NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
June 12, 2013

1. From the Executive Director's Desk
Last week I had the privilege of participating in the Northern (NY) AHEC's 2013 Annual Meeting. It was great to visit the north country and get a chance to spend some time with NAHEC Center Director Richard Merchant, his staff, and the NAHEC Board. It's always a special treat to visit with AHECs around the country.

This week I'll be in Washington, D.C. with NAO president Mary Mitchell. She and I will be meeting—over the course of three days—with Congressional Members to discuss the AHEC program and funding for FY14. We will be meeting with Senate and House Appropriations Committee members, Senate and House Labor-HHS Subcommittee Members, and Members of the Armed Services Committee. Additionally, we hope to meet with representatives from the Department of Education and the Department of Labor, also to discuss the AHEC program and the work that our national network is doing, as well as meet with representatives from the National Hispanic Medical Association. It is going to be a busy yet invigorating few days. We will keep you posted as to the outcome of our meetings and the implications for FY14 AHEC funding. A big "thank you" to our NAO Advocacy Leaders for making calls in advance of our Congressional meetings!

Veterans' Mental Health Initiative
As you likely saw in an e-mail release from A-TrACC last week, there is a tremendous opportunity for AHECs to play a role in enhancing mental health care for veterans and their family members through collaboration between the VA and the community. Below is a brief excerpt from the e-mail that outlines the issue and the need. I encourage each AHEC to get involved!

VA Community Mental Health Summits Offer an Exceptional Opportunity for AHECs: On May 30, 2013, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that each of the 152 VA Medical Centers in the nation must conduct a Community Mental Health Summit between now and September 15, 2013. The intent of these summits is to enhance mental health care for veterans and their family members through collaboration between the VA and the community. AHECs and our Veterans Mental Health Project are prominently mentioned as key stakeholders and potential partners in the implementation toolkit the VA has provided to each medical center.

Sheryl Pacelli, consultant to the National AHEC Organization for the Veterans' Mental Health Project and Program Director at Pace Consulting and Associates in Wilmington, NC; and Bob Goodale, Director of the Citizen Soldier Support Program at the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, recently penned an article entitled "Our Highest Priority - Training: Behavioral/Mental Health of Veterans, Service Members & Families." The article outlines the need for the AHEC Network to continue its work in Veterans' Mental Health and strongly reinforces the work highlighted in the recently released special edition of the Journal of the National AHEC Organization. Click here for the article.

Rural Health Professions Institute
In April 2013, the Rural Health Professions Institute (RHPI) on behalf of the VA Office of Rural Health (ORH) broadcast a great session on MyVeHU Campus with Dr. Lucille Burgo and Dr. Stephen Hunt discussing the integration of rural post deployment veterans into healthcare and mental health resources within the VA and their communities. The speakers stressed the importance of building teams of caregivers and how critical it was to include the community and the veterans themselves in those teams. They highlighted issues that providers are likely to encounter, and provided many solutions for those issues. Then they wrapped up the event by providing a number of important emerging tools for post deployment care and answering questions from the live broadcast participants. This worthwhile session is now available for you to view at your convenience in the virtual auditorium of My VeHU Campus. Click here to log into My VeHU Campus, enter the virtual Auditorium, and do a keyword search for "rural." Set aside an hour and join Drs. Burgo and Hunt in better understanding the important role you can play in service to our returning American heroes. As always, this is fully accredited, available inside or outside the VA firewall, and has a number of downloadable resources for your use. For assistance and details, please e-mail the MyVeHU Campus support staff at or call 423-979-4368.

AHEC Funding
Have a great week and be sure to make those calls to your Congressional Member asking him or her to support AHEC Funding in the FY14 Federal Budget!


2. 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 (

3. Roots of Health Inequity Web-Based Course and Learning Collaborative
How are public health leaders and educators using Roots of Health Inequity? The National Association of County and City Health Officials is pleased to offer Roots of Health Inequity, a web-based course and learning collaborative about social justice in public health practice. Public health practitioners and educators are using Roots of Health Inequity to inspire passion among staff members and students. Click here to see a video and learn more about using Roots of Health Inequity to encourage self-reflection and action! Go to for details.

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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