NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
March 3, 2014

1. From the Executive Director's Office
Pediatric gastroenterologists, nurses, residents, fellows, nursing and medical students, lab techs, osteopaths, ER physicians, clinical social workers and psychologists, radiologists, pharmacists, pediatricians, and hospital house staff have all been a huge (and pretty much only) part of my family's life these past 4+ weeks as my 10-year-old daughter progressed through her illness from diagnosis to (a mostly satisfying) treatment to discharge. Our journey has been both a heart-wrenching experience as a parent and a fascinating experience as an AHECer with a great interest in health care and health care systems, obviously, and one that unfortunately will continue for some time as Carsen works to return to optimal health.

Catherine and I saw the absolute best of health care and we saw where things broke down--sometimes in humorous ways and sometimes in ways that were infuriating and required a great deal of advocacy and patience on our part. We saw interdisciplinary teams that worked flawlessly together and teams where hierarchy and miscommunication got in the way of ideal and timely care (I probably pay more attention to that than Catherine). We experienced many small blessings from caregivers who went far out of their way for us--and I bet those caregivers do that for nearly everyone yet make it seem like they're doing it only for you. Little kindnesses meant a lot. We also experienced condescension and eye rolling when we asked, for perhaps the 100th time in hopes of a different response, why is my child in so much pain--all day, every day--and why is nothing we're doing making it better?

I share this not because our scary experience was really all that unique on a large scale (sad to say)--and I am certain all of you or your family members have had your share of scary health challenges--but because illness and health and health care and navigating an extremely complex system under high levels of stress is hard and it's personal, and it throws you off your center and is highly disruptive. You know this, and you also know this is why what we do (all of it!) is so critically important and matters to so many people throughout the country; directly and indirectly. Our work in developing a highly competent and diverse health care workforce for underserved populations and creatively adapting national initiatives to help address local and regional health care issues helps keep this country healthy. We may be a degree or two removed from it--or maybe not at times--but it's true.

Thank you for allowing me to share yet another personal note in a Monday Update. I am hopeful that the road to good health we're on with Carsen won't be a long one or a hard one. Please know that I greatly appreciate all the kind words, the encouragement, and the wisdom that many of you shared. As I said in last week's Monday Update, I'm ready for some boredom and some quiet time; even one calm day would be good. I knew things were a bit out of balance when our home phone rang one evening (a doctor returning yet another call after hours) and I thought to myself "wouldn't it be cool if there actually was a way to get email on your phone, that would be really handy."

Have a great week,


2. From A-TrACC
Count Your Marketplace Trainings in the EHB
All continuing education programs that included educating health professionals and their staff on the health insurance marketplaces need to be reported in the Semiannual Performance Report. These programs should be included in the CE 1 subform under the primary topic area of Health Reform/Health Insurance Marketplaces.

HEY PROGRAM OFFICES! If you notice your centers have done this type of training but aren't involved in the A-TrACC project, we'd like to get them officially signed up. Trainings conducted since Oct. 1, 2013, count toward each center's goal of educating 50 health professionals and staff on the health insurance marketplaces. Financial support of $1,500 is available for centers that complete this goal. Let us know if you have questions. HEY CENTERS! If you're already doing marketplace training, drop us a note at or fill out our questionnaire.

Marketplace Deadline Extended to March 31
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. About 90 centers have already signed up to participate and hundreds of health professionals have already been trained! Be a part of something big! After all, this project may fit in with trainings you have already completed. SO, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Request an application by e-mailing

Updated Marketplace Resources
Check out our NEWLY REVISED Marketplace Resources handout for access to curriculum and training sources you can use for your own marketplace trainings and Marketplace FAQs.

3. Hurry! March 14 Deadline! 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. Don't Miss 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!

5. Progressive Return to Activity Following Acute Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Guidance for the Primary Care Manager and Rehabilitation Provider on March 13, 2014; 1-2:30 p.m. (EST)

Consensus panels have increasingly recommended a gradual return to normal activity using a graded protocol after a concussion. In January 2014, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) released two companion clinical recommendations to facilitate a standardized, staged return to unrestricted activity for service members who have sustained concussion in deployed and non-deployed settings.

The "Progressive Return to Activity Following Acute Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Guidance for the Primary Care Manager and the Rehabilitation Provider in Deployed and Non-deployed Setting" resource suite was developed in collaboration with military, clinical and academic subject matter experts. It addresses the six stages of progression from rest to pre-injury activity; definition of rest; use of the Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory to track symptoms; a two-tiered complementary approach based upon symptoms and provider judgment; physical, cognitive and vestibular/balance activities recommended for participation and activities to avoid at each stage; and guidelines for progression, regression and referral. This webinar will introduce these key stages delineated by the clinical recommendations.

Sign up for the webinar at:

6. The Safety Net Medical Home Initiative Updates
New material is on the site. A great place to start is with our Project Recap, which showcases successes from the Initiative. We have also posted a series of "Spotlights" highlighting practice results in Care Coordination, Enhanced Access, and Team-Based Care.

Care Coordination: Spotlight on Dorchester House Multi Service Center, Dorchester, MA.
To learn more about Care Coordination, please see our implementation guide:

Enhanced Access: Spotlight on 3 Practices, OR, ID, and PA
To learn more about Enhanced Access, please see our implementation guide:

Continuous and Team-Based Healing Relationships: Spotlight on Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Portland, OR.
To learn more about Continuous and Team-based Healing Relationships, please see our implementation guides:

Elevating the Role of the Medical/Clinical Assistant: Maximizing Team-Based Care in the Patient-Centered Medical Home

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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