NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
April 21, 2014

1. From the Executive Director's Desk
Well, perhaps I spoke too soon about spring being here finally. As of this writing (early morning on April 16, 2014), there is snow and ice all over the yard and cars. I know spring will eventually be here to stay, but enough already! I hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable Easter and Passover holiday.

Executive Director's Blog
I hope you all have had a chance to read my blog periodically and have also been staying current with NAO activities via our enhanced social media strategy. If you want to follow the blog, you can click on the little "+Follow" icon in the lower right. If you do that, you'll get an email in your inbox each time there is a new blog post. I'm open to any ideas you might have!

"Leveraging Graduate Medical Education to Increase Primary Care and Rural Physician Capacity in South Carolina"
This report, generously shared by Dr. David Garr, Director of the South Carolina AHEC, outlines how the South Carolina AHEC Office for Healthcare Workforce Analysis and Planning provided much of the data that was used by South Carolina Medicaid staff members who prepared the final report that the Interprofessional GME Advisory Committee unanimously endorsed. The Executive Summary captures the essence of the report, and those of you who read the full report will see that the South Carolina AHEC system and several of the South Carolina AHEC programs are cited. It's worth a look and may provide you with information and resources that may be useful in your state. Please click here to see it.

Washington, D.C. Update
ACTPCMD Call for Nominations
HRSA's Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry (ACTPCMD) is seeking nominations to fill 8 of the 17 total seats. Nominations are due May 30, 2014. Find more information here.

New HHS Secretary
As you likely know by now, HHS Secretary Sebelius has resigned and the Acting Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell (former OMB Director) will take her place. Once Ms. Burwell is confirmed and officially in her new role, I'll be visiting with her to discuss and promote the AHEC Program. For more information, please go here.

Rob on Hill Visits May 13-15, 2014
I'll be on the Hill doing visits with Congressional Members May 13-15, as well as meeting with Dr. Nadine Gracia, who is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health at HHS. As we've done before, once a schedule is confirmed (which I'll share with state AHEC advocacy leaders), it will be important to reach out to those offices to sensitize them to the message prior to my visit. If you haven't yet sent me a one-pager highlighting your AHEC's key activities, please do so; then I will share local impact stories and data with Congressional Members.

And again, I give you my: Executive Director's Top-Five List for AHEC Advocacy, with a special nod to #5--Engaging the next generation of AHEC supporters:

  1. An identified and active AHEC state advocacy leader in every state (We're almost there!)
  2. Every AHEC Director (Program and Center) knows their Congressional Delegation and Legislative staff well and stays on top of any staff changes
  3. Monthly one-page micro-briefs are emailed to each state's Congressional Delegation. Check out the Lima AHEC and Missouri AHEC samples: Thanks, Kathy Vasquez (OH AHEC) and Michael French (MO AHEC).
    1. If including pictures: please no backs of heads!
    2. Share micro-briefs with your state Primary Care Association
    3. Share with partner organizations
  4. Every AHEC Program has sent me a one-page, color, high-altitude summary of the community impact of their AHEC Program. It is enormously helpful to be able to reference a local initiative when meeting with Congressional Members
  5. Every AHEC identify 3-5 students who may have an interest in healthcare policy and train them to be advocates for the AHEC Program throughout their training and career

I strongly encourage every AHEC Program Office and Center to do the above regularly. Imagine the impact!

April Vacation Reminder!
It's April break this week for the kids and I'm hoping to take some time to play a bit, so I may not be as available as I usually am, though we're not traveling, so I am around. If I'll be out of the office for the day you'll get an "Out of Office" response to any emails you may send. I'll be back in touch as soon as I can; thanks!

Have a great week, and only 11 weeks until the Charlotte NAO Conference (that's less than 3 months!). Register Now since Early-Bird Registration is up!


2. From A-TrACC
Marketplace Curriculum Update
Tentative roll-out of the A-TrACC marketplace curriculum has been set for the last week in April. We've got our fingers crossed and hope it will be ready by then! More details to come. You or your staff can deliver these marketplace trainings. You don't have to hire an expert speaker! You can certainly partner with other organizations in your area that have navigators, patient assistors, outreach workers, or others and work with them to teach health professionals. Reaching 50 participants may be easier if you utilize partnerships. Trainings you have already completed may also count toward your goal of 50. Unsure? Just ask! Contact for additional details or check out our Marketplace FAQ. More than 1,350 health professionals and/or staff have already been trained as part of the A-TrACC Health Insurance Marketplace project.

Medicaid Basics Webinar
Discover where health care reform and Medicaid expansion intersect with the health care marketplace in an upcoming webinar "Understanding Medicaid," Tuesday, May 13, at 2 p.m. Eastern. Register Now

Upcoming Surveying Webinar
What is a good survey response rate and how do you get one? How do you have a quality survey with minimal cost and effort? Pick up practical guidelines and examples—whether you are a small or large program—on how to survey program participants effectively at our upcoming webinar "Survey Strategies," Thursday, May 1, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Register Now

Did You Know?
A-TrACC has provided more than 183 hours of technical assistance training. That's more than 10,000 minutes!

3. Make Plans to Attend the NAO Conference July 7-11, 2014
Check out our New and Exciting Online Agenda
Our online agenda automatically stays up-to-date so you can view the most recent updates to the agenda as you plan out your week. Check out our keynote speakers, find information about our Charlotte AHEC-sponsored evening event, our exciting Awards Gala, which is sure to be a hit this year, and read about our exciting sessions taking place.

Even more exciting is the ability to create an account on our site, which will allow you to network with other conference attendees, and to even create your own personal agenda to follow throughout your week at the conference.

Want a Sneak Peak?
Just click here and you can see what is currently being planned for our exciting conference. Save the link to your tablet or smartphone and you can follow us whenever you want.

Early-Bird Registration is up! Click here now to register.


Registration Type

Early Bird Registration
(Before June 6)

Late Registration
(After June 6)










Hotel Information
Hotel information is also included in the e-blast that went out in early April. Please proceed in booking your hotel room now. A SPECIAL ROOM RATE of $159/night single/double has been reserved for NAO Conference attendees and is available to reserve using the online links below. Please have your credit card available when making your reservation. The hotel will charge a one-night's deposit to your credit card in order to hold your reservation. NOTE: Reservations must be made by 5pm on June 18 in order to take advantage of the specially negotiated NAO room rate. Book early to ensure you get the group rate. CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR HOTEL ROOMS FOR THE CONFERENCE.

Become a Sponsor of the NAO Annual Conference
The National AHEC Organization is very excited about our upcoming conference taking place in Charlotte, NC from July 7 - 11, 2014, and we would like to offer you the opportunity to be a sponsor for this great event. As a member of the AHEC community, you recognize the value of NAO as an organization--and the large audience that our bi-annual conference draws. The NAO conference has provided outstanding learning and networking opportunities for the AHEC community for many years. Indeed, the NAO organization has helped to build and develop our community and has created a unique forum for learning and sharing of information for all AHEC professionals. The bi-annual conference continues to provide practical ideas and real take-away value to its attendees through workshops, roundtables, keynote speakers, and sessions led by our members and experts from among the AHEC community. The 2014 conference will continue this tradition and expansion--as we expect another year of record-setting attendance! In its 15 years, NAO has been able to build this community and create these information-sharing and educational opportunities--largely through the generous contributions of its Symposium Sponsors--from individuals and organizations, to our large community of AHEC program and center offices. Our sponsors have helped make it possible to avoid increasing dues, imposing publication fees, or charging for meals at the conference. In order to continue this, we need your help in sponsoring the 2014 NAO Conference! As a sponsor of the 2014 NAO Conference, you will have exclusive opportunity to reach our targeted 550+ conference attendees, while showing your continued support for NAO! The opportunity to reserve your sponsorship for the 2014 conference is on a first-come, first-served basis. Sponsoring one or more conference activities places your name in front of the attendees in the Conference Program, on the NAO Conference Website, and on sponsor signage displayed during the chosen event. Secure your Sponsorship by May 2, 2014. Click here to see the Sponsorship Opportunities document. Please contact Jill Tucker to explore your options or if you have any questions at or 414-908-4953 x111.

4. 2014 Hero/Shero Award
Greta Lax, MS, center director for Ohio's Akron-Region Interprofessional AHEC, received the 2014 Hero/Shero Award from the Ohio Commission of Minority Health. Ms. Lax received her award on March 27, 2014 during the Health Expo, the inaugural event for Minority Health Month during April 2014.

The Heros/Sheros of Health Awards honor those individuals at the grassroots level who give their time, talent and resources to improve services in the healthcare of minority citizens, recognizes individuals who provide leadership in their neighborhood or ethnic community as it relates to better health, honors individuals who support those less fortunate or those facing challenging health circumstances, and recognizes those individuals who have made a unique and innovative contribution to reducing health disparities.

Congratulations, Greta!

5. NAO Annual Report Available Soon
Copies of the NAO Annual Report will be available soon for purchase. The Annual Report highlights National AHEC success stories and offers statistics detailing National AHEC's impact upon underserved communities and students in the health professions. It is an 8-1/2 x 11 brochure containing 8 pages. Kindly stay tuned for details coming online. Thanks!

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.

Vision: Our vision is that the AHEC network is the national leader in developing a highly competent and diverse health care workforce for underserved populations.

©National AHEC Organization | 7044 S. 13th Street, Oak Creek, WI 53154 | 414-908-4953 x131|
Executive Director Rob Trachtenberg | 414-908-4953 |

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

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