NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
December 10, 2013

1. From the Executive Director's (Chilly!) Office
It's cold out, the days are short, and the sun doesn't seem to rise very high in the sky right now. That's OK, because we know longer days are only a couple of weeks away. I think I prefer the cold over the darkness; certainly I do for early morning running. Be sure to get outside as much as you can; that sunlight is important!

Legislative and Appropriations Update from Washington
There has been much inactivity this first session of the 113th Congress and there is still much to accomplish in the next few weeks. As you know, Congress achieved a resolution to extend the debt ceiling to February 7, 2014 and keep the government funded at a CR (Continuing Resolution) until January 15, 2014. Both the House and Senate will need to negotiate in terms of their budget number and then draft up all appropriations bills prior to the 15th of January. House will be in session for 2 more weeks. The Senate will be in session a bit longer. The Budget Control Committee will be issuing recommendations for moving forward for FY14 and sequestration. The Budget Committee's recommendations are due December 13th where there will be an effort to reconcile differences between the House and Senate Appropriations budgets. The House and Senate are currently discussing options such as limitations and caps for appropriations bills that were already passed, including a revised Senate LHHS bill or a House LHHS bill. This will need to be agreed upon before the mid-January deadline (when the CR runs out). NAO will continue to fight for strong funding for the AHEC program in FY 2014 and fight for AHECs to be included in the President's FY 2015 budget request.

In terms of our ongoing advocacy efforts, state advocacy leaders will be contacted to follow up with key specific information to their Congressional Members, which will reinforce the AHEC funding message that was delivered two weeks ago. As we know, sending information about the states' AHEC Programs and Centers is a great way to engage legislators with what is relevant to his/her region.

Additionally, we have reached out to Ms. Hester Grippando from the White House Office of Management and Budget to meet next week to discuss AHEC funding for FY15 as the President's budgeting process for FY15 is now underway.

"Telling Our Story"
As I've mentioned in the past—and I believe it bears repeating—it is vitally important to continue telling "our AHEC story" as a means of being present in the minds of important organizational partners as well as maintaining relevancy, which is a theme that I will come back to from time to time. Below are a couple of ideas on how to keep "Telling our Story." I'm interested in hearing your ideas, too.

  • Put together a one-pager or brief talking points on your Program's/Center's key initiatives and successes that you can share within your state
  • Provide me with data points and endorsement stories that I can share with partners, funders, and others (these matter!).
  • Continue to develop language and specific examples of how your AHEC is making a contribution in your community and is part of a national network that's making a difference in more than 85% of all the counties all throughout the U.S.

Congratulations to NRHA AHEC Rural Fellows!
Congratulations to Angela Bangs, Montana Office of Rural Health/AHEC Project Coordinator, Bozeman, MT; Maritza Bond, Eastern Connecticut AHEC Executive Director, Willimantic, CT; and Kelly Cheek, West Texas AHEC Center Director, Abilene, TX for being 3 of the 15 "Rural Health Fellows" as selected by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) for the 2014 program year. The Rural Health Fellows Program is a yearlong, intensive program aimed at developing leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America. Congratulations Angela, Maritza and Kelly; well done!

Have a great week and stay warm!


2. From A-TrACC
Marketplace Contractor Hired
A-TrACC has selected George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Department of Health Policy as the contractor to develop the AHEC Health Insurance Marketplace Continuing Education Curricula. The department is nationally known for its expertise in the Affordable Care Act, with a particular focus on access to primary health care for medically underserved urban and rural populations. For more information, contact

A-TrACC Marketplace Project Webinars
The Health Insurance Marketplace 101 led by Carla Haddad, MPH, Office of Planning, Analysis and Evaluation, HRSA. This webinar will provide AHEC staff a high level overview of the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace.

  • Marketplace 101 Webinar 403T-A. Wednesday, Dec. 11, 3-4 pm Eastern. Register

Marketplace Project Orientation, Sessions A&B led by the A-TrACC team. This webinar will orient AHEC staff to the project and how to participate. Two sessions are being offered, with the same content included in each. Attend on the day/time that works best for you.

  • Orientation Session A Webinar 405T-A. Wednesday, Dec. 17, 3-4 pm Eastern. Register
  • Orientation Session B Webinar 405T-B. Tuesday, Jan. 7, 3-4 pm Eastern. Register

3. Plan on Attending the NAO Conference: July 7-11, 2014
Exciting and historic Charlotte is the setting for this must-attend NAO event. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more info as it becomes available. We look forward to seeing you there!

4. Online Call for Presentations
The Conference Planning Committee for the National AHEC Organization (NAO) 2014 Conference invites you to submit a proposal for a concurrent session or poster presentation for the conference scheduled for July 7 – 11, 2014 in Charlotte, NC.

The conference theme for 2014 is AHEC: Driving Access to Quality Healthcare through INNOVATION, IMPLEMENTATION & IMPACT. The goals of the conference are: 1) to provide practical skills and information to implement or improve AHEC-sponsored programs; 2) to enhance the professional development of AHEC directors, staff and board members; and 3) to enable participants to develop new approaches that advance the AHEC mission.

Proposals are to be submitted online this year. Please read all of the directions carefully to ensure that all submission requirements are met.

Please click on the following link to access the online submission system:

Note: The due date for final submissions is Monday, January 20, 2014.

Mission Statement: Our vision is that the AHEC network is the national leader in developing a highly competent and diverse health care workforce for underserved populations.

©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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