NAO Update
July 23, 2012

1. From the Executive Director's Office

NAO Advocacy Efforts for FY13 AHEC Funding

Many thanks for your repeated calls and e-mails to your House members in support of AHEC funding for FY13. As you know, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee (L-HHS) considered and passed its fiscal year 2013 funding measure for the Departments of Health and Human Services and Education. Passed along party-lines, the bill recommends dramatic cuts for most public health, research, and education programs under its jurisdiction. The subcommittee used a funding allocation that was far below the recently committee-passed Senate L-HHS bill, and many of the programs contained in the House bill suffered as a result of this low allocation. As you know, the House bill eliminated funding for the AHEC program. We must be vigilant and we will continue to press Congress for AHEC funding in FY13.

Given the growing importance of regular advocacy from all AHECs and the value of having a deep understanding of the legislative process, I would like to share a resource with you that was prepared by the late Charles Huntington, who was the Associate Director of the Connecticut AHEC Program, a leader within NAO for many years, and the NAO President from 2001-2002. This resource—Legislative Advocacy for AHECs—-prepared in 2004 (which may have just a few outdated references), is still largely relevant today and may be useful for you as you reach out to your Congressional Delegation in support of AHEC funding in any given year. Click here. This can also be found on the "Resources" page under "Advocacy" on the newly designed NAO website. Please take a look; you'll be glad you did!

Urge Your Representative to Join the Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus!
Click Here to Take Action!
Please e-mail your institution's U.S. Representative to ask that he/she become a member of the Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus (CAMC). As Congress continues to deal with the challenges of balancing the nation's deficit, and programs relevant to colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) continue to face potential budget cuts, NAO believes the CAMC will be a vital platform to ensure that issues affecting COMs and the larger OME community remain a priority in Congress. U.S. Representatives Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) and Phil Roe (R-TN) have re-launched the CAMC, which was originally established in 2009. The CAMC promotes excellence in medical education and works to ensure abundant training opportunities for the next generation of physicians. Thanks to NAO partner organization AACOM, you can find further information on the CAMC here.

NAO San Antonio Conference
The 2012 NAO San Antonio conference is nearly here—I am counting the days! I'll be heading to San Antonio this Saturday and am looking forward to seeing so many of you there. This conference is going to be incredible, and if you are not yet registered then do it NOW! If you are already registered, you can go to, and personalize your conference profile, customize your sessions, and connect with colleagues. And, as I mentioned last week, you can download the conference app right to your phone, so all your sessions will be right there with you! See you in a few days, and, if anyone is interested, I will be going running most days at 5:30am from the hotel—I'd love the company, just let me know!

Have a great week, travel safe, and see you in San Antonio!


2. Distance Learning Opportunity on Multiple Sclerosis July 26, 12Noon-1PM EST

The Psychosocial Impact of Multiple Sclerosis: Cognition, Depression, and Coping; Robert Godsall, PhD, Presenter. Learn about the emotional and cognitive impact of MS on individuals and get info on identifying current treatment options and referral sources.

For details and to register, see

3. Veterans Mental Health Project SPOTLIGHT!
Anita Merrill, Center Director, Northern AHEC, Canton, NY, has the following VMH experience to share:

NAHEC hosted a CE event June 28 at Fort Drum in Watertown, New York, with 63 physicians, mid-level providers, and nurses attending. Speakers included Lt. Col. David Wallace, Deputy Commander for Clinical Services at Guthrie Army Health Clinic at Fort Drum, and Brian Johnson, MD, Director of the Addiction Medicine Program and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

LTC Wallace, a family physician, has deployed twice to Iraq. He discussed military culture and mental health issues faced by our military, particularly PTSD, using dramatic video footage of IED's (improvised explosive devices) to demonstrate why anxiety is so prevalent. Dr. Johnson's presentation addressed issues of pain management, particularly the undesirable side effects of long-term opioid use in patients with PTSD.

Share your plans, activities, and successes in the Monday Update. Send a 100-word or less description of what you are doing to Attach supporting materials or include links to online resources. These will be featured in the Monday Update on a regular basis.

4. Vets Mental Health Train-The-Trainer 5-Hour Workshop to be Held During the NAO Conference: Last Chance!
Come experience the training that over 200 AHEC staff from more than 130 Centers have already attended. Learn how to organize CE for civilian healthcare providers on the behavioral/mental health issues of veterans and service members. By attending, your center can participate in the nationwide AHEC commitment to the A-TrACC Veterans Mental Health Project; however, you will not be eligible to receive the additional financial assistance offered earlier this year to those attending the 10 regional workshops.

Tues., July 31 from 1:45 to 5:45 pm & Wed., Aug. 1 from 8:45 to 9:45 am – NAO National Conference, San Antonio, TX

  • Participants MUST attend all Sessions
  • Separate Pre-Registration is Required
  • Email to Sign Up
  • For more Information Click Here.

5. Next Veterans Mental Health Webinar August 7
A-TrACC TA Webinar 213T-A. The Story of War & Warriors & Rural Mental Health led by Harold Kudler, MD, Mid-Atlantic Veterans Health Care Network Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Duke University Medical Center.

Register: August 7, 3:00 PM Eastern

6. "Gift Basket" Donations: Don't Forget
The Membership Committee is putting out a Call to all AHECs planning to attend the NAO 2012 San Antonio Conference in July. As we have done in the past, we are asking AHEC Centers and/or Programs to provide a small "gift basket" of some sort to be provided as door prizes throughout the conference (no more than $50 please). Be creative and fun—make the gift reflect something about your state or region. It could be something as small as a gift certificate (though it would need to be one that could be used by someone from any other state) or something larger. We do want to respect the fact that airlines now charge for extra bags and extra weight—so your gift should be a "packable" size (both for you in transporting the gift and for the person who wins your gift). This is always a fun part of the conference, so think "out of the box" here. If you are planning to bring a gift, please e-mail Sharon Womak ( ), Membership Committee co-chair, so we can keep a running list of how many items we will have. If you wish to ship the gift basket directly to the hotel, please contact Paul Rossmann or Karen Olsen at NAO Headquarters for directions.

7. K-20 Promising Practices Database
For some time now, you have been asking for a way to share ideas and replicate successful K-20 initiatives with other members. The Education Committee is very pleased to offer a way for all of us to do exactly that. We would like you to share your Center or Program initiatives for elementary, middle school, high school, or college/university students. Specifically, we would like to publish programs that focus on youth recruitment into health careers, health promotion and wellness activities, or enrichment programs in sciences, math or more, and workforce development certification programs in the public health or health careers pipeline. Please click here and enter your information. You will also see an option to search the database as well if you would like to view other AHECs' information. If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to our Education Committee Co-chairs, Mary Craig at, or Gloria Pressley McGruder at


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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Executive Director Rob Trachtenberg | 414-908-4953 |

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