NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
August 5, 2013

1. From the Executive Director's Desk
It's hard to believe that August is already here! The kids go back to school in just three weeks and autumn will not be far behind; make sure you enjoy summer before it's gone! As usual, there are a number of important items in this week's Monday Update.

Sad News
I am writing with sad news. Central CO AHEC Executive Director Kris Wenzel passed away unexpectedly in her sleep on Thursday, August 1st. Kris had been the Central CO AHEC Director for nearly 12 years and had participated on a number of NAO committees over the years. We will miss her deeply. Please join me in passing along our deepest sympathies to her family.

AHEC-Teaching Health Center (THC) Connectivity
Thank you to those AHECs who have shared with me their connectivity to the recent HRSA THC awardees. It appears, thus far, that 5 or 6 AHECs are participating to some degree with the THCs in their particular region. For those who are interested, please let me know if you'd be willing to participate in a call with your AHEC-THC colleagues so as to share information, identify best practices, and provide resources to one another. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please let me know by the end of this week, and we'll set up an exploratory call for next week or the week after.

AHEC-VA Summit Connectivity
Thank you also to those AHECs for sharing information regarding their participation in the regional VA Summits. Please keep sharing how you might be participating with your local VA. If there is interest in sharing, I can schedule a conference call as well; please let me know.

AHEC FY14 Funding
Thank you for continuing to make calls to your Congressional Delegation regarding funding for the AHEC Program for FY14. As of this writing there is no additional news to report and it appears that the House Labor-HHS Subcommittee on Appropriations has no plans in the near future for a mark-up of the bill. Nonetheless, it's still very important that you make those calls to your House Member; you will see the current Action Alert 3 more times as a reminder. I am planning on being in Washington for meetings with the Office of Management and Budget and others, though those dates are not yet firmed up. I will keep you posted!

Montana's State-Run Free Clinic Sees Early Success
Here's an NPR story about how Montana opened the nation's first clinic for free primary healthcare services to its state government employees. It's a good read and an interesting concept. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts. Click here.

Harnessing Technology to Streamline Enrollment in Insurance Programs

Here's a report from Maximizing Enrollment, a RWJF-supported effort led by National Academy for State Health Policy that shares lessons learned from eight state grantees who are adopting and piloting the use of technology to help enroll eligible people in insurance programs. It’s worth a look. Click here.

Have a great week!


2. From A-TrACC
A-TrACC Webinar 315T-A. Perf. Measures 2013 - Suggestions for Aligning Data Fields. The A-TrACC team will present this webinar to discuss suggestions for aligning data fields in the current A-TrACC Field Guide with the revised 2013 HRSA performance measure reporting tables.

Thursday, August 22, 3 to 4 pm Eastern: Register

8,500+ Participants and Still Climbing!
As of August 1, reports received show that VMH CE training has reached 8,538 health professionals!! Keep up the fantastic work. Please send your reports to as soon as you complete the follow up evaluation. The goal is in sight!


3. Smoking Cessation Survey
NAO is exploring working with The Society for Vascular Surgery. Please see below for information and a very brief survey that will assess your interest.

The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) launched the Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) in 2011 to improve the quality, safety, effectiveness, and cost of vascular health care by collecting and exchanging information. VQI has developed a robust national vascular database that provides opportunity to analyze variation in practice and outcomes to drive quality improvement. It uses the structure of the SVS Patient Safety Organization (PSO) to ensure a focus on quality improvement and to provide the necessary safeguards for data confidentiality. All physicians and hospitals that perform the procedures monitored by the VQI are eligible to participate.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of vascular disease, and patients who require treatment for vascular disease need to stop smoking.  Florida State AHEC members have received funding in the past to support a “Smoking Cessation” program in their member hospitals.  The VQI leadership has asked me to query our membership to see who might be willing to partner with them to expand this Quality Initiative in other states for a national smoking cessation initiative using data collected in the VQI registry. In this project, hospitals participating in VQI would introduce smoking cessation methods and medications to vascular patients who smoke.  They would then track the smoking cessation rates to evaluate the effectiveness of this program, through the SVS PSO.

Please complete the very short survey:



4. Don’t Forget! Journal of the National AHEC Organization Call for Articles
"AHECs: Successfully Adapting to Meet the Nation's Healthcare Needs"
It's been 30 years since the Journal of the National AHEC Organization began documenting how AHECs have responded to meet the nation's evolving primary healthcare access needs through education, training, and other healthcare workforce initiatives. In this edition we continue this tradition by highlighting how AHECs are once again responding to changes in the fiscal, education, and healthcare environments.

The Editorial Board is looking for articles that address five important topics:

  1. Interprofessional Education (IPE)
    • How does providing IPE differ from previous educational activities at your AHEC?
    • What challenges have you overcome and do you have a success story to share?
    • How has this affected health professions student training?
  2. The Affordable Care Act
    • What role(s) will your AHEC play in its implementation?
  3. Diversity in the Healthcare Workforce
    • How is the workforce changing in terms of demographics, economics, student loan debt burden, and other ways?
    • How do AHECs encourage more diversity in the healthcare workforce?
  4. Social Entrepreneurship
    • What does social entrepreneurship mean in an AHEC context?
    • What role does a readiness assessment play for your AHEC in determining whether to pursue a social entrepreneurship strategy?
    • What challenges have you overcome and do you have a success story to share?
  5. Social Media
    • What is social media in an AHEC context?
    • How is your AHEC using social media?
    • What is the future for AHEC's use of social media?

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.

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 clickhere. Deadline: Thursdays, noon CST.

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