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NAO Update
March 5, 2012

1. From the Executive Director's Office

NAO Advocacy
Many, many thanks to the NAO Public Policy Leadership Team, Linda Kanzleiter, and Kristina Fjeld, for putting together the AHEC talking points in response to the FY13 President's budget proposal. Please make every effort to call your Congressional Delegation and ask them to support AHEC Funding for FY13 at the FY11 level of $33.142 Million by March 20 (House deadline) and March 29 (Senate deadline). You will be getting these messages (you may have already received some) and this request in a variety of ways to ensure we have the most comprehensive approach to getting the AHEC funding message heard. The Center Director and Program Director Constituency Group Leadership Teams will be reaching out to Center and Program directors, and the NAO Advocacy Network will be engaged as well. Additionally, you will see a number of Action Alerts requesting you to contact your Congressional Delegation. I will be in Washington, D.C. meeting with House and Senate L-HHS Appropriations Sub-committee members from March 13-16. I will also meet with a number of other Congressional members not on the appropriations committee though have been identified as strong supporters of the AHEC Program and may have some influence with their Congressional colleagues. I am also hoping to meet with representatives from the Department of Labor and the Department of Agriculture to apprise both departments on the AHEC work that occurs throughout the country and how vital our program is to each of their broad-based departmental goals. Finally, Mary Sienkiewicz, President of the NAO Board of Directors, will be writing a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and HRSA Administrator Dr. Wakefield to refute the assumptions found in the AHEC funding justification for FY13.

NAO Veterans' Health Interest Group
If you haven't already joined, pleased consider becoming a member of the NAO Veterans' Mental Health/TBI/PTSD interest group, chaired by Carol Giffin-Jeansonne, Executive Director of the Western Colorado AHEC. If you are already a member, we need to confirm your e-mail address, as we've had a number bounce back as undeliverable. Please send your note of interest and/or your current e-mail to Carol at by this Friday, March 9, 2012. Calls are usually held on the first Friday of the month from 2:30-3:30 EST.

Social Media
Many thanks to those who have responded to me with interest in developing a broader social media presence for NAO and the AHEC network. We will have a first meeting very soon, and will ensure that all activities of this work group are tied to the NAO strategic plan, the goals of the Communications Committee, and the work being done by the Branding workgroup. I am anticipating that we will have some good suggestions from the social media workgroup that you all can use locally to raise the visibility of your AHEC program; stay tuned!

Behavioral Health/Primary Care Integration
I have been in a few preliminary conversations regarding a national initiative to develop a post-graduate primary care behavioral health training program. As you likely know, co-locating behavioral health providers in medical settings is an increasingly accepted strategy for improving the cost-effectiveness of medical care. If your AHEC Program Office or Center has been doing any work in behavioral health integration, or are interested in learning more, I'd be very interested in hearing about it. As this evolves, the NAO External Relations and Fund Development Committees will become more engaged in pursuing any funds and external organizational partnerships.

Have a great week and be sure to call your Congressional Delegation with the message that AHECs need to be funded at the FY11 level of $33.142 million!


2.Upcoming A-TrACC Training
AHEC Project for Veterans/Service Members & Families Mental & Behavioral Health

Veterans Mental Health – TA Webinar 209T-A: Substance Abuse Among Veteran Populations
Presenters Jason Yates, P-LCSW, CCS, Director, Caring Services Inc., and Carlos Graham, LCSW, Combat Veterans' Readjustment Counselor/Substance Abuse Social Worker will discuss issues and circumstances that contribute to substance abuse among veteran populations and how health professionals can help. Yates is participating courtesy of Duke University Dept. of Psychiatry with approval from the Duke AHEC Director, Dr. Marvin Swartz.
Register: March 15, 3:00 PM Eastern

3. Have You Nominated 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. Reminder: WV AHECs Seek Info on Statewide Rural Health Workforce
The WV AHEC Program is partnering with the WV state Rural Health Association on a major statewide rural healthcare workforce study. The WV Rural Health Association will contract with an entity to determine both the demand and supply of primary healthcare providers for WV over the next 10 years. We are seeking any statewide rural health workforce reports from other states. If you have any reports, please send them to Sandra Pope, Director of WV AHECs, at You may also call her at (304) 347-1216.

5. Remember that Allegiance Corps Qualifications are 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.

6. Improving Children's Health through Federal Collaboration: Affordable Care Act Session March 8, 2012
Join us on Thursday, March 8, 2012, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EST (2:00 PM – 3:30 PM MST). This Session will include an overview of the new health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, and highlight those sections of the law that are especially helpful for children and families. The Affordable Care Act increases access to necessary preventative services to help keep children and families healthy. This session will describe the new protections for health insurance consumers, and provisions to lower costs and improve care. For more details, click here. To register click here.

7. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Encourages Research Conference Grant (R13) Applications
Applications are encouraged so you can conduct health disparities-related meetings, workshops, and symposia. The purpose of the Academic-Community Partnership Conference Series is to bring together academic institutions/organizations and community organizations to identify opportunities for addressing health disparities through the use of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR). The objectives of meetings conducted as part of this award will be to: (1) establish and/or enhance academic-community partnerships; (2) identify community-driven research priorities, and (3) develop long-term collaborative CBPR research agendas. Thus, it is expected these partnerships will lead to grant applications for the support of CBPR projects designed to meet identified community needs. The areas of focus for these partnerships may include one or more of the following community-health issues: infant mortality; Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS); fibroid tumors; childhood, adolescent, and/or adult obesity; health literacy; techniques for outreach and information dissemination; pediatric and maternal HIV/AIDs prevention; and violence prevention. Click here for more details.

8. Helpful Info Courtesy of The Safety Net Medical Home Initiative
We have three new supplements to our SNMHI implementation guides. The supplement to the Care Coordination implementation guide focuses on reducing avoidable Emergency Department (ED) visits and improving the quality and efficiency of care. The Continuous and Team-based Healing Relationship implementation guide supplement is intended to be used by line, site, and organization-level leadership interested in redesigning staff roles. The Organized, Evidence-based Care supplement defines care management and provides practical recommendations about how to provide care management services to high-risk patients.

NEW Care Coordination: Strategies to Reduce Avoidable Emergency Department Use (February 2012)

Care Coordination: Reducing Care Fragmentation in Primary Care

NEW Continuous and Team-Based Healing Relationships: Redefining Staff Roles: Where to Start

Continuous and Team-Based Healing Relationships: Improving Patient Care Through Teams

Elevating the Role of the Medical/Clinical Assistant: Maximizing Team-Based Care in the Patient-Centered Medical Home

NEW Organized, Evidence-Based Care: Improving Care for Complex Patients: The Role of the RN Care Manager (January 2012)

Organized, Evidence-Based Care: Planning Care for Individual Patients and Whole Populations

The Safety Net Medical Home Initiative updates its website with new tools, guides, webinars, and information regularly; please check back often.


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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