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Connection Newsletter - ADHS grants requested blanket waivers

AzHHA asked and the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) answered with an Administrative Order that is valid for 60 days.

ADHS grants requested blanket waivers

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) issued an Administrative Order Friday reinstating blanket waivers authorized last year and expired in May 2021. AzHHA requested the reinstatement in August citing the need for regulatory flexibility during hospital surges. The Administrative Order is valid for 60 days. AzHHA would like to thank ADHS for its flexibility and response as our member hospitals continue to serve our communities during the recent patient surge.

In memory of - Frank Pratt

The House of Representatives announced Tuesday the passing of Representative Frank Pratt. Representing District 8 since 2009, Pratt was one of our legislative champions during Medicaid restoration and expansion. He was a consummate professional who conducted himself with honor and integrity. Pratt was 79.

CDC report details support for COVID-19 vaccine

The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) released Tuesday supports vaccination for ages 16 and older following a 14-month study. In the report, CDC recommends “continued use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, now fully approved by the FDA in persons aged ≥16 years based on increased certainty that its benefits (prevention of asymptomatic infection, COVID-19, and associated hospitalization and death) outweigh vaccine-associated risks.” Read the full MMWR here.

Putting kids first; House Committee hearing

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Wednesday held a hearing examining the impact of COVID-19 on children. Witnesses included Margaret Rush, M.D., president of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt who said the pandemic is having a tragic impact on the health and mental health of children while also stressing hospital finances and staff. “In recent weeks, children’s hospitals have tripled the number of hospitalized children due to COVID-19,” Rush said. “Although we have seen slight improvements in COVID-19 volumes in the past week, we are at the beginning of an anticipated increase in [multi-inflammatory syndrome in children],” which typically produces a secondary wave of seriously ill children 3-6 weeks after acute infection peaks in the community.

HHS extends open enrollment period

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) extended the Open Enrollment period for an extra 30 days. Through January 15, 2022, consumers will be able to review and choose their plan on The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is also expanding services provided by Federally-facilitated Marketplace Navigators—experts who help consumers, especially those in underserved communities, understand their benefits and rights, review options, and enroll in Marketplace coverage.

COVID-19 supportive care

Patients with acute or chronic COVID-19 symptoms and related complications are discovering COVID-19 supportive care – at no cost to them. “This is the first medical professional who has acknowledged my long COVID symptoms,” said a patient recently referred to the palliative care telehealth service. Prior to discovering the COVID-19 supportive care program, this patient noted the challenges they faced when trying to find the right care. “I’ve had the virus for eight months and had more than 40 doctor consultations!!! So, thank you.”

The service is open to people suffering with the complexities of COVID-19 related symptoms, or those chronic conditions exacerbated by COVID-19. Patients do not need a physician’s referral to receive this specialized, palliative care. Learn more at

Sepsis awareness month

Sepsis doesn’t only affect adults – it can have devastating consequences for children too. Each year, approximately 75,000 children develop sepsis in the United States alone. That’s more than 200 children per day. Learn more at

Upcoming Events

October 5 - 10 a.m. - AzHIP Pandemic Recovery & Resiliency Public Forum

Your input is crucial to ensuring the strategies and actions are impactful to Arizonans. Feedback received during this forum will be reviewed and contribute to the direction moving forward. 

What you can expect of this forum:

  • Preview the vision and strategies of the 5th AzHIP priority - Pandemic Recovery & Resiliency
  • Capture feedback on the draft plan
  • Identify opportunities for statewide partners to help implement the plan and get involved

Please register for this event by Friday, October 1 if you would like to attend.

October 8-9 - Teaching Health Center - Is it the right fit for your organization?

Community health centers, Critical Access Hospitals, rural health clinics, and IHS tribal health center staff involved in primary care students and resident training and education are encouraged to attend the Teaching Health Center hybrid conference October 8-9, 2021. There is no cost to attend. However, registration is required. There is a limit of 60 in-person attendees. Click here to learn more and register.

October 12-13 - ACHIEVE 2021, 14th Annual Health Current Summit & Trade Show

Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., National Coordinator for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), will kick off the 14th Annual Health Current Summit & Trade Show on Oct. 12. This year's Summit is a hybrid event, so we look forward to coming together either in-person or online. Join us on Oct. 12-13 – either in-person or virtually. Click here to learn more and register.

October 14 – 2021 Arizona Health Equity Conference

AzHHA is a proud sponsor of the statewide movement to promote resiliency and health equity, the 2021 Arizona Health Equity Conference. This conference is a great opportunity to understand current health equity research, outreach and policies taking place in Arizona and to connect with partners who are working in the field of health equity or interested in reducing health disparities. To view the conference program, click here. Both virtual and limited in-person registration options are available.


In the News

Arizona’s free COVID-19 testing program for schools is up and running in 14 districts

Arizona Republic

F.D.A. Authorizes Pfizer Booster Shots for Older and At-Risk Americans

New York Times

CDC: 99.9% of eligible residents in southern Arizona county are vaccinated against COVID-19


Rural patients at risk as busy Tucson, Phoenix hospitals reject transfers, doctors say

Arizona Daily Star