NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
July 14, 2014


1. From the Executive Director's Charlotte, NC Office

NAO 2014 Charlotte Conference a Rousing Success!
It was such a pleasure seeing, working and catching up with with so many AHECers from near and far (and very far; like from Guam, Samoa and Barrow, Alaska!) last week at our 2014 NAO Charlotte conference. Each of our biennial conferences continues to raise the bar in terms of quality, and I look forward to what the 2016 conference will bring, but first it's time for some reflection and rest before the planning begins again soon.

The Charlotte conference was tremendous; so full of learning opportunities, sharing among colleagues, and a good bit of fun. I left feeling—as I normally do after these conferences—energized, excited, and eager to put much of what I learned into practice (though making One Degree of Change might just be enough!) so as to help NAO become as strong, effective and impactful as possible.

Kudos to the NAO Conference Planning Committee, ably led by co-chairs Jacqueline Wynn and Daphne Byrd, for planning and executing a top-notch conference. I heard overwhelmingly positive feedback about the quality of speakers, the New Directors Orientation, the concurrent sessions, the keynote/plenary speakers, the food, the special events (NASCAR Museum and the Gala; both great fun!), and the hotel. I do hope most of the conference attendees were able to complete the session and overall conference evaluation, as this feedback is very important and helps inform future conference planning.

Kudos as well to Paul Rossmann, Adam Rossmann, Shannon Lorenz and Nicole Cheever from NAO HQ for their tireless work in keeping everything running smoothly and on-schedule. Paul and his team made sure that conference attendees and presenters had a seamless conference experience. It is astounding how much work goes into keeping a conference running smoothly, and Paul and team managed every last detail with aplomb.

Finally, kudos to the over 600 AHECers and partner organization representatives who attended our 2014 Conference. I hope you all left feeling as energized and excited about our work as I do. There is much to do to continue improving the health of our country's citizens as we lead the nation in the recruitment, training and retention of a diverse health workforce for underserved communities; indeed,our AHEC Network and NAO are increasingly poised to do so. Thank you for all your hard work and being engaged. It is a privilege and a very special experience to work with so many talented, hardworking, socially conscious individuals who work tirelessly on behalf of others.

A few final items:

  • All conference PowerPoint presentations will be up on the NAO website in the next 2-3 weeks. An announcement will go out to the NAO Membership once posted.
  • Please feel free to continue using the #NAOCHARLOTTE hashtag and the NAO Facebook page to share conference memories and photos. The use of social media clearly enhanced the conference experience.
  • Tomorrow we will hold a special "Tuesdays With Trachtenberg" call at 12:30 EST to do a conference de-brief. I look forward to talking with you: 1-424-203-8400, Passcode: 245171#

Have a great week!

2. Hearing and Vision Impairment from Combat Trauma

Date/Time: July 24, 2014, 1-2:30 p.m. (EDT)

Consequences of blast exposure can lead to a variety of ocular, otologic and vestibular injuries. Serious combat eye trauma accounts for approximately 15 percent of all battlefield injuries and up to 75 percent of those affected experience short or long-term visual dysfunction. Hearing loss and tinnitus prevalence for military personnel and veterans is increasing 13-18 percent annually and account for the top two most common service-connected disabilities among veterans.

The majority of neurosensory disorders resulting from combat trauma are caused by mild traumatic brain injury. Understanding the mechanics of the injury and the associated research guides patient care and treatment recommendations. While there are assistive devices, technology, training, support groups and accommodating employers to assist those with vision or hearing loss, it is also important to provide psychological health support to the injured and their families.

This webinar will examine current research and evidence-based practices. Discussion will include best practices to reduce injury risk and enable prevention and treatment in both clinical and non-clinical settings.

During this webinar, participants will learn to:

  • Describe hearing and balance disorders associated with combat trauma
  • Articulate the basic science concepts of neurosensory disorders
  • Incorporate evidence-based best practices into approaches supporting care and treatment methodologies
  • Summarize methods and tools which are known to reduce risk of injury to hearing and/or vision in a combat setting


Michael E. Hoffer
Capt., MC, U.S. Navy
Spatial Orientation Center
Naval Medical Center
San Diego, Calif.

Carey D. Balaban, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs,
Professor, Departments of Otolaryngology, Neurobiology, Communication Science & Disorders, and Bioengineering
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Robert A. Mazzoli, M.D.
Vision Center of Excellence
Madigan Army Medical Center
Tacoma, Wash.


Christian Shenouda, M.D.
TBI Physician
Contract support to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
Silver Spring, Md.

Continuing Education:

Continuing education credit is available from Duke University School of Medicine. You must register on or before July 24, 2014, at 3 p.m. (EDT) to qualify for the receipt of continuing education credit.

To qualify for receipt of continuing education credit for applicable webinars, eligible participants must create a profile in the Duke Medicine Learning Management System and register for the event on, or before, the event registration deadline. Complete responses to all pre-registration questions are required to be eligible to receive credit for attending this event. For guidance on creating a user account and event registration in the Duke Medicine Learning Management System site, please visit

Please note: DCoE's awarding of continuing education credit is limited in scope to health care providers who actively provide psychological health and traumatic brain injury care to U.S. active-duty service members, reservists, National Guardsmen, military veterans and/or their families.

For additional details, please visit

Upon completion of registration, a confirmation email will be sent providing webinar event details.

Sign up for the webinar at

If your network security settings do not allow access to the Duke Medicine website, use another network or device to access the registration page. Once registered, you may use Adobe Connect or Defense Connect Online to attend the webinar.

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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