Community Health Grant FY 2021 RFA

DHHS Division/Office issuing this notice:   Office of Rural Health 

Date of this notice:   November 5, 2019 

Grant Applications will be accepted beginning November 5, 2019
Deadline to Receive Applications: January 15, 2020

Working Title of the funding program:   Community Health Grants

Purpose: Description of function of the program and reason why it was created: 

Safety net organizations are facing increasing demand for access to services in communities across our state. The current opioid crisis, behavioral health needs, integrated patient care, ensuring the health of children and families, and the use of telehealth strategies to improve access and sustainability are among the many issues facing safety net providers. Collaboration among providers in the counties and regions of our state is a key component to address these issues. The Community Health Grant RFA will look for cooperation and collaboration among county and regional partners as part of the application process.  
These grant funds, supported through the North Carolina General Assembly, are for assuring access to primary and preventive care to meet the health needs of our state’s most vulnerable populations. Strengthening the safety net through increased levels of collaboration and integration of services and organizations to more effectively meet the needs of those served is also an important purpose of this grant.
Primary care safety net organizations who care for underserved and medically indigent patients in the state are eligible to apply for this funding to pay for patient care through encounter-based reimbursement (Track A) or through reimbursement for eligible expenses (Track B). Telehealth services and equipment are eligible expenses in both tracks. Applicants must select ONE track. 

Track A: Encounter based reimbursement. Payment per patient encounter for low-income, uninsured and underinsured residents, who do not have health care coverage or access to primary health care services. Visits are reimbursable for medically necessary, on-site, face-to-face provider encounters. Face-to-face encounters may also include telehealth patient encounters with a provider.

NOTE - Per the Free Clinics Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Program Policy Guide, grant funding that applies to reimbursement, payment, or compensation for the delivery of health services to patients falls within the statutory prohibition, while grant funding that is not intended for or applied to this purpose does not. Free clinics who are FTCA recipients that choose a “per encounter’ reimbursement methodology may void their FTCA liability protection.

Track B: Reimbursement for eligible expenses. Payment may include salary/fringe for clinical staff, medical/office supplies and equipment and capital expenses, including equipment for telehealth services.

Technical Assistance: Webinar: November 15, 2019 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Funding Availability:  Funding requests will depend on money awarded for program use.  It is anticipated that the SFY 2021 Year One grant awards will be quite competitive. Approximately twenty grants will be awarded this year. 

Maximum Award Amount: Applicants may request up to a maximum of $150,000 for 12 months of funding. 

Proposed Project Period or Contract Term: State Fiscal Year 2021: July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021

Eligibility: All primary care safety net organizations that provide direct primary and preventive care and serve as a medical home are eligible to apply.  This includes: 
    ᵒ    Federally qualified health centers and look-alikes (FQHCs), 
    ᵒ    Free and charitable clinics, 
    ᵒ    Health departments, 
    ᵒ    Hospital-owned primary care clinics, 
    ᵒ    Rural health centers, 
    ᵒ    School-based and school-linked health centers, 
    ᵒ    AHEC clinics
    ᵒ    Other non-profit community organizations that provide direct primary and preventive patient care to low-income, uninsured, underinsured and medically vulnerable populations. 

The Office of Rural Health encourages new applicants. Those applicants without a current Community Health Grant (entering Year 2 and Year 3) will receive an additional ten (10) points.

Eligible organizations that provide direct primary and preventive care may use these funds to support any of the following

•    telehealth patient care,
•    community health workers,
•    health promotion, health maintenance, health counseling,
•    disease prevention,
•    patient education, 
•    diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses in a variety of health care settings (care coordination/care management by a primary care entity, behavioral health, oral health, women’s health, maternal and child health that supports health care services in a primary care setting),
•    collaborative community-based whole person-centered health care delivery models.

The Department and ORH work to advance the health, safety and well-being of all North Carolinians in collaboration with a wide array of partners and stakeholders. In its Strategic Plan, 2019-2021, /ncdhhs-strategic-plan-2019-2021-web/download, the Department focuses on and encourages collaboration among community partners in integrating physical health and behavioral health services, increasing community awareness and prevention of drug overdose and death, and the importance of healthy children and families.
All applicants are encouraged to consider such collaborations. When describing collaborative relationships, outline specific partnerships within the community and their role in the partnership. If applicants in communities with multiple safety net organizations cannot show collaborative relationships, please address the barriers that exist to developing these relationships. 
Access to health care can be a problem for patients in a remote area. It may be difficult to get to a hospital quickly in an emergency or patients may be required to travel long distances to get routine checkups and screenings. Additional points may be added to applications from communities with a low ratio of providers per population. 

As a condition of receiving a grant award, successful applicants must: 
•    Submit a monthly expense report in a specified format for reimbursement 
•    Submit performance reports quarterly or biannually throughout the grant term
•    Use an electronic financial software application (EXCEL spreadsheets are not acceptable formats)
•    Document collaborations among safety net and social support organizations specifying distinct roles of each organization and designated fiscal responsibilities. 
•    Connect to NC HealthConnex 
To meet the state’s mandate, a provider is “connected” when its clinical and demographic information are being sent to NC HealthConnex at least twice daily.” For further information, please see the HIEA website:

How to Apply:  
Applicants must submit the following documents electronically through the electronic survey. 
1.    Organizational Information and Signature Sheet 
2.    Organizational Profile 
3.    Summary of Evaluation Criteria and Baseline Data 
4.    Grant Narrative
5.    Budget

Deadline for Submission:  
Grant applications must be received electronically by the Office of Rural Health by January 15, 2020.
Only electronic applications will be accepted. Access to the electronic application is a two-step process:

  1. You must submit your organization name and contact information through the following link which opens November 5, 2019 and closes on January 10, 2020: (Closed)
    You will need to submit your contact information no later than January 10th. After January 10th you will not be able to receive a personalized link to submit an application.
    Once you submit your contact information in the link above, you will receive an email with a personalized link specific to your organization. The link in the e-mail will give you access to the electronic application. The application closes January 15, 2020. 
  2. Once you submit your contact information in the link above, you will receive an email with a personalized link specific to your organization. The link in the e-mail will give you access to the electronic application. The application closes January 15, 2020. 

How to Obtain Further Information:  Funding Agency Contact/Inquiry Information: Ginny Ingram at or 919-527-6457 

For assistance with the link: Contact Johnathan McEachin, or 919-527-6468; Lola Omolodun, or 919-527-6453

Community Health Grant RFA Document
Community Health Grant RFA Track B Budget Document
Community Health Grant Q&A Webinar Session Document from November 15, 2019