NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
June 3, 2013

1. From the Executive Director's Desk
As I write this, it is 90 degrees in Rhode Island and it seems summer is right around the corner!

NAO Fall Conference in Charlotte, NC in 2014
From the Board of Directors

As you saw in last week's Update, there will be not be a fall conference this year. After considerable thought and deliberation, the NAO Board of Directors, along with your Committee Leadership, agreed to have a strategic planning Board meeting to conduct business, transition leadership, and do a significant amount of strategic planning and organizational development. Among the reasons for this decision are the following:

  • We are aware that with limited budgets, travel to 2 national conferences could be difficult
  • We need a great turnout at the Charlotte, NC 2014 Conference
  • The need for the NAO Board of Directors, Committee Chairs, and me to have a concentrated multi-day meeting to strategically plan for the future and assess past performance; review funding opportunities, by-laws and committee charters; and work to ensure that NAO is on the right path given the current political, financial and programmatic environment is great.
  • We feel that the best way to ultimately provide the greatest value to the NAO membership is to ensure that the association (NAO) is operating optimally and is as well positioned as possible to maximize our membership skill set, take advantage of our connectivity in rural and urban underserved areas, and to make gains toward our vision "that the AHEC network is the national leader in developing a highly competent and diverse healthcare workforce for underserved populations."

We are aware of the time between our meetings, and eagerly look forward to our coming together in Charlotte, NC in 2014 for our biennial conference (the planning of which is coming right along!).

Please keep in touch with any comments that may be helpful to our planning process.

NAO April 2013 Congressional Hill Briefing
As you know, NAO conducted its first ever Congressional Hill Briefing prior to the NAO Spring 2013 Conference. It was a great success and we will be making plans to conduct another one when it makes most sense given Congressional timing. Please click here to find a few photos of our presenters and participants from our 4/9/13 event.

NDD United (Non-Defense Discretionary)
NDD United, a national coalition of 3,200 organizations (of which NAO is a member) working to stop budget cuts to core government functions, has released a video that you can use to educate policymakers, the press, and the public about the disproportionate cuts non-defense discretionary programs —including employment and training, research, public health, education, public safety, housing, social services, infrastructure, and environmental protection—have taken as a result of deficit reduction efforts and how these cuts will impact our daily lives. NAO is a signatory on the NDD United Letter sent to Congress to support a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to discretionary programs. Click here to view the 3-minute, NDD United "no more cuts" video.

New York Times Article Regarding How Health Care is Spread Thin on the Alaskan Frontier
This is an interesting quick read. Click here.

For Those Interested in the CO*RE REMS Initiative/Free Webinar on Opioids
Assessing for Risk, Benefit and Harm when Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
AMA: May 15, 2013
Speaker: Daniel P. Alford, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM; Program Director, Addiction Medicine Fellowship; Medical Director, Office-Based Opioid Treatment Program
Recording and View Presentation Slides

While long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain may benefit some patients, it may cause harm. A risk-benefit assessment should precede opioid prescriptions including evaluation for prescription opioid misuse risk, and assessing, discussing and documenting realistic treatment goals and risks. Patient-provider agreements and informed consents are important as are ongoing monitoring for benefit and harm using frequent face-to-face assessments, urine drug tests, pill counts, and prescription drug monitoring program data.

- Recall the breadth and quality of evidence for the use of opioids for chronic pain, including current gaps in knowledge.
- Recall appropriate assessment, monitoring and documentation strategies to meet best practice standards and medico-legal requirements to support opioid prescribing.
- Apply a practical framework for decision-making on the initiation, maintenance, and discontinuation of opioid analgesics for the treatment of chronic pain.

Have a great week!

2. Don't Forget: Vets Edition of the Journal of the National AHEC Organization Now Online!
Congratulations to the Editorial Board of the Journal of the National AHEC Organization on producing a special edition of the Journal that is dedicated to veterans, service members, and their families. This publication, called AHEC Project for the Behavioral Health of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families, has just been released on the NAO website. Click here to see it. Rob Trachtenberg says, "Thank you, Joel Davidson, Robert Alpino, the editorial board, and all of the authors. You have worked hard to make this vital publication come to fruition. Also, thanks to the staff of Technical Enterprises, Inc., our management company, for helping us throughout the production process. The timely release of this publication couldn't be more appropriate, given the Memorial Day holiday that we have all recently enjoyed."

3. From A-TrACC
Veterans Mental Health June/July Training Schedule
Click here for the current list of Veterans Mental Health CE programs scheduled. As of May 23, 5,312 health professionals have attended 134 trainings offered in 38 states by 89 different AHECs. What an amazing effort by the network! All participating AHECs that have not yet offered training should be listed here. If your AHEC is not listed, please contact A-TrACC ASAP (

4. Attend the Food-borne Illness and Vulnerable Populations Webinar Tuesday, June 4, 2013
3:00–4:00 pm (EDT). Click here for agenda and registration.

Audience: Physician assistants, nurse practitioners, dietitians, nutritionists, and other clinicians who work directly with vulnerable populations. Pre-registration helps us plan for the webinar but is not required. Be sure to check back for log-in information. Experts from CDC, USDA and FDA will provide important information for clinicians and staff about:

-Groups particularly at risk for food-borne illness, diagnosis, and testing

-The critical role of the astute physician

The webinar will coincide with the release of CDC's forthcoming Vital Signs report: Listeria, a Food-borne Pathogen Affecting Vulnerable Populations-Illnesses, Deaths, and Outbreaks—United States, 2009-2011. Webinar goals:

-Raise awareness about the chronic health and economic consequences of food-borne illness

-Highlight the food-borne risk of Listeria monocytogenes, especially among pregnant women, older adults, and others with weakened immune systems

-Establish clinical outreach partners to promote food safety to at-risk groups and highlight available educational materials

5. Abstracts and Letters of Intent Due June 7, 2013 for Journal for Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Chairman Thomas "Mac" Middleton (Chairman of Senate Finance Committee Maryland General Assembly) and Dr. Claudia Baquet invite you to send in a letter of intent to submit a full manuscript for consideration and inclusion in the Special Issue of the Journal for Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (JHCPU) 25th Anniversary edition scheduled to be published in February 2014. They are the Guest Editors for this Special Edition of the JHCPU. The focus for this special publication is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), models for state implementation of ACA, health policy and its role in health disparities elimination, policy analysis related to health care access and other related topics.

The letter of intent should include an abstract (100-300 words) for a full paper. The letter of intent and abstract should be sent not later than June 7, 2013 to Dr. Claudia Baquet (Guest Editor),

Please note that all abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors. Notification of acceptance of abstracts will be sent to authors in mid June 2013. Full manuscripts will be due to the journal by early August 2013. Additional guidelines for the full manuscript will be sent out in mid June.

Click here for background on the JHCPU
Click here for brief guidelines for full papers
Click here for a list of possible ACA topics for full manuscripts

6. Next NAO Update to Go Out June 12, 2013
The NAO Update will not go out on June 10 or June 11, 2013. Plan on seeing it on June 12, 2013. Content will be due on Thursday, June 6 at noon CST firm. Thanks!

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 |

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