NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
February 18, 2014

1. From the Executive Director's Desk
As I write this, another significant winter storm is bearing down on the Southern states, and I hope that all affected will have made it through as well as possible. It's certainly been a very trying winter and I'm sure everyone is ready for spring and a reprieve from the unusually terrible weather. I hope our AHEC colleagues in the Southeast and the North are all safe and sound.

On a personal note, it's also been a very trying time given a family health issue that has been enormously challenging to resolve. Given our work and our knowledge of the health care system and how to navigate it, every time I'm faced with a difficult family medical issue, I am reminded how incredibly fortunate we are to have insurance, access to care, and access to a skilled healthcare team as well as an ability and capacity to advocate (sometimes vociferously).

Of course, we all know this is not the case for so many people, and while navigating the healthcare system can be difficult and time-consuming for me and my family, I can't even begin to imagine how hard it is for those who don't have the same level of access, knowledge and resources. This isn't news nor is it any great revelation, I know, but it underscores for me just how important our work is to our local communities and our states, and to many, many people that we'll likely never meet who are just as deserving as I am to have access to quality health care.

Washington, D.C. Update
Legislative and Appropriations Update
Legislators passed a fiscal year 2014 (FY14) omnibus spending package that includes all 12 federal appropriations bills including those for health and education. The omnibus bill was introduced with $30.326 million allocated for the AHEC program.

For FY2015, the AHEC "Ask" will be $75 million, though with the understanding that incremental increases may occur until this amount is reached. While there is also an understanding that the federal budgets are tight, I think we all agree that our AHEC Network needs these additional resources to do our jobs as well as possible.

Coming Soon: President Obama's Budget Request for FY 2015
The President's budget request is scheduled to be released March 4. Once the budget is released, it will provide appropriators with a renewed sense of vigor. We will follow up with the White House Office of Management and Budget to discuss AHEC funding for FY15. I'll share more information as it becomes available.

As you are aware, the HRSA AHEC Training and Consultation Center (A-TrACC) has launched a new project this year to support AHECs in providing continuing education to health professionals and staff (not consumers) on the new health insurance marketplaces. HRSA is closely watching this project as it aligns with key administration health objectives.

We need your help to make this highly visible project a success across the network. It is extremely important that we have excellent participation from AHECs in every single part of the country. We did very well with the Veterans' Mental Health Initiative and need to replicate—or even exceed—that success for this year. Many thanks to those AHECs who have already signed on; we're glad you're on the team! We're at 70% of our participation goal which means there's still plenty of room for more AHECs to participate. Please consider participating to help us reach our goals. The A-TrACC Team and I are always available to answer any questions you may have. Looking forward to hearing that YOU signed up!

Have a great week!

2. From A-TrACC
Marketplace Deadline Extended
The deadline to participate in the marketplace project, a nationwide initiative to train health professionals and staff on the health insurance marketplaces, has been extended until March 31. Many thanks to those AHECs who have already signed on! We're at 70% of our participation goal which means there's still plenty of room for more AHECs to participate. Financial support of $1,500 is available in exchange for training for at least 50 health care providers and/or staff. For questions or to request an application, e-mail

Been There, Done That - Upcoming Marketplace Webinar
Not sure how to begin on this year's marketplace project? Listen to three AHEC center representatives talk about marketplace trainings they've already completed and get their top tips in the next A-TrACC webinar. "Been There, Done That: Learning from Those Who've Given Marketplace Trainings" is set for 3 p.m. Eastern, Wednesday, February 26. Register Now.

For Those Who Have "Done That"
Have a marketplace training experience you want to share, too? Let us learn from you! Complete and save this brief questionnaire and then send it on to The information you provide may be included in a handout at our "Been There, Done That" webinar.

Training Blast from the Past
Need help coming up with survey questions? No worries! Revisit the webinar "Basic Evaluation Question Design: Good Data Starts With Good Questions" along with other trainings from the last four years at the A-TrACC archive.

3. Reminder: Northwestern CT AHEC Requests Proposals from AHECs Interested in Participating in the Youth Mental Health First Aid Corps
The Youth Mental Health First Aid Corps, an AmeriCorps National Direct Program, seeks AHECs to serve as the host site for one full-time AmeriCorps member during the program year September 2014 to August 2015. AmeriCorps members will be trained as Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructors and will implement Youth Mental Health First Aid trainings for a wide cross-section of community members who work with young people. Proposal due date: March 14, 2014.

A copy of the RFP can be found here.
Direct all questions regarding this opportunity to Tricia Harrity at

4. Have You Acted Yet? National AHEC Organization 2014 Conference: AWARD NOMINATIONS
An Invitation to the AHEC Community
To Recognize Our Most Outstanding Projects and Individuals
The NAO Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for the NAO Awards for Excellence, which will be presented at the 2014 National AHEC Workshop in Charlotte, NC.
At each of the bi-annual national workshops, the National AHEC Organization recognizes projects and individuals that epitomize the AHEC spirit of excellence in these major categories:

AHEC Center Awards for Excellence (Continuing Education, Learning Resources, Health Careers Student Recruitment, Research or Evaluation Tools, Health Professions Student Training and Special Community-Based Program)

Eugene S. Mayer Program of Excellence Award
Red Koelling Award for Service to AHEC
Andy Nichols Award for Social Justice

We encourage you to visit the NAO website home page ( where you will see the award nomination information. You can then click on the links to the individual award categories to review the criteria and instructions for nominating candidates. Only NAO members are eligible for awards. No individual or organization may receive more than one award.

The deadline for nominations is February 24, 2014.
For further information about the 2014 NAO AHEC Awards, please contact either of the Awards Committee co-chairs:
Mary Mitchell, MPA, Manhattan-Staten Island AHEC,
Mary Sienkiewicz, New York State AHEC System,

5. Make Plans to Attend the NAO Conference July 7-11, 2014
Exciting and historic Charlotte is the setting for this must-attend NAO event. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more info as it becomes available. We look forward to seeing you there!

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 |

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