Happy November Flex Coordinators!
Brrr… Winter has hit the D.C. area early and it's cold this year. We’ve already had one snowstorm and several days of freezing weather. I know those of you in the northern half of the country are laughing at me for calling less than an inch of snow a snowstorm, especially when it melted in 24 hours. The traffic snarls and travel delays caused by even that little bit of snow makes me sympathize with the folks who experience a lot more snow than we do every year.
Speaking of challenging events, I know you are all preparing for the upcoming competing continuation applications for Flex awards. We have scheduled the release of the application instructions for Monday, December 3. I will send an update on the Flex coordinators email list when it publishes or if there are any changes to the release date. Also, please mark your calendars for a Flex technical assistance (TA) webinar on December 11 and a Flex EMS TA webinar on December 12.
In preparation for the upcoming application, please make sure that your organization’s registrations in Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS), System for Award Management (SAM) and Grants.gov are all active and up-to-date. You will not be able to submit an application if any of these registrations have expired. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Apply for a Grant webpage has more information about all of these registration processes. Note that many organizations may manage these registrations at the organization level so please review your organization’s policies if you have not recently submitted an application in Grants.gov. All HRSA applicants now need to use the Grants.gov Workspace to complete the workspace forms and submit the application workspace package.
As a reminder, this year you will not need to request a carryover of unspent fiscal year (FY) 2017 funds because the recent Notice of Award (NOA) for the extension-with-funds created a two-year budget period from 9/1/2017 to 8/31/2019. The extended budget period means that FY 2017 funds remain available without requiring a carryover because we are still in the same budget period. However, despite the extension, a Federal Financial Report (FFR) is still due January 30, 2019. I realize many Flex coordinators don’t complete that report themselves so please make sure the folks in your finance office know that the FFR is needed to report the spending for the first twelve months of the two-year budget period.
In this season of reflection, I am thankful for all of you and the hard work you do on behalf of critical access hospitals (CAH) and people in rural communities.
Flex Program Coordinator