NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
March 24, 2014

1. From the Executive Director's Office
Spring is finally here! It's been a long, hard winter and I hope it's warming up and turning green wherever you are. Enjoy it!

Washington, D.C. Update
As I mentioned last week, we had a very successful Congressional briefing on March 13. Over 60 legislative aides and other guests attended, and the overwhelming feedback was that the briefing was a huge success and the AHEC funding message was strongly delivered and received. As soon as I get pictures of the event I'll share them here. Planning for next year's briefing has already begun, and we will build off any lessons learned to continually improve and further hone our messaging to Congress. A huge Thank You to all of you who called in during our "AHEC National Call-In Day"!

Legislative and Appropriations Update
For FY15, the NAO ask is $75 million, while understanding that incremental increases may occur until this amount is reached. We will keep working towards that amount, and ultimately towards the AHEC full appropriation of $125 million. It is vitally important that we continue working towards increasing our appropriation to keep in step with increased AHEC responsibilities. As you recall, President Obama's budget request for FY2015 was released nearly three weeks ago and included zero funding for the AHEC program. The President's budget is a suggestive document to Congress and is not the ultimate force of law. I expect to be in Washington a good deal in the spring and early summer as appropriations bills start getting introduced during Congressional visits.

A-TrACC ACA Outreach and Education Initiative
As you know, I spent last week in Washington rallying support for AHEC Program funding. While I was able to relay all of the good work AHEC has accomplished, I can't express enough how important it is to work together as a group and become a cohesive network. Now more than ever our funders are looking at our abilities to respond to training needs on a national level.

Many of the legislative representatives I talked with this past week asked about AHEC's involvement in ACA outreach and education. I was able to tell them about our current A-TrACC project to train health professionals on the health insurance marketplaces. It is extremely important that we have excellent participation from AHECs in every single part of the country so that we can show our funders that we can successfully carry out administrative priorities. Perhaps your application got buried in all of the snow we've had lately!

Thank you to all of those who have signed up to participate. If you haven't yet signed up, there's still time to join! The deadline is March 31. Not only is this project just the right thing to do as an AHEC center, we're also providing $1,500 in financial support for training 50 health professionals and/or staff.

I can't stress enough how important this project is to demonstrating AHEC capabilities. Success in this project will go a long way in opening new doors for future collaborations as well as meeting or even exceeding the expectations of current funders. Reach out to A-TrACC or to me for questions about this project or to apply. I look forward to working with you on this important project.

Have a great week!

2. From A-TrACC
Field Guide Revisions Webinar is Thursday!
Get the latest A-TrACC field guide forms for data collection and learn more about the changes at our next webinar "Field Guide Revisions" on Thursday, March 27, 3 p.m. ET. Don't know what the field guide is? Then you definitely need to attend! Register Now

Marketplace Deadline in One Week
You've got one more week to get your application to us to participate in the marketplace project to train health professionals. The deadline is March 31. About 95 centers have already signed on! Request an application by e-mailing

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.

Training Blast From the Past
Recognize and use the data you already collect to evaluate program performance and communicate with stakeholders. Revisit the webinar "Using Performance Measure Data" along with other trainings from the last four years at the A-TrACC archive.

3. New Rural Mental Health and Substance Abuse Toolkit Launched
The Rural Assistance Center (RAC), the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, and the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, recently launched the new Rural Mental Health and Substance Abuse Toolkit. This toolkit is designed to help rural communities and organizations develop and implement programs that meet the targeted mental health needs of communities based on proven approaches and strategies. The toolkit is available for free on the RAC website.

Content for the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Toolkit was developed by the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, in collaboration with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, as part of the Rural Community Health Gateway. The Gateway, located on the RAC website, is designed to help rural communities learn about proven methods of providing rural residents with better access to health care services. Development of these resources is part of an ongoing effort by NORC, UMN, and RAC to provide evidence-based health information to rural America.

4. Have You Made 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!

5. Webinar on Minority Health April 9, 2014
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of Minority Health invites you to attend a webinar in April in honor of Minority Health Month. Speakers will discuss CMS' ongoing efforts to reduce and eliminate health disparities, and our work encouraging newly insured consumers to use preventive services and primary care. Details here.

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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