NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
September 30, 2013

1. From the Executive Director's Desk

AHEC Veterans' Mental Health Project a Huge Success!
On Tuesday, September 24, via webinar, HRSA and the A-TRaCC Team announced a spectacular accomplishment: Over the past two years, AHECs nationally have trained 12,183 health professionals through the Veterans' Mental Health Project, exceeding the goal of 10,000 providers by nearly 22%!

Congratulations go the ATRaCC Team--Mary Wainwright, Gretchen Forsell, and Carol Trono--for the enormous amount of work they did to make this initiative successful. Additional thanks and gratitude go to Sheryl Pacelli, the Train-the-Trainer Coordinator and Veterans' Mental Health Consultant; Bob Goodale, Director of the Citizen Soldier Support Program; and Dr. Harold Kudler, Mid-Atlantic Veterans' Health Care Network Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Duke University Medical Center.

And, of course, great, great thanks to all the participating AHECs around the country. You all did an incredible amount of work that in most cases was new and the outcome uncertain. You demonstrated a great faith in the project and its impact, and, as a result, NAO and the AHEC Network are now better positioned to tackle additional national-scale projects that will help improve the health of the country. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm very optimistic and excited about future opportunities.

Title VII and Title VIII Programs Celebrate 50 Years
Happy 50th Anniversary to Title VII and VIII Programs! Fifty years ago, on September 24, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Health Professions Educational Assistance Act of 1963 to address the country’s shortage of health professionals. Under Title VII of the Public Health Service Act, the legislation authorized the first health professions training and loan programs and underscored the federal government’s fundamental responsibility to help ensure an adequate health care workforce for individuals and families across the country. We know that AHECs have been an integral part of this vitally important work since the early 1970s. NAO and AHECs will continue to work to address the country's need to have a diverse, well-qualified health professions workforce in underserved rural, urban and frontier areas all throughout the country!

Fiscal Year 2014 Continuing Resolution Appropriations Update
Note: This information (written September 25, 2013) may be dated given the dynamic nature of the changes in Congress as October 1 and the new fiscal year approaches.

The week before last, the House of Representatives passed a stop-gap continuing appropriations resolution (CR) to keep the federal government funded at current levels through December 15. The bill also contains a provision to de-fund the Affordable Care Act (ACA)--the President’s health reform legislation.

The CR is now pending in the Senate, which is likely to remove the provision de-funding the ACA, pass the bill, and send it back to the House. It is not clear at this point how the House will respond to this version and whether it can muster enough votes to pass a CR that removes the anti-ACA provisions. The President has vowed to veto any appropriations bill that de-funds the ACA.

The October 1 start of Fiscal Year 2014 is near, and in order to avoid a government shutdown, Congress must pass an appropriations measure before then that the President will sign. We will keep you posted.

Have a great week, and I'll be back in the office on Wednesday October 2.

Rob

2. From A-TrACC

Click Here to access a recording of the VMH Advances Webinar!

Keep it Going!
Refer health professionals to the Citizen Soldier Support Program's free online accredited CE courses. Use a link created just for your AHEC. When providers use this link to access a course, you can get the tracking information you need for CE reporting. It is easy and free!

Click Here to access resources. Click Here for step-by-step instructions. Click Here to watch a recorded webinar that explains how this works.

This outreach extends the impact of the national AHEC Veterans Mental Health Project which has provided CE to over 12,000 health professionals.

3. Important Marketplace Message!
Dear National AHEC Organization Community:

Americans are now able to enroll in affordable health care coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace online, by phone, by mail, or in person. Many individuals may also qualify for financial assistance to help pay for a health insurance plan. Health coverage begins as early as January 1, 2014 and open enrollment ends on March 31, 2014.

The best place for Americans to go to prepare for the health insurance expansion, to learn about the Marketplace, how to get covered, and more, is the website, HealthCare.gov. Americans will also be looking to trusted sources to learn more about their opportunities for health insurance. We need help from you to let your community members know about these new benefits and help them enroll in health care coverage.

Spreading the word about the new Marketplace can be as simple as:

  • Sending your partners/members/patients to the official consumer sources to learn about the Marketplace and get coverage:
  • HealthCare.gov
  • CuidadoDeSalud.gov
  • LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov to find local in-person assistance
  • 24/7 Consumer Call Center: 1-800-318-2596
  • Posting the HealthCare.gov and/or CuidadoDeSalud.gov widget on your website.
  • Hanging posters and/or giving out fact sheets and brochures about the Marketplace.
  • Hosting educational events about the Marketplace in your community.
  • Including an article about the Marketplace in your organizational newsletter or other publication.

Stakeholder organizations should go to Marketplace.cms.gov to find resources on training, official resources, and to learn more about how they can help. Health care providers are also encouraged to check out the new Provider Marketplace Toolkit for additional tools and resources.

Your organization can be recognized for its ACA outreach and education efforts by completing this online form to become a Champion for Coverage. Visit the Champions for Coverage Website to learn more or email champion@cms.hhs.gov with questions.

Now is the time to raise awareness about the Marketplace in your community. Thanks for your commitment to building a healthier America.

Sincerely,

Area Health Education Centers Branch
Division of Public Health and Interdisciplinary Education
Bureau of Health Professions

Health Resources and Services Administration
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

4. Reminder: Have You Submitted Data Yet for the CORE NAO Data Collection Request?
It's NAO data collection time! While HRSA has been busy revamping our federal data reporting requirements, CORE has been working to determine exactly what data we need to collect to tell the AHEC story ourselves. Most items in the data request will be the same or similar to what you have seen in previous years, but a few things are new. We know that some of you may not be able to provide everything. All we ask is that you fill in as much of the request as you can and look at ways you can potentially collect this data in the future.

This year we will not be collecting usual CORE Excel file or copies of your BHPr report. Instead, we have created a web-based data collection tool (www.scahec.net/CORE) that you can use to directly input your state's data. In order to use the site, you will first need a password. Please send an e-mail with: 1) whatever password you would like to use; 2) your name; and 3) your AHEC's name to CORE Co-Chair, Steve Boulanger, at boulang@musc.edu so he can grant you access as soon as possible.

Once collected, this data will be used in the aggregate for the NAO Annual Report, requests from policy makers, and requests from our NAO leadership.

As always, thanks for your help in making this successful. The deadline for submitting the Annual Data Request is November 1, 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.

©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

To submit an item, please click here. Deadline: Thursdays, noon CST.

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