Annual Primary Care Conference

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Looking Forward to Fall 2017 in Seattle
Conference Highlights from Fall 2016 in Denver, CO


The 2017 NWRPCA/CHAMPS Annual Primary Care Conference will be held in Seattle, WA on October 21-24, 2017. The theme for this year’s conference will be “Together Toward Tomorrow: Celebrating 20 Years of Region 18.”

To submit a presenter proposal, please visit the Abstract Portal. The submission deadline is Monday, June 26, 2017.


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 15-18, 2016 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), IX (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Islands), X (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington), and across the country.

The 2016 conference theme was “Full Circle: Rooted in Our Future,” reflecting on our shared foundation of providing valuable and comprehensive community-based care, and recognizing how our mission to realize community health, wellness, and well-being influences our motivation moving into the future.

Please click or scroll down to learn more about:
Photo Memories
CHAMPS 2016 Award Recipients
Notable Speakers
Educational & Networking Sessions
Other Conference Events
Session & Event Handouts
Session Recordings
Continuing Education
Reimbursements for Registration and Clinician Travel Costs


View a photo journal from the 2016 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 18, 2015:

Richard Bair, Vice Chair of Horizon Health Care, Inc. Board of Directors in South Dakota, was awarded the Exceptional Board Leadership Award in recognition of his service to Horizon Health Care, Inc.

Maria Clemons, Executive Director of Northwest Community Health Center in Montana, was chosen to receive the Exceptional Administrative Leadership Award for demonstrating dedication to the health center mission through exceptional leadership and service.

Elias Hernandez, Medical Director of Salud Family Health Centers’ Fort Morgan Center in Colorado, was awarded with the Exceptional Clinical Leadership Award for demonstrating clinical excellence and commitment to providing quality health care for all.

Bob Marsalli, Former Executive Director of Montana Primary Care Association, was presented with the Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award for championing accessible, affordable, quality health care for all.

John Mengenhausen, Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Health Care, Inc. of South Dakota, was given the CHAMPS Presidential Award with sincere appreciation for his commitment, vision, and steadfast leadership.

Delfina Merino, Medical Assistant at Summit Community Care Clinic of Colorado, was awarded the Outstanding Advocate of the Underserved Award for demonstrating dedication to the health center mission through exceptional and inspiring service.

Dave Myers, President/Chief Executive Office of Metro Community Provider Network of Colorado, was presented with the Stanley J. Brasher Legacy Award for dedicating his career to promoting quality health care for all and contributing to the recognition and mission of community health centers in mountain/plains states.


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:

  • NACHC Representative: Joe Gallegos, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Research
  • HRSA Representative: Margaret Davis, Director, Office of Strategic Business Operations, Bureau of Primary Health Care

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

  • Margaret Davis, Office of Strategic Business Operations, Bureau of Primary Health Care
  • Dan Hawkins, NACHC Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Research
  • Charlene Frizzera, President and CEO, CF Health Advisors

The Tuesday Closing Plenary was given by Roberto Dansie, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Cultural Wisdom.


The conference offered attendees a broad range of educational and networking sessions organized around the following tracks: Behavioral Health Integration, Clinical, Quality Transformation, Community Health Policy, Policy/Environment, Dental Integration, Fiscal, Governance, Operations, Information Technology, and Human Resources/Workforce. 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, IX, X, and from other regional and national consultants and partners. Continuing Education credit hours were offered for dentists, physicians, nurses, accountants, human resources professionals, and board members.


Energizing Behavioral Health Integration sessions:

  • Effective Behavioral Health Integration: Maximizing the License of the Behavioral Health Provider
  • In Support of Integrated Care: Perspectives on Policy and Payment Reform
  • The Story Behind Oregon’s SBIRT Incentive Measure and Its Impact on Implementation
  • Evaluating Integrated BH Treatment Outcomes: A Proposal to Improve Care
  • Principles of Trauma Informed Care and Strategies for Working with Patients
  • An Opioid Addiction Epidemic: Using Technology to Expand MAT Treatment In Primary Care
  • Responding to the Prescription Opioid Epidemic: Six Building Blocks for Primary Care Clinic Re-Design

 Clinical and Quality Transformation sessions offered throughout the conference:

  • How to Implement Clinical Pharmacy Services at Your Community Health Center
  • Are You a High Value Provider?
  • Integration of Provider Billable Visits into an Evidence-Based Obesity Prevention Program
  • Taking a Look at Food Insecurity within an FQHC Population
  • Precision Medicine: Perspectives From Community Health Centers and Community Based Organizations
  • Office without Walls – House Calls and Geriatric and at Risk Population Care
  • Clinical Leaders – Peer Learning
  • Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates In Community Health Centers
  • Colorectal Cancer Screening Training Process
  • The Protocol for Responding to and Assessing Patients’ Assets, Risks, and Experiences

Community Health/Policy and Policy/Environmental sessions spanned topics such as:

  • Impacting Access to Care for American Indians and Alaska Natives: The New Medicaid Reimbursement Model
  • Veterans Choice Program: Updates, Strategies, and Best Practices for CHC Participation
  • Level One Care for All: Improving Care for LGBT Patients in a Safety Net Health System
  • Ag Worker Access 2020 Campaign: Methods for CHC Engagement

A full day session in partnership with National Network of Oral Health Access (NNOHA) addressed Dental Integration:

  • Medical/Dental Collaboration at the Community Level
  • The Virtual Dental Home – Oral Health in Remote Areas
  • We Just Got an Oral Health Services Expansion Grant…What Next?

Multiple sessions were offered in the diverse Fiscal track, including:

  • Practical Application of the Uniform Guidance Update
  • Expanding Primary Care: Models of Integration, Project Considerations, and Financing Options
  • How to Navigate the Changing Federal Funding Environment
  • One Touch Billing
  • 19-Program Requirements from a Fiscal Perspective
  • Revenue Cycle Prediction
  • Strengthening Health Center Collections through Effective Revenue Cycle Management
  • Annual Measure of Finance, Operations, and Productivity
  • What Does a CEO need from a CFO?

Several sessions addressed Governance:

  • Building Cultural Competence within Yourself and Your Board
  • That was easy! Understanding Health Center Finances for Board Members
  • Effectiveness Boosters for the CHC Board

The Operations, Information Technology, and Human Resources/Workforce tracks addressed such topics as:

  • Building a Comprehensive and Strategic Recruitment and Retention Plan
  • The Role of Naturopathic Physicians in an Integrative and Collaborative Workforce
  • Activating Community Health Center and Community College Partnerships for Regional Health Workforce Benefit
  • Grow your Own – New Business Models and Collaborations for Clinical Workforce Training Program Development
  • Foreign Medical Graduates: How They Can Alleviate M.D. Shortages
  • Beyond Team-Building: Creating a Culture of Value and Connection
  • Leadership Presence – Inspiring Sustainable Results in Times of Constant Change
  • Workforce Benchmarking & Trends – Region 8 & 10 Salary Survey Results
  • Interoperability – Developing Your Use Cases
  • Role of PCMH in New Value Based Models
  • Optimizing Care Delivery: Balancing Innovation with Payment Structure
  • Try a Mock Patient Visit Instead of a Staff Meeting
  • We Need a Bigger Boat! Developing Innovative Programs to Compete in the New Healthcare Marketplace
  • Leading from within: Impacts on Social Determinants of Health
  • Emergency and Disaster Preparedness
  • The Pros and Cons of Claims Data for Value Based Payment
  • Assessing Your Environment: Health Centers As Assets in Their Community
  • Cybercrime, Ransomware and How to Minimize Risk at Your Facility
  • Health Centers in the Searchlight: Investigations, Whistleblowers, Self-disclosures…Oh My!

The Outreach and Enrollment track shared information regarding:

  • Reaching the Most Vulnerable: Targeting the Last of the Uninsured
  • Coming Full Circle: OE, Social Determinants of Health and Community Leaders
  • OE Conclusions: Outcomes and Effects on Health Centers
  • Evolving Health Care Delivery Landscape
  • The 2016 National Elections and Their Impact on Health Care Policy
  • Road Map to Payment Reform: Key Take-Aways for PCAs and Health Centers

Roundtable Sessions and Lunches held over two days for Board Members, Chief Executive Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Clinicians, Chief Financial Officers, Primary Care Associations, Human Resources, and Outreach & Enrollment Staff gave conference participants the opportunity to collaborate with other experts in their fields.


Video recordings of the 2016 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Primary Care Conference are available for conference participants and can be found on NWRPCA’s Learning Vault (login required).


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

The Welcome Reception on Sunday evening featured a live band and an opportunity for networking and mingling.


Many session and plenary speakers provided electronic versions of their presentations which have been posted on the NWRPCA website (login required) and are available to conference attendees.


In support of helping health center staff, clinicians, administration, and board of directors pursue 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), and continuing governance credit (GOV).

CEU certificates are accessed online. Conference attendees were sent an email after the conference with instructions on how to process their CEU online. Attendees are responsible for completing the process online and printing their certificate.


2016 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Fall Primary Care Conference registration reimbursement is available to CHAMPS Organizational Member CHCs in good standing as of October 14, 2016. 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 19th; 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 14, 2016. 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.