Problems viewing the online copy? Click here to contact our Customer Care.

October 14, 2014

From the Executive Director's Office

As I write this, it's a blustery fall day here in Rhode Island, and from my desk I can see the sailboats bobbing up and down in the harbor just over the bridge and just a touch of whitecaps skimming across the water. It's a good reminder that fall is here and that our NAO Fall Conference is less than eight weeks away. Planning is now in full swing and I trust many of you saw the 'Save the Date' that went out last week.

The correct dates--as a reminder--are December 2-December 4 (2014), with a NAO board meeting in the afternoon of the December 1st. December 2nd and 3rd will be full days, with December 4th being a half-day so that attendees can get out of town that same day. We'll be at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA, which is one Metro stop away from Reagan National Airport. Hotel and conference registration information will be out very soon--likely this week.

Much appreciation to Mary Craig and Jeff Papke for leading the conference planning team. I know we'll have an excellent conference; please make every effort to attend!

Journal of the National AHEC Organization Call for Articles

The Journal of NAO is calling for articles for the Winter 2015 edition. The theme for this next edition is "Creating a Sound Mind and Body: The Role of AHEC in Creating a Diverse Behavioral Health Workforce"

Across the nation there is much concern about the state of the behavioral health workforce and about its future. Workforce problems have an impact on almost every aspect of prevention and treatment across all sectors of the diverse behavioral health field. This edition will focus on efforts to address issues related to recruiting and retaining a culturally competent behavioral health workforce, the absence of career ladders for employees, and limited access to relevant and effective training.

The Editorial Board is looking for articles that address three important topics:

  1. How the Affordable Care Act is affecting the availability of mental health insurance coverage and strategies utilized by AHECs to respond to the mental health crisis in America.
  2. The involvement of AHECs in responding to behavioral health workforce challenges relating to such special populations as:
    1. Youth mental health (e.g., Youth Mental Health First Aid Corps, etc.).
    2. Seniors (e.g., are AHECs working with assisted living facilities and nursing homes to help with their workforce requirements?).
    3. Veterans (e.g., what initiatives are being utilized to address behavioral health issues and access to mental health services among veterans?).
    4. Primary care providers (e.g., the role of AHECs in training or retraining physicians to provide mental health services in their offices; recertification of adult nurse practitioners in psychiatric care; providing workforce training that is interprofessional in nature and connects behavioral health providers and students with primary care providers and students).
    5. AHEC strategies for responding to access to mental health workforce challenges in rural or urban settings (e.g., collaborations with community health workers) and the special challenges identified in each of these settings.
  1. How AHECs are utilizing technologies such as telemedicine and telehealth to bring mental health services to underserved areas and for home monitoring of patients.

Please submit drafts, photos and accompanying materials to and please refer to the NAO website for Journal submission guidelines:

Submission Cover Sheet must be included with the article:

I am sure there is a rich body of AHEC work that aligns nicely with the theme of the next Journal. There currently is no hard deadline for articles, though please do get articles in as soon as possible. The publication is expected to be released in the Winter of 2015.

"Tuesdays with Trachtenberg"

We had a fantastic discussion last week on the "Tuesdays with Trachtenberg" call. AHECers discussed a number of interesting topics including the 2014 Fall Conference and the 2015 Business Summit (a good amount of growing interest there!), Center staffing patterns, the need for increased use of webinars to reach our network and, of course, the FY15 and FY16 Federal Funding process.

Next call is Tuesday 10/14/14: 12:30-1:30 EST: Please dial in at 1-605-475-3220. Please make note of the new dial-in number, Passcode: 245171#. Please join us to see where the dialogue will go.


Congratulations to Sandy Ortiz, Executive Director SEMO Area Health Education Center in Poplar Bluff, MO, who was recently named to the Region VII Health Equity Council. The RHECs are under the auspices of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities and the HHS Office of Minority Health, with whom the NAO Diversity Committee chairs and I have been in conversation recently. It's great to have another AHECer at the RHEC table; congratulations Sandy, and we look forward to seeing how our discussions with OMH evolve!

A Challenge!

As we've mentioned a number of times here, a strategy to increase communication to you all is via the use of NAO social media. It is increasingly a tool to get important information out in a timely and efficient manner. Currently NAO has 683 "Likes" on FaceBook. I am challenging you all to help get that number to 850 'LIkes" by the end of next week. That means you need to get connected (if not already) and then you, your staff, colleagues, and co-workers need to go check out the NAO Facebook page and 'Like" It. I bet we can do it! After this we'll start to tackle Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, but for now, let's see how quickly we can get to 850 on Facebook. Ready, go!

Have a great week!

AHEC Tracker Database Webinars

As some of you may be aware, NetHealth, LLC, now known by its new name, HealthMonix, has been working on a database platform originally developed for the Geriatric Education Center (GEC) network and has customized it to address the most recent HRSA performance measures for the Area Health Education Centers. The program can also be customized for additional AHEC program and center-specific reporting. As a service to the NAO Membership, we wanted to make you aware of this resource so that you could explore its potential for your individual programmatic needs.

HealthMonix will we offering 2 interactive webinars on Thursday, October 16, from 3 to 4 PM and Friday, October 17, from 3 to 4 PM to introduce the system, demonstrate its functionality, and address any questions you may have.

Here is the information for the webinar:

  • AHEC Tracker Demonstration
  • Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone on Thu, Oct 16, 3:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
  • 2. Use your microphone and speakers (VOIP) for audio. You'll sound best with a headset. You can also call in using your telephone.
  • United States (Long distance): +1 (267) 507-0003

Access Code: 667-130-261

Audio PIN: Shown after joining the session

  • Not at your computer? Click the link to join this meeting from your iPhone®, iPad®, Android® or Windows Phone® device via the GoToMeeting app.
  • GoToMeeting®

Please feel free to share this information with your Program and Center staff

While NAO does not promote one system over another, we want to make the NAO network aware of some of the resources and platforms that are available to improve our data reporting!

Please see the other resources that are available for data and reporting purposes at the NAO Marketplace on the NAO website:

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask them of the developers during one of the webinars! Thank you for your interest.

Best regards,

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 |

To submit an item, please click here. Deadline: Thursdays, noon CST.

NAO Resources
Links to new resources and information:

NAO Home Page |NAO Board