The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) has announced that the Youth Health Equity Model of Practice (YHEMOP) Summer 2019 Health Equity Fellow Application is now available. Through its YHEMOP program, OMH places students enrolled in higher education studies into short-term health equity fellowships to help meet the needs of diverse organizations. The OMH asks that this announcement be shared with networks that connect students or postgraduates to interesting learning opportunities. This YHEMOP webpage describes the YHEMOP Fellowship experience and requirements, and provides information about how to apply. For more information on the YHEMOP Program please visit the YHEMOP webpage or email us at


Consideration of pain in adult and child disability claims – Due February 15, 2019
The Office of Disability Policy, Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to solicit public comments and supporting data related to the consideration and documentation of pain in the medical evidence used in connection with claims for benefits. SSA will use the responses to the questions listed in the ANPRM and any other relevant research and data obtained to determine whether and how to propose revisions to the current policy regarding the evaluation of pain. Comment here.

Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters – Due February 19, 2019
On January 17, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced the release of the 2020 “Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters” (NBPP) [PDF, 95 pp]. Once finalized this rule will govern key aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the operation of the federal and state marketplaces, benefit standards for health plans, and premium stabilization programs. See also the CMS Fact Sheet and the 2020 Draft Letter to Issuers. For more details, see the January 30 Washington Update (under “ACA”); a blog post from the Georgetown Center for Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR); and “The 2020 Proposed Payment Notice, Part 1: Insurer and Exchange Provisions” (Health Affairs blog, 1/18/19). Comments on the rule are due February 19, 2019, and can be submitted via

Pain Management Task Force Draft Report – Due April 1, 2019
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA), requires that the public be given at least ninety (90) days to submit comments on any proposed updates and recommendations developed by the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force (Task Force). The Task Force is requesting comments on its Pain Management Best Practices: Updates, Gaps, Inconsistencies, and Recommendations (PDF), which includes sections on Unique Issues Related to Pediatric Pain Management; sickle cell disease; and Health Disparities in Racial and Ethnic Populations, Including African-Americans, Latinos, American Indians, and Alaska Natives. Submit comments.


The Startling Toll on Children Who Witness Domestic Violence is Just Now Being Understood (USA Today, 2/5/19)

Traji P. Henson: Black Communities Aren’t Getting the Mental Health Care They Need. I’m Helping to Break the Silence. (NBC’s THINK, 2/11/19; discusses importance of cultural competence)

 How Can Healthcare Improve Care for High-Need, High-Risk Patients? Just Ask Them (Fierce HealthCare, 2/12/19)

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With families at the center of health care, all children and youth reach their full potential and health disparities are eliminated.

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Family Voices is a national organization and grassroots network of families and friends of children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities that promotes partnership with families—including those of cultural, linguistic and geographic diversity—in order to improve health care services and policies for children.

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