NAO Update
October 22, 2012

1. From the Executive Director's Desk

Washington, D.C. Report
I had a number of good meetings last week with members of the House and Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee members as well as with the Minority Staff of the Senate HELP Committee, where we discussed AHEC funding for FY13. In each meeting we made the case that AHEC must be funded for FY13 once the CR expires at the end of March 2013. Additionally we discussed AHEC authorization and the absolute need that AHEC funding must return to more reasonable levels.

In most cases, the Congressional Members I visited with had heard from their state AHEC Program Office and Centers at least once, and, in a few cases, multiple times. It is enormously helpful that this practice continue. For the Members I visited last week, I was able to get some very specific programmatic information that made the visits quite meaningful and connected the national AHEC program to the local level. Thanks very much to those AHECs that sent me information and anecdotes. We'll keep that practice going forward, and, of course, it only underlines again the vitally important role regular outreach and advocacy plays in keeping the AHEC Program visible to appropriators.

Beyond my meetings on the Hill, I was privileged to represent NAO and attend the roundtable discussion: Education and Training for a Transformed Delivery System on October 18 at the White House. The roundtable included remarks from Cecelia Munoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; Mary Wakefield, Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); and Dr. Patrick Conway, Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at CMS. Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of HHS, was joined by Dr. Victor Dzau from Duke University to moderate the discussion. Closing remarks were made by Elizabeth Fowler, PhD, JD, who is the Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare and Economic Policy at the National Economic Council.

Three basic questions were considered by the group of 45 or so healthcare thought leaders during the three-hour discussion:

  • What competencies and skills are needed in an era of increasing transparency and accountability with new payment and delivery models? (For example, cost-conscious care, managing population health, use of data analytics)
  • How are you currently training and educating the next generation of health professionals for the next generation of care delivery models/settings? How are you educating practicing clinicians for the evolving healthcare system?
  • How can we partner together to ensure training and education is evolving in parallel with the changing payment and delivery landscape?

The dialogue was rich and networking opportunities were good, as well. The themes that emerged from the opening remarks are something that we—collectively, the AHEC Network—need to discuss. What was laid out for priority areas in the opening remarks—in light of many PPACA provisions coming into play in the next few years—will likely influence the direction of AHECs and NAO. Themes from the discussion include the need for enhanced Interprofessional Education initiatives, a greater emphasis on quality improvement, greater diversity in the health professions, a stronger link between primary care and public health, and increased efficiency within the healthcare system. I will keep you all posted as to how this group and the dialogue progress.

Friends of HRSA
As you may know, NAO is a partner of the APHA "Friends of HRSA" group. Please take a look at APHA's first infographic, which depicts the many ways public health programs are integrated into our daily lives and our community, how public health saves lives and saves money. The infographic can be used as a tool to show the positive impact of public health and reinforce the importance of funding for public health programs at all levels.

Please click here and feel free to share and use widely!

HRSA recently released new numbers on the National Health Service Corps. This year, HRSA reported nearly 10,000 primary care physicians, physician assistants, dentists, dental hygienists, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and behavioral health professionals delivering care to over 10.4 million people through the National Health Service Corps—nearly tripling from 3,600 in 2008. In addition, over 1,000 students, residents and health providers are being supported through the National Health Service Corps.

HHS posted the press release for Corps Community Day. This press release announces HRSA's field strength for FY 2012, as well as FY 2012 NHSC funding. The press release also links to the Fact Sheet with info on the FY 2012 awards. In addition, you may enjoy reading Secretary Sebelius' blog.

Fall NAO Conference
Only one week until the Fall Conference: Now is the time to register if you haven't and I will see you in Crystal City! You won't want to miss this opportunity to hear from CDR Jacqueline Rodrigue, Deputy Director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Affairs, who will be our luncheon Keynote Speaker!

Have a great week!


2. Healthy People 2020: Comments Encouraged
A new interprofessional education objective has been proposed for inclusion in Healthy People 2020. Prior to its acceptance, it was posted for public comment on the Healthy People 2020 website for a two-week period beginning October 15, 2012.

The proposed new objective reads: "Increase the proportion of academic health centers with health professions education programs whose prevention curricula include interprofessional educational experiences."

No previous Healthy People publication has made reference to interprofessional education, and prevention provides an excellent way for students from different health professions disciplines to learn how to work together to improve the health of populations. As we look to the future, prevention and population health will become increasingly more important in the delivery of healthcare services, and our nation's AHEC system can play a valuable role in advancing interprofessional education with a focus on prevention.

Please take a couple of minutes and add your words of support for the addition of this new objective to Healthy People 2020 by registering/logging on to the Healthy People website. Click here for info on Objective ECBP-17.

The public comment period runs to November 2. Please show your support by writing comments and encouraging your colleagues to do the same.

3. Call for Articles: 1st Draft Article Submission is due October 31, 2012
Theme: AHEC Collaborative Educational Innovations

The next edition of the Journal of the National AHEC Organization will focus on collaborative education and training strategies to improve the quality of and access to care for underserved communities. With budget cuts a constant threat, the need to collaborate with community organizations, educational partners, workforce investment boards, and state/national programs is critical. AHECs historically have been immersed in communities linking them to educational institutions and other training programs.

The Editorial Board is looking for articles that address these and other questions:

  • How does AHEC effectively train the healthcare workforce for the future using our linkages to education and training programs?
  • How can AHEC help clinics and community health centers address new patient-centered medical home, electronic health records, and telemedicine needs?
  • How does AHEC invest in the future healthcare workforce using our educational partnerships?
  • How does AHEC impact health professions schools' curricula?
  • How do educational partners help AHEC respond to emerging healthcare issues, such as Bioterrorism or Veterans' Health?
  • How can AHEC show the impact of training and educational programming to help secure more stable funding?

Articles on related topics, such as individual and institutional success stories relating to innovative education programs, strategic planning processes with educational partners, and effective evaluation solutions, are welcomed.

Please submit drafts, photos and accompanying materials to

Refer to the NAO website for Journal submission guidelines

Submission Cover Sheet must be included with the article.

4. Field Guide Revisited – Webinar 301T-A, Tuesday, October 23 at 1 pm Eastern
With the 2012 Performance Report completed, now is a good time to revisit the A-TrACC Field Guide Suggestions for Collecting and Reporting HRSA BHPr Performance Measures. Join us for A-TrACC Webinar 301T-A presented by the A-TrACC team: Mary Wainwright, Gretchen Forsell and Carol Trono. Download the Field Guide from the A-TrACC website or the Adobe Connect Resource Room. This Field Guide fosters data collection from the perspective of AHEC center staff. The sample forms and associated guidelines gather all data needed to meet current BHPr Performance Measures. The A-TrACC team will also be available to provide individual TA during the Fall NAO Meeting October 31-November 2.
Register Now: Tuesday, October 23, 1:00 – 2:00 PM Eastern

Webinar for New Participants: Find Out How to Enlist on November 14 at 3 pm EST
A-TrACC's new contract provides a second chance for centers that did not attend a Train-the-Trainer Workshop or provide Vets Mental Health CE last year to sign on, get basic training, and qualify for funds to support CE efforts this year. All AHECs should be part of this project that is garnering national attention and spurring new collaborations at all levels – statewide, regionally and nationally. Now is the time to visibly make a contribution!
Register: Wednesday, November 14, 3:00-4:00 pm Eastern - VMH Webinar 302T-A: Phase II for New Recruits

Webinar for Current Participants: Re-Enlist Now to Continue Providing Vets Mental Health CE. Webinar on November 15 at 3 pm EST
A-TrACC's new contract provides more opportunities and funds to help your Center reach its goal of training 100+ providers by September 2013 so AHECs can demonstrate their ability to reach 10,000. Continue to be part of this high-profile project. THANK YOU for visibly making a contribution!
Register: Thursday, November 15, 3:00-4:00 pm Eastern - VMH Webinar 302T-B: Phase II for Re-Enlisting Centers

For more information contact

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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