NAO Update
May 14, 2012

1. Meetings with HRSA Administrator Dr. Mary Wakefield and the Office of Management and Budget
On May 8th, NAO Board President Mary Sienkiewicz (New York State AHEC System), President-Elect Mary Mitchell (Manhattan-Staten Island AHEC), Immediate Past-President Andy Fosmire (Rural Health Projects/NwAHEC), and Executive Director Rob Trachtenberg met in the afternoon with HRSA Administrator Dr. Mary Wakefield and that morning with the Office of Management and Budget Program Examiner/HRSA Hester Grippando. Discussion with Dr. Wakefield and Ms. Grippando focused on the national AHEC network, activities and accomplishments of AHEC Centers and AHEC Programs that provide the infrastructure for the national network, and AHEC's alignment with HRSA strategic priorities for the nation's health workforce. Also participating in the meeting with Dr. Wakefield were Diana Espinosa, Deputy Associate Administrator, Bureau of Health Professions, and Cynthia Phillips, Deputy Director, Division of Public Health and Interdisciplinary Education. We will be working with the NAO Board of Directors and the Public Policy Leadership Team to further develop communications strategies and messaging for HRSA regarding the capacity of the national AHEC network.

Mary J. Sienkiewicz, MBA

Robert Trachtenberg, MS
Executive Director

From left to right:
Andy Fosmire, Mary Mitchell, Dr. Mary Wakefield, Mary Sienkiewicz, Robert Trachtenberg

2. From the Executive Director's Office

Congratulations to the Mountain Area Health Education Center in North Carolina for their award from the CMS Innovation Center. This is great news!

Project Title: "Regional integrated multi-disciplinary approach to prevent and treat chronic pain in North Carolina"
Geographic Reach: North Carolina
Summary: The Mountain Area Health Education Center, serving 16 counties in Western North Carolina, is receiving an award to test team-based enhanced primary care for patients with chronic pain, whose treatment can be both costly and avoidably frequent. The target population for the test includes over 2,000 patients. The intervention will create multidisciplinary teams to provide enhanced primary care, using mid-level providers to co-manage care and providing counseling and medication management services. The result is expected to be better pain control, improved health, a reduction in the frequency of outpatient visits, and additional cost reductions arising from the use of mid-level providers with estimated savings of approximately $2.4 million. Over the three-year period, Mountain Area Health Education Center's program will train an estimated 390 healthcare workers and create an estimated 7.5 new jobs. These health workers will form multidisciplinary teams to provide enhanced primary care to patients with chronic pain in rural North Carolina.

Click here to see all the Health Care Innovation Awards: Project Profiles.

More Information Regarding the Primary Care-Public Health Linkage
For those of you interested in more detailed information regarding the IOM Report that was mentioned in last week's Monday Update, you can go here to access the full report where it can be downloaded or purchased.

NAO San Antonio Conference
Registrations are coming in fast for this summer's NAO San Antonio Conference—be sure to register by going here or going to and clicking on Registration. You DO NOT want to miss this conference! Take a look at the conference agenda by clicking here or going to and clicking on Agenda. You can see that there are many useful pre-conference sessions, concurrent sessions, and keynote presentations. If you think your Program or Center can't afford to attend, I would counter by saying you can't afford not to. There simply will be so much useful information, ample opportunities to connect with your colleagues, and materials and resources available to you! I look forward to seeing YOU there!

Have a spectacular week!


3. Upcoming A-TrACC Trainings

Health Careers Promotion and Preparation (HCPP)
A-TrACC TA Webinar 219T-A: Examples of Successful Tracking Strategies for Health Careers Preparation and Promotion Students.
Presenters Ida Castro, VP Community Engagement & Equity, Commonwealth Medical College; Lourdes Rivera, Evaluation Specialist, UC San Diego; and Stephanie Taylor, Executive Director of the West Central Missouri AHEC will share their tracking strategies and how they document outcomes.
Register: May 23, 3:00 PM Eastern

AHEC Project for Veterans/Service Members & Families Mental & Behavioral Health
Veterans Mental Health – TA Webinar 212T-A: Suicide and the Military: Gaining Ground in the Battle.
Presenter Jodi Flick, LCSW, Clinical Assistant Professor, Family and Children's Resource Program, Jordan Institute for Families, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Flick has over 30 years experience in crisis intervention and facilitates a Survivors of Suicide Loss support group.
Register: June 5, 3:00 PM Eastern

4. Have You Ordered Your 2011 NAO Annual Report and 2012 NAO Brochure?
Order your copies of the new NAO Annual Report and updated NAO Brochure. The theme for this year's annual report is "AHEC's Response to the Changing Healthcare Landscape. "The NAO Brochure includes updates for statistics that surround the AHEC "pipeline" graphic. Click here to get to the order form.

5. Don't Forget to Register for the NAO Conference in San Antonio 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.

6. Allegiance Corps Request For Qualifications
Intent to Apply Due Date: May 25, 2012
RFQ Due Date: 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.

7. Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition (HPNEC)
NAO is a long-standing member of HPNEC and has representation at monthly meetings. Click here to see a summary of the most recent HPNEC Meeting on May 8, 2012.

8. HHS Partnership Health Care Conference Calls
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 your preferred date from the list below and submit the necessary information. Call-in information will be made available 24 hours in advance.

May 16th at 1:00 pm ET – The Health Care Law and Access to Care: A discussion of community health centers and the National Health Service Corps with HHS Health Resources and Services Administration Administrator Dr. Mary Wakefield.

May 22nd 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.

May 30th at 2:00 pm ET – The Health Care Law and Home and Community-Based Services: A discussion of the new home and community-based services that are now available as a result of the health care law, the Affordable Care Act. The new Community First Choice Option will be discussed. Speakers are from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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. Reminder about 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.

© 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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