1. From the Executive Director‘s Office
I'm looking forward to attending the Baltimore Veterans' Mental Health Train-The-Trainer (TTT) Workshop February 21-22, 2012, and I'm thrilled to let you all know that we'll have great external representation at this workshop. There will be three HRSA representatives and leaders from the American Nurses Association—a potential new NAO organizational partner. We had a provisional acceptance for representation from the Office of the First Lady's Joining Forces (JF) Initiative, though they had to cancel late last week. I will try to get someone from JF to attend a future TTT. The Baltimore Train-the-Trainer—and the remaining ones scheduled—is a great way to highlight NAO and AHEC's network and national capacity to effect change on a number of levels; please make every effort to attend one of the remaining eight workshops. For more information and the complete workshop schedule, visit the A-TrACC website.
A while ago I asked that all the AHEC Programs send me a one- or two-page brief summary of AHEC state impact and data that I can use as a quick reference point in the event that I get a request from a Congressional staffer or external partner regarding a particular component of our work. You'd be surprised to know how frequently this occurs. I will be heading to Washington soon and meeting with Appropriations Committee members, as well as others, and the more data documenting our impact I have, the more effective my message can be. I've received data from a handful of states, and I'd love to get as much as I can in order to make the most compelling argument regarding AHEC's impact nationally. Please send me what you can, and preferably before the end of March; thanks!
Finally, I want to share a brief story with you all. Last week while running early in the morning with a friend and his brother-in-law, who was visiting from out of town, we got to talking about our work, and, during the course of the run, the brother-in-law (also named Rob) mentioned that he owns a small multimedia marketing and communications firm in Vermont. As I described our national network and the various initiatives in which we're engaged, Rob asked that I send him the link to our website so he could give a look and provide some general feedback. Given that I'm always open to free feedback whenever offered, I sent him the link to the NAO website, and, after he had a chance to review, this is what he said: "AHEC rocks! What tremendous and vital work you all are doing! And given that you are overhauling your site, you are primed, as an emerging network, to collaboratively tell your story through social media and other new digital media tools in some innovative ways."
Hearing this was confirmation that we're all doing some incredible work, and, while I understand there may have been some fishing for new business, his feedback did spur my thinking as to how we tell the NAO and AHEC story, locally and nationally. I am thrilled that the NAO Branding initiative is underway, which gives us a formal structure to market NAO and the AHEC network and enhance our national visibility, though how we tell our story informally every single day to those who matter is something I think needs to be part of our thinking as well. Using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other methods to tell our story is vitally important, and I am sure there are more tools that I'm not totally familiar with yet (foursquare, Instagram?). I encourage you all to think how you can regularly tell the story of your AHEC to those who matter as a means to share your successes, strive for sustainability, and meet NAO's, your Center's and your Program's mission. I look forward to hearing your stories; please be sure to put them on the NAO Facebook page regularly: http://www.facebook.com/NationalAHECOrg. There's so much great work going on all throughout the country, and no one will tell our story for us.
Have a great week!
2. Upcoming A-TrACC Trainings
AHEC Project for Veterans/Service Members & Families Mental & Behavioral Health
2012 Performance Measures
Vets Mental Health Train-The-Trainer Workshops
Questions? Contact Tom Bacon or Suzanne Matthew, Awards Committee Co-Chairs, if you have an idea but aren't sure if it is worthy of an award nomination.
Suzanne Matthew (WI)
Tom Bacon (NC)
4. Allegiance Corps Request: Qualifications Due April 6, 2012
The Allegiance Corps Program will place 20 full-time AmeriCorps members at AHECs across the nation to develop a public health approach that meets the increasing health and social support needs of service members, veterans and their families.
The AHEC Program is uniquely positioned to provide AmeriCorps members with the resources necessary to bring about positive sustainable change in the lives of service members, veterans and their families, a growing medically underserved population. Building synergy between the AmeriCorps mission of mobilizing volunteers to create solutions to our nation's toughest challenges with the AHEC mission of improving health care for vulnerable populations will provide innumerable benefits to our military families.
Please use the following link to learn more about this opportunity and how to submit a proposal. www.nwctahec.org
5. Support for State/Regional Quality of Life Programs
6. Content for the Next Monday Update Will be Due February 15, 2012 at Noon CST
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.
To submit an item, please click here. Deadline: Thursdays, noon CST.