HRSA’s National Resource Center (NRC) for Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) advances health center operational excellence through the development, coordination, and dissemination of training and technical assistance available to health centers nationwide.
Established in July 2017 with HRSA funding to the National Association for Community Health Centers (NACHC), the NRC serves as the vehicle through which 21 National Training and Technical Assistance Partners (NTTAPs) collaborate and coordinate activities to support health centers. Click here for a full list of the 20 NTTAPs. In 2018, the NRC was joined by representatives from three primary care associations (PCAs) and two Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs).
What are the National Resource Center’s three main objectives?
- Advance and operationalize a continuous health center learning system rooted in best practices, accelerated learning, improved coordination and reduced duplication;
- Document and demonstrate the collective impact of TTA investments for the Health Center Program, particularly across the range of national cooperative agreements; and
- Serve as a pathway for larger dissemination of implementation interventions, with special emphasis on Diabetes in the initial three-year project period.
What does the National Resource Center do?
To help achieve these standards, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) provides health centers with tailored training and technical assistance (TTA). This TTA is often provided through National Training and Technical Assistance Partners (NTTAPs), Primary Care Associations (PCAs), and Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs).
The National Resource Center (NRC) is working to align, leverage and coordinate the efforts of these TTA providers in response to health center needs. The NRC enhances communication and fosters collaboration amongst these TTA providers to bring maximum value in services provided.
The Health Center Resource Clearinghouse is a major product of the NRC, located at: www.healthcenterinfo.org.
Why the Need for a National Resource Center?
For more than 50 years, health centers have provided care for individuals in need of comprehensive primary health care in underserved areas.
Health centers design their services around their community’s health needs, which not only include medical care but also pharmacy, oral health care, behavioral health care, treatments for substance use disorders, and social services — all in one model. Health center clinical providers and other staff provide these services in a variety of community settings.
For continuous learning and practice transformation, health centers often rely on NTTAPs, PCAs, and HCCNs. Each TTA provider addresses unique and specific health center needs in order to improve care for patients and advance service delivery.
In an increasingly complex and uncertain health care ecosystem, health centers need a coordinated approach to identifying and obtaining targeted TTA resources. In 2017, HRSA established the National Resource Center (NRC) to support communication, coordination, and collaboration among HRSA-funded TTA providers serving health centers.
Led by an Advisory Group including representatives from NTTAPs, PCAs, and HCCNs, the NRC seeks to foster, amplify, and leverage each organization’s TTA efforts for greater collective impact for health centers.
How does the NRC work?
The NRC advances strategic goals set by HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC)
- Increase access to primary health care by assessing health centers’ learning needs and promoting resources to meet those needs.
- Advance health center quality and impact through a clearinghouse website that encompasses a range of vetted content to support clinical, financial, and operational improvements in health centers.
- Optimize TTA operations by streamlining management and communication efforts across HRSA-funded TTA providers.
NRC efforts toward these goals include:
Establishing a partnership model for the NTTAPs as well as representative PCAs and HCCNs to bolster their collective efforts for increased impact nationwide.
Aligning TTA partners in their efforts to demonstrate the value and impact of a continuous health center learning system.
Convening TTA partners to streamline multiple learning needs assessments into a single tool and then implementing the assessment nationwide.
- The needs assessment provides a current baseline understanding on high priority learning needs of health centers.
Creating across all national TTA providers, a website (healthcenterinfo.org) to serve as a clearinghouse of free health center learning resources.
- Established rigorous vetting criteria ensures evidence-based, relevant content for health centers.