NAO Update
June 18, 2012

1. From the Executive Director's Desk

FY13 AHEC Funding Update
Thank you for your repeated calls and e-mails to your Senators regarding restoration of AHEC funding in FY13. It has paid off, as you have seen via the NAO Alerts that went out last week, and it's becoming more and more apparent to me that our national network can move mountains when it needs to. We'll need to double-down and reach a little deeper when it comes to calling and e-mailing members of the House as the Sub-committee prepares to do its mark-up of the Labor-H Bill in the coming week or weeks; we'll let you know when via a new NAO Action Alert—this will most certainly be another time when we'll need "all hands on-deck!" AHEC (and Title VII) funding may be a tougher sell on the House side, though I did have a number of very productive meetings last Wednesday with members of the House and Senate Sub-committee regarding the activities, national reach, and community-based impact of the AHEC Program.

Dale Dirks and his team did a wonderful job of setting up meetings for me, and they put together highly effective informational packets that touched on nearly every aspect of AHEC and NAO activities. Kudos to Joel Davidson and the Editorial Board for quickly putting together the excellent special edition of the Journal of the National AHEC Organization called "Stories of Impact" that went to every legislator on the Senate and House Labor HHS Appropriations Sub-committee. I was very pleased to be able to point to state-specific articles that highlighted our tremendous national work. Click here to see it or go to, then to Publications, then to Journal of the National AHEC Organization, and look for it. It's listed as June 2012—Stories of Impact/Special Edition.

Regarding our national advocacy efforts for the AHEC Program: I will leave you with this prescient quote that comes from someone who is perhaps the most important individual to the Federal budgeting process: "It is a member-driven process that gets programs funded at the Federal level. That is the most important thing," meaning that the more we weigh in—all of us—every single one of us—the better. It is up to ALL of us to make those calls, to send those e-ails, to send the monthly programmatic updates, and to be a regular presence in the lives of your Senator and Representative!

First Wednesday with the AHEC Branch
Congratulations to Dr. John Blossom, Director, California AHEC Program, for his excellent presentation on the June 6, 2012 "First Wednesdays with the AHEC Branch" webinar. John's session focused on successful AHEC/Community Health Centers (CHC) collaboration and highlighted the California AHEC Program, whose AHEC centers are hosted within CHC consortia/networks. John shared his experiences in establishing and maintaining collaboration with Community Health Centers in California, including lessons learned and opportunities for informal and formal partnerships. I suspect there may be further interest in the AHEC-CHC integration model and we'll be looking at ways to keep the dialogue going. Stay tuned for more information, though please do let me know if you have any initial questions or thoughts. If you missed the session, you can access the recording at: 1-800-283-4984 (available until June 27). It's worth taking a listen before the recording is removed in a couple of weeks.

NAO San Antonio Conference
Don't miss your opportunity to register for the conference; early-bird registration ends on June 22nd—that's only 8 days away! Register now before it slips your mind and then you're stuck paying an extra $50. Keep checking here for information regarding workshops, the reception, the cyber cafe, poster presentations, keynote speakers, and other special events. Can't wait to see you!

I'll be on vacation from June 23-July 5, so there likely will not be an Executive Director update on July 2 and perhaps July 9. Have a great couple of weeks. As soon as we hear anything regarding the House Labor-HHS Subcommittee mark-up, we'll let you know. In the meantime, register for the conference, and get ready to energize your board, your students, your staff, and your community-based partners to make those calls and send those e-mails to your Representatives in support of AHEC Funding in FY13!

Have a great week.


2. Let Your Generosity Flow: Looking for "Gift Basket" Donations for the 2012 NAO San Antonio Conference
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.

3. Veterans Mental Health Project Spotlight
Share your plans, activities, and successes in the Monday Update. Momentum is growing and AHECs nationwide are rolling out their CE programs. According to our unofficial count, 12 have been offered already and more than 60 are planned for this summer. 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. Upcoming A-TrACC Trainings
HRSA Performance Measures 2012
A-TrACC TA Webinar 220T-A. Tools for Uploading Data to the BHPr Electronic Handbook. AHEC Branch Chief Lou Coccodrilli and staff members Meseret Bezuneh and Michelle Menser will share and review Excel spreadsheets developed by HRSA to assist in BHPr reporting.

Register: June 27, Noon Eastern
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
  • E-mail to sign up
  • For more information click here.

5. June 21 is a Time to Learn about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
12 pm (noon) until 1 pm EST. MS is a chronic and often disabling disease affecting more than 400,000 people in the U.S., yet many healthcare providers do not know much about this disease. Jeffrey B. English, MD, of the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Atlanta, will present a variety of information about this disease. Click here to learn more and to register.

6. Register Now if You Haven't Done So Yet: The NAO Conference
The NAO conference will take place July 29-August 2, 2012. Historic San Antonio, TX is the setting for our conference. Don't forget to mark your calendars for this exciting event. There will be plenty of networking opportunities and informative speakers on a variety of topics that will impact your center or program. This year's theme is: AHECs in the Changing Healthcare Landscape. Please go here or go to and look for the link.

7. Allegiance Corps Request For Qualifications
Intent to Apply Due Date Was May 25, 2012
RFQ Due Date is June 22, 2012
Northwestern Connecticut AHEC is requesting qualifications from AHECs (Program Offices and Centers) 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.

Members of the National AHEC Organization are 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.

You can access the Allegiance Corps RFQ at the following web address:

Thank you for your consideration of the Allegiance Corps Program.

8. Reminder: June 26 is an HHS Partnership Health Care Conference Call
The HHS Partnership Center continues to host a series of interactive conference calls discussing the benefits and provisions of the health care law, the Affordable Care Act.

All calls are open to the public and include a question and answer session where you can ask HHS staff any questions you may have about the health care reform law. We also encourage you to submit questions you would like to have answered on the calls to

To participate in one of the conference calls, please select the date below and submit the necessary information. Call-in information will be made available 24 hours in advance.

June 26th at 2:00 pm ET –The Health Care Law 101 in Spanish:A presentation on the main provisions in the Affordable Care Act and how to access care in Spanish.

9. The Education Committee Reminds You to Enter Your Info into the 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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