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NAO Update
January 30, 2012

1. From the Executive Director's Office
I am writing with very exciting news that resulted from the NAO Board of Directors strategic planning meeting last October just prior to the fall conference in Washington, DC. After much work from the NAO Board, and a small committee tasked to fine-tune the language (many thanks to Marty Schaller, Patti Thornborough and Rosemary Orgren!), I am pleased to share with you the new NAO Mission Statement. Its official release will be 1/31/12 (tomorrow!), though please feel free to share this with your board members, staff, partners, colleagues, and any and everyone else you can think of! This is a terrific step for NAO and I am very proud of this mission statement; it should be celebrated and I believe it strongly and accurately portrays our organization and its vitally important goals and truly national reach. Congratulations, all!

The new 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.

As you all know, the HRSA Grantee Technical Assistance A-TrACC (AHEC-Training and Consultation Center) is conducting the Train-the-Trainer workshops for the Behavioral/Mental Health of Veterans/Service Members & Families throughout the country and conducting monthly webinars regarding Veterans' health issues. One way in which we all can help get the word out is to share the attached press release and release suggestions, authored by Carol Trono, ATrACC Program Manager from the Texas AHEC/University of Texas Medical Branch.
Click here to see the AHECs Impacting the Wellness of Military Families.
Click here to view the Release Suggestions.
Please click here to see the listings of upcoming ATrACC Trainings.

The ATrACC Program is but one of NAO's national programs, and, given that enhancing NAO's national programs is one of the four core initiatives born of the new strategic plan, I thought it would make sense to list the current national programs NAO is engaged with as a reference. These will be posted to the NAO website soon should you need additional information.

  • A-TrACC - Evaluation and Training activities
  • Veterans Mental Health - Train-the-Trainer Continuing Education to identify community resources
  • AMGEN - Community Health Worker Initiative
  • NHSC/CHSC - Service Learning project to create pipeline to NHSC
  • Interstate Postgraduate Medical Assn. - Smoking Cessation Project
  • Physician Institute for Excellence in Medicine - Adult Vaccination Initiative

Finally, the NAO Board has recently completed a survey (The Brief Leadership Team Assessment) to determine board effectiveness from both a group and individual perspective. The NAO Executive Committee and the "Culture Change" group will be meeting this week to discuss results and develop a strategy and work-plan for addressing the survey results, with an overall goal of making the NAO board as effective and impactful as possible. I am very excited about this initiative and believe that it will help NAO move along a process of continuous improvement. I will be sure to report periodic updates from this group as it evolves.

Have a great week and I hope everyone is close to finishing their AHEC Proposals. Good luck in wrapping them up!


2. Online Call for Presentations: Deadline Extended to Feb. 5, 2012
The Conference Planning Committee for the National AHEC Organization (NAO) 2012 Conference invites you to submit a proposal for a concurrent session or poster presentation for the conference scheduled for July 29–August 2, 2012 in San Antonio, TX.

The conference theme for 2012 is AHECs in the Changing Healthcare Landscape. The goals of the conference are: 1) to provide practical skills and information to implement or improve AHEC-sponsored programs; 2) to enhance the professional development of AHEC directors, staff, and board members; and 3) to enable participants to develop new approaches that advance the AHEC mission.

Proposals are to be submitted online this year. Please click here to access the online submission system.

3. Upcoming A-TrACC Trainings
AHEC Project for Veterans/Service Members & Families Mental & Behavioral Health
Veterans Mental Health – TA Webinar 208T-A: Traumatic Brain Injury
Dr. James P. Kelly, B.A., M.S., M.D., Director, The National Intrepid Center of Excellence, a component center of the Defense Centers 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)

Train-The-Trainer Workshops
There's a workshop for you in each direction on February 21 & 22. Head to either Baltimore or Los Angeles for the FREE Veterans Mental Health Workshops. Learn how to organize continuing education programming for civilian healthcare providers on the behavioral/mental health issues of veterans and service members returning from combat. Every center sending staff to a TTT workshop can get up to $1000 to support CE on this topic.
Contact Jeanne Bromwell to register for Baltimore.
Contact Andrea Porter to register for Los Angeles.
For more information and the complete workshop 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

4. Reminder: National AHEC Organization Award Nominations
An Invitation to the AHEC Community to Recognize Our Most Outstanding Projects and Individuals

The NAO Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for the NAO Awards for Excellence, which will be presented at the 2012 National AHEC Workshop in San Antonio.

At each of the bi-annual national workshops, the National AHEC Organization recognizes projects and individuals that epitomize the AHEC spirit of excellence in five major categories:

We encourage you to visit the NAO Awards website ( and click on the individual award categories to review the criteria and instructions for nominating candidates. Only NAO members are eligible for awards, and you may nominate yourself, as sometimes, you are the person/organization who best knows your work. No individual or organization may receive more than one award in any one year.

The deadline for nominations is March 14, 2012.

For further information about the 2012 NAO AHEC Awards, please contact either of the Awards Committee co-chairs:

Suzanne Matthew, PhD
Northern Wisconsin AHEC
Ph: 715-849-2432

Tom Bacon, DrPH
North Carolina AHEC Program
Ph: 919-966-8981

5. Take Note: Content for Next Monday Update Due Wednesday, Feb. 1 by Noon CST
Content for the Monday Update coming out on Feb. 6, 2012 will be due Feb. 1, 2012 at noon CST instead of Thursday Feb. 2. Please submit content to by this time please. Unfortunately, due to tighter-than-usual time constraints, content submitted after the deadline will be held and saved for the next Monday Update. Thanks!

6. Academic & Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health March 22-23, Atlanta, Georgia
Click here to register now for two days of linking best practice with best evidence on many critical topics in correctional health care. The 5th Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health will feature nearly 100 cutting-edge seminars, lectures, peer sessions, and posters on a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Mental health
  • Re-entry
  • Infectious diseases and substance abuse
  • Policy and juvenile justice
  • Research methods
  • Special populations
  • Practice redesign and workforce

Tuition is $400 for attendees and $200 for presenters. A $50 late fee will apply if registered after February 15. Tuition includes breakfast and lunch both days. Continuing education credits will be offered.

Additional information can be found on the conference website.

© 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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