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NAO Update
February 20, 2012

1. From the Executive Director's Office  
It's been an interesting, to say the least, last couple of weeks. Below are a number of items that I ask you to read carefully. 

President Obama's FY13 Budget
Much is going on right now, as you all know, with the President's FY13 Budget Proposal (announced on February 13, 2012), which proposes to eliminate the AHEC Program. I hope everyone has seen the NAO Alert that went out (two times) last week with details regarding the justification for program elimination. NAO will be providing a response and talking points for you all to use in contacting your Congressional Delegation. We will need everyone on board when the time is right. I will be going to Washington in mid-March to begin discussions with House and Senate Appropriation Committee members regarding restoring AHEC funds, and we'll make sure that everyone is prepared with specific talking points by then so as to coordinate our advocacy efforts nationally. As I mentioned last week,  speaking with one unified voice will be critical in getting our funding put back into the FY13 Federal Budget. NAO's and AHEC's strength is our collective strength; we have an enormously skilled and talented network and it will take every one pushing hard locally and nationally to get our message heard clearly. As a point of clarification, the President's FY13 Budget, however it ultimately plays out over the next 10 months or so, relates to FY 2013 funds, which support FY14 programming activities.

Public Policy Resources
One terrific advocacy resource that all AHECs can replicate fairly easily comes from the Ohio Statewide AHEC Program at the University of Toledo. Program Director Kathy Vasquez and the community-based AHECs affiliated with UT, send, each month, a one-page information piece on a single topic to respective state and federal delegations. Branded as ‘AHEC FYI,' each elected official receives a personally addressed electronic copy. Each topic incorporates a photo and a personal story, often with a testimonial about the AHEC impact. The template also recognizes funders and the community healthcare workforce and identifies the region served by the AHEC. You can take a look here (LAHEC, BAHEC, and SAHEC), and many thanks to Kathy and the Ohio AHECs for sharing this great resource!

Veterans' Mental Health/Substance Abuse Train-the-Trainer Workshops
I'm very much looking forward to participating in the Baltimore, MD Veterans' Mental Health Train-the-Trainer workshop tomorrow, as well as seeing AHEC staff from the mid-Atlantic states, our HRSA colleagues, and new partners from the American Nurses Association. It is imperative that we have a great turnout at each of the remaining Train-the-Trainer workshops, as touting NAO's activity in the area of Veteran's health issues will certainly be part of our strategy to highlight the skill, capacity, and impact of our national network. Here is a summary of the program that went to Program Directors outlining the importance of the A-TrACC Project for the Behavioral/Mental Health of Veterans/Service Members & Families.

From Our Partners at the NHSC: NHSC Virtual Job Fair
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) invites you to register and participate in the first “NHSC Virtual Job Fair” on Thursday, February 23, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET. This pilot program gives you the opportunity to virtually network and speak with administrators at NHSC sites looking to fill current medical positions with primary care providers interested in serving communities with limited access to health care. Space is limited and registration for providers closes on February 21, so we encourage you to read the information below and register soon if you are interested in participating.

NHSC's mission is to build healthy communities by supporting qualified primary care providers working in areas of the United States with limited access to care. Using Adobe Connect technology, you can also learn more about the NHSC and opportunities to join and have your eligible student loans repaid. This is a pilot program; the job fair is being limited to primary care medical providers (e.g., MDs/DOs, Certified Nurse Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants).  Providers from all areas of the country are welcome, but the sites participating in this pilot job fair are limited to the following states: AlabamaFlorida, GeorgiaKentuckyMississippi, North CarolinaSouth Carolina, and Tennessee.  Participants are not required to participate in all three hours of the fair; you will be able to choose the site sessions that interest you. Information about participating sites and informational sessions will be available on the NHSC website in the coming days.

To participate in the Virtual Job Fair, you must:

  • Have access to a computer, Internet, and a phone line the day of the job fair; and
  • Be seeking a medical position (primary care MD/DO, Nurse Midwife, Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant).

We encourage clinicians interested in participating in the Virtual Job Fair to register as soon as possible by clicking here. When you create your password, please keep that password in a safe place. You will need to use that password to access Adobe Connect on the day of the Virtual Job Fair. Clinician registration will be available until February 21. Please feel free to forward this invite to other clinicians seeking opportunities to practice in communities with limited access to care in the States identified above.

For more information on the Virtual Job Fair, please go here or send an e-mail.
Have a great week, and stay tuned for more information and resources regarding our advocacy efforts for the FY13 Federal Budget. Please let me know if you have any questions; looking forward to hearing from you.

2. Upcoming A-TrACC Trainings

AHEC Project for Veterans/Service Members & Families Mental & Behavioral Health
Veterans Mental Health – TA Webinar 208T-A: Signs & Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
James P. Kelly, B.A., M.A., M.D., Director, The National Intrepid Center of Excellence, will discuss the incidence of TBI in service members and explain strategies service members and their families use to overcome problems. Dr. Kelly is a neurologist and one of America's top experts on treating concussions.
Register: February 23, 1:30 PM ET

2012 Performance Measures
A-TrACC Webinar 216T-A&B. A-TrACC Field Guide Suggestions: Collecting and Reporting Continuing Education (CE) for BHPr Performance Measures - a component of AHEC Professional Education and Support Activities led by Mary Wainwright, A-TrACC Project Director, and Gretchen Forsell, A-TrACC Project Manager.
Register: Feb. 27, 3:00 PM ET
Register: March 2, Noon ET (repeat session)

Vets Mental Health Train-The-Trainer Workshops
Smell the Roses in Dallas or Discover Your “inner Irish” in Boston!
You can say “goodbye snow” and “hello spring” by heading to Dallas, or jump start St. Patrick's Day with a trip to Boston. Each city will host a FREE Vets Mental Health TTT workshop March 13 & 14. You'll be in Dallas during the nationally acclaimed Dallas Blooms floral festival – largest in the south with over 500,000 blooming plants. And of course Boston will be getting warmed up for St. Paddy's day. Explore nearly 300 years of the Irish experience by taking the Irish Heritage Trail walking tour.

Each TTT workshop will teach AHEC staff how to organize continuing education offerings for civilian healthcare providers on the behavioral/mental health issues of veterans and service members returning from combat. Every center that participates in a workshop can get up to $1000 to support CE on this topic. Contact Kristen McAndrews to register for Dallas or Lisa Udel to register for Boston. For more information and the complete schedule visit the A-TrACC website. To view recordings of past VMH webinars visit the A-TrACC Vets Mental Health Resource Room. For more information contact

3. Nominate Your Center for an AHEC Award
Don't wait any longer to nominate your AHEC for one of the AHEC Center Awards for Excellence, which will be given at the NAO Conference in San Antonio this summer. Nominate one of your health careers programs that has had a particularly powerful impact on recruiting students into health careers. Consider nominating a community-based student experience developed by your AHEC in collaboration with an academic partner to provide health science students with a unique community experience. These and other opportunities are available to centers, and the application process is easy. Simply click on the links below and complete the short application to nominate your center for one of these prestigious awards.

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)
Awards Committee Co-Chair

Tom Bacon (NC)
Awards Committee Co-Chair

4. Allegiance Corps Request: Qualifications Due April 6, 2012
Northwestern Connecticut AHEC is requesting qualifications from AHECs who are interested in participating in the Allegiance Corps Program as an AmeriCorps member host site.
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.

5. Mental Health Initiatives Funded
Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation: Mental Health and Well-Being
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation works to reduce health disparities by strengthening community-based healthcare worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities. The Foundation's Mental Health and Well-Being initiative leverages public and private sector partners in the community and outside the clinic to increase disease awareness, educate patients about effective self-management of their illness, reduce stigma, and provide emotional support. Grants are provided to nonprofit organizations that address one of the following issues: the mental health needs of returning military service members, veterans, and their families; or the overrepresentation of the mentally ill in the criminal justice system. Letters of inquiry must be submitted via e-mail by April 13, 2012. Visit the Foundation's website to review the letter of inquiry guidelines.

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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