NAO Update
September 4, 2012

1. From the Executive Director's Desk

There are a few important items that I want to share with you this week, so please make sure to read each one fully! Much is happening both within NAO and with external partners. The post-San Antonio conference lull has come and gone, and planning for the Fall Conference—and many other initiatives and activities—is in high gear!

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced its updated list of designated primary medical care, mental health, and dental health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) as of April 2012. A substantial number of designation and withdrawal requests come from the Primary Care Office (PCO) in state health departments and are reviewed and updated as necessary annually by HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The list highlights provider shortages by demography, geography, and institution, identifying areas in which National Health Service Corps (NHSC) professionals may serve. Entities that include clinical training sites in HPSAs may receive priority for HRSA residency training program grants.

Please note that HPSAs added to the designation list since April 2012 are excluded from the current HPSA publication, but are included on the HRSA website.

For further information regarding shortage designation, please view the HRSA website by clicking here. Frequently updated information on HPSAs is also available here.

New Military Families Speaker Series
For those of you who participated in the NAO Veteran's Mental Health/TBI Initiative, and wish to build on what you've already done in your communities, you may have an interest in this free speaker series.

On Tuesday, August 28 the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress launched the new speaker series with a presentation by Adriana Rodriguez, LCSW, and Rebecca Wynn, MS, Ed, from Home Again: Veterans and Families Initiative Martha K. Selig Educational Institute JBFC. The title of the presentation is "An Overview of the Military Family Experience and Culture." This presentation provided an overview on military families and military culture issues.

The Full Series Includes:
-An Overview of the Military Family Experience and Culture
August 28, 2012
-Child Abuse and Neglect in Military Families: Community and Military Partnerships
September 11, 2012
-Strong Families Strong Forces: A Program to Support Military Families with Young Children
September 25, 2012
-School and Behavioral Health Support Services for U.S. Army Children and Families
October 16, 2012
-"Welcome Back Veterans" Programs: Supporting and Transforming the Lives of Service Members, Veterans and their Families
October 23, 2012

For more information, please see the NCTSN Military Families Learning Community Course.

For the August 28 presentation, please click here for Blackboard Collaborate link.

For the Audio Portion: Call 1-866-295-5950 and enter guest code 5318986#.

Questions about the Series? Contact Gregory Leskin, PhD, at

Interprofessional Education and Research Opportunity
Saint Louis University Center for Interprofessional Education and Research (CIER) invites you to the first IPE conference: Exploring Pedagogy of Interprofessional Education to Improve Teamwork and Patient Outcomes.

Interprofessional Education (IPE) has gained significant prominence as a means for improving patient outcomes through preparing healthcare providers for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPCP). Outcomes of IPCP include: the reduction of errors, better coordination of patient care, more effective transitions of care, increased patient safety, and increased patient self-management of their health condition. Effective IPE pedagogies are the methods of developing collaboration-ready practitioners. The conference will include keynote speakers and workshops addressing educational learning experiences that lead to collaborative practice, effective teamwork, and patient-centered care. Strategies for undergraduate and post-professional academic and clinical settings will be included. Conference learning objectives include:

1) Applying IPE to accomplish a caring response and improve patient-centered care and outcomes;

2) Incorporating teamwork in interprofessional learning activities;

3) Using critical reflection for transformative learning; and

4) Linking IPE programs with interprofessional collaborative practice.

Call for Abstracts: Participants who want to share their work on IPE educational programs are invited to submit abstracts highlighting the education methods being implemented at their institutions that result in, or contribute to, the learning objectives mentioned above. Authors of the selected abstracts will provide a 10-15-minute presentation on their program during the workshops to help facilitate discussion and accomplishment of the conference learning objectives. Additional conference information and call for abstracts will be posted on the SLU website in the near future. For more information, visit us on the web at To receive direct e-mail regarding this event, send your contact to

Congratulations to Steve Shelton!
Steve Shelton, director of Texas AHEC East and assistant vice president for Community Outreach at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), has been named the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus by the UTMB School of Health Professions. Read the full press release here. See how Steve's leadership has significantly impacted the health of Texas and of the nation. Congratulations, Steve!

I hope you all had a restful and enjoyable Labor Day, and have a terrific week!


2. Expression of Interest to Host the 2014 NAO Conference

No sooner has the 2012 NAO Conference adjourned than it's already time to start planning the 2014 NAO Conference!

The 2012 NAO Conference in San Antonio was a resounding success–we had just over 600 attendees, three fabulous keynote speakers. and dozens of fantastic sessions and posters. The enthusiasm of the attendees was incredible and invigorating, so let's harness that energy as we share the Expression of Interest (EOI) with our Centers and Program Offices that may be interested in hosting the 2014 conference.

The due date for the EOIs will be October 15. From the submissions received, the Conference Planning Committee will present recommendations to the NAO Board which will invite up to three entities to submit full proposals (due mid-December).

A technical assistance call will be held on September 10 to answer questions from prospective EOI applicants (call-in number 1-877-366-0711; participant code: 59472829). The call will be held at 11:00 am Pacific; 12:00 Mountain; 1:00 pm Central; 2:00 pm Eastern. Please help us get the word out and pass it along to your CD/PD constituency groups and any other interested individuals.

Click here to see more details. If you have any questions, please contact Paul Rossmann, Association Manager, at

3. Nebraska, Oklahoma, and South Texas AHECs Partnering to Utilize a CME Activity to Improve Immunization Rates within Area Practices and Meeting Board Requirements for Maintenance of Certification Part IV
The Nebraska, Oklahoma, and the South Texas AHECs are experiencing great success working with area practices providing education to raise immunization rates across age groups. By bringing the PROTECT™ (SupPorting AppROpriate ImmunizaTions Across the AgE SpeCTrum) immunization initiative to the sites they service, they are able to offer their clinicians certified online performance improvement education to analyze how their practice as a whole is doing regarding immunizations, to provide CME educational opportunities that can be implemented to support positive systems-wide change, and to offer physicians their choice of a wide variety of credit types upon completion of their chosen activity, including Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part IV credits from the American Boards of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Family Medicine.

This education is also being made available to other AHECs and can be easily accessed via the PROTECT website at The PROTECT Performance Improvement CME initiative offers a variety of online immunization education modules (called performance improvement modules, or PIMs) based on the age group–immunization in early childhood, immunization in adolescence, and immunization in high-risk adulthood.

Once chosen and registered for, the online education modules lead the learner through three stages of learning.
• Stage A: Assess current knowledge and performance
Current practice patterns will be measured via a self-assessment survey and initial patient chart reviews
– Clinicians complete a self-assessment survey (time estimate–30 minutes)
– A sample of patient charts are identified and entered into the online chart tool within the activity (time estimate—1 week)
– Measure results are automatically presented and participants complete the Stage A evaluation
• Stage B: Apply learning
– Clinicians identify and complete one required online educational intervention and two other recommended online educational interventions from a list provided within the learning module. Clinicians are asked to create and implement an Action Plan during this Stage (time estimate, 30 days minimum).
– Clinicians complete the Stage B evaluation (time estimate—20 minutes)
• Stage C: Evaluate the effect of your action plan and educational activities
– Clinicians complete a follow-up self-assessment survey and review results compared to Stage A (time estimate–30 minutes)
– A sample of patient charts are identified and entered into the online chart tool within the activity (time estimate–1 week)
– Measure results are automatically presented, clinicians complete the Stage C evaluation

The PROTECT Performance Improvement CME initiative is available nationwide. If you are interested in engaging your area clinical sites with PROTECT and would like more information, please contact Michele Frey at The France Foundation at, or visit today.

4. Steve Shelton Named 2012 Distinguished Alumnus by UTMB School of Health Professions

Steve Shelton, director of Texas AHEC East and assistant vice president for Community Outreach at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), has been named the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus by the UTMB School of Health Professions. Steve was featured speaker at the School's commencement on Friday, August 17, when 276 students graduated.

Steve earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from UTMB in 1975. He was one of six men and eight women in the third class to graduate from the program. In 1983, he earned an MBA from the University of Houston Clear Lake. He is a certified physician's assistant licensed by the Texas State Board of PA Examiners.

Since its inception in 1990, Steve has been director of the AHEC program at UTMB. He has worked extensively with community and campus partners to design and implement a wide array of health workforce enhancement programs.

Steve has served in national leadership roles and as an international consultant for health workforce policy, planning and development. He was president of NAO from 1998 to 1999 and has served the organization in many other capacities, including chairing the Program Directors Constituency Group and the NAO Bulletin Editorial Board, the 2000 Workshop Planning Committee, the Organizational Consolidation Work Group, and the International Health Interest Group. He currently co-chairs the Membership Committee and is a member of the Policy and Legislative Committee and the Strategic Planning Workgroup. He is a member of the HRSA Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary Community-Based Linkages and an ambassador to the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program.

Over his career at UTMB, Steve has been principal or co-principal investigator of grants and contracts totaling nearly $34 million dollars and has administered a total of $90 million in program and project support.

5. Next Veterans Mental Health Webinar is Friday, September 7
Find out what we have accomplished and where this project is headed in the next fiscal year. Attend A-TrACC TA Webinar 214T-A, Project Wrap Up and Next Steps, led by Mary Wainwright, Project Director, and Kyle Peplinski, HRSA A-TrACC Project Officer.

Register: September 7, 1:00 PM Eastern

6. Reminder Regarding Advocacy
To All Center Directors,

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


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.

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