NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
December 16, 2013

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1. From the Executive Director's Office
I'll be on the road again this week; I am traveling to Washington, D.C. to provide an overview of our Veterans' Mental Health program to the Physician Assistant Foundation and to CMS, each of which are interested in learning more and perhaps interested in partnering on future, similar-scope projects. Additionally, I'll get a chance to visit with staff from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Department of Health Policy, who was selected as the contractor to develop materials for the A-TrACC AHEC Health Insurance Marketplace Continuing Education Curricula. I am very excited that we'll be working with GW and the team as we forge ahead with the AHEC Health Insurance Marketplace Project.

I'm sure next week will be very quiet, so I will take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy holiday season and a Happy New Year. I hope you get a chance for some well-deserved downtime!

Federal Budget Update

The House passed a two-year bipartisan budget deal 332-94 on Thursday December 12, reducing the likelihood of another government shutdown next year.

The agreement, crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), sets discretionary spending at more than $1 trillion for the next two fiscal years and replaces sequester cuts slated to take effect in January. It doesn't extend emergency unemployment benefits or address the debt ceiling.

The Senate is expected to approve the budget this week and President Barack Obama has indicated he will sign the bill into law.

House and Senate negotiators on the budget announced a modest proposal to reduce the sequestration cuts scheduled for 2014 and set top line numbers for discretionary spending to fund government programs for the rest of this fiscal year. The budget conference agreement was to be voted on by the House last Friday (12/13/13), which was anxious to adjourn that day. The Senate will then take up the measure and plans to adjourn for the year on December 20th.

Assuming the package is passed by both chambers, the budget would serve as the basis for the House and Senate to work to finish all 12 annual appropriations bills for fiscal year 2014, either as individual products or perhaps rolled into an omnibus measure that contains several or all of the bills—or some combination of the aforementioned. The current continuing resolution funding all federal agencies expires January 15th, and we expect negotiations on the appropriations bills to begin in earnest once the agreement passes.

Here are some of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) relevant documents in one convenient location:

The House Rules Committee meeting was held on Wednesday 12/11/13 on the budget deal. It was offered as an amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.J. Res. 59. This is the original FY 2014 CR that passed the House but was never finalized. For those interested, rules will also consider as a second amendment to the CR a short term Medicare doc fix: Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013.

NAO CHW Initiative Funded for Phase II
I am writing to let you know that the Amgen Foundation has awarded NAO $100,000 for Phase II of the NAO CHW Initiative. I'm extremely pleased with this result—despite a reduced funding level from what was proposed—given that the Foundation has spent the last year assessing and transitioning their priority areas, and funding access to health care projects is likely not at the top of the list going forward.

This will most certainly be the last year of support from the Amgen Foundation for the CHW Initiative, and, given their organizational transitions, I think we can be quite satisfied at the level of funding awarded. According to our project officer, she is "quite proud of the level of support the board provided, given the transition of funding focus areas occurring at Amgen." She mentioned being very pleased with the project and is happy to help in any way to leverage other external support for project continuity. She clearly understands the importance of our work and we will work together to look for ways in which to leverage Amgen support for other external funding support. Leslie Hargrove, executive director in the Texas AHEC East region, who largely conceived of and has ably spearheaded this initiative, will continue to take the lead. I'm very excited to see how this initiative evolves over the course of the year.

NAO Data Collection
As you know, our data collection efforts this year have stalled—few programs have contributed so far, but we are on the upswing! If you're one of the remaining programs that hasn't contributed yet, can you help? Please fight through the data-burnout and provide whatever numbers you can, as it will truly help us add substance to the NAO Annual Report and our conversations with policy makers. Having comprehensive data from each of our AHEC Programs is vitally important for NAO to make a case to Congress, state policy makers, partners, and others regarding our reach, effectiveness, and value to the country. Please do everything you can to get your data to CORE (Committee on Outcomes, Research and Evaluation). Information on how to do that is below:

CORE has created a web-based data collection tool ( that you can use to directly input your program's data. In order to use the site, you will first need a password. Please send an e-mail to CORE Co-Chair, Steve Boulanger, at so he can grant you access as soon as possible with:

  • your name
  • your AHEC's name
  • whatever password you would like to use

Collecting this data internally is so important; I know you've seen this message already for the past 3 weeks. We need this data to continue demonstrating our national effectiveness. Thank you SO MUCH for making the time to submit your data to CORE.

NAO Social Media
Remember to "Like" NAO's Facebook page; lots of good information goes up every day that highlights AHEC initiatives, demonstrates AHEC's local and national effectiveness, and generates good discussion regarding a variety of health care topics. It takes only a moment and the result is being more in touch and up-to-date on all the great things happening throughout AHEC Nation!

Have a great week and stay warm!


2. A-TrACC Marketplace Project Webinars

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. The incentive is at least $1,500 for your center in exchange for providing training for at least 50 health care providers and/or staff. This project may fit in with training AHECs are already providing on the health insurance marketplaces. 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. Take Note: NAO Conference Takes Place 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.

5. Message Regarding Leadership Changes in the School of Medicine
We're pleased to announce two leadership changes in the School of Medicine related to the Springfield campus and our ongoing efforts to address the shortage of physicians in rural areas of the state.

Effective immediately, Weldon Webb, who previously served as associate dean for rural health, has assumed the role of associate dean for the Springfield clinical campus implementation. In this capacity, he will take the lead in all of the initiatives required to make our vision of a Springfield-MU School of Medicine campus a reality during the next two to three years. Webb has served the University of Missouri School of Medicine and MU Health Care in leadership positions for more than 40 years, including associate vice chancellor for health affairs (1999-2002), executive vice president of the Medical School Foundation (1985-2000), and MU Health Care public relations director (1994-2000).

Also effective immediately, Kathleen Quinn, PhD, will be serving as the acting associate dean for rural health. She will also continue to serve as director of rural health programs for the School of Medicine. Dr. Quinn, who received her PhD degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri, has been involved in rural health programs at the MU School of Medicine since 2000. Since 2009, she has served as adjunct assistant teaching professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and adjunct assistant professor in the MU Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

In their new positions, both Quinn and Webb will report to the senior associate dean for education. We are conducting a national search to identify a permanent associate dean for rural health, as well as a permanent associate dean for the Springfield clinical campus. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming and supporting Kathleen and Weldon in their new positions.


Leslie W. Hall, MD
Interim Dean
School of Medicine

6. CME Dinner Meetings on the Topic of Asthma





Tuesday, January 14, 2014

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST

Michael Foggs, MD
Robert Anolik, MD

McCormick & Schmick's
1 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA

Register Now

Thursday, January 30, 2014

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM PST

Jonathan Corren, MD
Maria I. Garcia-Lloret, MD

McCormick & Schmick's
4th & Hope
Adjacent to 400 S. Hope St.
Los Angeles, CA

Register Now

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST

Michael Foggs, MD
Leroy Graham, MD

McCormick & Schmick's
190 Marietta Street
One CNN Center
Atlanta, GA

Register Now

Click here for details.

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.

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Executive Director Rob Trachtenberg | 414-908-4953 |

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