1. From the Executive Director's Desk
Happy Father's Day to all those dads out there; I hope you all had an enjoyable and relaxing day! I will be away all next week (June 24-28) on vacation in the mountains of Vermont. Looking forward to catching back up with you all on Monday, July 1.
NAO Congressional Visits
NAO Board Chair Mary Mitchell and I made many visits to Congressional Members last week in Washington along with Dale Lodriguez and Priyanka from HMCW (click here for schedule). Our visits complemented and reinforced our NAO state advocacy leaders' message, and, in an increasingly sophisticated manner, demonstrated a strongly aligned and coordinated NAO advocacy effort.
NAO President Mary Mitchell and NAO Executive Director Rob Trachtenberg riding the train under the Capitol between the House and the Senate.
Some of the themes that emerged from our 25 meetings are as follows:
CO*RE REMS Initiative
- The acknowledgement of the need for a more robust and diverse health professions workforce seems to be gaining some traction in Congress, as the eventuality of ACA implementation is taking hold, and therefore the need for more providers to care for the increasing number of patients is becoming evident (this, of course, is something we've all known about for some time).
- There was significant and seemingly growing interest in specific state-level data and impact. There were more than a few Legislative Aides who asked how the AHEC Program was making progress in their Members' state as it relates to workforce and outcomes (i.e., is the investment in the AHEC Program worth it?). It will be helpful to have more specific data for the next round of visits; we can work on a system to get some basic thumbnail state-level data to share.
- The interest in the Veterans' MH Initiative was very high and lots of nodding heads about the importance of training non-VA based providers to address MH/BH needs in rural, urban and frontier areas in the U.S.
- The interest in the AHEC NETWORK as a tool for national-scale activities such as Vets' MH, CE, CHW activities, IPP/IPE, etc. was very high. We spent a great deal of time discussing the national network and how w/o the Federal investment, many of our activities can potentially fracture and become less impactful. As we discussed the AHEC reach to 2,700 or so counties on the U.S. (there are about 3,100 total), the response was very favorable and provided a strong context for our network.
- We discussed the need for a Federal Competitive cycle for FY14 and how important it is to ensuring the integrity of our national network.
We will you keep you posted as the Federal budget process evolves for FY14 and what the next steps will be.
Thank you to all those AHECs who expressed an interest in the CO*RE REMS Program. There will be a good deal of additional information regarding a web-based training distributed in the next couple of weeks. Plan for a response from Kate Nisbet of IPMA (our partner organization on this initiative) in the very near future. I'm thrilled at the response (close to 30 thus far). If there are any other AHECs who would still like to participate, please let me know as soon as you can.
Have a great week!
2. From A-TrACC
Evaluation Discussion Group – Members Needed
Does Data Excite You? Do Logic Models Make Your Heart Race . . . OR NOT!! Then join the A-TrACC E-Discussion Peer Learning Group! A-TrACC is developing a peer learning group of interested AHEC staff to promote evaluation and performance measurement quality. This group will help each other with problem-solving, share past experiences, clarify barriers/issues faced, look at training needs, and identify and foster best practices. It is for anyone with an interest in, or perhaps even a passion for evaluation, whether or not it is part of your AHEC work. It is also for anyone who struggles with how to use data to show the success of your programs. We will meet monthly for the first 3 months, and then as often as the group decides. An initial conference call is planned for the third week in July. To sign up, click here and complete the poll indicating your availability for a first meeting. If you cannot access the poll, email when you can meet on July 16, 17 or 18 to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested but not available any of those days, email us too!
Respond today! We need to hear from you by June 28th.
VMH Webinar 313. AHECs & CSSP Partner to Promote Online VMH Training Options. All AHECs can continue to improve behavioral health access and services for veterans by referring providers to the free CSSP online courses. Each AHEC has been assigned a unique web link for accessing the courses. Providers using your link to access and complete the course are tracked so that they can be included in your CE reports. This outreach extends the impact of the national AHEC Veterans Mental Health Project and increases awareness of the tremendous work AHECs have done in the past 2 years. This is something every AHEC in the country can do! Tools and methods for encouraging targeted providers to take the online courses will be shared.
Monday, July 22, 3 to 4 pm Eastern: Register
3. Community-Based Health Projects for Children Supported
American Academy of Pediatrics: Community Access to Child Health Program
The Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) Program, a national initiative of the American Academy of Pediatrics, is designed to improve access to healthcare by supporting pediatricians that are involved in community-based efforts to enhance the health of children. CATCH Planning and Implementation Grants of $5,000 to $12,000 are awarded to pediatricians and fellowship trainees to develop or implement innovative initiatives that increase children's access to medical homes and available insurance programs. Additional focus areas include secondhand smoke exposure, addressing community barriers to immunizations, and Native American child health. (Grants of up to $3,000 are awarded to pediatric residents addressing the same issues.) The application deadline is July 31, 2013. Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics' website to learn more about the CATCH Program.
4. Webinar Series: Improving the Health of Communities through the National Prevention Strategy: Designing Healthy Communities
Presented by Region VIII Federal Partners. This session examines how homes and community design can promote inclusiveness for all populations. Understanding risks and impacts of municipal planning, including those that can affect health, helps to ensure that land use and transportation decisions result in positive and equitable health outcomes. Thursday, July 18, 2013, 2:00 - 3:30 pm, MT (4:00-5:30 p.m. ET). Click here for details.