NAO Update
September 24, 2012

1. Message from the NAO President

In just one week, I will complete my term as President of the National AHEC Organization. I am honored to have served in this position, representing an impressive national network of AHEC Centers and AHEC Programs. Our important work is aligned with NAO's new vision statement, "... the AHEC network is the national leader in developing a highly competent and diverse health care workforce for underserved populations."

As I reflect on the past year, there have been many NAO accomplishments. Overall, the strategic planning process helped us establish eight priority areas for 2012-2014: Funding, Branding, Shared Vision, National Programs, Advocacy, Culture of Evaluation and Learning, Collaboration, and Building Capacity. Together we developed and are successfully moving forward with a Year 1 action plan for Shared Vision, Branding, National Programs, and Culture of Evaluation and Learning. The strategic planning process helped us to focus on important priorities that will further establish NAO's role as a national leader in the development of the health workforce.

Other accomplishments include an extremely successful "AHECs in the Changing Healthcare Landscape" biennial conference in San Antonio, Branding the Nation's AHECs initiative with a new logo and "AHEC Stands for Jobs" tagline, new mission statement, the launch of the new website, the first electronic Journal of the National AHEC Organization, CORE/A-TrACC collaborations for technical assistance regarding meaningful evaluation strategies, successful expansion of A-TrACC with Veterans' Mental Health that clearly demonstrates the capacity of the national AHEC network and securing a $30 million Congressional appropriation for FY12 AHEC funding. These accomplishments, which are not an exhaustive list, are used to illustrate the results of wonderful teamwork of Board members; Executive Committee as the elected leadership for NAO; committee co-chairs and members; A-TrACC leadership; TEI as NAO's management firm; an enthusiastic, skilled Executive Director; and active NAO members in AHEC Centers and AHEC Programs.

Throughout the year, Mary Mitchell and I have been in regular communication, which has been accelerated in recent weeks as the NAO President transition approaches. I look forward to Mary's leadership as President. At her request, I will continue to work with the strategic plan tracks as the Board proceeds with its Year 2 action plan. As Immediate Past President, I will serve on the Public Policy Leadership Team, as the national AHEC network will need to be ever vigilant with our advocacy efforts to secure federal funding.

I have enjoyed this year and the opportunity to work with so many colleagues throughout the country. Without exception, when I have reached out to NAO members with a request for help, your answer has been "yes." Thank you, everyone, for your support and counsel over the past year and your continued commitment to the National AHEC Organization as the professional association that represents the interests of AHEC Centers and AHEC Programs.

Mary J. Sienkiewicz, MBA
President, National AHEC Organization
Director, New York State AHEC System

2. Reminder: The Journal of the National AHEC Organization Seeks Articles for the Winter 2013 Issue

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.

3. Webinar You Don't Want to Miss: Children's Health Thursday, October 11, 2012
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM MT (3:00 PM – 4:30 PM ET)

To register, click here. More than 12 million children in the U.S. (including infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers ages 3 to 5) spend a significant portion of their days in childcare settings. In this webinar you will learn about major environmental health issues in childcare settings and resources to promote and maintain environmental health; the National Health and Safety Performance Standards for Early Care and Education Settings; and Healthy Child Care America, a collaborative effort of health professionals and childcare providers working to improve the early education and health and safety of children in out-of-home child care. You will also learn about many resources for helping develop healthier learning environments and more effective caregivers in childcare centers and family childcare homes across the country. Click here for details.


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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