NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
September 17, 2013

1. From the Executive Director's Desk

Transitions and Thank You!
Last week marked Mary Mitchell's last NAO Board meeting as the Chair of the Board of Directors. I greatly enjoyed working closely with her over the past year, and I believe she helped advance NAO's strategic objectives in lasting and important ways. She helped me to learn and to grow, challenged my thinking from time to time, and offered a variety of helpful perspectives on multiple issues important to the AHECs everywhere, as well as for NAO. Please join me in thanking her for her service, and welcoming John Blossom (CA AHEC Program Director) as NAO's new Board Chair, effective October 1, 2013.

Other transitions include Rick Kiovsky concluding his service to the Executive Committee as Secretary. Rick is the fastest and most accurate note-taker around, and while he will remain on the Board, please join me in thanking him for his service to the Executive Committee. I look forward to working closely with our new secretary, Amy Dunkak, Executive Director of the Northeast Oregon AHEC in LaGrande, OR. Also, Immediate Past-President Mary Sienkiewicz will be transitioning off the Board with Art Clawson, Associate Program Director for the Alabama AHEC joining the Board. Many, many thanks to Mary S. for her outstanding service to NAO.

Being a board member and a committee chair/co-chair of NAO is hard work and takes a great deal of (uncompensated) time. Our board members and committee leaders are extremely talented, intelligent, and thoughtful, and contribute a great deal to the growth and organizational development of NAO. One of the most difficult challenges— beyond the time commitment—of being a board member especially is balancing local Program/Center AHEC priorities with those of our national association, and our board members do it with aplomb. As we move into a time of leadership transition, please join me in thanking NAO's board members and committee chairs/co-chairs for their service and commitment to our national organization.

Legislative Update
Congress returned from their one-month recess on September 9, 2013, and is facing a full legislative agenda. There are 13 more days for Congress to pass 12 Appropriations bills before the end of the fiscal year in October, though this is unlikely to happen.

What might happen instead? A continuing resolution (CR) will likely occur for the next few months to avoid a government shutdown. As we get more information regarding a possible CR, we will share that news here.

Our efforts in Congress are not done, however, so please continue reaching out to your legislators (especially House members) about current activities your AHEC Program/Center is involved in. Also, I encourage you to do a Press Release/Announcement of your HRSA AHEC grant to your Congressional Delegation that highlights your successes and local impact.

Less Help for Uninsured in Many States as Obama Health Care Markets Open in a Divided Nation
I'm not sure if you had a chance to see this article, though it's worth a quick read. There is great variability regarding states' adoption of the ACA and it may influence how you and your AHEC Program or Center may work in your community. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts after you click on the above link.

Have a great week!


2. From A-TrACC

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!
Tuesday, September 24, 3 to 4 pm Eastern: Register

So Close!
As of August 29, reports received show that VMH CE training has reached 9,648 health professionals!! Keep up the fantastic work and sending your reports. If you have trainings in September, please send your reports to as soon as you complete the follow up evaluation so we can include that data in our year end reporting.

3. Associate Dean for Rural Health Position Open
The University of Missouri (MU) School of Medicine is seeking nominations and applications for the position of Associate Dean for Rural Health. We seek an energetic and dynamic leader who has a track record of successful innovation and improvement in medical education in rural settings. The successful candidate will lead the Rural Track Program across the professional development continuum, ensuring that these efforts are in alignment with the MU School of Medicine (SOM) goal to educate physicians to provide effective patient-centered care for the people of Missouri and beyond. This individual will ensure rural cultural awareness across the SOM. They will nourish relationships between the SOM and rural track program stakeholders, including state legislators, interested foundations, AHEC leaders, rural clinical faculty, health system administrators, community leaders, and national-level rural health partners. This position reports to the Senior Associate Dean for Education. Click here for more details. Interested individuals should submit a letter of interest and a current CV to Roberta Settergren, staff for the search committee, at or MU School of Medicine, DC018.00, Columbia, MO 65212, telephone 573-882-3944. The Chair of the search committee is Karen Edison, MD, Applicants must also apply on-line at

4. SNMHI Medical Home Digest Update
Check out the final issue of the SNMHI Medical Home Digest: Lessons Learned (Summer 2013)

You can continue to follow the Initiative's dissemination efforts and access PCMH resources and tools on the SNMHI website. New resources on behavioral health integration will be published in 2014. The Commonwealth Fund is also supporting an evaluation of the Initiative, conducted by The University of Chicago. Learn more about the SNMHI evaluation and follow the outcomes of the SNMHI. Thank you for your interest and support, and please enjoy this final summary issue.

Lessons Learned (Summer 2013)
In our final issue of the Medical Home Digest, we reflect on some of what we have learned during the SNMHI. Medical Home Facilitators from our five Regional Coordinating Centers share lessons they and their practices learned about setting the stage for successful transformation. Medical Home Facilitators also describe what is coming next for their organizations and how they plan to spread and sustain PCMH. Also included in this issue is a reflection on the value of learning communities—a key component of collaboratives including the SNMHI. Specific examples of tailoring showcase the many ways organizations can harness the power of peer interaction to inspire and teach. Finally, we describe recent revisions to the SNMHI Implementation Guide Series, a comprehensive library of resources and tools intended to assist practices in understanding and implementing the SNMHI Change Concepts for Practice Transformation.

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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