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NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit December 07, 2015

From the CEO's Office

I'll be in Washington, D.C. next week with NAO president Jacqueline Wynn as we make the rounds ​on Capitol Hill in support of AHEC funding for FY2016 and begin setting the stage for AHEC funding in FY2017. The hope is that on December 11th a final omnibus budget bill will be signed for FY2016, though ​as of this writing we don't yet know how the final bill will be resolved. As we get more information we will certainly share i​t with you all.

As important as the in-person visits are, making regular calls to your Congressional Delegation is equally or more important to an effective and strategic advocacy effort. As I'm sure you've seen, there have were three (3) 'Action Alerts' ​last week encouraging you to make calls to your legislators in Washington. Please be sure to continue making those calls in support of AHEC ​funding; the importance of regular calls cannot be overstated.

Tuesdays with Trachtenberg

A Tool for Connecting with Colleagues AND catching up on all things NAO

The next "Tuesdays with Trachtenberg" call will be Tuesday, December 22nd from 12:30--1:00pm EST. On last week's call call we discussed state-specific one-page program briefs that can be shared with Congressional members on a monthly basis, the 'Special Interest Groups', the importance of the New Director's Orientation and other items related to the NAO 2016 Washington, D.C. conference as well as population health issues and the role of the NAO National Training Center in addressing those. I was thrilled with the turnout on the call and we even had the new Center Director of the Southwest Georgia AHEC join us on her second day on the job; welcome Laura Calhoun! Dial in at: 1-605-475-3220: Passcode: 245171#

Please note that this call will be only 30 minutes long.

NAO Special Interest Groups

​I'm going to keep pushing on the SIGs as I know there is considerable interest in them as evidenced by how many of you have signed up for one or more SIG. A I've said, each of the groups need someone to take the lead and get the discussion going. I know that there is a thirst for dialogue with colleagues and I also know that one of you--for each of the SIGs--is itching to take that first step and make the connection. You DO NOT need to be an expert in your area or areas of interest; the only requirement is that you organize the group using the free conference call number we've provided for you. Go forth and engage with your colleagues!

Here's the link to the spreadsheet; and remember, you can edit and add areas of interest:

SIG Spreadsheet

NAO Communications Committee

​I'm pleased to report that the NAO Communications Committee has two (2) new co-chairs who will be working with the current chairwoman Erin Gregg. ​Please join me in welcoming Terra Birsen, Program Manager, Southeast Regional Center, Michigan Area Health Education Center, Greater Detroit Area Health Council and Regional Coordinator for the CDC NAO HPV Project and Shawn Houck, RN, Coordinator, Regional Education at the Greensboro (NC) AHEC ​as the new co-chairs of the increasingly important NAO Communications Committee. ​ In the coming weeks, Erin, Terra and Shawn will ​be developing an NAO communications 'strategic plan' with the full Communications Committee that supports key NAO strategic priorities, as well as joining a number of the other NAO committees to increase and ensure continuity of messaging across vital organizational functions. I'm ​looking forward to working closely with the Communications Committee leadership team and am excited about the energy, passion and vision they'll bring to NAO and our AHEC network.

NAO 2016 Conference

​Without giving too much away just yet, I can share with you that the caliber of keynote speakers we are expecting for the 2016 Washington, D.C. conference ​is outstanding; I'm very excited to work and learn from those we're expecting. While the end of June 2016 may feel like a long time from now, it will be here before we know it. The Conference Planning Committee and its various subcommittees and work-groups are working diligently to put together an invigorating, challenging, growth-oriented national conference. Please make every effort to attend and please keep an eye on the NAO website for updated conference information.

​ ​

Membership Committee Members Needed

Here is your opportunity to get involved in NAO!  

NAO relies on volunteer AHECers just like you to serve on NAO committees to accomplish much of the work.

The Membership Committee makes recommendations to the Board concerning all decisions with respect to membership categories, applications for membership and dues and reports on the status of members in good standing. The Committee also works to expand membership through recruitment efforts and member benefits assessment. 

If you enjoy networking with the NAO membership, you would likely be a good candidate for the Membership Committee.  The time commitment is approximately 4 hours per month.  For more information, please contact Sharon Womack, Membership Chair, at 318-443-2855 or

ATSDR - Safeguarding Communities from Harmful Chemicals: A Five-Part Webinar Series

The American Public Health Association and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are proud to co-sponsor a five-part webinar series highlighting the vital work of the ATSDR. The series explores the Agency's role as an integral partner in: determining chemical threats; supporting communities with their environmental health concerns; protecting children and vulnerable populations; and supporting the specific needs of Native Tribes.

Part V – Working with Tribal Communities
Thursday, December 17, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EST
Welcome back to the series! In our fifth and final webinar, Working with Tribal Communities, participants will gain insights regarding environmental health concerns of Native Tribal communities and how ATSDR effectively supports tribal governments in addressing these concerns. This is a webinar not to miss!
Register today.

Montrece McNeill Ransom, JD, MPH
Senior Public Health Analyst, Public Health Law Program
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Joe Sarcone, MSPH
Environmental Health Scientist, Regional Representative
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Alex James
Project Manager
Yakutat Tlingit Tribe

Jamie Rayman, MPH
Health Educator and Community Involvement Specialist
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Mae-Gilene Begay, MSW
Program Director, Community Health Representatives/Outreach Program
Navajo Nation Department of Health

Recordings of the first four webinars are available online:

This webinar will be recorded and made available after the live event. 

This webinar was funded through cooperative agreement U38OT000131 between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Public Health Association. The contents of this webinar are solely the responsibility of the presenters and do not necessarily represent the official views of the American Public Health Association or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Northwestern CT AHEC is requesting proposals from AHECs interested in participating in the Youth Mental Health First Aid Corps.

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is an evidenced based training program that helps individuals and communities better understand mental health and respond appropriately to adolescents who may be experiencing a mental health issue.  President Obama and other national, state and local leaders are calling for the widespread implementation of YMHFA as a strategy to improve access to mental health care services for young people suffering from mental illness.

NWCTAHEC seeks AHECs to serve as host sites for full-time AmeriCorps members during the 2016-17 program year.  AmeriCorps members are trained as YMHFA Instructors and implement YMHFA trainings for a wide cross section of community members who work with young people.

This is a terrific opportunity for AHECs who want to begin or bolster their ability to implement YMHFA widely in the communities they serve.

Follow this link for the Request for Proposal to learn more about this opportunity. View the PDF

National Training Center

Social media webinar Wednesday!

Our partners at George Washington University Cancer Institute will be presenting the webinar “Using Social Media to Reach Healthcare Providers,” at 3 p.m. ET, Wednesday. This webinar will provide you with the tools to successfully reach healthcare providers via social media as a strategy to improve the quality of provider HPV vaccine recommendation. We’re sure that you will be able to transfer some of the knowledge learned in this webinar to bolster your AHEC social media prescence – outside of this project – as well. Don’t miss out. Register Now.

Save the dates!

We have some exciting webinars planned in the months ahead. First up on Jan. 14, Dr. Robin Curtis of the CDC will be presenting, “You Are the Key,” in a webinar aimed at health professionals as well as health professions students. We also confirmed that Dr. Rebecca Perkins, Associate Professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, will be presenting a webinar on how to use survivors and survivor stories in your HPV presentations in conjunction with our partners at the American Cancer Society. That is tentatively set for Feb. 8. Be watching for more information to come.

2016 Conference Information

Save the Dates!

The National AHEC Organization’s Countdown to the Capitol webinar series is designed to prepare the entire NAO membership to join together as one strong voice on Capitol Hill during the 2016 NAO Conference; AHEC on the Hill: A Capitol Idea. The 2016 NAO Conference will be held June 27th- 30th, 2016 at the Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown Hotel.

NAO is planning activities throughout the coming months to support the membership as you prepare to visit Washington, D.C. and tell your important story to your elected officials.

Please save the dates for the upcoming Countdown to the Capitol webinar series.

Friday, January 15, 2016         12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Eastern Time

Friday, March 11, 2016          12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Eastern Time

Friday, May 13, 2016              12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Eastern Time

More information on each webinar will be shared in the near future.  The content for each topic in the series is designed to meet the membership needs and is based on results from NAO advocacy survey.  Each webinar will present a different Advocacy topic and will build upon the previous webinar.  This interactive robust webinar series will share proven strategies, provide tools, allow for dialog and time for questions.

The Countdown to the Capitol is brought to you by your NAO leadership, the NAO Conference Planning Committee and its Advocacy Subcommittee,  Health and Medicine Counsel of Washington, NAO Public Policy Committee and through the coordination and efforts of many, many others within NAO.

Stay tuned for more details and registration information and welcome aboard as we Countdown to the Capitol!

For more information, please contact your NAO Public Policy Co-Chairs:

Angela M. Boyer (Indiana AHEC Network)

Kristina Fjeld-Sparks (New Hampshire AHEC)

Other Information

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) 2016 FY Grants Bulletin

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Bureau of Health Workforce has many exciting FOAs for state or local governments, non-profit organizations, healthcare facilities, and academic institutions interested in strengthening the Nation’s health workforce.

To prepare for these opportunities you can view the Grants Bulletin, which outlines the eligibility requirements, disciplines and estimated open dates for all of our programs. Sign up to receive email alerts when the next FOA opens.

National Consensus is Growing for Integrating Oral Health in Primary Care

Since the June 2015 publication of Oral Health: An Essential Component of Primary Care, a growing number of national organizations have stepped forward to endorse a new model for delivering preventive oral health care as a component of routine medical care, and enhancing partnerships between primary care and dentistry.

The Oral Health Delivery Framework

The Oral Health Delivery Framework consists of five actionable steps primary care teams can take to protect and promote oral health, including offering preventive interventions and structured referrals to dentistry. These actions directly align with how primary care teams manage preventive, acute, and chronic care needs for a wide range of clinical conditions, and are within the scope of practice for primary care providers and their teams. The Framework was developed in partnership with a panel of experts, including primary care and dental care providers; leaders from medical, dental, and nursing associations; payers and policymakers; a patient and family partnership expert; and oral health and public health advocates.

To learn more, read and download:

Watch and share a promotional video (2 min)

We would like to publicize the availability of these resources and ask you to consider sharing the paper with your colleagues. Please also consider highlighting the paper in a newsletter, blog, website or briefing call.

Field-Testing a Conceptual Model

Field-testing of the Oral Health Delivery Framework is actively underway at 19 community health centers and private practices in five states to establish the viability of the model in diverse primary care settings. Participants are receiving technical assistance from Qualis Health, and in Kansas, Massachusetts, and Oregon, their state’s Primary Care Association. Following field-testing of the framework, a complete oral health integration toolkit will be published in late 2016, including impact data and supporting resources and tools intended to accelerate adoption among primary care practices nationwide.

Hear more about the field testing experience at the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center

Oral Health: An Essential Component of Primary Care and related field-testing are sponsored by the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health, and supported by the DentaQuest Foundation, REACH Healthcare Foundation, and Washington Dental Service Foundation.

Oral Health Delivery Framework in the News:

Other Oral Health Integration Resources:

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Email Contact: Robert M. Trachtenberg, MS

National AHEC Organization
7044 S. 13th St.
Oak Creek, WI 53154