NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
January 7, 2013

1. From the Executive Director's Desk
Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a restful and rejuvenating holiday break. I look forward to a very exciting 2013!
Last week I had the honor of attending Lou Coccodrilli's retirement celebration and luncheon at the HRSA offices in Rockville, MD. After 40+ years of service, Lou officially retired on Thursday, January 3, 2013. The retirement ceremony included opening comments from Dr. Marquita Mullan, Director of the Division of Public Health and Interdisciplinary Education at HRSA, and a lovely musical tribute written and performed by Leo Wermers, Secretary, AHEC Branch. Additionally, Doctor Claudia Baquet from the Maryland AHEC Program provided some reflections, and I was given the opportunity to thank Lou on behalf of the national AHEC network, share some thoughts, and give Lou a book of tributes from AHECs throughout the country. Other colleagues and friends were invited to share their reflections as well, and many did so in tribute to Lou. Finally, Lou was presented with commendations from the Maryland Congressional Delegation and the Governor of Maryland for his years of dedication to public service. The retirement celebration concluded with a rousing standing ovation and a dance party! Please join me in wishing Lou a fantastic retirement and an exciting start to a new chapter in his life.

You're Invited: Opportunities for CDCG/PDCG Collaboration
In keeping with our plans to hold a joint CDCG/PDCG meeting at our NAO Fall Education Conference, Mary Craig and Elyse Perweiler, on behalf of their respective groups, would like to extend an invitation to interested Center and Program Directors to provide their input to the:

Operational Guidelines Work Group, which will look at congruency between Center and Program Guidelines and the NAO Bylaws and the Preceptorship Site Agreements Work Group, which will consider the emerging challenges in developing site agreements and suggest sample templates that could serve as a framework for similar agreements that could be customized by other AHECs and their institutions.

Meetings will be held by conference call and recommendations of both work groups put forward for consideration at the Spring Conference.
As Interprofessional Education (IPE) becomes more prominent in our academic settings, AHECs can play a key role in fostering and facilitating IPE. The Interprofessional Task Force is seeking interested CDCG and PDCG members who would like the opportunity to identify opportunities for collaboration and capacity-building activities that support IPE within the AHEC network. We will meet via conference call and webinar to begin more in-depth work on this important area.

Please e-mail Mary ( or Elyse ( with your contact information if you would like to join any of these groups. If you have any questions, please call either of us (Mary: 716-835-9358; Elyse: 856-566-7082)). We would like to have the groups configured by mid-January, in advance of our monthly meetings. We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!


  • Here's an interesting article regarding the effectiveness of interdisciplinary teams, which is particularly timely, as IPE and team development are one of the core programmatic focus areas coming out of HHS/HRSA and one that many AHECs are engaged in. It's worth a look; click here.
  • Go here for an interesting article regarding Medicaid doctors getting a 73% raise for primary care services.
  • I stumbled across a great book at the library the other day which has a number of useful facts regarding our healthcare system. For those of you who love charts and graphs, the American Health Economy by Christopher J. Conover might be worth a look. The book offers a number of slices of many parts of our complex healthcare system and likely adds to the dialogue regarding what our healthcare system looks like and how it functions. If you do pick it up, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts.

Have a great week!


2. Now is Your Chance to Brag! Submit Your AHEC Stories to the NAO Annual Report: Abstracts Due January 10, 2013
The National AHEC Organization is compiling data and stories for the 2012 Annual Report, which gets published March 2013. This annual publication highlights the wide range of programs that AHEC provides the current and future healthcare workforce. Interested in having your AHEC's success story included in the 2012 edition? Develop a 50-word abstract touting one of the services your AHEC provides:

  • Health Careers Promotion/Preparation; P-16+ Pipeline
  • Health Professions Students/Residents Training; Community-Based Education
  • Health Professionals Recruitment and Retention; Practice Entry and Support
  • Continuing Education
  • Health Literacy/Promotion
  • Health and Community Development
  • Healthcare Workforce Planning and Assessment

The theme of this year's report is "AHECs – Responding to Local, State and National Healthcare Needs." We are looking for examples of how AHEC responds to identified needs in innovative and creative ways. Perhaps you revamped an old program or developed a new one in response to some change(s) in the operating environment. Or, tell us why your AHEC was best suited to respond to a particular healthcare need. If your AHEC's abstract is accepted, you will be asked to provide a 300-word article and photo (or graph) within a two-week period. E-mail abstracts to by Friday, January 10, 2013.

3. Help Wanted! Evaluators
We are creating a short-term/ad hoc work group to focus on actions for the "Culture of Evaluation and Learning" priority area of the 2013 NAO strategic plan. This priority area is focused on measuring and communicating AHEC outcomes to best tell the AHEC story.

We need expertise from evaluators in AHEC Centers and AHEC Programs to join CORE co-chairs, A-TrACC leadership, NAO Executive Committee representatives, and HRSA colleagues.

This group will meet perhaps three times by conference call to address the following tasks.

  • Collect/review existing tested evaluation methodologies
  • Develop recommended evaluation methodology (and associated resources/tools)

The first conference call will be convened in mid to late January. Please contact Mary Sienkiewicz, NAO Immediate Past President, at with your interest.

4. Next A-TrACC Webinars

New Resources to Support Vets Mental Health CE Efforts. Sheryl Pacelli, VMH Project Consultant, Angela Noreen-Meader, CCMEP, Sr. Program Manager, Postgraduate Institute for Medicine, and the A-TrACC Team.
VMH Webinar 305T-A.
January 8, 2 - 3 pm Eastern. Register
For more information contact

Basic Evaluation Question Design: Good Data Starts with Good Questions. Cindy Lewis, MPH, Bowen Research Center, Indiana University School of Medicine.
TA Webinar 306T-A.
January 30, 3 - 4 pm Eastern. Register.

The Suicidal Patient in Primary Care - Prevention Resources for Providers. Peggy West, PhD, MSW, Senior Advisor, Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and Julie Goldstein Grumet, PhD, Director of Prevention and Practice, SPRC.
VMH Webinar 307T-A.
February 20, 2 - 3 pm Eastern. Register.

5. Helpful Webinars Courtesy of Safety Net Medical Home Initiative (SNMHI)
Since our last SNMHI E-alert, the Initiative has held one webinar and published the winter 2012 Medical Home Digest. Publications and webinars on all eight Change Concepts are available on the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative's website.

2012 Winter Medical Home Digest: Integrated Healthcare (December 2012)
This issue of Medical Home Digest presents effective ways in which safety net practices have worked to integrate behavioral health and oral health into primary care.

Past Digests are available on the SNMHI website - here

NEW Webinar: Humboldt Consumer Engagement across the Spectrum (November 16, 2012)
Learn more about Humboldt County consumer engagement in this webinar. Speakers from Aligning Forces Humboldt and Eureka Community Health Center examined Humboldt's patient partner program and explored strategies for building similar programs

To learn more about Patient-centered Interactions please see our Implementation Guides:

Patient-Centered Interactions Part 1: Measuring Patient Experience
Patient-Centered Interactions Part 2: Engaging Patients in their Health and Healthcare
Patient-Centered Interactions Part 3: Communicating to Improve the Patient-Centered Experience

6. 2013 Webinar Series: Improving the Health of Communities through the National Prevention Strategy Presented by the Region VIII Federal Partners
Improving the Health of Communities through the National Prevention Strategy 2013 Webinar Series is sponsored by the Region VIII Federal Partners Workgroup. Each webinar in this series highlights ways federal agencies are working with communities to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life by shifting the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness.

The National Prevention Strategy was developed as a result of the Affordable Care Act. The plan outlines how federal departments from a variety of sectors are implementing prevention efforts to improve the health of the nation.

The target audience for the series is staff from Federal, State, and local governments; Tribal nations and communities; community based-organizations; academia; advocacy groups; and faith-based organizations. The general public is also welcome!

Some of the upcoming topics include:
Bridging the Community with Federal Programs
Nutrition in the Community
Designing Healthy Communities
Violence Prevention
Exercise is Medicine

For more information about the National Prevention Strategy, the Region VIII Federal Partners Workgroup,
and the 2013 Webinar series, including how to register, click here. A PDF with additional details can also be accessed here.


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.

NAO Resources
Links to new resources and information:

NAO Home Page |Upcoming NAO Meetings and Conferences |Committees
NAO Board |Membership Information |Contact Us