NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
March 18, 2013

1. From the Executive Director's Desk

Appropriation & Sequestration Update
The president signed the sequestration order March 1. The week before last, the House approved H.R. 933, providing funding for federal discretionary programs for the remainder of FY 13. The bill provides funding "flexibility" to Departments of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs to absorb sequestration's cuts and extends the current CR for the remaining appropriations bills. The bill uses a funding level incorporating sequestration's across-the-board cuts, bringing the total package to $984 billion. While the exact figures are not yet known, a 5.1% cut from sequestration and a slight adjustment in the overall spending caps translates to $250.9 million, or $13.5 million below FY 12, for Title VII and $219.4 million, or $11.7 million below FY 12, for Title VIII.

The Senate is expected to expand the bill to provide similar flexibility to other spending bills, such as Agriculture, Commerce Justice and Science, and Homeland Security; however Labor-HHS is likely to be included in the package as a CR, extending funding for all Title VII & VIII programs at FY12 funding levels prior to the 5.1% cut from sequestration. The Senate has the goal of coming to an agreement with the House before the March 22 recess and the March 27 expiration of the CR.

The House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee held a public witness hearing on FY 2014 spending on Wednesday, March 13 for groups that have been selected to testify. The subcommittee accepted written testimony from any interested group by Friday, March 15 (testimony was submitted in support of the AHEC Program).

The House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee held an oversight hearing featuring various health agencies, including the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). While workforce was not a focus of the hearing, the subcommittee expressed concerns about duplication, effective use of federal dollars, and program evaluation. Find materials from the hearing by clicking here. As we learn more we will keep you apprised.

Washington, D.C. Meetings
I had a number of productive meetings with many of the senators who sit on the Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee last week in Washington. We discussed AHEC FY13 (as per the Continuing Resolution) appropriations as well as AHEC FY14 appropriation, and the vital importance to the health professions workforce of funding the AHEC program at an appropriate level. One of the takeaways was that there seems to be an increased acknowledgement of expanding the health professions workforce to meet the increasing demand for care as provisions of the ACA become implemented, despite some very challenging times in terms of funding. We will continue to make our case to key Congressional Committees and Members regarding the appropriate and adequate funding of the AHEC Program. As warranted, E-Alerts will be released to activate advocacy leaders.

I had the privilege of attending a dinner meeting hosted by Dr. Louis Sullivan and the Sullivan Alliance, also March 13. Discussion among the attendees focused on how to expand the health professions workforce and ensure increased access to care—including oral heath—to the underserved. This was an initial "get to know you" meeting, and I am anticipating that there will be follow-up meetings in the future to begin developing specific work plans to address healthcare workforce issues.

Veteran's Mental Health Webinar
Remember to participate in the next VMH Webinar 309T-A. AHECS & Health Centers: Working Together to Improve the Health of Underserved Communities and Vulnerable Populations – Caring for Veterans and their Families (March 28) led by Donald L. Weaver, MD, Chief Medical Officer, NACHC, and Andrew Behrman, President & CEO, Florida Association of CHCs. Learn how to expand your AHEC work with health centers and build partnerships with your state's PCA/PCO by examining a successful AHEC-Health Center partnership. Florida's AHECs and PCA are working together to provide training opportunities for health professionals through the Veterans Mental Health Project.
You will learn about:

  • the community-based structure of the family of health centers
  • how to identify health centers in your region;
  • potential opportunities for collaboration in general and
  • examples of AHEC/PCA/CHC collaborations in Florida on the AHEC Veterans Mental Health Project continuing education initiative.

NAO Spring Conference
Only 3 weeks until the NAO Spring Conference; we have a fantastic meeting planned and I hope to see YOU there!

Have a great week!
Rob

2. Hurry! Register Now for the NAO Spring Conference April 9-12, 2013
The event will take place at the Sheraton Crystal City in Arlington, VA. Please click here to get registration details and to register. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

3. National AHEC Week March 18-22, 2013
There are many ways you can celebrate National AHEC Week! Click here for several ideas.

4. From ATRACC
Mining HRSA Performance Measures
Join us for the second part of this 2-part webinar. It will help AHEC center staff recognize and use DATA THEY ALREADY COLLECT to evaluate program performance and communicate with stakeholders. Center Directors Amy Dunkak and Lori Millner will discuss how their centers might use tools developed by A-TrACC that identify key data elements, evaluation measurements, and communication strategies for HCPP, CBSE and CE/PES.

Session B: Digging Deeper into the Data Nuggets led by Amy Dunkak, Executive Director, Northeast Oregon AHEC, and Lori Millner, PhD, Executive Director, Texas AHEC East DFW Region.

March 19, 3 – 4 pm EST. Register

AHECS & Health Centers: Working Together to Improve the Health of Underserved Communities and Vulnerable Populations – Caring for Veterans and their Families led by Donald L. Weaver, MD, Chief Medical Officer, NACHC, and Andrew Behrman, President & CEO, Florida Association of CHCs. Learn how to expand your AHEC work with Health Centers and build partnerships with your state's PCA/PCO by examining a successful AHEC-Health Center partnership. Florida's AHECs and PCA are working together to expand opportunities for training health professionals through the Veterans Mental Health Project.
You will learn about

  • the community-based structure of the family of health centers
  • how to identify health centers in your region;
  • potential opportunities for collaboration in general and
  • AHEC/PCA/CHC collaboration in Florida on the AHEC Veterans Mental Health Project CE initiative.

March 28, 3 to 4 pm EST. Register

AHEC – Army OneSource Partnership Helps Service Members and their Families
Army OneSource has been supporting an initiative similar to the AHEC Veterans Mental Health Project by promoting the free "Treating the Invisible Wounds of War" courses available online to behavioral health professionals across the US. To provide more options for organizations interested in hosting or sending staff to an in-person training on veterans mental health issues, Army OneSource Community Support Coordinators are being asked to contact AHECs offering CE through our VMH Project to explore opportunities for collaboration. The Community Support Coordinators have access to a network of national and state-level behavioral health associations, non-profits and health & human services departments. They can identify groups interested in attending a live training and connect them with the AHEC. As a result of this initiative, military families will have greater access to behavioral health professionals who better understand military culture and the behavioral health implications of war.

5. Opportunities and Trainings by Other NAO Partners
Webinar: Fostering and Expanding Peer Support Services for Service Members, Veterans, and their Families (SMVH) Wednesday, March 27, 2013; 1:00–2:30 p.m. (EST)
Peer support has been recognized as an important strategy in supporting the behavioral health needs of SMVF. Individuals with experience provide a bridge to services and help ease SMVF transition to their communities. Peers with military experience and experience with recovery from trauma, mental health, or addiction issues offer valuable knowledge and skills to assist others. This support can be provided through a variety of established peer models. Many states have already begun to bring their peer initiatives together across systems and now stakeholders must assess how best to work together. Coordinated systems of peer support services for SMVF can succeed with collaboration and consensus. This webinar will include discussions related to best practice resources and tools, how communities can build on commonalities, and the many roles peers play. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session. To register in advance of the event, please click here. If you have any questions about your registration, please contact Michelle Cleary, Project Associate, at mcleary@prainc.com.

6. National AHEC Annual Report and Brochure

The 2012 NAO Annual Report and 2013 update of the NAO Brochure are going to print this week and will be available for the NAO Spring Meeting. Order your copies for legislative visits! Click here for the order form, which will be updated soon.

 

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| info@nationalahec.org
Executive Director Rob Trachtenberg | 414-908-4953 |rtrachtenberg@nationalahec.org

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