NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
December 17, 2012


1. From the Executive Director's Desk

Happy Holidays!
A very happy and healthy holiday season to you all! Thank you all for everything you do for the AHEC Program and for NAO. May your holiday season and the New Year be filled with joy, peace, and many, many blessings.

I will be taking a little time off, though will mostly be available and will certainly be paying close attention to the negotiations and deliberations regarding the "Fiscal Cliff" and the Federal budgetary process as it unfolds up to the January 1, 2013 deadline. Any additional Action Alerts or advocacy activities will be based on the outcome of the deliberations; stay tuned!

Keep up the Pressure on Congress!
It is vital that we continue to reach out to Congress with the following message (which was the NAO Action Alert of a couple of weeks ago). The more Congress hears from us, the better. Please continue to make those calls!


The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has estimated that sequestration will reduce non-defense discretionary spending in Fiscal Year 2013 by 8.2 percent. For the Public Health Service [which includes the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)] this will represent an immediate $2.4 billion reduction in Fiscal Year 2013. At a time when America should be investing more in these agencies that encourage job creation and economic growth, the impact of an 8.2 percent cut to the Public Health Service will be abrupt and devastating. The Public Health Service provides a positive return on investment to our nation, protecting American lives and promoting American prosperity.

  • AHECs are funded through HRSA.
    • HRSA improves access to healthcare services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. HRSA trains health professionals and improves systems of care in rural and urban communities. It supports programs that prepare against bio-terrorism, compensates individuals harmed by vaccination, and maintains databases that protect against healthcare malpractice and healthcare waste, fraud and abuse.

Please weigh in with your Members of Congress and tell them to apply a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not sacrifice funding for public health programs like AHECs. The best way to prevent these cuts is to contact your Members of Congress and tell them to support public health programs.

We need you to call your Members of Congress. Please, tell your story and ask your elected representatives to support public health programs.

Instructions: Please call* your two Senators and House Representatives' Washington, D.C. offices and ask to speak with the staff person who handles health issues. *You can call your legislators at ____________ . You will get the Capitol switchboard. Ask to be connected to your legislator's office (you will need to call all of your Members of Congress. You have two Senators and one House Representative, so you will be making three calls total). You may also go online to to determine your two Senators and House Representative by entering your zip code in the right corner (also three calls total).

Making the call to your legislators: Whether you speak to this person directly or leave a message, tell them: My name is ____________ and I live in City/State/Zip. I am calling to urge Representative/Senator ________________ to apply a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not sacrifice funding for public health programs such as AHECs. [Include brief details on the impact cuts to the AHEC program would have on you or your organization]. All Americans are impacted by public health. The dedicated federal funding stream for public health provides education, counseling, testing, medical management, research, and other services for our citizens. I urge Representative/Senator ___________ to protect public health programs like the AHEC program. Please keep me informed of your actions.

Follow Up:
-Thank them for helping to protect public health programs.
-Ask to be informed how your Member of Congress will work to support your request.
-Don't just call once.
-Encourage others to call.

You're Invited: Opportunities for CDCG/PDCG Collaboration
In keeping with our plans to hold a joint CDCG/PDCG meeting at our NAO Fall Education Conference, Mary Craig and Elyse Perweiler, on behalf of their respective groups, would like to extend an invitation to interested Center and Program Directors to provide their input to the:

Operational Guidelines Work Group, which will look at congruency between Center and Program Guidelines and the NAO Bylaws and the Preceptorship Site Agreements Work Group, which will consider the emerging challenges in developing site agreements and suggest sample templates that could serve as a framework for similar agreements that could be customized by other AHECs and their institutions.

Meetings will be held by conference call and recommendations of both work groups put forward for consideration at the Spring Conference.

As Interprofessional Education (IPE) becomes more prominent in our academic settings, AHECs can play a key role in fostering and facilitating IPE. The Interprofessional Task Force is seeking interested CDCG and PDCG members who would like the opportunity to identify opportunities for collaboration and capacity-building activities that support IPE within the AHEC network. We will meet via conference call and webinar to begin more in-depth work on this important area.

Please e-mail Mary ( or Elyse ( with your contact information if you would like to join any of these groups. If you have any questions, please call either of us (Mary: 716-835-9358; Elyse: 856-566-7082). We would like to have the groups configured by mid-January, in advance of our monthly meetings. We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!

Have a great week and a fantastic Holiday break!

2. Don't Forge: Submit Your AHEC Stories to the NAO Annual Report! Abstracts Due January 10, 2013
The National AHEC Organization is compiling data and stories for the 2012 Annual Report, which gets published March 2013. This annual publication highlights the wide range of programs that AHEC provides the current and future healthcare workforce. Interested in having your AHEC's success story included in the 2012 edition? Develop a 50-word abstract touting one of the services your AHEC provides:

  • Health Careers Promotion/Preparation; P-16+ Pipeline
  • Health Professions Students/Residents Training; Community-Based Education
  • Health Professionals Recruitment and Retention; Practice Entry and Support
  • Continuing Education
  • Health Literacy/Promotion
  • Health and Community Development
  • Healthcare Workforce Planning and Assessment

The theme of this year's report is "AHECs – Responding to Local, State and National Healthcare Needs." We are looking for examples of how AHEC responds to identified needs in innovative and creative ways. Perhaps you revamped an old program or developed a new one in response to some change(s) in the operating environment. Or, tell us why your AHEC was best suited to respond to a particular healthcare need. If your AHEC's abstract is accepted, you will be asked to provide a 300-word article and photo (or graph) within a two-week period. E-mail abstracts to by Friday, January 10, 2013.

3. Congratulations to Sandra Pope!
She is an RHEC III member. Congrats to her for receiving the following recognition from The National Rural Health Association! The award reads:

The National Rural Health Association
Sandra Pope

Multiracial & Multicultural Council Chair
For your leadership and exemplary contributions
made throughout the years to rural multiracial
and multicultural populations.

With appreciation,
NRHA Board of Trustees and NRHA Staff
December 5, 2012

4. Mark Your Calendars for the 2013 National Health Literacy Summer Institute June 2-5, 2013
This is the premier opportunity to learn plain language skills to plan, write, and design effective, accessible information for print and web. This Institute has been sponsored by the University of New England in Maine for 22 years. See

The location is Freeport, Maine, home of LL Bean, and is just 20 minutes from Portland. The area offers wonderful venues to explore, both indoors and out—fresh seafood, great shopping, and gorgeous coast.

COST: Good news for hard times: Institute cost stays the same as 2012.
Details here:
SCHOLARSHIP: The Institute for Healthcare Advancement is offering the Len Doak Memorial Scholarship to attend both the IHA conference in May and this Institute in June 2013. Information here:
The Institute is limited to 36 participants, so register early to hold your place.
For more information, contact the Institute Director, Sue Stableford, MPH, MSB, at: or 207-221-4567.

5. The Next NAO Monday Update Will be Published January 7, 2013
We'll be taking a hiatus for two weeks. Happy Holidays, everyone!


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 |

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