NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
January 20, 2014

1. From the Executive Director's Desk
Thank you all for your responses to the "One-Question Survey" regarding what NAO provides as value to you, our members. The responses have been very interesting and somewhat wide-ranging, though largely have been focused on connectivity to other AHECs, advocacy at the federal level, and being "in-touch" with what's happening with colleagues throughout the country and programmatic and funding opportunities. I'm looking forward to hearing from more of you, so please do weigh in with what you think is the most valuable part of being a member of NAO. I love getting your responses!

Legislative and Appropriations Update
Congress passed a three-day funding extension through January 18 in an effort to provide time for both chambers to debate and review the omnibus and continue to fund the government. The action was taken on a simple voice vote after less than five minutes of debate.

As you have likely already seen, 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 and passed into law with $30.326 million allocated for the AHEC program for FY14.

The next thing to monitor will be the President's budget request for FY 2015, which is scheduled to come out February 3 but is already projected to be delayed by a month. President Obama has not yet submitted a budget request on time. Once the budget is released, it will provide appropriators with a renewed sense of vigor. NAO has already started working strategy for FY15 by speaking with White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Representative Hester Grippando. Follow-up will occur in the next coming months to continue establishing this relationship.

Upcoming Advocacy
I am planning on being in Washington from Jan. 28-29 to conduct visits with appropriators and meet with HRSA. I also plan to be in Washington in early February to do more Hill visits and to participate at the National Rural Health Association's Policy Institute as a presenter on a panel discussing the rural health care workforce. I look forward to seeing many AHECers!

HRSA "1st Wednesdays" Link
Below is the link for AHEC "First Wednesdays" and A-TrACC webinars at the HRSA website for those of you who may want to access previous webinars.

A-TrACC Health Insurance Marketplace Project
For those of you participating—or considering participating—in the A-TrACC Marketplace Project, you may want to check out the CMS Marketplace website for publications, articles, and other resources. It's worth a look; click on the following link:

Primary Care Progress
I have been speaking recently with Dr. Andrew Morris-Singer, the founder of an organization called Primary Care Progress (PCP), and I feel like we are kindred spirits in our work to advance primary care and public health in the U.S. I first learned about Primary Care Progress at our April 2013 NAO conference when Melissa Gillooly, PCP's executive director, stopped by to meet me and learn about NAO and the AHEC Program.

Primary Care Progress uses a grassroots organizing model to change how primary care is delivered and how providers are trained. They do this based on the belief that we have more power to achieve our various policy, payment and education goals when we engage all members of the primary care community. However, the grassroots approach also helps us build a new interprofessional cohort of primary care leaders, with fresh experience in team-building, change management, and effective communication.

PCP has 37 chapters around the country, led by interprofessional teams of students and trainees, supported by their faculty. They use the PCP chapter space to promote a new hopeful vision of primary care, expose students to innovations in care delivery, get them involved in primary care quality improvement efforts, and launch campaigns to better align education and practice. I bet some of you have already connected with your local PCP chapter.

In October of 2013 they launched The Primary Care Project to help connect different local initiatives to advance primary care in academic settings. The goal was to create a space where the growing primary care movement could share ideas, experiences and resources to advance primary care in the US. As a major leader in primary care revitalization, NAO is excited to be a part of the Primary Care Project. I encourage you all to sign the PCP primary care pledge and forward it on to your AHEC colleagues and friends.

Primary Care Progress has also developed a reputation for delivering fantastic leadership and advocacy trainings for members of their network and beyond, and I'm excited to identify ways our two organizations can partner to further develop a new interprofessional cadre of primary care leaders.

Andrew and I encourage you all to connect with the members of local PCP chapters to identify opportunities for advancing primary care at the local academic institutions. We also encourage leaders to take advantage of PCP's various free programming, including their online Clinical Innovation Network webinar series on various clinical innovations. PCP plans to also highlight the work of AHEC in upcoming webinars.

Thanks very much and I look forward to hearing your comments.

Have a great week!


2. From A-TrACC
Upcoming Evaluation Webinar
How do you tell your AHEC story? Plan to attend "Stories as an Evaluation Tool" webinar at 3 p.m. Eastern, January 29. Qualitative researcher Susan Eliot will discuss how to capture compelling and convincing stories from program participants. You will learn how stories fit in your evaluation plan and come away with a process for collecting and sharing them. Register Now.

Send Your VMH Data
January 31 is the deadline for submitting data on any Veterans Mental Health trainings since September. Email if you need the reporting spreadsheet. AHECs have trained 12,301 health professionals through this project. What an impact! Please continue to refer health professionals to the Citizen Soldier Support Program's free online accredited CE courses using the unique link created for your AHEC. When providers access a course with your link, you can get the tracking information needed for CE reporting. It's that easy! So far, 13 AHECs have taken advantage of 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, regardless of VMH Project participation.

Marketplace Participation
Join AHECs across the country on a nationwide initiative to train health professionals and staff on the health insurance marketplaces. Financial support of $1,500 is available for your center in exchange for providing training for at least 50 health care providers and/or staff. This project may fit in with training AHECs are already providing on the health insurance marketplaces. February 14 is the deadline to apply. For questions or to request an application, e-mail

3. Deadline Extended to February 3! Online Call for Presentations
The Conference Planning Committee for the National AHEC Organization (NAO) 2014 Conference invites you to submit a proposal for a concurrent session or poster presentation for the conference scheduled for July 7 – 11, 2014 in Charlotte, NC.

The conference theme for 2014 is AHEC: Driving Access to Quality Healthcare through INNOVATION, IMPLEMENTATION & IMPACT. The goals of the conference are:

1) to provide practical skills and information to implement or improve AHEC-sponsored programs;
2) to enhance the professional development of AHEC directors, staff and board members; and
3) to enable participants to develop new approaches that advance the AHEC mission.

Proposals are to be submitted online this year. Please read all of the directions carefully to ensure that all submission requirements are met.

Please click on the following link to access the online submission system:

Note: The due date for final submissions has been extended to Monday, February 3, 2014.

4. Public Health Learning Modules Now Available for Educators and Students
A set of 15 "Public Health Learning Modules" is now available to help educators address topics of policy, research, and models of care designed to improve population health. Created by the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) and the College of Health Professions and Social Work at Temple University, this free online resource is available for educators and students at The modules align with Healthy People 2020 objectives and include topics such as social determinants of health, access to health services, health information technology, and injury prevention. These modules can serve as an excellent resource to help incorporate a focus on public health in health professions education programs.

5. Champions for Coverage
Are you a winner at providing information on the health insurance marketplace? Get recognized for your efforts by joining the growing list of national and state Champions for Coverage. Check out the CMS Champion page for ways your AHEC can be involved in this effort and become a champ!

6. Health Insurance Marketplace "Tell One" Project
Health Resources and Services Administration

Health reform impacts all Americans. With open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace running through March 31, 2014, we have an opportunity to help increase public awareness about new affordable coverage options. We are asking you to "Tell One" health care provider, colleague, student, neighbor, friend, family member, or anyone who may know someone who could benefit from Marketplace options, or who could benefit themselves.

This can be done through:

  • Conversations
  • Announcements during community meetings
  • Emails to contacts
  • Posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, or other social media platforms

Following are communications tools to help raise awareness about the Health Insurance Marketplace:

  • Email Templates
  • Conversation Starters and Key Messages
  • Social Media Messages

Share your success stories with us at the HRSA email box!

Communications Tools:
Email Templates

Email Template to Friend/Neighbor/etc.:

Dear ________,

You may know someone—a friend, family member, or neighbor—who is uninsured or looking for new health coverage options. I encourage you to share this information with them:

The promise of quality, affordable coverage is increasingly becoming reality for more and more Americans. And you, or someone you know, could be one of them!

Coverage began January 1, 2014 for those who enrolled by December 23. Individuals have until March 31, 2014 to sign up for coverage.

With marked improvements to the website and various ways to sign up, now is the time to encourage your patients and community members to enroll and take advantage of health coverage.

To save time, consumers can prepare for enrollment by going through the Marketplace Application Checklist to gather what they'll need to apply for coverage.

7. Have You Submitted Your Story Yet? Deadline January 24, 2013! NAO Annual Report The National AHEC Organization is compiling data and stories for the 2013 Annual Report, which gets published in the spring of 2014. The theme of this year's report is "AHEC: Driving Access to Quality Health Care Through Innovation, Implementation, and Impact." This annual publication highlights the wide range of programs that AHEC provides the current and future healthcare workforce. Interested in having your AHEC's success story included in the 2013 edition? Develop a 50-75 word abstract touting one of the services your AHEC provides:

  1. Health Careers Promotion/Preparation; P-16+ Pipeline
  2. Health Professions Students/Residents Training; Community-Based Education
  3. Health Professionals Recruitment & Retention; Practice Entry and Support
  4. Continuing Education
  5. Health Literacy/Promotion
  6. Health and Community Development
  7. Healthcare Workforce Planning & Assessment

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 by Friday, January 24, 2014.

8. 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,

9. NAO Conference Takes Place 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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