NAO Update
August 7, 2012

1. Message from the NAO President

It was wonderful to see so many AHEC Center and AHEC Program colleagues (approximately 600 of us!) at the "AHECs in the Changing Healthcare Landscape" conference in San Antonio last week.

I received many positive comments throughout the conference. We were challenged in different ways by dynamic keynote speakers—journalist T.R. Reid, humorist Brad Nieder, MD, and policymaker Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH. The session with Carolyn Booker, PhD, President, National Association of Medical Minority Educators, increased our awareness of a national organization that shares our goals for increasing diversity in the health professions. Workshops and poster sessions provided us with practical skills and information and/or ideas about new approaches. Awards recognized colleagues for their excellence. The beauty of San Antonio and the Institute of Texan Cultures event provided us with an opportunity to learn more about Texas.

Thank you to the South Texas AHEC Program and AHECs for your hospitality and to the Conference Committee for planning an excellent conference.

Thank you to conference attendees for your commitment to professional development at this conference designed to build on AHECs' capacity to adapt to change that is ongoing, incremental and transformational…sometimes all in one day!

Mary J. Sienkiewicz
NAO President

2. From the Executive Director's Office

What a tremendous NAO conference we had last week in San Antonio! It was a pleasure to see so many of you during the week, and I am sorry that I didn't get a chance to talk with you all. I thought all aspects of the conference were outstanding—dynamic, thought-provoking keynote speakers, excellent concurrent sessions, and terrific events and opportunities to network. Many, many thanks go to our NAO Conference Planning Committee for their hard work over the past two years; Sally Henry and Anne Maynard–you two are amazing! Thanks must also go to the host of the conference, South Texas AHEC and its staff—particularly Dr. Adela Gonzalez—for their hospitality, kind welcome, and support in making the conference successful and highly memorable. I also wish to acknowledge Texas AHEC East (Steve Shelton) and West Texas AHEC (Becky Conditt) for their collaboration with South Texas AHEC. A final thank-you goes to TEI for all their hard work and long, long hours behind the scenes. Everything worked on time, problems were quickly resolved, and Paul Rossmann and his team ensured that everyone had a seamless and successful experience at the conference and with the hotel. The bar is set very high for the 2014 conference, and I know we will meet and exceed it. Thanks again for a wonderful time in San Antonio!

Many of you have asked how to access some of the presentations and keynotes: Anything that WAS NOT previously uploaded on the flash drive that came in your registration packet will be uploaded to the NAO website in the next couple of weeks. Additionally, many of the pictures that were taken during the conference will be posted as well. It may take a little time to label and upload the pictures, so please be patient.

NAO Fall Conference
Quick on the heels of the San Antonio conference is the NAO Fall Conference, which is deep in its planning phase. The dates of the conference are 10/31-11/2/12, with the board meeting on 10/30/12. More information will be forthcoming as details are finalized; stay tuned!

Good News for Med Students: Debt Down
Here's an interesting article regarding medical student debt. Please click here to see it.  

I hope you all are now energized—and had an easy time getting home (if you attended the conference). Getting back into the swing of things after a week away isn't always easy, but I came away feeling excited and eager to put into practice some of the many new things I learned—if I could only tear myself away from the London Olympics (did you see the Men's 10,000 meter race!?)!

Have an outstanding week!

3. Advocacy Work Needed

To All Center Directors,

It was just wonderful seeing so many of you at our National Conference in San Antonio. For those of you who did not make it, you were missed.

As a follow up, we have plenty of advocacy work to do. We know that our congressional representatives are on break from now until September 10. During this time, please try to engage your legislators in local AHEC activities as much as possible. The increased visibility for our programs, nationwide, is our most important asset right now.

If you can, please let us know what, and how you are doing. Send our Executive Director a quick e-mail so he can build on your local activity when he is in Washington, D.C.

Looking forward to seeing you at our Fall Meeting.

Mary Mitchell, Executive Director, MSI AHEC
President-Elect, NAO

4. Next Veterans Mental Health Webinar on August 7
A-TrACC TA Webinar 213T-A. The Story of War & Warriors & Rural Mental Health: Community Partnerships and Technology Vital to Rural Health led by Harold Kudler, MD, Mid-Atlantic Veterans Health Care Network Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Duke University Medical Center.

Register: August 7, 3:00 PM Eastern

5. Final Veterans Mental Health Reporting Forms Available: Send Us Your Data Now!
The final evaluation and reporting forms and guidelines for the A-TrACC Project for the Behavioral/Mental Health of Veterans/Service Members & Families are now available on the A-TrACC website or in the A-TrACC Vets Mental Health Resource Room. Reports must be submitted on the spreadsheet provided. For this fiscal year, all reports are due by August 30, 2012. If you cannot meet this deadline, contact Gretchen Forsell at ASAP.

Complete a separate spreadsheet for each CE event. If you have already used previous versions of these materials, that is fine. Report what you have in the respective areas of the spreadsheet, and contact us with questions. Thank you for your participation in this project. We will be providing more TA and support in FY 2013, so keep up the good work!

6. Field Guide Now Available: July 2012
The July 2012 edition of the A-TrACC Field Guide Suggestions for Collecting and Reporting HRSA BHPr Performance Measures can now be downloaded from our website and the Adobe Connect Resource Room. This Field Guide was created by A-TrACC to foster data collection from the perspective of AHEC center staff. The sample forms and associated guidelines gather all field data needed from participants, students and AHEC staff to meet the requirements of the current BHPr Performance Measures. AHEC Centers and Programs are free to adapt and use these forms to meet their specific needs. Their use is not required by HRSA. For more information contact A-TrACC at

For guidance regarding performance measure requirements, tables and definitions, contact your HRSA Project Officer or refer to the current version of the Performance Report for Grants and Cooperative Agreements manual posted on the HRSA website at

7. Don't Forget: Learning Opportunity Thursday, August 9, 2012
Topic: Children's Environmental Health Research
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM ET (2:00 PM – 3:30 PM MT)
The EPA and NIEHS Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers Program ("Children's Centers") was established in 1998 to explore ways to reduce children's health risks from environmental factors. The long-range goals of the program include understanding how environmental factors affect children's health and promoting translation of basic research findings into intervention and prevention methods to prevent adverse health outcomes. This session will share current research and discuss how the Children's Centers foster research collaborations among basic, clinical, and behavioral scientists with engagement and participation from local communities.

To register, click here.

8. Reminder about K-20 Initiatives and the Database
For some time now, you have been asking for a way to share ideas and replicate successful K-20 initiatives with other members. The Education Committee is very pleased to offer a way for all of us to do exactly that. We would like you to share your Center or Program initiatives for elementary, middle school, high school, or college/university students. Specifically, we would like to publish programs that focus on youth recruitment into health careers, health promotion and wellness activities, or enrichment programs in sciences, math or more, and workforce development certification programs in the public health or health careers pipeline. Please click here and enter your information. You will also see an option to search the database as well if you would like to view other AHECs' information. If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to our Education Committee Co-chairs, Mary Craig at, or Gloria Pressley McGruder at

Mission Statement: The National AHEC Organization supports and advances the AHEC Network to improve health by leading the nation in the recruitment, training and retention of a diverse health workforce for underserved communities.

©National AHEC Organization | 7044 S. 13th Street, Oak Creek, WI 53154 | 414-908-4953 x131|
Executive Director Rob Trachtenberg | 414-908-4953 |

To submit an item, please click here.Deadline: Thursdays, noon CST.

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