1. From the Executive Director's Desk
As we get close to a new programmatic and fiscal year, I always think of autumn as a time of reflection and renewal. There are a number of things that I am very excited about that I'd like to share that augur well for NAO and the AHEC Network, while there are still a few issues of ongoing concern.
First, I am very much looking forward to our November board and committee co-chair strategic planning meeting. I believe the meeting will help NAO and the AHEC network take another step forward in our organizational evolution. We will be assessing the impact of our current strategic plan, identifying the next set of organizational priorities over the next 2-4 years within the context of the current fiscal and healthcare environment, analyzing our current leadership design, and looking at a number of ways in which to build upon our sustainability strategy. A good deal of planning is currently occurring and, while the meeting is still over two months away, I am pleased to say we are on track for an excellent and productive strategic planning session.
Second, the strength, reach and connectivity of our national network is growing due to an increase in the use of social media, an increase in opportunities for the network to quickly come together around a common initiative (i.e. Vets’ MH; REMS, smoking cessation, CHW development) and, I hope, an increased recognition that we--NAO and the AHEC Network--are at our strongest when we work together and think collectively to advance our work and our mission. The national network of AHECs is--in my opinion--ripe for all sorts of funding and programmatic opportunities that advance the health of our country. As NAO is a member association, I am always eager to hear from you on how we can provide more value, resources and advocacy on your behalf.
Third, the leadership and sophistication at the NAO board level is increasing every year and is providing excellent guidance and strategic thinking. Every day, the board members and committee chairs are doing an enormous amount of work that helps the organization stay on track and grow. Current NAO president Mary Mitchell has done an outstanding job this year and I know president-elect John Blossom is gearing up for a busy year when he takes office on October 1, 2013.
Of course, there are a few ongoing concerns, such as long-term sustainability of individual AHECs and NAO, inconsistent Presidential and Congressional support for our program and other health professions' programs, and a general sense that investment in long-term processes and outcomes has been sacrificed for the immediate return on investment. One of my closest friends and running partners is a financial advisor, and his guidance is that long-term investment--in most cases--usually pays higher dividends than short-term volatile gains. I like his advice and believe that our work--even if the results aren't always immediate--is extremely meaningful, impactful, and lasting.
If you've read this far, thank you! As always, please let me know your thoughts. One of my goals for the coming year is to increase the dialogue with AHECs everywhere. Let's talk.
Have a great week!
2. From A-TrACC
Webinar 316T-A: Performance Measures 2014 – A-TrACC 2013/14 Field Guide Suggestions. The A-TrACC team will present and discuss the newly revised Field Guide that will support data collection for the 2014 (next year's) HRSA performance measure report.
Wednesday, September 11, 3 to 4 pm Eastern: Register
VMH Webinar 317: VMH Advances! EVERY AHEC should attend this webinar celebrating the outstanding success of the Veterans Mental Health Project.
Leaders from HRSA, SAMHSA, and NAO and will highlight the project's impact, share plans for its advancement and discuss potential opportunities for
AHECs in other national initiatives. Register now!
3. Hurry! Journal of the National AHEC Organization Seeks Articles from You
The Editorial Board is looking for articles that address five important topics:
Articles on related topics, such as individual and institutional success stories relating to innovative education programs, strategic planning processes with educational partners, and effective evaluation solutions are welcomed.
Please submit drafts, photos, and accompanying materials to firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Next Update to Be Blasted Tuesday, September 17, 2013
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.
To submit an item, please click here. Deadline: Thursdays, noon CST.