NAO Update
October 29, 2012

1. NAO Fall Conference Cancelled
Hello NAO Family,

As you are all aware, we are facing a major hurricane on the East Coast. As such, given our first and foremost concern for everyone's safety, the NAO Executive Committee has decided to CANCEL the NAO Fall Conference.

At this time, our plans are to not reschedule this meeting, but to reconvene at our Spring meeting. It is our intention to carry over your fall registrations to the Spring conference unless we are informed otherwise from HRSA.

Here is some important information to follow up on immediately:

  • Contact the Sheraton Crystal City at 703-486-1111. Ask to speak to reservations, and cancel your room reservation. You must advise them that it is due to the weather and that our meeting has been cancelled. You will also need to advise them where you would be flying from so this can be documented in your reservation record. You should not incur any penalties for cancelling, and if you do, please contact Paul Rossmann at NAO headquarters right away.

  • Contact your airline to find out what their policy is for rescheduling or to obtain a refund. If you can push for a refund, that is the best option, as we do not know when our Spring meeting will take place at this time.

  • We ask for your help. If you got this notification over the weekend, and you know of anyone who was planning on attending this meeting, and you are able to contact them, please help us spread the word by calling them and letting them know the meeting has been cancelled. We truly appreciate your efforts.

As we get more information in, we will certainly pass it on as quickly as possible. If you have other questions/concerns, you may contact Rob Trachtenberg, Paul Rossmann or myself. Our numbers are:
Mary Mitchell – 347-534-7591
Rob Trachtenberg – 401-248-4837
Paul Rossmann – 262-994-0345

On behalf of the NAO Board of Directors, we appreciate your support. For those of you on the East Coast, please keep your families safe.

Mary Mitchell, President
National AHEC Organization

2. From the Executive Director's Desk

I'll be at the Office of Management and Budget at the White House along with NAO President Mary Mitchell, NAO Immediate Past President Mary Sienkiewicz, and NAO President-Elect John Blossom, where we'll be discussing the AHEC Program and the importance of including it in the President's Budget Proposal each year. From there, we'll go to the Hubert Humphrey building, which is the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to continue discussions regarding the important role the AHEC Program plays in helping to build the nation's healthcare workforce. I'll provide information regarding these meetings in a subsequent Monday Update.

Have a great week!


3. 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.

4. 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.

5. A-TrACC Wants to Hear From You and Needs Your Input

A-TrACC Wants to Hear From You
If you think your AHEC (Center or Program) does a particularly good job with using data (especially your HRSA Performance Measures report data) to evaluate your program effectiveness and/or inform stakeholders, please share. Send descriptions of your examples to

A-TrACC Needs Your Input
Are you interested in looking at the HRSA Performance Measures and other data to discuss strategies that can create the greatest value in telling your AHEC story? If so, email us at

6. Be Part of the A-TrACC Veterans Mental Health Project
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

7. AHRQ Announces PCOR Pathway to Independence Award Funding Opportunity

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released its fiscal year (FY) 2013 funding opportunity for its Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Pathway to Independence Award Program. Authorized by Section 937(e) of the Public Health Service Act, which was enacted by Section 6301(b) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148), this program aims to increase and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented AHRQ-supported independent investigators trained in comparative effectiveness methods to conduct PCOR. The PCOR Pathway to Independence Award Program is designed to facilitate a timely transition from a junior non-tenure track faculty or a postdoctoral research position (or their equivalents) to a stable independent research career. Specifically, the program targets investigators early in their careers to support their development in new sophisticated and methodological comparative effectiveness research skills, interdisciplinary perspectives, and capabilities in PCOR. Letters of Intent due November 19, 2012; Applications due December 17, 2012.

To ensure adequate time for the registration process, AACOM recommends that potential applicants proceed to register immediately by clicking here and here. If you do not complete the registration process, you will be unable to submit an application. Additionally, letters of intent (LOI) are due November 19, 2012, and must be submitted electronically to

8. Provider-Patient Story of Interest
Click here to get access to a good story about the strong long-term relationship between a provider and a patient, and how it impacts healing. NAO recommends that people take a listen to the story as well as read it.

9. Viterbo University's School of Nursing Rural Healthcare Tour
This tour is organized by Scenic Rivers AHEC to showcase rural poverty issues (Couleecap), critical access hospitals (Vernon Memorial Healthcare), federally qualified health care center (Scenic Bluffs CHC), and the "This is Public Health" campaign in a rural middle/high school (Viroqua).

Click here for more information and photos.

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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