRPCA are pleased to offer a discount off all published fares to Seattle from any Alaska Airlines U.S. city via Alaska Airlines. If you are traveling to Seattle by air from October 1, 2019 – October 13, 2019, we encourage you to book with Alaska Airlines and to receive a 7% discount.

To participate, go to the Alaska Airlines website and click “Use discount or companion fare code” and enter ECMC544 in the discount code field.
Restrictions apply for travel to/from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska; Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, or Puerto Rico.


Sponsor and advertise at the Fall 2019 NWRPCA/CHAMPS Primary Care Conference and connect with health center leadership nationwide. All sponsors are featured in the printed conference program, social media and signage throughout the event.

Click HERE to download the Fall 2019 Sponsor, Exhibitor, and Advertiser Prospectus.
Please contact NWRPCA Development Specialist Janeane Harwell for more information about sponsorship opportunities.


To support health center staff, clinicians, administration, and board of directors pursue professional development, NWRPCA and CHAMPS conferences are a consistent source of continuing education units (CEU). The 2019 Fall Primary Care conference will offer the following CEU opportunities: continuing medical education (CME), continuing dental education (CDE), continuing nursing education (CNE), continuing professional education (CPE), continuing human resources credit (HR), continuing governance credit (GOV), and continuing social work and counseling education (NASW).

More details about specific CEUs for the 2019 Fall Primary Care Conference will be announced in summer 2019.


2019 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Fall Primary Care Conference registration reimbursement is available to CHAMPS Organizational Member health centers in good standing as of October 4, 2019. Each CHAMPS Organizational Member health center is entitled to reimbursement for one registration fee (total value up to $790). Health center 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 9, 2019 and must be submitted to CHAMPS no later than December 15, 2019.  Reimbursement will be processed after the conference has concluded. Reimbursement requests will only be accepted with proof of payment.

Click HERE to download the CHAMPS 2019 Fall Conference Registration Reimbursement Request Form.

A maximum of $700 in travel support is available to Region VIII clinicians working 0.5 FTE or greater as providers (medical, behavioral or dental) in health centers that are CHAMPS Organizational Members in good standing as of October 4, 2019. Clinicians must be registered for and attend the Fall Conference to be eligible for reimbursement.  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 Fall Conference Steering Committee meeting. Travel reimbursement requests will be accepted beginning October 9, 2019 and must be submitted to CHAMPS no later than December 15, 2019.  Travel reimbursement will be processed after the conference has concluded, and requests must include original/legible receipts and mileage map (if applicable).

Click HERE to download the CHAMPS 2019 Fall Conference Clinical Travel Support Reimbursement Request Form.


Each year, CHAMPS presents awards to staff and board members of Region VIII health centers and related organizations to recognize exceptional contributions to the health center community.  These awards are presented at the CHAMPS Annual Primary Care Conference in October, and over the years this process has allowed us to honor numerous highly deserving individuals from across the region for their outstanding advocacy, leadership, and dedication to the health center mission.

The nomination window for 2019 CHAMPS Awards has closed.
Questions?  Please contact the CHAMPS Workforce Development and Member Services Director.


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 20-23, 2018 in Denver, CO. 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 2018 conference theme was “Region 18 in 2018: Elevation Through Innovation,” reflecting the continued growth and contributions of community health in Regions VIII and X and the strides we continue to make through partnership and collaboration.

Please click or scroll down to learn more about:
Photo Memories
CHAMPS 2018 Award Recipients
Notable Speakers
Educational & Networking Sessions
Session Recordings
Session & Event Handouts
Other Conference Events
Continuing Education


Click here to view a photo journal of the 2018 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 21, 2018:

Jeanne Darricades, MPH, JD, President & Chief Executive Officer at Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc. in Colorado, was awarded the Stanley J. Brasher Legacy Award for advancing the mission and recognition of Community & Migrant Health Centers in the Mountain/Plains states.

Lionel Tapia, MD, Board Member at RiverStone Health in Montana, received the Exceptional Board Leadership Award in recognition of his service and commitment to RiverStone Health and the medically underserved.

Christina Konechne, Chief Operations Officer at Horizon Health Care, Inc. in South Dakota, was presented with the Exceptional Administrative Leadership Award for demonstrating passion for and dedication to the community health center mission.

Diana Bird, RN, Clinic Coordinator at HealthWorks in Wyoming, received the Outstanding Advocate of the Underserved Award for demonstrating dedication to the health center mission and patient advocacy.

Daniel R. Hawkins, Jr., Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Research at the National Association of Community Health Centers in Washington, DC, was awarded the Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award for championing accessible, affordable, quality health care for all.

Eva Poulson, DDS, Dental Director of Commerce City Clinic, Salud Family Health Centers in Colorado, was honored with the Exceptional Clinical Leadership Award for her commitment to clinical excellence and 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
  • Nick Zucconi, Regional Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration
  • John Mengenhausen, Region VIII Representative to the National Association of Community Health Centers Board
  • John Santistevan, Region VIII Representative to the National Association of Community Health Centers Board
  • James Luisi, Chair of the Board, National Association of Community Health Centers
  • Dan Hawkins, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Research Division, National Association of Community Health Centers

At the Opening Plenary on Monday morning conference participants enjoyed HHS, HRSA and NACHC Updates focusing on the current policy and healthcare environment. Speakers included:

  • Dr. Brian Shiozawa, Regional Director, Region VIII, 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
  • James Luisi, Chair of the Board, National Association of Community Health Centers
  • Dan Hawkins, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Research Division, National Association of Community Health Centers

The Closing Plenary on Tuesday afternoon featured a presentation by Paul Huschilt on “Humor, Resilience, and Change.”


The conference offered attendees a broad range of educational and networking sessions organized around the following tracks: Business Innovations, Clinical & Care Innovations, Effective Governance, Healthy Communities, Integrated Care, Operational Excellence, Policy & Environment, Quality Transformation, Strategic Leadership, Workforce Optimization. More than 70 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.


Two days of energizing Business Innovations sessions:

  • The Payer Perspective: Providers through the Looking Glass
  • Budget Process and Measuring Financial Services
  • Everyone Has a Role in Managing Revenue Cycle
  • The Evolving Alternative Payment Model Landscape
  • Developing the Futuristic CFO
  • Workforce Benchmarking & Trends: Regions 8 & 10 Salary Survey Results

Four days of engaging Clinical & Care Innovations and Integrated Care sessions:

  • Do You Have 5 Minutes? Applying Motivational Interviewing Skills in Challenging Patient Encounters
  • Transgender Care Considerations
  • Safe Opiate Prescribing Practices and Medication Assisted Treatment in Primary Care
  • Improving Access to Comprehensive Family Planning Services in Community Health Centers
  • Addressing Suicide Risk in Primary Care
  • Peer Learning for Clinical Leadership
  • Shared Medical Appointments: A Best-Practice Approach to Managing Chronic Conditions in Primary Care
  • Integrated Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders in Primary Care
  • Using Technology to Better Identify Behavioral Health Conditions
  • Crisis in the Community: Responding to the Need for Addiction Treatment
  • Improving Health Outcomes Through Violence Prevention
  • Supporting Substance Misuse Recovery in Primary Care: What Providers Really Need to Know
  • Addiction Technology Transfer Center as a Resource for Primary Care Providers
  • Addressing Substance Use Disorders with Telehealth
  • Hub-and-Spoke: Developing an Integrated Treatment Network that Fosters Recovery
  • Preparing Front Line Healthcare Staff for Behavioral Health Integration
  • An Evolution of Integrated Care: Innovations in Clinic Facilities Linked to Care Delivery

Two days of essential Effective Governance sessions:

  • Board Governance 101: High-Performing Boards
  • Strategic Planning: Engagement for Successful Implementation and Results
  • Board Integration: Advancing Mission Through Innovative Partnerships
  • Board Finance: Sources and Uses of Scarce Resources
  • Community Health Center 101: Introduction to the Movement
  • Board Talent: Recruitment, Retention, and Engagement
  • Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Leadership Continuity
  • Community Roots: Nurturing Engagement and Pride

Two days of enlightening Healthy Communities sessions:

  • Train-the-Trainer: Implementing the Rural Social Determinants of Health Game Toolkit
  • Addressing Social Determinants of Health to Improve Population Health
  • Mobilizing Community Health Workers to Improve Outcomes and Reduce Costs
  • Reducing Opioid-Related Infectious Disease Outbreaks
  • Improving Outcomes through Collaboration with the Criminal Justice System
  • Medical-Legal Partnerships in Action: Lessons Learned from Montana’s Model
  • Addressing the Unique Needs of Patients Experiencing Homelessness
  • Becoming a Community-Centered Health Home

Two days of essential Operational Excellence sessions:

  • Effective Strategies to Assess and Manage Risk
  • Active Threat – Increasing the Odds of Survival
  • Create a Compliant 340B Drug Pricing Program
  • Using Data to Optimize Performance Under Value-Based Payment and Care Models
  • Data-Driven Practice Transformation and Performance Improvement Strategy
  • From Access to Accountability: CHC Leadership Teams, Sustainability, and Change
  • Leveraging EHR for Peer Review
  • Focus on Diabetes: Uniform Data System Clinical Quality Measure Improvement

Two days of informative Policy & Environment sessions:

  • Federal Policy and Workforce Updates
  • The Impact of Immigration Policy on Patients and Health Centers
  • Social Determinants of Health Panel
  • From the Ground Up: Grassroots Advocacy to Address Policy Challenges
  • Medicaid Reimbursement for Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Best Practice Approaches
  • Human Trafficking, Intersections of Violence, and Trauma-Informed Care

Two days of stimulating Quality Transformation sessions:

  • Next Level Care Mangement: Risk Stratification and Intensive Intervention
  • Emphatic Inquiry: Using Patient-Centered Principles to Address Social Determinants of Health
  • The Closer: A New Approach to Patient-Centered Healthcare
  • Create a Customized Population Health Roadmap
  • Team-Based Care in a Teaching FQHC
  • Improving Colon Cancer Screening Rates: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

One day of excellent Strategic Leadership sessions:

  • Investing in Leadership to Create a Strong Safety Net
  • Addressing Burnout in an Era of Value-Based Purchasing
  • Cultivating a Coaching Culture

Two days of wonderful Workforce Optimization sessions:

  • Transforming MA Workforce Recruitment Needs into Retention Benefits
  • Foreign Medical Graduates: Alleviating Physical Shortages
  • Primary Care/Behavioral Health Workforce Gap Responses: Models that Work
  • Transitioning to Value-Based Staffing and Compensation
  • Flip the Switch: Reducing Burnout with Human-Centered Design
  • Integrate Community Health Workers in Primary Care – 5 Best Practices
  • Using Data to Make Workforce Dreams a Reality
  • Workforce Pipeline: Effectively Train Health Professions Students


Video recordings of the 2018 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 2018 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 2018 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 several 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 Welcome Reception on Saturday evening featured a Denver jazz band and opportunities for networking and mingling.

At Sunday evening’s Wine Tasting and Dinner, participants enjoyed red and white wines paired with three savory courses.

Attendees of the CHC Tour of Denver Health’s Community Health Services (DHCHS) on Monday afternoon explored the medical, dental, and pharmacy services at DHCHS’ main clinic site as well as their school-based clinic program.

On Monday evening, more than 50 students and staff from health centers and primary care associations gathered to network at the Region VIII Meet & Greet.

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

Dr. Judith Steinberg and Capt. Sheila Pradia-Williams led dialogues including the CMO Listening Session and the Bureau of Health Workforce Lunch.

Representatives from CliftonLarsenAllen (CLA) discussed Region VIII and Region X health center metrics during Monday’s Annual Measure of Finance, Operations, and Productivity (AMFOP) breakfast and work session.


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.