1. From the Executive Director's Office Just Outside the Arctic Circle
Legislative & Appropriations Update from Washington
Appropriators in the House and Senate feel better now that they were able to pass a 2-year budget deal and look forward to finishing FY 2014 and start quickly with FY 2015 (which will most likely include budget caps and be a more streamlined process).
The framework now exists to finish the appropriations bills for FY 2014 with an impending deadline of next Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. As soon as the omnibus bill (combined approps bills) is released, we will let you know the funding level and if there are any pertinent recommendations.
It continues to be important to weigh in with legislators and recommend the Senate's $30.025 million allocation for the AHEC program. An Action Alert will be forthcoming; stay tuned!
The next issue we will monitor after appropriations will be the President's budget request for FY 2015, which is scheduled to come out February 3, 2014.
I likely will be in Washington from January 28-30, 2014 and then again with other NAO policy leaders during the first week of February for the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) Annual Policy Institute. Each year there is significant AHEC participation at the Policy Institute. HMCW plans to attend and set up meetings for NAO leadership, and we will work on a one-pager regarding the AHEC program which will be included—as in past years—in the 'leave-behind' folder during the NRHA conference.
NAO Strategic Thinking Meeting; November 2013
Over the course of the first day, we: 1) reviewed the NAO strategic plan and conducted an in-depth analysis of what was accomplished as a result of the plan; 2) assessed the strengths of our current plan; 3) reviewed what did not go as planned; 4) looked at challenges to implementing the plan; and 5) established organizational priorities going forward.
Identifying Organizational Priorities
We reviewed (7) organizational topics:
Out of that discussion we highlighted NAO's strengths as they relate to each topic and identified what we would like to "see more of." The NAO board will be addressing the many statements that resulted from that discussion and will prioritize areas in which to move forward. I will share more information as it evolves.
Board and Organizational Development
Governance as leadership:
Each of the four focus areas will be addressed during NAO board meetings over the course of the year. As changes are implemented or, in some cases where Bylaws changes are necessary, I will keep you all apprised as we move towards our goals.
Please let me know if you'd like more detailed information about our very successful 2-day meeting; I'd welcome the opportunity to talk with you.
Request for Information
Have a great week and bundle up!
2. From A-TrACC
Upcoming Evaluation Webinar
Send Your VMH Data
Please continue to refer health professionals to the Citizen Soldier Support Program's free online accredited CE courses using the unique link created just for your AHEC. When providers access a course with your link, you can get the tracking information needed for CE reporting. It is easy and free! So far, 13 AHECs have done this, and 128 health professionals have completed courses. Access resources, get step-by-step instructions, or watch a recorded webinar for more information about how this works. All AHECs can do this, whether you participated in the VMH Project or not.
Request for Proposals
3. Hurry! Deadline January 24, 2013! NAO Annual Report: Looking For Your AHEC Stories
If your AHEC's abstract is accepted, you will be asked to provide a full 300-word article and photo (or graph) within a two-week period. E-mail abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, January 24, 2014.
4. 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)
We encourage you to visit the NAO website home page (www.nationalahec.org) 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, email@example.com
Mary Sienkiewicz, New York State AHEC System, firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Have You Marked Your Calendar Yet? NAO Conference Takes Place July 7-11, 2014
6. Don't Forget: Online Call for Presentations
The conference theme for 2014 is AHEC: Driving Access to Quality Healthcare through INNOVATION, IMPLEMENTATION & IMPACT. The goals of the
Proposals are to be submitted online this year. Please read all of the directions carefully to ensure that all submission requirements are met.
Note: The due date for final submissions is Monday, January 20, 2014.
7. Upcoming Presentations from SBIRT
January 15, 2014 1:00 - 2:30 PM EST
February 19, 2014 2:00 - 3:30 PM EST
February 26, 2014 1:00 - 2:30 PM EST
Looking for more SBIRT webinars?
Visit hospitalsbirt.webs.com/webinars.htm to view a 2014 schedule by our partners, NAADAC and NORC
8. Joint Center Congratulates Promise Zones Grantees
Recently President Obama announced that the first five Promise Zones community grants have been awarded, namely to San Antonio, Texas; Philadelphia; Los Angeles; Southeastern Kentucky; and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies congratulates these communities, and shares their optimism that smart, geographically targeted policies can help struggling regions to recover from the lingering effects of the economic downturn. Research suggests that place-based strategies such as the Promise Zones initiative will revitalize high-poverty communities by attracting private investment, expanding affordable housing, improving educational opportunities, providing tax incentives for hiring workers, and helping to drive down violent criminal activity. The Promise Zones initiative builds upon the success of existing federal programs such as Choice Neighborhoods, a redevelopment program that provides local leaders with proven tools to revitalize distressed public housing and concentrated poverty into vibrant, opportunity-rich neighborhoods; Promise Neighborhoods, which builds a pipeline from the earliest ages of educational support services around a strong school environment, focused on the goal of high school graduation and college-going for every student; and the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program, which targets neighborhoods with persistent violent crime, focusing on hot spots of criminal activity, by employing cross-sector strategies that show evidence of impact in reducing violence.
"Promise Zones are among the most promising anti-poverty strategies in over a generation," said Brian Smedley, Ph.D., Interim President and CEO of the Joint Center. "This is an effort to tackle some of the most persistent structural barriers to opportunity experienced by people living in communities that have suffered from economic neglect and political marginalization." "We know from our own experience with initiatives such as PLACE MATTERS, which the Joint Center has managed since 2007, that place-based strategies can tackle the challenges brought about by high levels of segregation and poverty concentration," said Autumn Saxton-Ross, Ph.D., Program Director for PLACE MATTERS at the Joint Center. "We look forward to working with Promise Zones communities to advance successful practices around the country."The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is one of the nation's leading research and public policy institutions and the only one whose work focuses primarily on issues of particular concern to African Americans and other people of color. To learn more, please visit www.jointcenter.org.
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.
To submit an item, please click here. Deadline: Thursdays, noon CST.